“as soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go”- Wendell Berry, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.
this is not meant to be an outlet of whiny musings. If it resembles such at any point i apologize now and want you to understand that at no point do i feel ‘victimized’ by anyone, anymore than you yourself may. because the bottom line is that we all are victims, some by our own decisions, some by the decisions of others. i am attempting to document the decisions i have made in an attempt to maybe enlighten myself and better understand my goals at various points of my ‘career’, and what guided me toward these attempted ends.
some background that can and should be skipped if bored by such egotistical jabber.
i am a custom homebuilder for now, and have been for many years. i, like so many, went to college and studied enough to do well, graduate, and go into something completely unrelated to the field in which i chose to matriculate. i always knew, since i was a teenager working for my brother-in-law as a carpenter, that i would build things for a living. pretty things that had function and were appreciated by my fellow-man. things that had inherent worth not only in the materials from which they were built, but by the proper methods and craftsmanship used to create them. there truly is no feeling like the pride one feels at the end of the day and looks at what one has created from a mixture of mind, body and matter. it is a cliché i know, but most of the time clichés are founded on truth.
at some point about ten years ago i decided that to be a carpenter alone was not enough for some reason and with a fellow project manager (hereafter referred to as S) at a high-end construction company, planned on starting our own firm. we were approached by our employer to join him in partnership. he was not excited about losing us and wanted to start to wind down his own career, so we joined up and continued his company under a new name and management. the dot-com bubble burst and towers fell. our former boss is a good man and a hard worker but the pressure of seeing the building industry grind to a halt as he fought a disgruntled client (hedge fund type, quasi regular talking head on CNBC) who was raking him over the coals had a very negative effect on him. i will never forget the day he walked onto a job site that myself and S were working with nine of our employees on, and started throwing things and telling all the guys that we were done, the job is shut down, we are out of business. S and I didn’t know how to react. all of the guys were wide-eyed and slinky-chinned baffled. they gathered in the front yard of the house and stared at our partner, than looked to us for facial clues, and back to the man they now saw as a lunatic, throwing stuff yelling what now became inaudible sounds with the occasional ‘DONE!” thrown in. the now broken madman left screaming ‘you better look for other jobs!’ When i dwell on decisions i have made, these are the type that baffle me in the light of history. did i decide to partner up with this man because it would be easier than starting from scratch? why at this moment, when i was watching a man have his spirit broken, did i not say to myself, ‘boy, this isn’t exactly an easy business to be in’. because it just seemed to be the right thing for me, and i loved building things. pretty things people live in.
S and I decided to buy the now mad man out, and it wasnt cheap in any way.