As those of you who regularly follow the blog know, I’ve spent the past couple months apartment hunting. I’ve finally found a place, but damn, what a stressful, time-consuming experience it was. Add to that the fact that I live in New York City, so for every apartment offering that goes up, there are about 10 people searching and ready to jump on a good deal. The end of summer is a total zoo, it seems like everybody and their mother in New York is looking to move to a new place.
I looked at apartments all over the city, everywhere imaginable. There were some good deals out there, there were some scams and dumps, there were hidden gems, and everything else in between.
I inquired about literally hundreds of apartments over the past few weeks, and looked at over 30 or 40 of them. I put in an application at a few places, had several credit checks, was accepted to every place, and I even laid down a deposit at two places. Then I’d sleep on it or think about it for a few hours, and later on I would pull out with cold feet. I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Every time there was a place ready for the taking at my fingertips, I always hesitated. I couldn’t just say, “Yes, I’m taking it,” settle on a place, and have the search be done with.
Why not? Because, in the back of my mind, I had this image that there was some apartment in the city that had to be better than the one I was looking at right then and there. Or the apartment that I was looking at somehow wasn’t as good as the one I’d looked at a couple days ago.
So I’d envision myself living there, where the furniture would go, how I would cook dinners in the kitchen when I had someone over, how we would get up and take a shower, walk to the park, everything. Sure, it looked great but in my mind there was always a place that was just a little bit better than the place right in front of me.
Somewhere, I knew there was an apartment that would meet every specification I was looking for, the one place that was going to be perfect for my lifestyle. (As you know, lifestyle is what I teach, and having a quality lifestyle is essential to me.)
There was always a place with a little more square footage. In a slightly better location a couple blocks down. A block closer to the park. Closer to that cool corner coffee shop. 100 bucks a month cheaper. Slightly newer kitchen appliances. Slightly better water pressure, a little more cabinet space, an extra window with better lighting, better hardwood floors, a cooler-looking building, a little closer to the subway…you name it.
I spent so much time thinking it over, comparing and contrasting places, then at the end of the day I could never finally decide on a location. It really stressed me out. So I’d think it over for a night, then call up the landlord or the broker the next day with my mind made up. “Ok, I’ve decided! I’m taking the place at 101 Main Street! Done, let’s do this. When can I come sign the lease?”
“Oooh, sorry Shogo,” I’d hear, “Someone just came in this morning and signed the lease on it… Tough luck. But I’ve got another place I can show you…” Of course that new place would then be not nearly as good as 101 Main Street.
The fact is there is no perfect apartment. For everything that was better about the next apartment I would look at, there was always something worse about it than the prior apartments. Sure, this place has a great outdoor terrace that the one I looked at yesterday didn’t have. But it’s eleven blocks away from the cool part of town. This place has brand new kitchen appliances. But no bathtub. An extra room for a home office? Sure, but it’s a 6-floor walkup.
There really is no perfection in life. It’s a lesson I’m still learning. There is no such thing as the perfect house, and in all my experiences dating I can tell you that there is no such thing as the perfect person.
Are you in a relationship, or are you dating right now, and you’re still looking around for someone better than the person you’re seeing? Someone who’s a little better looking, maybe a little smarter, a little more popular, in a little better shape? Are you saving yourself up for that special, perfect person? Are you kind of just going through the motions right now, secretly hoping for him or her to come across your path? And if you do encounter that person, will you be able to seize the moment and act on it?
You may come across that perfect person. But you night not. You might be waiting for a long, long time. And before you know it, you may have missed an opportunity with that great person right in front of you.
Today I’d like you to go out and appreciate another person. If you’re single, go out and start a friendly conversation with someone new, whether you’re attracted to them or not, it doesn’t matter. Really listen to that person and be interested in what they’re all about. And if you’re in a relationship or you’re dating somebody, I want you to look at and appreciate them, even though he or she may not be the perfect person in the world. Maybe he’s not as tall as you’d like, maybe she’s got a couple extra pounds on her. Maybe he talks a little too much about himself, maybe she’s more judgmental than you’d like her to be, whatever it is.
You may come across someone who’s a better match for you down the road, and it’s ok to keep your options open if that’s what you want. But really take some time today to appreciate and enjoy that imperfect person who is right in front of you.
Previously published on davidwygant.com and is republished here under permission.
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