In our modern world, it is the number one sought after thing. It holds an enormous and undeniable value to the human race. Some people refer to it as the thing that makes the world go round. And yet, it is somehow so taboo to talk about. We all strive every single day for it. It is constantly on our mind. It is all we talk about and, yet, it is something we tip toe around.
This ugly five letter word has been the cause of wars and rebellions, families coming together and breaking apart, lives being born and deaths occurring.
But what is money really?
Sure, we can manipulate it to hold a physical form of paper or metal, but otherwise isn’t it really just a virtual number? We let it constantly move up and down in our world and give us a value of our worth.
For nearly everyone living in the tiny house world this lifestyle is about no longer letting this virtual figure control your happiness. As an act of rebellion we decided that work would no longer consume our lives. We would no longer trade our good years for pieces of paper that allow us to purchase products that do not serve us any great value and, most certainly don’t help our health. We do not let ourselves be brainwashed into a world of consumerism.
Our hard earned money, we were being told, should be spent on others to display our affection (Hello Christmas!). Once you start to question this it becomes almost impossible to agree with. We vowed to no longer live our lives under this constraint. With a solar panel in hand, we were bound for off-grid living to reduce our negative impact on the world and reduce our need for this virtual prison cell.
Only we encountered one issue. After five months on the road we realized we were running low on paper (or in our Canadian case, plastic) and as much as we didn’t want to let that cause a stress on us, it did. Sure, we don’t need a lot of it; every single day we are fighting our instinctual consumerism ways. We are learning more about buying things that serve us in some way, rather than buying them because they are available or on sale. In some ways this costs us more money. Our expensive date nights have been traded for cheap pasta with numerous vegetable and fruits. Our soft drinks replaced with pure fruit drinks but it is all seen as an investment on our health. This need for money is dwindling as we explore more opportunities to be self-sufficient, however it is still a factor in our life.
But if we work are we going back on everything we fought so hard for?
We struggled with the idea of finding jobs. Sure day long farm gigs were fine in our eyes. We would be compromising a day not our whole lifestyle. Having some luck with writing in the past we thought we would explore where writing could take us. To our surprise it has taken us farther than we thought it could and has proved to be a source of constant income for us. At first, we questioned ourselves for taking the jobs. Were we failing by giving in to society?
Is living an off-grid nomadic lifestyle some unachievable goal we weren’t succeeding at?
Staying true to ourselves and our life goals we didn’t want to sacrifice our outdoor lifestyle we have become so accustomed to. But now we had a lot of work to do. So with our new need of semi-constant WiFi we decided to invest in our ever-changing lifestyle by buying a phone plan. With lots of data, and using our solar panel to charge our computers, we would ensure that our work move with us and we were not tied to coffee shops with WiFi.
Sitting in our van gazing out at wildly overgrown forests or watching the constant changing tide as we work – maybe that’s not such a bad thing. We need the monetary compensation that working provides us, so maybe we aren’t compromising our goals by writing but instead taking control of them. Sitting here we realized that the freedom of doing what we want combined with writing how we please is allowing us to explore the boundaries of this lifestyle. Our dogs run free outside as we sit with uncompromising views. We are exploring our creativity through this language we took so long to master.
Perhaps there isn’t any compromising happening, maybe we are right where we need to be?
And so, we have realized that we had it wrong all along. We weren’t fighting to be retired with no responsibilities. We were fighting to live life our way. To not let our search for finances control our days. Every day we are growing into the people we are meant to be – not the way society had planned.