I was thinking about thrift store shopping…and I realized that some of the same rules that apply to doing it also apply to life as well. I decided that instead of just writing another post on thrifting tips, which is definitely always fun, that I’d write one that’s both about thrifting AND about life. Because I could always use a little encouragement and sometimes I just need to write this stuff for myself!
So here goes. Here are some of my current (I like to use that word because hey, maybe I’ll come up with some new ones someday to add to it!) rules for thrift store shopping AND living!
Keep an open mind because not everything different is bad. When it comes to thrifting, the best way to be successful is to have an open mind when you’re shopping. Grab and try on stuff that has the potential to be amazing…or REALLY BAD. The other day I went to Goodwill and I tried on this shirt that was either going to be like Chloe Spring 2016 runway awesome OR mom from the Goldberg’s epic 80’s craziness. (It’s coming to the blog soon to answer your question :)) I guess I feel like in life this is super helpful too…sometimes I’ve written off people right away thinking that I would have nothing in common with them or that they seem kind of…different…and later on end up realizing that they are amazing fun people that I would have missed out on knowing had I not given them a shot! There was this girl I knew a long time ago who seemed really serious. I’m not serious at all people, so when people seem more analytical or solemn, I tend to shy away from them because they typically find me silly, loud, and ridiculous. I knew her for quite a while and honestly I don’t remember how it happened, but one day we talked a little bit and I realized that even though she was a bit more serious than I was, she was also a LOT of fun. We ended up hanging out and becoming great friends! Somedays I think about that and realize that we missed a year or two of friendship simply because we had falsley judged each other! All this to say, that when you’re thrifting, sure, you could try on some pretty hideous things in the process, but you never know till you try right?! And in life, you might miss a friend if you judge too quickly!
You have to wade through a lot of not so awesome stuff…but not pay attention to it. Gosh. Thrift store shopping can be gross. Let’s call it like it is. There’s a LOT of nasty stuff that’s pretty much trash and you have to sift through it to find the good stuff. That’s so the way life is. There’s so much crap in social media, on TV, and just everywhere. Wrong stuff, bad stuff, stuff we can’t control but get’s propagated by the spread of information so we have to wade through it just to get to the stuff we want to see and experience. I have a hard time with this stuff. I’ve always been very affected by the sad things I see on the news so I try to be careful how much of it I expose myself to. I mean, we have to be responsible and do our part, but you guys I’m not superwoman. I wish I was! But in the words of Frankie Heck (from The Middle, if you’re not watching, it’s hilarious and the most recent episode deals with this topic!) “sometimes you gotta just relax and watch a movie with too many white people in it.” Ahhhh I love that quote because it’s so true. We all need to do what we can. But if we let the problems consume us, it will not allow us to be effective at basically ANYTHING! If you’re thrifting and you get bogged down by the smelly weird stained clothes that you see, you’re not going to be able to see the treasures that might be sitting RIGHT next to it. So yeah, the garbage is there. It would be naive to say it’s not. But we don’t have to pay attention to it!
Don’t let your “failures” deter you from trying again. And again. Sometimes you go to a few shops and you come up empty handed. Nothing fit, nothing was that great, everything was kind of just bad…it happens. Some weeks nothing gets done. The laundry piles up, the kids are cranky, you haven’t been a very nice person…it’s just life. But hey, that doesn’t mean that we can’t try again tomorrow right? That doesn’t mean that you’re not going to find some incredible thing at the Goodwill or that you aren’t going to kick butt at whatever you’re doing tomorrow! Or heck, maybe even in the next couple of hours! Things ALWAYS can turn around and the only way we are guaranteed that they won’t is to stop trying. I stopped thrift store shopping for a few years because I stopped having success and then I stopped trying. Well, I’m guessing I would have had success if I’d tried again! Today I’ve been kind of a blah kind of human being. I don’t plan on giving up and being blah for the rest of my known life. It’s worth trying again no matter what the “failure” is!
Share your successes freely and your failures sparingly. Haven’t you noticed how success breeds success and failure breeds failure? Like if you tell a friend about all the cool stuff you found at a thrift store, she gets excited and tends to go find stuff on her own…it’s like your excitement and your triumphs cause other people to do the same, but ONLY IF YOU SHARE THEM!! Same goes for the negative too though. You tell someone how you never find good stuff…it often encourages them to NOT go out and try…it reminds them that sometimes it’s a wasted trip and that sometimes there’s nothing but junk. Same goes for life. I don’t know how many times it’s happened, but when I hang around people who share good stuff all the time, I find myself doing things differently. I try new things. I take more risks. I feel more confident and hopeful about life. But those people who are constantly asking negative questions…sharing unnecessary bad stuff (like you know the bad Facebook stories about people you don’t know…THOSE types) can do the exact opposite.
So you see? Life and thrifting are kind of similar! I found this dress at Goodwill, and I could not believe my eyes. It was one of those crazy bizarre things that I knew could go either way, and happily, all the weird things I tried on that trip ended up to be total wins! But if I’d never tried, I’d never have known :)
The sandals are the absolute BEST simple summer sandals and if you need new summer shoes, you NEED these Sam Edelmans! Oh and they come in like EVERY color too! I am caftan obsessed…and honestly LOTS of vintage shops on Etsy have them, so do take a look next time you’re on there!
I hope your weekend is amazing and filled with fun thrift store finds!