Consider Your Suits Zooted
Ride a Collective Wave of Success
I’m currently staying with my parents in my hometown of Fullerton, CA—watching the suburban Orange County landscape of my childhood as it shifts and changes like grains of sand sifting through the hourglass.
The Thrifty where we got square ice cream? It became a Sav-Mor Discount (no “mor” square ice cream. But lots of oversized blazers with huge 80’s shoulder pads).
The Olan Mills photo studio in the strip mall around the corner? It’s now a quinciñera banquet hall with a neon-blue-lined dance floor.
The Toys R Us and Chuck-E-Cheese? Well, they’ve both thrown in the towel—taken over by that behemoth of a consumeristic megalodon called “Amazon Fresh.”
So many landmarks and storefronts and businesses have come and gone over the years. But you know what doesn’t change?
The unstoppable passing of time.
The conveyer belt of industry.
The indomitable spirit of human resilience.
Oh, and, also: the gigantic Zoot Suit Shop on the corner of Harbor and Rosslyn.
The bright, buoyant presence of this storefront has always surprised and delighted me. Even in the heyday of the Zoot Suit resurgence in the late 1990s and early aughts when swing dancing was how religious virgins could be cool (ask me how I know), I never truly understood how demand could be booming enough for this store to succeed.
Surely, I thought, this must be a front for the mafia or a tax shelter for an eccentric Wall Street tycoon?
Every time I’d drive by it—especially in recent years where local businesses have been hit so hard, near and far—I’d feel a deep gladness (and even something akin to hope?) for this un-touched local gem that soldiered on in the face of changing fads.
No matter how hard things were—through disappointments and loneliness and uncertainty—the sight of that bright purple/pink and chrome-domed corner shop buoyed my soul. Because if the Zoot Suit shop could make it, so could I!
Here’s the point of the story (and, yes, I swear there is one): Sometimes I think we can lift our own boats-of-belief, and ride a wave of self-generated hope to our new plans and dreams.
And sometimes our own hope feels unattainable.
We doubt our worth, we mistrust our luck, we fear our chances, or we even lose faith in the generosity we want the world to show us.
We get too close to the things we want or we hold our dreams so snugly that to even think of their success feels dangerous or arrogant or somehow like tempting fate to disappoint us.
I know I feel that way sometimes. And maybe you do, too.
Maybe circumstances in the past are making it hard for you now to hold hope for a new thing you desperately want.
Maybe you can’t imagine your own thriving, or you’ve lost faith in that next step.
Maybe you’re just feeling too burnt-out to generate a spark of hope for anything, anywhere.
If that’s the case, I have a blessing for you: May you See the Zoot Suits to Be the Change You Want to Make in Your World.
Because it’s true—sometimes you can’t make yourself hope. But you can always look at hopeful things. And sometimes that can settle your heart enough to let a bit of optimism bamboozle its way back into your own mind.
So pay attention to the examples of success around you. Allow them to stand as evidence that unlikely and incredible things are possible. And let it buoy your own boat-belief on a rising tide.
Wishing you an epic journey on a collective wave of success,
THREE GOOD THINGS
Turns out, the Zoot Suit store is called El Pachuco, and has a pretty incredible story of being a family-owned business since 1978! If you know anyone who needs a suit of the zoot variety, send ‘em here!
A SQUARE THRIFTY ICE CREAM SCOOP EXISTS! Squeeeeeeeee!
If you’re still feeling un-hopeful about your life plans, make a list of 3 surprising things that have worked out remarkably in the past and then say this phrase "Something good happened for me once, and it can happen again!” It’s a trick that always helps me when my personal narrative gets a bit fatalistic (which is rare hahaha lolol omg jk sigh).
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