Owning It

“You either walk inside your story and own it

or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

~Brene Brown


“Applause, applause, applause.”

~Iona, Pretty in Pink

 In eighth grade, I strolled into the Laura Ashley boutique at Crabtree Valley Mall and plucked up a flat-brimmed straw sailor hat with a black band. I envisioned pairing it with a long pencil skirt and flea market jewelry, a la Andie in Pretty in Pink. Oh, yes I did.


Instead of boldly rocking the bohemian chic look, I hung the hat on a hook above my bed until¬†high school graduation. While I’d always been a hat person, when it came to the sailor hat, I simply¬†couldn‚Äôt own it.

Cut to adulthood, spring 2012: When I moved into a¬†35-foot travel trailer, I didn’t own it–literally or metaphorically. The rig belonged to my aunt in Oregon, who’d generously¬†loaned it while I surfed out life transition¬†and met financial goals. I was very private about living in the trailer during this time.

Why so discreet? I wanted to shout¬†it from the rooftops! I’d¬†finally realized my longtime¬†fantasy of living alone in a tiny rural cabin, where I could write quietly for a few years. As a bonus,¬†this cabin conveniently had wheels! Long before the Tiny House craze kicked in, my fellow gypsy friend and I had pored over plans for RVs and trailers. Now the dream was manifest, so why was¬†I so afraid¬†to share it? Why couldn’t I own it?

Turns out, it’s hard to own what’s borrowed. That loaned trailer just didn’t feel like mine to share.¬†What’s more, it’s hard to be¬†trailer trash in high-rent Sonoma, where glimmering chateaux¬†sit like jewels in well-groomed vineyards. You¬†may know¬†money and material goods don’t matter, but other people¬†are not always as enlightened: just ask¬†much-maligned Andie.

What I’ve learned (the hard way, natch)¬†is this: While¬†I¬†may¬†never show those people¬†the value of my unorthodox¬†¬†lifestyle, I must live it no less fully. In modern parlance, haters gonna hate.¬†

Last summer, my aunt‚ÄĒan angel in this story and in real life, too‚ÄĒbequeathed the trailer to me. If it¬†seems a quirky¬†inheritance, consider that I’ve also been granted the¬†heirloom “penny potty”, a Lucite toilet seat embedded with valuable coins. What can I say? This is my bizarre and wonderful family. (And yes, the prized penny potty will soon be installed in my trailer. Come take a seat!)


Soon after I knew the trailer was mine, I could finally get comfortable and start to own it in other ways. Slowly, my attitude began to shift and I began to embrace the gypsy wagon as home. Know what this means?

It means that¬†I can share it–with friends for festive dinner parties; with fellow travelers on long rambles; and with you, here and now.

Warning: It also¬†means that sooner or later, you might be asked to join the renovation crew. Lucky you! So grab a drink and a paintbrush and stay tuned for gypsy updates…




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