Like many people who dream of building a tiny house today, my first exposure to the phenomenon was through the YouTube documentary by Kirsten Dirksen, We the Tiny House People. I was actually “living tiny” when I was told by the building manager of my then apartment that I needed to watch it. I perched myself up in my DIY bed loft, and did something I’m usually not comfortable doing alone – I watched a full length movie.
I was inspired. I’ve had a certain distaste with the material gluttony of North American culture for a long time, and was even more put off by the thought of working towards a repetitive career in order to pay to live in a structure that I would likely under utilise and grow bored with. I had lived in bedrooms for the first 22 years of my life, and that seemed like plenty, to me. Throw in a bathroom, fridge, and a small oven, and I’d be fine.
I grew up with a middle class lifestyle. My parents had 4 children, and debt was basically a way of life. Like most young adults, I wanted nothing more than to escape the house I grew up in and start building my own life from there, but that changed soon after I accomplished it. It became apparent pretty quickly that life would become a simple cycle of earning enough of money to pay for my house and food, and then whatever else was deemed “necessary,” and then what was left I’d be able to use to enjoy myself. It didn’t really sit well with me that I’d pour so much energy into simply regaining what I already had as a teenager: a roof over my head, and readily available food.
I didn’t believe I should be mooching off my parents for my entire life or anything, but I realized that it would be much more beneficial to myself and to them if I could somehow collaborate with them. I’m lucky. Not everyone has parents that they can work with. While we certainly have our differences when it comes to values and opinions, I consider them to be very open minded and accepting.
So, what does that have to do with it? Well, as soon as I learned of tiny houses on wheels, I came up with the idea to build one in the backyard of my parents’ house and start contributing to their mortgage. I thought, “I could build one for $10,000 and be set.”I didn’t have $10k. In fact, I was about $80k in debt from the 2 years of private art school I just finished… I asked my parents if they’d be able to front me the money, but no dice. And it’s a good thing, because the “Rookie Roost” has already cost over $30k at the time of writing this.
Other opportunities came my way, and 4 years past before construction began on my tiny house. Or is it “our” tiny house? Jackie was/is instrumental in the construction of the house. It happened when it did only because of the two of us coming together to make it happen.
Then, in June of 2016, the YouTube channel was born. I believe in sharing our experience, we can help other either follow our path, or create a better one. Hopefully the latter. The journey is ongoing, and the best place to follow it is YouTube. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/rookieroost
May 11, 2017