I once reached a point in my life so deep in heartache and suffering that I thought, aloud… “I would trade every amazing moment to come, to be free of this unbearable aching now.” It didn’t happen overnight, but it ultimately led me within half a thumb twitch of ending my own life.
The memory humbles me every day. Every amazing moment since. Every single time I wake up. Every single time I see the sun set, or a friend smile. Every time I eat a meal or hear a song or smell the rain or feel the sun on my face. Every day, all around me a million amazing moments unfold and not a single one, even the most mundane (or unwelcome), would have been worth the trade I nearly made that day.
It seems so obvious now. So simple. So clear. Life rocks! So what the heck am I rambling about? Well I didn’t intend to write about suicide today, but if you’re on the cusp of it, know fully that you are also on the cusp of something remarkable… a new beginning, a new love for life, far beyond anything you have ever imagined possible. A life that wouldn’t even be possible without the sadness that now engulfs you. For as crazy as it sounds, that unbearably broken, lonely, lost, hopeless, aching, heartbroken, devastated place… is pure magic. It’s pure gift. It doesn’t matter if it took you days or decades to reach such depths, if you hold on, if you carry through, if you bear the unbearable, there is a life ahead for you that is pure joy.
I know how impossible this may seem to you now. When I was there, nothing mattered. Living was suffering. Life was unbearable. I ached for everything to just stop. To end. My eyes were raw with months of tears. The anguish in my soul would literally fold me over in pain. The lucky moments in between I was numb, fully abandoned to any desire for life or love or food or friends or breath. And when I made it through the worst of it, the months/years that followed dealt a hand so excessively inequitable that it capped off the suffering with utter personal, professional and financial annihilation (some of it still present in my life).
So I’m not here to tell you it’s gonna be easy. I’m here to tell you it’s gonna be worth it. Every horrible bit of it.
No matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes you, DON’T EVER GIVE UP ON YOU! You made it this far for a reason! I don’t care if you have to crawl your way out, cry your way out, fight your way out, learn your way out, or abandon everything you’ve ever known, been or believed, DO IT! If you’re looking for a sign THIS IS IT. You Matter. Your life matters. Your soul, your heart, your untapped incredible being matters!
Ya just gotta keep bouncing. Much love <3
Posted via Christopher Spiewak‘s WordPress Blog.
I love you. To everyone I don’t tell enough, I LOVE YOU. To everyone I’ve ever laughed with, I love you! To everyone that has been there for me through good and bad, I love you. For every late night phone call, early morning hike, soul saving hug, day changing smile, psyched high-five, heart breaking lesson, teary eyed goodbye, understanding empathy, wise guidance, brilliant advice and authentic reflection, inspiring conversations, spontaneous road trips, afternoon tea and holiday meals, for every thoughtful little nothing, whether a randomly fun moment a million years ago or for going above and beyond all the time, for anyone that has showed me that they care, that I matter, I love you.
Posted by Christopher Spiewak‘s WordPress Blog.
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
Posted via Christopher Spiewak‘s WordPress Blog
As I’ve mentioned in one way or another (on this blog/site) it often takes time to realize the deeper meaning in any life venture or experience. Clearly this specific “Christopher Spiewak Boulder” blog entry isn’t really that deep but most of this site’s content (with the exception of shameless name awareness experiments like this one) reflect a deeply personal expression of life, love, truth, suffering, inspiration and growth as i’ve experienced it.
Thankfully, my life goes on outside of this blog in a lighter and more frequent expression too, so if you’d like to see more of that (and less of this), click on over to my tumblr blog at…. [Christopher-Spiewak-Boulder]. It captures a more consistent glimpse of life in less words and more photos from my active Twitter and Instagram accounts! That “Other Blog” has sorta of evolved into a personal favorite, if only for the photos :)
Anyways, i’ve already rambled too much when all I wanted to do was share that link.
This shamelessly self-promotional entry posted via Christopher Spiewak‘s WordPress Blog
[Christopher Spiewak] June 21st 2010.
It is ASTONISHING to me that the Summer Solstice is upon us. It seems just moments ago I was tumbling through knee deep snow at Chatauqua but here it is, the LONGEST day of the year (and official 1st day of summer)! I’ve truly loved this year. Despite the worst experiences I have ever known, I have still been blessed with an EVER deeper gratitude for the littlest gems in every breath of life.
Though it seems I spend most of my days/nights/hours before this computer screen, the moments in between are enraptured with the smell of summer flowers, sweet trees, and afternoon rain drying out of the bark and bugs and pine needles in the sun. I love the pace alone, the little moments from step to step, through the trees or streets or wildflowers. I love just sitting by the creek, barefoot in the sun. I love the calm of tea and books and rocking on the swings as the sun goes down. I love the smile that overtakes me as I walk by the toddlers playing in the fountain. I love that what truly matters, matters and what never did, no longer does.
I love the days getting longer even as they ironically, on this 1st day of summer, begin again to get shorter. I love realizing that no matter how long (or short), full (or empty) the day, that I at last appreciate it all without expectation. No plans, no money, nobody, just me and this overwhelming gratitude for this day, this summer, this life. – x