United Tiny House Association | Creating a Bright Future… By Helping Ourselves

Creating a Bright Future… By Helping Ourselves

Creating a Bright Future… By Helping Ourselves

Creating a Bright Future… By Helping Ourselves


As I began writing this, Fin and I were at odds over the content…


Fin wanted me to share something positive and uplifting, and I was dealing with my Father’s impending departure from this earthly world, my Mother’s advanced Alzheimer’s, one of my daughters recently being diagnose with leukemia, and another of my daughters being in critical care due to her failing liver.


On top of all this, I was also battling the inner hurt and turmoil I was experiencing over a skoolie family, whom we had hosted numerous times on our property and who I once considered friends, being involved in the theft of our F350 truck and some other nefarious activities.


All of this, combined with the physical and neurological issues my HDLS causes me, was enough for me to become walking bag of negative emotions.


“How the heck I am supposed to write something positive?”, was my repeated response to Fin.


But, as usual, Fin knew how to let me process things and told me to write what I wanted… and I did!


This article was originally a complete bashing of that skoolie family and all the terrible things they did to and against us… it was a condemnation of the World’s strife and the hatred that is building across the globe that, if left unchecked, will destroy us all… it was a plead for my Father to stay with me… and it was an expression of sadness about my Mother and daughters.  It was a mess of an article… and I was mess writing it.


I wrote, re-wrote, edited, and re-edited this article repeatedly… and it kept coming out as a self-reflection of the anger and hurt inside me… it was a mirror of the physical and emotional pain that I was allowing to consume me… and it was a blazing red warning flag I was slipping back to the “old John” from a life I use to live before I met Fin.


It’s not that I make it a secret, though I do not go around talking about it every day, but my biological parents were killed when he was a young boy, and I was then adopted by the wonderful people I now refer to as “Mom” and “Dad”.


People hear me share all the time about my wonderful Mother and Father, but never about my life prior to being adopted.  When I talk about my happy childhood it is always about my post-adoption adolescence.


Fin has never pushed me, nor makes inquiries about my life prior to being adopted or about my biological parents.  She knows this is my story to share if I ever want to, and I’ve never wanted to.  Just like the scars that mark my body, I’ve only shared with her the story of being mauled by a chimpanzee when I was a kid. (That’s a whole other story.)


I’ve dealt with all this in my own way for my entire life… and by dealing with it I mean I’ve just buried it and kept it inside.


Unless you were at our tiny house festival in New Orleans, almost no one has seen the ill-health side of me… the John who is in chronic pain all the time, the John who struggles with HDLS, the John who gets frustrated as his muscles defy what his brain tells his body to.  I’ve spent my life ever since meeting Fin working hard to not let things get me down… and by this, I mean I’ve just continued burying things deep inside.


I’ve always made it a point not to lean on others for support or encouragement… partly because I have created a lifestyle of not relying on others, and partly because I have always told myself most people are dealing with their own “stuff”.


Many people see the John who is at our festivals, on television and online.  They see someone who is charitable, charismatic, funny, and full of energy.  They see the John who is always helping people, who is always finding solutions for other people’s problems, and who is constantly inserting himself into people’s lives to help them succeed.


You see, there are two sides of John… or as I once told Fin in the beginning of our courtship, “There’s the real me and the masked me… hopefully neither one will the forever me.”


Yet here I was earlier this year… pissed-off, angry, feeling vulnerable, feeling hurt, feeling sad, and once again keeping everything inside and to myself.  Fin knew this and could see that I was returning to my old ways of self-isolating my feelings.


When I presented to Fin the 4th or 5th draft of this article (she hadn’t seen any of the prior versions), I was exhausted.  All my anger, hurt, and frustration was spent. 


Vocalizing my feelings and thoughts on the screen of my laptop became a therapy for me… I felt free of the anxiety that I had been internally plaguing myself with.


When I presented to Fin the prior version of this article, I also shared with her, “I’m not going to share this with anyone other than you.”


When Fin read the prior version of this article, she reacted with, “You’re right! Nothing good will come by making public what that family did to us… in fact, it will probably cause you more hassles and attacks from those people again.”


BUT… Fin was partially wrong.  Something incredibly good DID come from the original negative intent of this article… I was FREE!


None of us should have to solely bear the weight of our personal world on our shoulders, but unfortunately this is the case many times… whether by self-intentions or by not having someone we feel comfortable in sharing our most inner feelings with.


For me, I have no excuse to keep things inside other than it is what I have always chosen to do.  I have Fin who is always at the ready to listen if I ever want to open up and share about myself, and I also have a youngest sister who is a Psychologist (PhD) who loves me very much and who has suggested (sometimes insisted) over the decades I open up and talk either with her or someone else about what I think and feel.


Isn’t that how so many of us operate in our lives?  We have solutions and opportunities that present themselves to help make our lives easier and better, but so often we (myself included) chose to do things “our way” and “on our own” when it could be so much easier to share with someone… or for me, to write it down.


In closing, I want everyone to understand I firmly still believe the future is bright and we all have amazing opportunities before us and on our horizons for success, happiness, and joy.  I also still have my unwavering faith in my fellow person that everyone has some type of good within themselves.


Also, and most importantly, if any of us feel the need to talk with someone about things we typically keep inside, then please find a way to share your thoughts and feelings… whether it be talking with a friend, loved one, family member, or even a professional… and in my case, I will keep writing things it down.


And remember, “Do something BIG in your world… by simply doing something TINY!” – John