A shopping odyssey: failure, fatigue & final Finnish finds 

Delayed gratification is a beautiful thing.

For me, it’s the pure pleasure of finding the outft I’ve been after for ages. I trekked to six Zara stores in Berlin to find a beautiful grey knit jumper I’ve had my eye on for weeks. I wanted to buy it as an ‘end of trip treat’ on my final day in the city. 

In trying to find it, I got lost three times, found myself on the completely wrong side of the city, underestimated a ‘shortcut’ by forty minutes and nearly gave up all hope when I still couldn’t find it after an entire day of searching shelves in six Zara stores. 

I refused to give up the chase, and saved my money rather than buy something else. Rather than spend my money on a knock off alternative in Berlin, I decided to wait until I reached Helsinki. 

I spotted my jumper lurking neatly next to a pile of jackets in the middle of Helsinki’s only Zara store yesterday – the perfect Finnish find after three weeks of coveting the sleek grey design. 

Delayed gratification is simply marvellous. 

As James Dean himself said, “the gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.’ It’s finally eating dinner after a foodless day on your feet. It’s a hot shower after a cold & muddy hike that you thought would never finish. It’s a kiss with someone you’ve fancied the pants off of since the day you met. It’s a great thing, delayed gratification. 

We seem to live in a society that tells us we can have what we want, when we want it. Goals are a simple retweet, follow and ‘like’ away. Following a ‘billionaires mindset’ group on Twitter will land us our dream job, family and house. Liposuction, diet pills and plastic surgery offer quick solutions to our personal flaws. We aspire to have more – but seemingly not to be more in the first place. 

Delayed gratification, hard work and discipline are cruel yet kind factors. In the long term, they are worth so much more than instant satisfaction. Setting goals and targets are key to gaining what we want – and appreciating it too. The best things take time and patience. That’s what I’m learning in all aspects of my life. 

I suppose what I’m trying to say, is that we shouldn’t settle. Instead, we should strive. I don’t want to choose what’s easiest ever again – I want to work for what I want. In my career, in my health, in my relationships and especially in my wardrobe. 

Even if it takes seven seperate Zara stores and a pair of very sore feet to find it in the process. 

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