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.
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
I was just updating some social media junk with a brief one liner about “who” I am and realized I couldn’t really capture it in a one liner as my life is inspired by SOOOO many unrelated things.
So despite the fact that in most places i’ll continue to use a generic third-person summary like… Christopher Spiewak is a business educated entrepreneur blah blah blah…. I decided to share the original version i wrote 7-8 years ago for my ancient Myspace profile. Granted it’s far from a one liner and could use some evolving revisions but it still does a much better job of describing who i am than most of the summaries i have online…….
I love snowboarding, yoga, rock climbing, biking, surfing, skateboarding, running, swimming, kayaking, backpacking, ADVENTURE, etc. I love ARCHITECTURE, design, building, creating, technology, business, and ALL their interrelated possibilities! I love MUSIC, songwriting, live shows (especially the low key up close singer songwriter shows). I love CREATIVE anything. I love ART in its endless forms. I love FLYING (especially when I’m the pilot). I love great food preferably VEGAN, organic, healthy and as harm-free for all as possible (planet, people, animals, etc). I love LEARNING and there’s SO much to learn about EVERY freakin thing! I want to improve at WHO i am, WHAT i am, HOW i am. I love to do nothing, ok not nothing but SIMPLE stuff like just sitting on the sidewalk eatin an apple listening to some random play the guitar. I dig MOVIES, especially when snuggled up in a giant pile of pillows, blankets and cookies!! I DIG TRUTH! SIMPLE PURE STRAIGHT OUT EXACTLY AS IT IS UN-SUGARCOATED TRUTH! I love true FRIENDS and spontaneous trips and insane roller coasters and random cookouts and NEW faces and OLD faces and real LOVE and amazing sex and long NAPS and 3 day sleepless charrettes cause my mind is so sucked into the moment or thought or project or idea I just can’t stop. Kinda like this list. I love People with integrity. People striving to be more than they are. People who stand UP for what matters, for what’s right, for what they believe in. People trying to do something they never have because they know someday they definitely will! The ones that never give up! The honest ones, the real ones. The ones with with heart and passion and insane crazy dreams! The true friends, the kind hearts, the goofy laughing beautiful simple smiles I hope to never be without.
In other words I love life!!
A bit from me…. Christopher Spiewak 28 October 2010
A year ago tonight was a different time. A different place. A different life. A different me. It hurt to breathe. I was twisted up beyond description, suffering through a relationship that lingered on long after it should have. I was too lost to say no (and stick to it). It seemed impossible at the time. The love was so capricious and misleading that even the sweetest moments were still rooted in sadness. I didn’t know what to believe. It simply worn me bare. Too many months of it. I wanted to end. A few months later I nearly did.
Smiling, endlessly. I never want the days to end! Even as in this moment when I’m exhausted beyond comprehension I still don’t want the day to stop! I want to do more, be more, learn more, give more, grow more, create more, everything more. And my days are already so full, so good! I am blessed with amazing work, community, friendships, health and so much amazing awesomeness I can’t even put it into words!! I’m the busiest, most productive, creative, and independently happy I have ever been! And I’ve barely even scratched the surface of what’s possible.
This last “Trip Around The Sun” has condensed more life and growth and lessons into its 365 days than the previous decade combined! Truly I am beyond blessed, beyond grateful, and infinitely thankful to be able to say to myself, at least one more time…. “Happy Birthday Chris.”
Don’t whisper your dreams, voice them loud, inspired, AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS! Paint them on your walls! Post them on your blogs! Tell the whole world what you are planning, hoping, dreaming then LIVE what you love!! LIVE what you ARE! What inspires you, moves you, fills you with hope?! What do you dream of, believe in or aspire to be!?! WHAT do you want to become?!! WHO do you want to become? What do you see, imagine, or hope for so deeply that it brings tears of inspiration to your eyes?!? Have you tried and failed? AWESOME ME TOO! Have you loved and lost?!? AWESOME ME TOO! Have you not lived up to the person within or made the same mistakes again and again?!? Are you beaten, broken, weary or worn starting from scratch with nothing and no one?! Did you lose your way? Did you lose yourself? Did you lose your friends, your strength, your worth, your courage, your everything but that one, tiny, broken scrap of passionate heart that somehow still unstoppably, unshakably believes… in YOU?! That scrap of heart that just never gives in?!? That scrap that screams… “SOMEHOW, SOMEDAY, SOMEWHERE, SOMEWAY I WILL!” Then I say it again… Don’t whisper your dreams, voice them loud inspired at the top of your lungs! NEVER GIVE IN! NEVER GIVE UP! Change, learn, grow, transform, do whatever it takes for as long as it takes!! Lose the stories, the excuses, the distractions the habits the everything and anything that doesn’t fill your life with PURPOSE and PASSION and GRATITUDE. AND DO IT NOW. TODAY. Do NOT settle for the version of yourself (or the version of anyone else) you do not want in your life for another breath! REMOVE the poisons from your life, whatever they may be… jobs, friends, foods, lovers, habits, colleagues, vices, plans, expectations, whatever you KNOW in your heart no longer (or ever) served you. God I’m rambling. Sorry, all I meant to ask was… “WHAT INSPIRES YOU!? and this is what it turned into. Me rambling. ME hoping. Me dreaming. Me knowing all the ways I’ve fallen and fumbled and wasted and wandered lost in my own life. But THis is me. I’m not perfect, not gifted, not so many things. I’m no example to follow, no expert to learn from. I’ve made so many mistakes and got it all wrong so many times that I’m thankful just for the chance to get up and try again. But if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that my mistakes are my greatest teacher and that my heart, that passionate loving inexorably abundant part of me that never shuts up or gives up (even when I want it to) is my biggest inspiration!! So whatever your dreams, hopes, desires or inspirations, all I gotta say is… ROCK ON!!