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Why Thrifting Is Good For The Soul

Thrifting has been my favorite pastime for years, but not just because of the cute clothes...

Why Thrifting Is Good For The Soul
Lily Switka

I've been going to the Goodwill in my town for as long as I can remember. It's a smaller shop as thrift stores go, but it's teeming with opportunity. My love for the place was originally fostered by my parents, who would always opt for donating our clothes we grew out of rather than just tossing them in the trash. Even as a seven-year-old, I loved the feeling of knowing that another kid would get as much use out of my favorite t-shirt as I did. The clothes we wear absorb memories, and we associate them with different times in our lives. Giving back was the least we could do.

Now, I go to Goodwill even more frequently. It has become a lovely activity to do with friends of every sort, and even a fun date. The employees and I are on a first name basis; they always appreciate my compliments to their in-store playlists.

Aside from the amazing prices and vintage finds, there is another intangible factor that I absolutely adore about thrifting:

Thrift shopping is analogous to the way we treat people.

Think about it!

Everyone knows the feeling of seeing a brand new shirt that they instantly fall in love with. Even if it's a little overpriced, you've just GOT to have it.

It works just the same when we meet new people. We may look at someone and think, "WOW! They're so cool, I've just GOT to be friends with them." In both cases, we're judging the book by its cover, and by our first impressions.

Alternatively, in a thrift shop, I am always elated to find a piece that is quirky and unique. My favorite find was an oversize Cleveland Indians tee shirt with the old-fashioned Chief Wahoo logo on the pocket. It was pretty- pretty old, and pretty plain. There was a little hole in the right sleeve, and it looked like it had been washed about 357 times. But for some reason it called to me; its bright hanger that was slightly askew from the others was just asking for me to buy it.

So I bought the shirt. But with those three dollars, I also bought someone's memories. The former owner of the shirt had probably gone to a ballgame with it. Maybe they cooked dinner in it, or they'd been hugged in it. They probably watched their favorite TV show in it, or they were photographed in it. Now, I was going to get to add to the slew of moments this shirt had been a part of.

We are always so eager to impress when we meet someone new. It's common to put our best foot forward, try to present our best self, or make ourselves seem cooler than we are at the prospect of a new friend. Like a brand new shirt, it's all so new and exciting.

In reality, we're all a lot more like a thrift store tee shirt. A little bit older, slightly distressed, and maybe slightly worn down from years of life. But we've had adventures, made memories, and gained a couple of scratches along the way. And because of that, we're better. More interesting. More unique.

Thrifting is a wonderful way to support local shopping, donate unwanted items to those who need them, help create and advocate for jobs, and even obtain cute clothes inexpensively. In addition, it can teach us a great deal about life. It helps us form a sense of appreciation for the imperfections of life: the same imperfections that make us who we are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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