Tiny House: A Spiritual/Philosophical Examination

This has been a rough week, and it’s mostly just in my head.

First of all, my truck broke down Sunday night.  This has been my greatest fear, because I rely completely on it for both income and transport from home to the build site.  I was out in Edison, WA with a friend, headed to see a country band in the early evening after work, and just as we pulled onto the street next to the bar, the truck died.  Since we were already at our destination, we pushed it onto the side of the road and went inside to have a drink and watch the band before calling the tow truck.  My roadside assistance covered all but $7 of the 16 mile tow.  It could have been worse.

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The next day I was determined to diagnose the problem myself.  I thought it was the fuel pump or something associated, and pulled out the truck manual and some tools to see about changing the fuel filter.  The manual said (paraphrasing), it’s very very hard to remove the fuel filter! With an exclamation point.  I tried scooting under the truck and got dizzy and claustrophobic and couldn’t tell one piece of metal from the other anyway.  I sat in the driveway, in the unseasonable sunshine and birdsong, and felt dejected and demoralized.  I’d set up this fuel filter thing as a test; if I can do this, I can build a house.  And conversely, if I can’t do this, I can’t build a house.

I think we all have a hard time asking for help but I have a neurotic obsession with my own independence, self-sufficiency and autonomy.  I’m a big believer in astrology and my chart says the biggest hurdle and challenge of my life is learning to let other people in, to not be so wrapped up in getting things done that I shut out emotion, to take the weight of responsibility off my shoulders and let other people help me.  I have confronted this challenge over and over in every aspect of my life.  I am much more comfortable with projects that can be done in absolute isolation.  The tiny house is not something I can do in absolute isolation.  It is uncomfortable and hard and I spent all week irrationally worrying about it and what I specifically worry about is all the ways I have to rely on other people to get it done.  Then my truck broke down, and I couldn’t fix it myself.   Bleh!

Building the house already feels like a master challenge from the universe on becoming humble enough to ask for help when I need it, accept that other people want to help me, accept that other people might offer help without 100% enthusiasm and excitement and that doesn’t mean they secretly resent me and even if they do that’s not my business, that asking for help doesn’t mean I’m a taker or a mooch, and mostly, not to think so f###ing much and just embrace being a human in all it’s annoying, complex and uncomfortable vulnerability.  Thanks, Universe.  Thanks a lot.

Oh, the truck just had a corroded wire on the battery and with the two tows it was $199 total.  Phew!

In other news, I went to the DMV to ask about registering the house.  I was nervous, expecting the woman to either scoff at me for being a commie hippie when I explained what I was doing, or have no idea what I was talking about.  Instead, when I asked if she knew what a tiny house was, her face LIT UP (thank god for the Tiny House Nation TV show) and she very excitedly got on the phone and tracked down the information I needed.  After all the aforementioned anxiety about other people, I was so relieved to be helped so willingly that I teared up and almost hugged her across the counter.  Shout out to Youa at the Mount Vernon Licensing Department.  Turns out I don’t need any kind of travel permit to get the trailer to the build site, and once it’s built I need to get an inspection from the State Patrol and they will (hopefully) tell the Licensing Dept. that I have a travel trailer.  Then I’ll get registration and plates for my house as well as pay tax on my trailer (I guess I won’t be getting away with the perk of buying it in sales tax-less Oregon).  State Patrol has a 4 month backlog for these appointments, so next step is to find out from them how done my house needs to be for the inspection, and make an appointment.  I’d like to be done enough to move to Olympia by October and might just choose October 15th, which would give me a date of completion to work towards as well.

I’ve been emailing with Dad in England about details of building the floor and went to Home Depot with a mostly final list of supplies to estimate the price.  The kid who was trying to help me knew less than I did, and a middle-aged man in chinos and a polo shirt was trying to ask me questions about a product; I guess I looked like an employee in Carhartt overalls and plaid shirt.  The whole experience was a confidence booster.  Looks like my floor will be about $600.  More details on that as it gets built.

I have a couple hours until work and am spending it with Larry Haun learning how to frame walls.  Mom and I leave tomorrow for Portland to pick up the trailer.  I am more nervous than excited.  It doesn’t seem real.

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