The House Hunt: The Gunk & The Good!

My sister Liz is looking for a new house to rent—lucky for me, someplace near mine so we can walk to each other’s places for coffee breaks. She’s looking for a place with a spacious and clean interior, a healthy yard space and a cozy, home-like feel.

Charming means nothing without the un-charming to compare it to (Image: Ken Spencer)

The un-charming teaches us what “charming” really is. (Image: Ken Spencer)

On day one of her search, however, she saw two houses with dirt for yards, bars for windows and a view outside of other people’s chain-link fences. Not surprisingly, she drove home depressed. Like, really depressed.

It took a few appointments at some nicer places before she got her hopes back up—and only then did she realize how glad she was to have seen the gross ones. How else would she have been able to appreciate the cute places without having the charm-challenged ones to compare them to? The lesson was a reminder to both of us about the value of seeing the gunk. It’s as simple as this: You’ll never be able to appreciate the good stuff if you haven’t seen the gunk!

This is true of everything in life. You won’t know a great job if you’ve never worked a crappy one. You’ll can’t savor a nice hotel if you’ve never stayed in a scary one. You’ll never appreciate your health unless you or someone you love has lost it. And how could you value a wonderful, stomach-swirling date if you’ve never had some clunkers?

Like my sister’s house hunt, look at your low moments in love as setting a gauge for the highs. Being in a relationship that beats you down can teach you that you deserve to be in one where you soar, and kissing someone who doesn’t summon an iota of chemistry within you can remind you that, yeah, you want the butterflies.

It only took a week for Liz to look back on those horrible houses and laugh. That’s because, in time, the rough things that happen to us become our funniest or most touching or most revelatory experiences. The gunk is good for you. Do yourself a favor and start thanking the world for letting you experience it.

Big love,

Amy Signature 4