Dare To Wait... For Something Better to Come Along

red puffer jacket outfit 

Source: The Viva Luxury

I was up in Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago and came across this amazing down jacket with a fur trim collar in a thrift store. I go to thrifts store as often as I can because I not only love them, but I buy and sell vintage and these stores are a part of my work zone. This thrift store in Lake Tahoe is a place I frequent whenever I’m up in God’s country. The jacket was my size. And the sleeves were long enough (always the deciding factor for me). I loved it. It was the perfect fit.

But, there was one thing I didn’t love: the price. While the jacket was worth a lot, it wasn’t –in my humble opinion –worth what they wanted for it (especially at a thrift store.) 

Being a vintager, I know a decent amount about new and old clothes, and while this jacket was a hefty price to begin with, I had a hard time shelling out that kind of money for a “used” one, even though it looked brand new and was definitely not vintage.

I quickly did an eBay check on the jacket. Sure enough, it was only a year old and retailed for a huge price. This jacket might be just what I wanted. Just what I needed.

I had literally told myself a few days ago I needed a heavy duty winter jacket (never to wear here in the central valley of California) for places like Tahoe in the winter, or Canada, or Minnesota. So I debated with myself in the store, and I debated with myself as I left the store. I asked my husband, too.

"Should I get it or should I not? Is it worth it?". "Would I wear it? Is this price justified?". "Could I sell it if it didn’t fit like I thought it would??"

I thought about that jacket. A lot.

I finally told my husband, who had now tuned me out completely, “Let’s wait a day and come back tomorrow as we leave town. If it’s there, it’s mine. If not, it’s not meant to be.”

Those words were like a magic potion. They literally put my heart at rest. The next day, I waltzed in hoping so badly that it was still there. My heart beat just a little harder than normal. I could feel myself looking toward the direction of the jacket without even seeing it yet. I entered the store and there was the jacket! Yes. Victory was mine!

Only, there was a problem. While walking up to the jacket, I noticed the fur trim wasn’t there. It was gone. I looked around, underneath the rack, above it, pushing away hats and gloves. Why was the trim missing? That was a valuable piece to the jacket. Why would it be here yesterday but gone today?

“Excuse me,” I asked the man behind the counter. “I was here yesterday and this jacket had fur trim around the collar. It’s not there today. Where is it?”

The man looked at me funny and then asked his manager, to which she turned to me and said, “Good question. It’s not here now because someone stole it.”

My heart which had been flying high like a helium-filled balloon suddenly dropped, popped from the sharp sting of loss. What?

“Yeah. Someone stole the fur trim. I’m sorry.”

So, there it was. That was it. That was my answer and it wasn’t a good one. 

I stared at the jacket, almost like I was trying to will the fur back onto it. I didn’t want a partly good jacket; I wanted the whole thing for that price. The price, mind you, that I didn’t even want to pay yesterday. Now, I would gladly pay for it … had the jacket been complete!

How easy it is to want something we didn’t really want to begin with when suddenly that thing is no longer available?

I walked back out to the car in disbelief, my mind replaying yesterday, and how I should have bought the jacket then. But, how could I have predicted this? I shook my head and tried to focus on the good … which was, what again? I thought good things came to those who waited? I thought I had done the right thing by not being hasty; for being smart with my money. For waiting instead of buying what I wanted right then. I had done the right thing.

So, how come it felt like I had gotten the short end of the stick?

The rule in the vintage world is if you see something unique or rare, regardless of the price, buy it. Right then and there. Because there’s no guarantee it’ll be there five seconds later. 

Why didn’t I heed my own advice? 

It’s been said that when a door closes, a window opens. Now, I honestly believe this because it happens, and I’ve been through this time and again.

I once lost out on a bidding war for a house and I got a better house. (Yes!) My husband lost out on a job promotion the first time around but he got the job promotion later on. (Hello!) I thought I lost out on a relationship and then, because I was single, I met my husband. (Bam!)

Sometimes loss makes us understand what we really need. But, timing is everything and that’s where truth comes into play. Just because it’s in front of us, doesn’t mean the timing is right or that it’s the right thing for us. Life is very much imperfect in this way. And it’s very apparent through the lens of loss.

As a parent, I have to teach this concept of waiting to my kids frequently.  Not making the basketball cut, losing friends we thought we had, or wanting something so bad like a perfect pair of shoes, only to find out they’re sold out. This loss tears at our hearts. But, it also makes our hearts a little bit stronger. 

I wanted that jacket. I could’ve had that jacket. But, I chose to wait and clearly, it wasn’t meant to be even if I don’t know why. So, this is where I take a deep breath, find the positive in it (I now know more about down jackets and their brands than I’ve ever known before) and move on and wait for the better jacket to find its way to me.

Perhaps this scenario plays in your life too and right now you’re reeling from a devastating loss. Or perhaps you just got that “thing” your heart desired, that thing you had to wait days, weeks or even years for. Well hurray! Isn’t it so much better this way, than what you thought you had wanted back then?

If we look to the future as though we know there are better things around the corner, it really makes everything alright. When we’re not striving, when we allow the particulars of life to just have their way, the stress disappears as quickly as it comes. And it also puts everything into perspective. In the grand scheme of things, what’s a jacket? I mean seriously. A jacket. Don’t I have better things to ask for?

And yet, a jacket is a necessity. So, the right jacket will come to me, at just the right time. If I can wait for it – wait for the magical thing called timing – it will all happen in the right way, with the right jacket. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I need to think about what I do have, and continue to anticipate the very thing I still want as a done deal. I need to believe that it is still coming to me, even if I can’t see it yet. Or even if it was stolen right out from under us.

In waiting, we learn that something better is on its way, and this better will manifest as soon as it’s ready and when it’s the absolute best for us.

Like, when the fur trim is on the collar AND the sleeves are the perfect length.