This past weekend Jared, Fae, our kitty and I moved from our apartment to a finished room above my mother-in-law’s garage. It’s a temporary move, for the upcoming winter only, and it’s certainly going to be a challenge. But, we’re grateful for the opportunity.
I’m not unfamiliar with small space living: I’ve lived out of a bedroom in my dad’s farmhouse; I’ve lived in a travel trailer; I’ve lived at a campground; I’ve even lived out of a car for a few weeks. Each of these circumstances comes with a story–a life-altering, coming-of-age sort of story, that was an experience that happened solely by choice. I’ve had my adventures, and I’ve been known to make wild (although, not senseless) decisions. I wouldn’t change my bohemian, gypsy, free-spirited past. It’s shaped who I’ve become.
It all comes down to a need for my own space–a space that I can pour my love into and feel at home in. I just don’t do well living in other people’s spaces–especially now that I have a family of my own. I can fall out of balance, and crave independence, self-reliance, freedom, and privacy. I can end up feeling off, lost, and unlike myself. I’ve always needed a space that feels like my own–even if just a tiny one. My mom has told me that when I was a baby sometimes all I wanted was to be left alone in my crib with my stuffed animals.
Part of this need seems to be connected to my desire to create beauty around me. Surroundings can have such a deep effect on people, which is something that I’ve become even more aware of since having a family of my own. A beautiful, peaceful, uncluttered space seems to translate into a beautiful, peaceful, uncluttered spirit. I admire the artists of the Arts and Crafts movement, and the students of the Bauhaus school in Germany during the early 1900’s, for their visions on living a life full of beauty.
When I see Jared and my mixture of books on the shelves I feel so sentimental. Some books have been with us for longer than we’ve known each other, some subjects overlap from before we were even together, and there are many that both of us would call our own. Some just seem to sit there, as sweet little souvenirs–like my late Pepere’s astronomy textbook, holding onto memories of learning the constellations from him in the front lawn. Our books are part of our story, and have influenced how we think and live.
My kitchen brings me feelings of domesticity and womanhood. I’ve slowly collected my kitchen items over the years, choosing quality over quantity, tailoring my collection to how I plan to cook, eat, bake and entertain over the years to come. I imagine homemade breads, cheeses, and roasts, Medieval-style gatherings with friends and family, mulled wine, and quaint candle-lit dinners with my husband and children.
Fae’s toys also add delight to our home. We’ve chosen beautiful toys for her made of natural materials to give her a good sense of quality and beauty, and also to encourage a strong connection to nature. I keep her playthings neatly organized in baskets on low shelves scattered throughout our home because I want her to feel just as much a part of our home as Jared and I do, with her own spaces too–child sized spaces.
With this move we’ve had to scale back quite a bit. We’ve chosen only our necessary books for the winter, I’ve packed away all my clothes that my growing belly soon won’t be able to fit in, we have minimal kitchen accessories kept out, and I’ve packed away most of my crystals, accessories, and anything that doesn’t feel winter.
I’m ready for our little hibernation. We seem to have made this little space “ours,” and I believe that it’s always a good challenge to live with a little less than you normally would.
Fae is napping on the bed next to her doll. When she’s going down for a nap or about to fall asleep for the night she’ll yell “doll, baby doll!” as if the doll will come when she calls it. I find it really precious.