Shutters Off the Hinges

Emma - Chesterfield, Missouri
Entered on February 5, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

“You’re never prepared for the moment that changes your life.”

~Joe Birch

When I was 10 years old, my parents decided to do something daring. You may think they were thinking about skydiving or even mountain climbing, but instead, they decided to venture past ugly in search of beauty. On October 23, 2005, my parents bought a house to remodel.

You could have been able to say I was living my own personal experience of being on the show, “Designed to Sell”. The house was torn, tattered, and trashed, but in my parents’ eyes, they saw potential. I remember coming up to the front steps and thinking what an adventure this would be. I opened the black front door, anxiously waiting to see what lay on the other side.

The inside of the house was a mess, but I decided to give it a chance; I continued my voyage.

Everything was old and desperately needed renovations. On the outside you could see shutters off their hinges and windows cracked. Inside, the paint was bland and I felt I had stepped into a bad eighties movie set. I tried looking through my parents’ eyes, but all I saw was the huge amount of work that lay ahead of us. With lots of effort and hope, my family worked hard to clean and redecorate the house. Paint was added to the walls while furniture was placed in rooms. Windows were cleaned and opened and doors were replaced. Rooms were dusted and vacuumed and the lawn was raked. Everything was ready and finally the old, distasteful house was transformed into a pretty, elegant home for a family to live in.

Eventually, we sold the house. I felt as though I had lost a little piece of me when the deal was complete. As I walked through the refurbished house for the last time, I remembered what it had looked like before. I then realized that this whole experience had changed my entire life.

The fresh paint on the walls added color and fun into my soul, while the new furniture was like adding new friends into my home. With clean and open windows, I opened my heart to new opportunities, and with a new door, I could listen to others walking through. After sweeping and vacuuming, I found out that I should realize my mistakes, get rid of them, and move on with life. Looking out to the clean yard, I understood that when you clear away the bad stuff, like leaves or clutter, you can find something beautiful. I believe this is true for every person as well. When you look deeper into someone, you will always find a beautiful person.

To this day, three years later, I realize how much that house changed my life. It has not only taught me how to make a profit, but I have learned that I have become a new person, that even ugly things can be beautiful, and that experiences do change your life. I believe that everyone should be open to new opportunities. Just remember the next time you see a “For Sale” sign, try to look past the ugly to see the beautiful.