kristin_Oct_15.jpg

The Architecture of Reinvention

I love a remodel. I love the before and after photos of old houses and television programs on HGTV. I love magazine makeover articles about women who have let themselves go and decide to take themselves back. I love second marriages (that stick). I love second careers and reclaimed identities when the nest empties. I love the reinvention of a grownup going back to school. I love comebacks and transformations, rehab and redemption, and the endless possibility of a do-over-whether it’s a person, a building, a relationship, a decision, a direction, a spiritual path, or a career.

I have been in several transition zones in my life. Each time I was utterly terrified, but also electrified with energy. Transition zones become construction zones to growth-minded souls. What looks like ruin becomes renovation, and what looks like the compost of one's life becomes fertilizer for next season’s harvest. What looks like the end is always another beginning, just ask the tadpole or the caterpillar as they learn to hop and fly. Ask the phoenix, as it unfolds its wings from the ashes and emerges — reborn — from the fire. (P.S: If I ever have the urge to get a tattoo, it would be a phoenix.)

In the midst of a transition/construction zone it’s easy to lose hope and heart. In the same way that ripping out old cabinets and tile, peeling aged wallpaper and tearing down walls creates debris and dust, the remodeling of a life creates so much mess before the hidden vision begins to appear.

There are very few things I love more than to roll up my sleeves and put on my hard-hat and walk with someone into their life renovation. I’m going back to school to become a therapist, but what I would really love to be is a “Transitional Consultant,” if there were such a thing. Maybe I will invent it. I always want to know the bigger picture; Who do you want to be on the other side of this? Tell me about yourself over there, afterwards. Who are you? What are you like? How do you spend your time? What is your dream? If the shackles of fear fell off, who would you be and what would you do if you were totally unencumbered? What might you need in order to get there? Amazing lives aren’t built by default, they are built with direction, diligence and dedication.

Most people (including me, once upon a time) haven’t thought much about renovating their lives, because all their energy is consumed with fearing the wrecking ball and the bulldozers, or bottlenecked by their stubborn resistance to a redo. They wander in circles in a state of stunned inertia, overwhelmed by the mess of it all. Unlike a house where we have an architect and a builder, and are armed with a crew and a plan, we often go empty-handed, empty-hearted and empty-headed into the remodel of our life. It can feel like too much just to get through the day, let alone have a vision about tomorrow.

In times like this we all need architects: a therapist, a friend, a mentor, a guide, a guru, or a wise counselor to help us see beyond ourselves and beyond our present circumstances. We need someone to help us decide which walls need to stay put in our remodel, so we don’t lose the stability and charm of our original frame and foundation. We also need to know which walls should come down, so our rooms can open up and life inside can freely flow. With some thoughtful design, we can install more doors and windows to let in the light — and the love.

Unlike new construction, the beauty of a remodel is in selecting and retaining the finest and most functional attributes of the old and blending them beautifully with the vision of the new. The result is a place both intimately known and undeniably different. Just the kind of place you would want to call home.

CREDITS

Illustration by Joy Gallagher

RELATED ARTICLES

  • 0f8dfbf1-b6d6-4c56-b842-05d45acda39c.gif
  • image1.JPG
  • Elite 25_300x250.gif
  • unnamed-37.jpg
  • Copenhagen_Feb2015.jpg

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY

eNewsletter

currentIssue.png
June_Cover-108x108.jpeg
  • 1cb151d1-621d-47f9-941e-7259eea04612.gif
  • Subscribe.jpg
TRIBEZA BLOGS
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.07.04 PM.png

As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.

For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.

more
unnamed.jpg

The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...

more
TRIBEZA04.jpg

Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.

more
6cac5c5a8c8ab233e90140848463bee7-d1026fbadb4e268d7fc0f385121f57a3.jpg

JUDE GALLIGAN

Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.

Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?

From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...

more
IMG_4713.jpg

As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.

Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...

more