The Happening of Less
It could have been a world turning shock the day Garrett called me from work saying he had
just taken a random drug screen. That the crane he was operating broke and as a part of
company policy he had to complete a test to prove, in less obvious terms, that a drug
intoxication was not the cause of property damage.
And it was not. Let’s be clear.
Though as fate would have it we had just returned from our second cross country road trip by
which we had purchased and smoked legal cannabis in the state of Colorado. This now a job
altering offense one week later in the state of Alabama.
And it may have been to many others we know - the worse outcome to a chanced decision
ever- but to us it was bound to happen. To us it was something we just had to own up to. We
can’t be closet supporters of cannabis, to be shamed into silence for what is simply ignorance.
But we were, but we have been.
Then somewhere in-between the happening of testing - and company policy resolution - we
came to find and purchase our trailer.
Just like that. As though a switch had went off, and while the world was seemingly erupting
beneath our feet we saw instead a way to go after the life we had been dreaming of for so long,
with so many words and ideas and possibilities, we dreamt and
Now at last,
we could begin to set our wheels in motion. It seemed and still seems very impulsive and
dramatic and perhaps not even necessary.
To grow roots five years into the ground just to rip them up clean and start again.
But when the call came to decide between their mandatory rehabilitation program or give up
the job, a job of a certain nature, of a certain ability to work your way up and become just so
That took so much life with it, much more than could ever be worth its wage.
And in a moment, with one decision we were free of it all.
We decided to see this jolting, life altering force as the happening that would push us out of our
rut in life, away from this iron gate that does enclose around us each day and night a little
more. A little more comfortable, a few more bills, another few years and how many could
honestly look up and crawl their way out, it is utterly difficult to begin life again. Made more so
with each passing day.
At once for us all of life’s intersecting moments pointed to the fleetship, our home on wheels,
pointed to giving up whole parts of our life, to moving across country, this all emboldened with
so many other heart felt truths that came to force what could no longer be denied.
To simply give it all up.
to choose not to grow our life the way so many imagine, but
to lessen our life.
To give up everything that was draining it dry. To work through it over and over trying to lessen
the load we’d mounted atop our heads. Seeking only our most honest needs and desires.
To learn how to live without,
To learn how not to need more things in order to have more life, and the truth of this is that the
journey does not come without its challenges. A time too many we began to slip. Time forced
the question of Winter, of things left undone, for a moment we needed to shift feet and regain
A thing that rings a lot like failure, is not a proclaimed failure but is a second routing, a better
chance to learn this new life through and through, to appreciate why less is better, why less is
more. To rebuild, to complete, to lessen our load a little more, or even take on a few temporary
hauls as well. To work and save, and try and stumble again.
All parts unfolding from that startling beginning.
That slap in the face beginning. That be brave push.
Figure yourself out, ask why, ask what, ask how,
what makes you happy, what frees your soul.
It takes its own time,
shows itself in its own light. But still not without attempt to see.
I see all the beautiful unraveling of happenings. I see the light shinning from the cracks.
And what value has come from this happening. What life has been brought out of this story.
Teaching us the appreciation of everything.
The value of a single moment and the weight of an entire lifetime.
The appreciation of space, of time, of home, of chores, of comfort, of discomfort, of a drop of
water, and spark of light.
Teaching that less not only makes our life look and feel simpler but also function easier as well.
Time that would be normally be allotted to working a 50 - 60 hour week an hour away from
home, or cleaning (always cleaning) or washing or working towards a functioning life are now
spent modestly working together or even with different jobs separately, always inching towards
personal success, not confined by the comfort of walls but gladly forced out into the world,
and hands with hearts in action bringing life to a new idea.
The point of course is that we can feel less overwhelmed in our personal pursuits for feeling
completely in control of life otherwise.
‘Less’ forces the attention to what is most valued.
‘Less’ functions like clockwork for us. ‘Less’ means everything has a purpose to me, a place
for me, everything can be found and put away and even forgotten about and still exist
purposefully just the same.
Though the transition has been a long one, a process of sifting through our life time and time
again to find holes, parts that are lacking, finding the pieces that did not belong and then again
finding things that very rightly did belong. Still always in motion, always in progress, still never
definitive or permanent, accepting daily the journey of life, breathing life in, resting, and
pursuing it again.
Continuously working towards an appreciated life, a slow, lessened life, a thoughtful life even in
small ways, like hand washing clothes and tired, sore arms afterwards.
Continuous work just the same, by no means easier in terms of load, but simple in
Conscious in time and use.
Conscious in heart and in mind of each ’why’ in life.
Why exactly, just why do I do this? Senseless hours spent staring at the same scrolling screen.
For this I am so guilty.
But my focus, my whys, my values continue to pull me further out of this each day.
Thinking back to our humble beginning, I cannot help but feel grateful for the lessons learned.
For the experiences, even of the worst kind for they have taught an unforgettable ‘why’.
Why this life is beautiful, and why I am passionate about it, about exploring, about
understanding, about expressing, about connecting a point to a feeling and back again to
another point. Reaching out to understand, reaching peace in choosing peace, in having peace
surround us throughout wholly.
It has cleared my life clean of debris, cluttered piles of unnecessary trash.
Of every connection to a fixed spot.
I am free.
Living unattached, untethered to a line in any way. Not without wholly, but simply without
That is my idea of simple living, slow living, conscious living, tiny living.
Meaning able to sustain without dependency on another.
And it does not come to mind without bringing forth a weight of unanswered questions.
But to even begin to ask or pursue is not to be discredited
Stumble to walk to run.
Let us all begin to lighten our lives.
To break free of weights and burdens.
To face certain world altering situations.
To consider what is necessary and what is valuable in life.
This to me opens a great gasp of clean air in my lungs/
Sweeps clean all my frustrations.
Past, present and future,
All washed with a beautiful purpose.
Words and photos by Brianna Holman
I'm Brianna, a simple, honest lady, finding my way through my mid twenties, writing, reflecting, questioning, and improving; always seeking to move forward, to push myself outside of my comfortable norm. Now with my husband and our eight dogs we've chosen to consciously live with less making possible our ability to travel across country in our Fleetwood trailer. I am an admitted, continuous work in progress, in search of more questions to answer, ways to understand, and stories that enlighten. I seek understanding in every aspect of life, I seek empathetic understanding for everyone in life. I seek to reflect an honest life and inspire humble thoughts.