How did you come to decide you did not want children?
I have known for as long as I could remember that I wasn’t cut out for motherhood. When I was a little girl I didn’t have many dolls, preferring to play with model horses. In fact, I managed to destroy all of my older sister’s collectable Barbies. She is still a little mad at me for that! I didn’t like to play house or any of the things that little girls were encouraged to do. But I wasn’t a tomboy either. I was always much more interested in telling stories.
Of course, it wasn’t until much later that I realized I was “childfree.” I expected that one day I would eventually be a mother because I figured it was just something you eventually did. I was grateful to meet someone who also didn’t want kids and we have been happily childfree for 20 years and counting.
Tell us about your work as a writer; how did you come to write on mythology and culture?
Ancient culture have always been a passion of mine, most specifically Ancient Greece. I love to understand how people lived. When I study history I’m more interested in day to day lives instead of important dates. I graduated from college with a degree in cultural anthropology, and still love it. I had also always wanted to be a writer so some of my college projects involved writing on Greek mythology. Since that time, I have translated my love of writing into a career where I primarily write online content for marketing companies and small businesses.
What is the Tiny Home philosophy, and why are you working to change the zoning laws in your area?
When I speak about tiny houses at events or conferences I often stress that it isn’t about the size of the house. Tiny living is a philosophy that embraces living deliberately (an idea from Thoreau). Tiny house people all over the country are transforming their lives. It may be a catalyst to start a new career or to travel. But you don’t have to live in 120 square feet to embrace the tiny philosophy. It is really just about being deliberate about the way you live.
We live in Asheville, North Carolina which is on a lot of top ten lists as the “best place” for a variety of things, like beer or retirement. We have a huge tourism industry which means minimum wage and service workers are the ambassadors of our creative little mountain town. But there is such a big disparity in terms of affordable housing within the city limits. Rents are prohibitive for low wage earners. I work with the Asheville Small Home Advocacy Committee to make small and tiny homes more legally viable here as a solution for urban density and affordability.
What is your childfree and Tiny Home lifestyle like?
I share a 120 square foot with my partner/non-legal husband. (We said words, but never signed any paperwork). Our 14 year old hairless Sphynx cat is named Piglet and she’s a cancer survivor. We built the house ourselves and finished it in 2012. Our house is off the grid so we only use solar power, fuel for cooking, and water from a spring. We both work from home too, which astonishes many people. People ask us all the time how we can live together in such a small space but we never really thought we couldn’t. This is just one more crazy thing in a long line of crazy things. Our time is very flexible so we spend a lot of time in the community and traveling.
Thank you, Laura!