Posts Tagged ‘living small’

Tight Ass

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

So back in the day, in 2004 or so, when I was married to a Microsoft guy and still had snazzy health care, I finally went to a butt specialist doctorguy to find out why it had bled and hurt every time I took a shit since I was a teenager.

It had taken me about 10 years to realize that it wasn’t actually normal to go blind with pain when taking a shit, but if I am honest, back then, I really just wanted my prolapses looked at because they were embarrassing and messing up my slut groove. I wanted to know why I was developing flowery little bulbs on my asshole and get them snipped off.

I had been misdiagnosed countless times by gynecologists who told me I had hemorrhoids, but once I went to the ButtMan I found out that what I had was an anal fissure; a tear in my rectum that kept breaking open and hadn’t healed for a decade.

I made jokes for a few years after getting the surgery, a lateral internal sphincterotomy, in which part of the internal anal musculature is shaved off to deal with overzealous tension, that my problem was just that I was a tight ass.

And that was, literally, my problem. After years of pain and consistent constipation I had taken to both squeezing and pushing at the same time. It was a weird, futile attempt to both squeeze down the giant unforgiving logs I was passing and attempt not to rip myself open again. It never worked. And periodically, usually from a hangover or the aftermath of a massive meth binge, I’d get buttvomit that seemed to irritate things even more. It was, in a word, prettyfuckingawful.

I remember the first poop I took after the surgery, and how afraid I was that it was going to hurt even more. I was told to stay relaxed at all costs but I was petrified at how much it might hurt. I literally cried when it actually slid out pain free. I couldn’t remember ever having that feeling before. It was magic. It was such a fucking relief. I didn’t even know it could be like that.

Keeping the possibility of pain free shitting in my life was one of the catalysts for the massive undertaking which ended up being years of focused food experimentation and figuring out what actually fueled my body. Part of the reason I wasn’t in agony that day was based on my post-surgery diet.

It also was one of the catalysts for getting into psychotherapy the year after, leading down the lifelong path of ultimately addressing and acknowledging the years, and I now realize, centuries, of collective trauma that I had been trying to shut out with the drug and alcohol binges.

Eventually, my conventional therapy experience along with ‘alternative’ indigenous and grief related work ended up bringing me to where pooping is actually a release meditation for me. I release what no longer serves me through it. I visualize what I want to release or connect metaphysically with it, or choose a symbol to represent what I am ready to let go of and I literally shit it out of my body.

This was a practice that came to me organically (haha), ended up being how I kept my sanity after David raped me before testing positive for HPV and I was having dreams of thick primordial slime dripping off his insect-swarmed dick. I shit those infectious fuckers out every day, sometimes twice a day. My poop was my ally when both of the men in my life had fallen beyond short. It was glorious.

My poop is still my ally, but it’s telling me things I don’t want to hear right now. It’s been a month since I haven’t bled, I’m going every 4 days maybe, and it’s been since the shed that I was consistently regular. It doesn’t matter how much water I drink or how many fucking apples I eat, it’s like passing stones through a fucking esophagus every time right now. Because I am stressed, on the move and transitionary all the time. Like literally all the fucking time.

So here’s the thing. I get that I’m not the most happy go lucky person basically ever, and that right now I’m voicing a lot of the shit that’s really grating on me about the world. There are a lot of people who actually know me/have met me and recognize that the Facebook thing isn’t the totality of my existence, but a lot of you probably don’t understand that not only is this my venting space, it’s also my main source of superficial social interaction and release. I spend a lot of time alone, on here, or with people I don’t actually know. I spend a lot of time stressing and driving around. I spend a lot of time thinking really fucking hard about how I could possibly ever maneuver my privileges, my values, my talents, my passions and my needs with integrity in a world that often seems hellbent on molding me into something I’m not. And, lately, I spend a lot of time how I’m not pooping.

And like some of you who’ve mentioned lately, and thank you for that, what I am doing is not fucking easy. It’s not glamorous. It’s not stable. Freedom isn’t fucking free. There’s a reason so many people never break out of the status quo to explore the truth of themselves or the possibility of embodying something different.

Seriously man I just wanna fuckin’ poop right.

Over three weeks at The Bosque

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Behold: an hour of unscripted and unedited blabbing about my first three weeks at The Bosque, my mobile life in general, poop, art, conserving water, and things I thought might be interesting the the absence of virtually any input at all from my audience :P

https://blab.im/b610d9d89d224186b63b49d34caa6832

And a highlight edit of my trip to Eronga with Brian on Market day — in which I did not, in fact, die. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7aUo2HAPQw

Please join the fan and supporter community at http://patreon.com/courtnee which makes all this stuff possible!

Roosters last day

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

My slow start to my day includes sitting here gnawing on the leg of a rooster I killed for meat yesterday.

Watching the video was actually much more emotional for me than doing it.

I think that illuminates some things for me, including how tender and anxious I am about how I am perceived by other people from the outside, but also gives me insight into what I was thinking while I was doing it.

Mostly I was thinking DEAR SHIT DON’T FUCK THIS UP and imagining some poor half dead chicken sputtering around after I failed to break his neck.

That’s not what happened but as it turns out they kinda.. sputter around anyway.

I was also thinking about his long life, about the meat industry, about how most roosters are chucked live in a grinder by the time they’re old enough to be determined boys.

Being this close to my food is intense. I had guidance, but I plucked him and gutted him and sectioned him and pressure cooked him myself. I can see why some people wouldn’t have the inclination toward it. In fact, I thought I probably wouldn’t be able to eat the meat once the killing was my responsibility.

I thought wrong.

I don’t want to not eat meat because I am disgusted and scared. Plants feel us eating them, too. Life feeds on life. That is the nature of living. It is not avoidable. What is avoidable is the horrible way it’s done, and the degree that it is done.

With agriculture and meat raising in the state it’s in, it’s pretty much impossible to eat intentionally unless it’s from your own back yard. So then it ends up being checks and balances and what’s tolerable and what isn’t. Such a pain in the ass. Especially when, like me, you don’t have a back yard.

I keep thinking more and more that I am wasting my time in social justice. All I’m doing is figuring out more eloquent ways to complain about the systems that keep existing. Lots of people are doing that better than I am. I need to keep working on figuring out ways around them.

How can I live in a van in a way that doesn’t feel like I’m raping the planet?

How can I cook without a kitchen?

How can I continue make MY music and still keep shedding industrialized habits?

So many thinks.

Thank you, Mr. Rooster.

Next up: The Bosque Village

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

The conversations have been had, the mutual admiration has been expressed, the values and goals are well aligned, the time is right, the action item list is soft drafted. I’ve the plane ticket and the passport renewal submitted in plenty of time (presuming no catastrophic postal issues) and am thus ready to let the population at large know what my patrons have been hearing for a while now – after having Brian Fey and his amazing project on my radar for many years, my next adventure begins in September, in Mexico, at the Bosque Village.

A good page to familiarize ones self with what the Bosque is: https://www.quora.com/Mexico/What-is-the-Bosque-Village/answer/Brian-Fey?share=1

The Bosque facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bosqueforest

Patrons will continue to get my personal experience and musings/updates about my travels. $5 a month at http://patreon.com/courtnee gets you all the updates and the opportunity to support what I am doing, directly. Sign up, and spread the word if you would. My goal is to break 35 patrons before I depart in September.

A large part of my contribution to the Bosque will include video production, process documentation and social media, in addition to faciltating music, art, movement programs and of course, hands on learning about sustainable forest living.
Between my personal projects, philosophical musings, and the work I will be doing to contribute to the Bosque specifically, I expect to enjoy a very rich and busy rest of 2015.

BAM.

Three days of food for $14

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

I got:

Celery
Carrots
One Russet Potato
One Sweet Potato (which I haven’t used yet)
An Onion
Two cloves of garlic
Package of stir-fry chicken on sale

Eating celery and carrot sticks for snacks and lunches, still have half the onion and garlic left, and have still been keeping this tiny crock pot full and at the ready for the last three days, likely another.

I will just need another $3 package of meat before I will be needing anything else to keep it going.

Thank you for the gift, Serret.

Shed Lyfe: Commenced

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

I’m moved into the shed, and it’s basically heavenly. It’s warm, it’s comfortable, it’s just the right size of a project.

It seems I could in fact actually have a much smaller tiny house than I had anticipated having, presuming I had access to a shower somewhere.. but life has occurred, business is slow, and I’m once again off track to having enough finances to build when it’s time to move again.

I’m trying to settle into the 6 months of solace but am finding it difficult to do that, cause 6 months isn’t a long time and I’m so weary of moving and scrambling around, and it’s looking like I’ll be shooting again for a van or an RV or fucking something and will have to pare down even more than I already have *sigh* — but for now, I’m enjoying living on my own, and how cozy/comfortable this tiny space ended up being.

IMG_5273http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_5273-550x412.jpg 550w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_5273-460x345.jpg 460w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/IMG_5273-688x516.jpg 688w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" />

We didn’t get to the window sils or finishing the painting before the plastic had to go up. Finishing that is on the project list for the spring before I leave, and I’m looking forward to it. Once the show in Tacoma is down in January, the upper walls will have stuff on them, too.

Shed Lyfe: Coming soon

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

In a couple weeks, CJ and I will be moving into this 8×10′ insulated shed in a friends back yard, to complete the last phase of saving for my Itty Bitty Hizzy build this spring. It’s 16 feet tall with an 8×6 loft, is wired with electrical outlets, has a toilet and a fridge, and soon will have a utility sink too.

Rents in Seattle have skyrocketed completely out of my price range in the last year and a half, even when sharing. It’s fucking ridiculous. Not only would I have stalled in my savings plan, I would have been hemorrhaging money from what I have saved attempting to both maintain a contemporary residence and my office here. So for the winter, this is where I’ll be!

20141112-141037-51037446.jpg

I found some maple flooring for free on craigslist…

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But it wasn’t quite enough to cover the floor in the loft. So, two colors, because it’s not really worth sanding it all down and staining it. Just way too many hours and I have to be moved in in less than two weeks.

20141117-193259-70379996.jpg

Behold: The Itty Bitty Hizzy Committee

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Building a kickass little house is awesome!

Building a kickass little house is also a lot of work, requiring a lot of skills, many of which I do not yet have, as well as many other skills I do have but probably can’t exercise all at once.

Are you shitballs excited that the Tiny House is happening and wanna help? Do you have carpentry experience, know about roofing, solar panels, instant water heaters? Architecture? Welding? Running electrical? Composting toilets?

Can you hammer a nail without hammering your ass to the wall, mostly? What about cooking for a dozen people, running water, or errands? Can you point a video camera and document the process for my Patrons? What about editing video? Got a truck? A clawfoot tub? Do you wanna throw money at me like confetti?

If you’re local to Seattle (and maybe even if you’re not..) and know how to do something, we can probably use you, either right away or next year when the build starts. And if you have build materials or tools, we might want those, too.

That is why I have created C-Rex’s Itty Bitty Hizzy Committee.

Currently it’s a mailchimp list, so I can get a list of people’s email addresses and their opt-in consent to badger them about what they may have to offer.

For now, it’ll be a bit of a catch-all list, but as the project ramps up and I understand more about how the types of needs I have will flow, I’ll probably branch it out into a spreadsheet filtered by talent or something like that to spare everyone spam.

For now, if you think you’re gonna want to be involved in this project at some point, sign up and get your head counted!

WWWWHOOOOSH!!!

Tiny house dream: Rekindled.

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

So, as it turns out, the stereotypes about RV’s are basically true. If you can find one that isn’t a rotted out mess, good luck finding a place to park it that isn’t. And on both sides of the fence, buying the RV or renting the space, the people are, for the most part, fucking loons.

Also, I have found that $6000 is not actually enough to get a decent RV. It’s enough to get an RV that looks decent… in the pictures.

So, I didn’t do that. But damn if I don’t know a damn lot about buying damn RV’s, now.

No, instead, I moved into the living room of a one bedroom apartment with a good natured kid. There are good things about it, but it’s not working out, and I’ve never really stopped looking for a place or brainstorming creative alternatives. Especially since the lease on this place is up in November, anyway.

The main issue I’ve been running up against, both in trying to find a place to live and in trying to be peaceful in where I’m living, is my cat. Generally, if a place allows pets, they already have some. CJ takes a while to get ok with that. And that’s when the other cat isn’t a pushy antagonizing asshole.

My roommates cat is kind of a pushy antagonizing asshole.

It got really clear the other day, when I got two hours of sleep because I couldn’t shake the trauma of being awoken by the mother of all screaming cat fights, that CJ can’t continue to live here.

She spends her time when I’m not home under my covers, and even when I am here things are tense. There is an ongoing ninja pee war that is driving my bloodhound snout insane, and in general no one is happy.

So I found a place for CJ. A nice place, with a nice lady, where she will not see me every day but will be safe and happyish for a little bit, until my ex is prepped to take her long term in the fall.

Sorry, got something in my eye there. Dust or lint of the crushing grief of giving up my best friend or something like that.

Losing my only consistent companion right now is tough, but it’s the right thing to do, and overall, I feel a lot calmer and more at ease knowing she will be in good hands in a beautiful house with no other pets.

So I’ve had a bit more breathing room since addressing her needs to think about my own, and what the hell I am going to do when I have to move, AGAIN, in November, and continue this ridiculous scramble.

And then it hit me like a divine intervention. Like a fucking light of god or a super deep anus tickle. A vision, of my arty woodworker friends driveway.

His long, straight, flat, gravel driveway.

With a wood shop at one end, and street access on the other.

So I took a big swallow, and I asked.

And with that, I have a building site, complete with an excited, resourceful, skilled partner in crime to help, and about 6 months to get my shit together.

The house is fucking happening.

In 2015, we BUILD.

Road Trip Cancelled. Plan of Action: Engaged

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

I have, roughly, $6000 in unappropriated savings, at current.

I also have, roughly, 3 months left at my less-than-market living situation.

This has incited an exceptionally stressful dichotomy of needs; and a sobering wakeup call to how unbelievably fucking expensive it’s gotten to live out here.

I gave up the studio this month to slice my office rent, and started taking on more clients, 5 days a week. Exhausting, but working, too, I think.

The problem I’ve been most running up against, is that I don’t have anywhere viable to go, and I don’t have the savings required to buy or build my tiny house on wheels.

The secondary problem, is that the family whose property I have intended to live on has also been anticipating another year or two of time to prepare for me.

We’re all a wee bit stressed out.

I’ve run numbers on getting just a house shell on a trailer with no services or furnishings to crash in like a bum in a train car while simultaneously building the rest out as much as I can with whatever extra cash I can put into it over the summer.

I’ve run numbers on getting a shipping container and insulating it and welding a hole in the ceiling to build out the loft space for my bed, also no furnishings or services.

I’ve run the numbers on getting an enclosed cargo trailer high enough to put a loft in. Again, no furnishings or services.

All of these options provide me with no comforts, require me to pay to store everything I own, require that I find a place where I can build and weld with no building experience and an accelerated timeline, and cost ~$10k to do it right.

So, I’ve made the decision that I will be getting an RV to live in.

I want a tiny house, yes. I want a lot of things. But the bottom line is that I have managed to save up $6000 bucks toward freedom housing, and I need a place to live that CJ and I can move into in August. RV’s are where that’s at.

At this point in my life, more than needing things to be pretty and cute and designed perfectly, I need a place that is mine, that I can afford, that I can modify and count on, and that I can take with me; which was the root of what the tiny house project was meant to accomplish.

So, that means my road trip is cancelled. I’ll be flying directly to and from Palm Springs (I have a second room in my suite, would welcome sharing the cost with someone, and the airfare round trip from Seattle was a paltry $220; so if you think you might want to take your own Palm Springs vacation from June 12 to 17th, hit me up) to get my certification in grief recovery and come back immediately – to work, and search, and hopefully, find home.

It also means I’m selling nearly all of my stuff and furniture, which works out well since I’d like to manage a couple more grand over the next few months to get a nicer trailer with more to work with.

And lastly, it means I’m looking for a place to park and hook up; Land ho!

I’m pretty excited, and feeling ok about how things are shifting; If everything works out, having a home will be way better than a motorcycle vacation would have been.

Like, way better.

Dreeeeeam. Dream dream dreeeam…

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Whenever I want you all I have to do
Is dream

#Tinyhousefund updates

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Depending on how taxes and my office space turns out in the next couple months, I may have nearly $5,000 saved for the house!

It’s about time that I start consider whether I am actually going to build it myself (no place to build or building experience, so potentially not..), in which case I may soon have enough to get the trailer and start on it, or if I’m going to continue to simply save and buy one/have one built for me.

So I spent a lot of time last night when I should have been sleeping looking over tiny houses. It’s been a few months since I did a search, and more and more options are becoming available.

I particularly liked this one, if I go for working off of another person’s design: http://padtinyhouses.com/books-plans/sweet-pea-tiny-house-plans/#!prettyPhoto

And for pre-built, I really like the Boulder, which is actually somewhat affordable, unlike a lot of the houses that are cropping up in searches lately. http://rockymountaintinyhouses.com/for-sale-the-boulder-27350/

I’m still trying to find one that’s a little bigger, more like 10′ by 24′, and if I have it built I will still likely design a lot of it myself. But more and more, I just want a tranquil little space of my own, and I’ve taken to looking at tiny house listings periodically to see if perhaps I can simply buy one outright sooner rather than later.

The road to home is long, but continues.

I *heart* graph paper

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Spent some time sketching floorplans and brainstorming about the house again last night. It’s coming along, though figuring out storage for clothing is proving to be an interesting challenge, and not having laundry facilities readily available will be a really rough transition.

Not sure what I may or may not give up in order to have a little washer drier set, but my sense is that trying to include one will tax both water and power to an unreasonable point.

A future step will be to list all the required elements of the house. I’m going off atmospheric memory and focusing on space use but find myself forgetting to make space for things like the instant water heater, so my designs, though fun exercises, aren’t viable. I think I’m about ready for them to be viable.

Living lean: cleaning out clutter in my life.

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

I’ve been thinking a lot about my house, and how I got to this place of being EXCITED to live in ~200sft, from where I was when I was younger.

At one point when I was about 15, I realized that I’d never be able to run away from home unless I figured out what of my belongings, only enough that could be stuffed into my acoustic guitar case, were actually important to me. There was something beautiful about the fantasy of having only what I carried with me.

That year I went from having a closet full of notes, papers, stubs, and random shit that reminded me of things, to one giant box. Over the next 16 years the giant memory box morfed to a smaller box that morfed info a small shoe box, and now no longer exists.

I think of my memory box as being symbolic for the rest of my life which has gotten smaller and lighter, too.

Though often exhilarating, getting rid of my material bloat wasn’t always easy, and it took a long time. The v2.0 me never would have believed it, but I am far, far happier, with less.

A few people in my life are coming to the first steps of working through organizing and minimalizing theirs, which has incited me to think about how it was that I did it over the years.

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far


1: I Made a Mess

Transition is messy, and when I am doing it right, paring down is messy. It means emptying out all the drawers of my dresser and putting my clothes into piles all over my bed (3 of them – keep, give/donate, trash) that sometimes take a while to address.

It means emptying boxes out onto the middle of the floor and dealing with the disaster. It means being ok with dishevelment in order to have the opportunity to see the big picture.

And it also means being dedicated and determined enough not to give up and just leave shit like that.

Trying to be tidy and doing things like taking out each dresser drawer individually and looking through the folded things inside doesn’t give me a real sense of what I have. And I have found the existing organization, itself, when trying to think in a new way, becomes a limiting perspective.

I am far less likely to be real about how many 3ft USB cables I need (hint: not 5) when I am sitting there staring at how they fit perfectly all coiled up where they are.

2: I Got help

I am naturally organized, good at packing, and creative with storage, but if you aren’t, get help from someone who is! And even if you are, get help from someone who is!

It can be really nice to have a person to bounce things off of, joke around with, help run loads out of my sight, for emotional support if I needed it while going through things that may trigger memories, for accountability, and to celebrate with when the task was done. When I was first starting purging, I really needed the accountability and boost of energy having help brought.

3: I scheduled it.

I usually go through my less-used cupboards and boxes a couple times a year to take inventory and get rid of things I just don’t need anymore. I put it on my calendar, have a reasonable goal, and give myself the entire day to achieve it.

There is simply no substitute for making the time to clean out my closet and my life.

4: I (probably) only need one

Ok, yes, it makes sense to have a selection of teas, and a few different mustards, because HELLO, MUSTARD IS AWESOME. It makes sense to have more than one glass, so I can entertain. But seriously, do I need 3 colanders?

No. No, I do not need 3 colanders. Not even a little bit.

5: I made mistakes.

Mistakes are ok. I’ve gotten rid of art supplies and musical instruments that I wish I hadn’t. There are a few letters I no longer have that I would have liked to have read again. But I learned that mistakes are ok most recognizably when I wiped the wrong hard drive and I lost all my memories and photos and original files for my art/music for a few years.

I was paralyzed with fear and remorse the moment I realized what I’d done – a feeling I remember well when first attempting to change how I viewed my stuff. I survived it, and now come to a place of ease much more quickly when similar losses happen.

Attrition and destruction are a natural part of existing, even if they come from a mistake you’ve made. When deciding whether to let go of things I am often reminded that the world will not end if I realize a week later that I would have liked to have worn a shirt I gave away or I end up having to procure another USB mouse because I hastily got rid of mine thinking I wouldn’t need it again.

In reality, there are very, very few things that I own that would actually impact my life if I did not have anymore. It took testing and experience to differentiate a self destructive impulse to purge from a life affirming one. By doing this I am able to handle my mistakes gracefully.

Not only has that realization freed me of a lot of the pressure I used to feel when tasking myself to pare down, it’s also given me a more keen sense of appreciation for what I do choose to keep.

6: I let go

A big part of letting go of attachment to a lot of my material things has stemmed from learning in my personal growth that there is an inherent value in memories fading over time.

Memories are designed to fade. They are supposed to muddle and eventually go away, mostly. It’s how we grow and move on. Realizing that, at first, incited an intense feeling of loss and about a week long grief period. After that, though, it made getting rid of most of my nostalgic belongings relatively easy.

Accepting the value the statute of limitations of human memory has also significantly shortened the amount of time I needed to keep stuff around before I was ready to be without it, and helped me to reorganize my perspective around momentos.

Now, I keep things that remind me of an atmospheric time in my life more than I keep reminders of specific memories. This meant I could keep the best letter I got in middle school as opposed to 50 little things from that time like I had done in the past.

7: I Embraced Technology

Digitizing things is awesome. If a piece of paper is around to remind me of something, I put it in a spreadsheet or on my calendar instead.

If a picture of a sculpture that’s taking up 2sqft of counter space would make a good substitute, I take the picture and re-gift or sell the sculpture.

Some people would probably find scanning documents to be helpful too, but I haven’t gotten into it – takes way too much time. Perhaps that will be an element of Courtnee v3.4.

8: Bonus round: Clothes

From Kurt Cobain lookalike to kept Microsoft trophy wife with a walk in closet the size my house will be, and back again, my approach to clothes is this:

If I haven’t worn it in a while and I know someone who will love it, I give it to them.
If I haven’t worn it in a while and it’s worth money, I sell it.
If I haven’t worn it in a while and neither of the previous things are relevant, I donate it.
If I haven’t worn it in a while but I feel a deep electrical pain in my heart when I think of being without it, I keep it.
If I HAVE been wearing it, but I look at it and go “bleh”, I get rid of it.

Combined with “I only need one”, I have found this method works well.


My shift from being a pack rat to nearly everything I own fitting into a 10 foot truck happened fairly organically, and is attached to my growth into my life over the last 18 years. That doesn’t by any means imply that the process was always easy, or always pleasurable.

When I am purging, I am pressing up against my unconscious identifications with my stuff, my identifications with scarcity and poverty, my resistance to change, and my fears of not being or having enough. I think to some extend we all have our shit around our stuff, and that it’s generally some big shit to take on, taking courage to approach.

It took repetition and practice for the panic impulses to dissipate when I got rid of things. Some of my belongings are truly precious and fueling for me, but I found over time that my attachment to most things was fearful, more often than not, and that identifying with the stuff I owned was creating a monster that owned me.

It’s funny to me how much easier it is to let things go now that I have so much less. How much more I value and cherish what it is I have, now that I’m no longer attempting to fill a perceived void in myself with a bunch of insignificant shit. The process and questioning myself has been incredibly educational and enriching.

Maybe that’s not your story, but nonetheless, I hope that sharing what I’ve learned helps you along your way.

Conversion Rate: Saving for a TinyHouse

Friday, December 21st, 2012

No longer am I a person who holds the stifling and consistently disappointing belief that I must count on the concerted efforts of a parter, selling my soul to a horrible desk job or winning a lottery I don’t play to make home happen for me.

On this, the day the world should end, I have refunded $100 (THANK YOU <3) in mom-related donations that turned out to be unnecessary, converted my Finding Mom fund, into my Tiny House Fund, and put my first $200 into it.

The goal is at least 100x that to form a small down payment and an account with an interest-generating savings cushion to pay my eventual mortgage/loan on a tiny house (or for, potentially, the materials to build my own, or buy a used one).

Here we fuckin’ go.

Rock Lobster: Finding home

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Ever since I can remember really, I’ve felt a deep sadness when passing seafood tanks full of crab and lobster in the supermarkets. The way they’re piled in on one another with their claws drawn shut, robbed of their dignity and eventually their lives, bothers me. Deeply, profoundly, seeing them treated that way has always felt so inhumane to me, so close somehow. Often times I will tear up.

I’ve wondered why it only consistently bothers me at this level with those species, as opposed to the other fish and living things. I mean, it’s not as if they’re cute, or as if they’ve ever been a significant part of my life. I’ve come to realize of late why I relate to them so much (even though they’re like, totally ugly and gross.).

In my recent leveling experience, one of the many things I’ve evolved about is my understanding and internal relationship with what I used to think of as my armor (which I now see as My Protector).

I’ve been thinking about, even though armor is meant to be versatile and removable, why it is, that when I work to strip it away, especially at the encouragement of becoming closer to someone else, it’s so utterly painful and uncomfortable and wrong feeling, and ultimately it doesn’t work.

It’s because what I’ve been thinking of as part of my armor isn’t my armor at all. It’s my shell.

Lobsters and crabs live in hard shells and must molt periodically in order to grow. They grow in spurts, much like I do, in an excruciating and all encompassing process which includes swelling themselves with seawater to the point that their shell splits and separates from their little sternums.

They then spend all their time and energy hiding in their burrows, writhing their way out, and once free of their old shells are completely fucking vulnerable until they grow and calcify their new, bigger shell, in part by eating what they’ve just discarded to nourish the process.

It takes all they have and more, as well as having the ability and instinct to create a hospitable and safe environment, to be able to live through this agonizing and dangerous growth process. And, you can imagine how painful and inefficient trying to peel their shell away at any other time might be.

Each time I’ve embarked on a dark night transformation life transition doohicky thing like what I’ve just experienced, this is what has been happening to my emotional body. It is utterly traumatic, incredibly painful, and encompasses all my resources to achieve.

I thought, when I first realized the distinction between a shell and armor a few weeks ago, that I would relate more to the Nautilus, which is a creature that moves to bigger and bigger shells over the span of its life, living inside of them, making them their home. Plus, you know, beautiful, and all that – and they get HUGE, which is something I relate to – some day I am going to be larger than life if I keep this up.

But, as it turns out, once again the universe shows me that not everything about me is pretty – and my shell is not my home, which is why trying to make it my home has failed me so.

I need to make myself a burrow. Someplace truly safe, that is mine, where I can go through these processes in peace. I understand now why I yearn so, so much for a house, a safehaven, a place I can belong, a place where I can grow and molt and suffer these tides in unabashed dignity. I thought it was about family and connection – it’s not. It’s about taking care of me.

It’s time to prioritize taking care of me. I want to build myself a tiny house, on a trailer.

It feels like the rightest thing I’ve considered doing in a long, long time – since December of 2006 when I decided to go to massage school and leave my marriage. It’s small, which caters to the part of me that enjoys working with little, and having a small footprint. It’s portable, which caters to, well, just about everything about me. And it’s cheap, which caters to my life situation.

Funny, how this shit seems to so frequently happen in Nov/December. Though it looks different depending on how I’m expressing it, I am fucking peeling apart my protective layers and literally growing out of myself almost every year when the weather turns cold. No wonder these months are always so hard for me.

P.S. Honk if you ended up with the B-52’s earwig from the title.

*HONK*!