I love thrift shopping. I love the thrill of the chase, the unknown possibilities, the chance at finding that one special thing you never knew was perfect for you. On a recent thrifting venture, I had a sudden realization of the parallels between thrift stores and life. As I thumbed through the racks of shoulder pads and browsed through the countless pieces of porcelain curios, I became more and more conscious of how many similarities existed between my approach to life and my attitude towards used clothing stores.
Thrift shopping is about searching through racks and racks to find that one perfect thing that’s meant for you. Life is about the same thing, but with opportunities. Replace that leather jacket with a date, those boat shoes with a job interview, that green vase with an apartment lease, and you’ll have the kinds of decisions we look for every day. In both worlds, some pursuits are more successful than others.
Some days are half-off tag days – you hit every green light, the Starbucks guy gives you an extra shot, you find a dollar on the ground. Other days are more parallel to closed-shop days, when a car drives past you in a rain puddle, you break your expensive sunglasses, or you get a giant hole in your black tights before an important meeting.
Much like a thrift shop, life is part sheer luck, part determination. Spending the extra time on something, digging a little deeper, having optimism and an unwillingness to give up – these characteristics most often help point you towards success. Also though, staying on task while allowing yourself to take detours is key - keep an open mind. Sometimes when you go into a new experience with a closed off idea of what you’re looking for, you never find it. However, when you broaden your horizons and open yourself up to new things, you may find yourself stumble across a designer label dress from 1960 that’s only a dollar.
Every experience we have is one of a kind; every day has the potential to be the most surprising score of your life. The more effort you spend looking for things, and the more positive energy you exude, the more you find. Sometimes you get lucky and that perfect opportunity is laying on a recliner in the furniture section.I urge you all to go forth with renewed vigor! Appreciate each other and our diverse ideas and characteristics – what may be trash to one person is perfection for another! I hope that as you search through your life today you find something that’s impeccably destined for you. I wish you all nothing but dollar days, mint condition first editions, and never-been-worn shoes.