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Archive for December, 2011

Solstice Bullshit


It’s fascinating how the more educated and intelligent people are, the more eloquently they assure themselves of their own bullshit. Literally, the brightest, kindest, most self-aware people I know, can weave some of the most self-deceiving stories imaginable. And worse, they rationalize every aspect of their pulitzer worthy crap into a self-destructive loop that blinds them to the very heart of the cause of their own suffering (themselves).

I’m not talking miss the forest for the trees, I’m talking miss the scorched earth beneath what were the trees that burned down with the rest of the forest… five years ago. Are you stuck in a relationship that YOU can’t (uhem won’t) get YOURSELF out of?! Are you working with dishonest, unethical or simply uninspired people in a job you dislike? Do your “friends” let you down, not follow through on commitments, consistently complain, deceive, or live in a way that conflicts with your values?

OF COURSE YOU ARE! You’re a brilliant human being capable of BULLSHITTING yourself right into a hole! Maybe your relationship’s great but your boss is a scoundrel. Maybe your job is amazing but your husband is sleeping with the baby sitter. Maybe your babysitter is a sweetheart but she’s the only one that remembered your birthday! F’n hell WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!

You know the “friends” that should NOT be in your life. You know the values that are too important to compromise. You know the habits you need to change. YOU KNOW the sibling, friend or colleague who has crossed the line. DID YOU HOLD THAT BOUNDARY AND SAY NO?! Did you quit your job or cancel the deal when you discovered the dubious undertaking it embodied? Did you call your friend out on her folly as her own self-bullshitting mind rationalized a way to justify cheating on her spouse, lying to her boss or excusing the actions of the person abusing her?

Or is that person you… Of course it is. It’s all of us. On some level, in someway, we all eloquently assure ourselves of our own self-destructive crap. I spent a lifetime mastering the art of rationalizing self-bullshit, particularly about staying in utterly unacceptable relationships. I could turn a woman’s, lying, cheating, intimidation, threats, shaming, blaming, neglecting, criticizing, embarrassment, isolation, psychological & financial manipulation into “Love.” LOVE!?!? Are you kidding me? I mean… Am I kidding me? I was.

But a little life implosion goes a long way. Enter, Clarity, Wisdom and a lot less self-bullshit. It’s easy to think time or knowledge brings growth but “to know and not to act is yet to know.” It is only through conscious decision and action (upon that knowledge) do we grow. I often hear people say they “need to fix something” but there’s no fix. There is no finish line. There is just constant never ending improvement. The question is simply, what do you want to improve and when do you want to start?

Would NOW be a good time?! Of course it would! There is no better time than now. TODAY. The Winter Solstice when all the days ahead are about to get longer bigger and brighter! It is the very definition of REBIRTH! The sun returns! The days grow longer and everything is possible….. as long as you look yourself squarely in the face and say “I AM FULL OF SHIT!” Because you are. If you are suffering in any area of your life it’s because you continue to bullshit yourself about why that suffering is acceptable; You continue to bullshit yourself that the cause of that suffering is something external.

The good news is the same set of skills, knowledge and intellect that cunningly bullshitted you right into hell, can bust you out just as fast! All ya gotta do is begin…. and there’s no better day than today!

So rock on people!! {…or insert bullshit excuse not to here}

;)

Posted via Christopher Spiewak‘s WordPress Blog

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Bittersweet Beginnings


If you’re reading this blog, you likely already know me and you likely already know about the challenges, failures and successes of the project I’m here to write about… as it has been the backdrop of my life for six+ years.

This project likely should have failed in the first six months, let alone the first six years, for reasons stretching from lack of experience to the economy meltdown to a relationship so heart crushing it brought me to the edge of suicide.  I began without partners, without money, without connections or resources of any kind.  All I had was an immense desire to see the vision of this unbuilt house, complete.

A desire that inspired me to press on, no matter how difficult the challenge before me.  There were more times than I care to recall where I literally didn’t know how I was gonna eat or pay my rent, let alone pay the mortgage on the house. There were moments that seemed so ridiculously surreal that I can literally recall laughing out loud at myself and my situation.  Like when I was sitting on the floor of a nearly empty apartment (eviction notice on the door), eating spices and tea for a meal, having sold nearly everything i owned in a attempt to get “just one more month” of potential out of the project.

But bit by bit the successes (and failures) added up.  Bit by bit I found the resources and investors I needed to keep moving forward and bit by bit this house transformed from a crumbling 4 bedroom apartment back into a beautifully re-built historic single family home… or at least the shell of a home. Yes that’s the bittersweet part here.  The shell of a home is as far as I made it on my own as I just signed off on the sale that ensures an ending, at least in process, that can never be as I had intended.

I could argue that the challenge was too great or the recession was too severe or that my relationship pain was too deep or simply that I wore too many hats… Owner, architect, designer, builder, framer, investor, project manager, capital manager, general contractor, entrepreneur, go-fer and everything in-between. But I think the truth is, after six+ years scrambling for funding, half of it in a disastrously decimated real-estate & investment market, six+ years of living on the edge of poverty (despite facilitating over a million in bank and investor funds), six+ years with no time to focus on pursuits beyond this project, six+ years wondering how, if, or when I would ever finish this house, I finally, sometime this past spring, burned out. I lost heart.  Not in voice, not in desire but in action.

It was a difficult moment to face but I finally made the conscious decision to put the house up for sale and I accepted a ridiculously undervalued short-sale option from the bank and sold the house to a new owner.  In fact I just walked out of the closing moments ago (12/7/11).  It was hard not to break into tears at the closing table despite the fact I was selling it to an enthusiastic young couple who has already retained me as the architect to finish the project’s design. Yes the story doesn’t end as intended, but it also doesn’t end on an arbitrary or dismal note

Six+ years is a long time to work on anything. There are children in the 1st grade that weren’t even conceived when I began this project and there may be some in college by the time I pay off all my investors.  But if “failure is the tuition you pay for success” then I just completed a PhD in a brilliant future. I’ve learned so much about what NOT to do through this project it’s astonishing. I’ve learned so much about myself, personally, professionally, emotionally, financially.  I’ve learned where I am absolutely brilliant and where I utterly fall short. I’ve learned that passion, persistence, determination and action can accomplish nearly anything but that a lot more clarity, focus and consistency will serve me well in the future.

This truly is a bittersweet moment for me but I’m still really proud of all I’ve accomplished, learned and become through this project and I look forward to sharing the final outcome of the house with you all in the future.

Much Love ~ x

1116 Maxwell Ave Construction Process Photos By Christopher Spiewak Boulder Colorado

Posted via Christopher Spiewak‘s WordPress Blog

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