last week the tiny house book turning tiny came out and as one of the about 60 contributing authors i was faced with a dilemma that up to this point i had been avoiding, which was someone asking me for my autograph and me actually giving it. i’m happy to take pictures with people all day, i’m happy for the love for my tiny house and the opportunity to show people that they can achieve their dreams, but i have felt that giving an autograph was kinda weird. i’m just a regular person, with regular life stuff who happens to live in a tiny house… it’s been a conversation that i’ve had with my friends as i move through life post building my tiny house and being featured on HGTV and the things that i’m doing now, the opportunities that are presenting themselves; that i never want to get caught up in the hype and start acting weird… self-important. i don’t think that’s who i am, but i do think there is a delicate balance between being confident in and proud of your accomplishments and being self important, arrogant. i tend to err on the strong side of caution there, most times to a level of uncomfortableness sometimes doing myself a disservice, as known by the people close to me. i’m the first to say i’m always a work in progress… and i try to always be mindful.

signing autographs was the thing that i had put on the mental list for myself as the measure of going too far with this “thing”… and then a lady asked me to autograph my chapter in her book. it didn’t make sense to say no since i had indeed written something in a published book and was looking at my face in her book. so i did it and i was asked many more times over the weekend to do so by people i didn’t know and some i knew. and i knew i’d have to sort that out with myself later…

then i got my book and i asked some of the other authors, people i have had the pleasure to get to know who also live in tiny houses, to autograph my book. i had some great conversations getting to know the people who asked me to sign their books. it was kind of like yearbook signing from school… i asked jay shafer to sign my book after hearing him speak, not so much about tiny houses but about building real communities, about including the disenfranchised, the marginalized people… my people. i introduced myself to him and we talked briefly about diversity and inclusion in the TH community and i shared the things i’m working on related to that and i left the conversation teary eyed as he shared he knew more about that than he looked like he did and asked me to let him know what he could do to help me – and i felt he meant it. a one on one conversation where he was intently focused on what we were talking about and i could feel his genuineness, his regular-ness…

and then i had the pleasure of introducing myself to dee williams, listening to her speak and i found myself standing in line to ask her to also autograph my book. it was here i overheard a conversation that helped me sort everything out. there was a lady standing in front of me waiting in line too, she had an annoyed friend standing with her and i heard her annoyed friend say to her, “i really don’t get the big deal of standing in lines asking for these people’s autographs, they’re just regular people who live in tiny houses.”

i knew i was standing in line to ask dee to autograph my book because when i’d introduced myself to her a little earlier, she’d asked me to repeat what i’d said to her and to keep talking and she hugged me and cried a little because she said my southern accent reminded her of her mom, who she’d recently lost, and of her visit with family in north carolina and she’d needed that right then to have her mother with her. i instantly connected with that and her regular-ness. i invited her to visit me when she’s back in my area and she said she would – and i felt she meant it. so without even really looking and connecting with her i said to the annoyed lady and her friend (and mostly myself), “i’m also in the book and have been asked for my autograph too. you’re right, we’re just regular people. regular people who live in tiny houses. most of us know that and i’m glad that you do too. i hope everyone always knows that about me. i’m standing here because most of us asking for autographs and giving autographs know that and we still like each other.”

~here’s to always being ” just regular” and always staying in good company…