When I last heard some album, some hundred-thirty plus months ago, I was a different person. We change daily, monthly, and yearly, like the Ship of Theseus, physically and mentally rebuilding ourselves after every crack in our hull or respite at shore. This album is the same. I still remember every twist and turn, yet unlike some moments of nostalgia that whisk us away to a fancier time, this was just a mundane time travel.
Until hitting the nadir of my hoarding tendencies last year, whenever anything even slightly caught my fancy, I’d usually want to have it. While not particularly weird, I have at least one road turtle, and I was tempted to take home another one today. The thing that stopped me today wasn’t whether I could legally own it – sure, that’s a concern, too – but more that I couldn’t answer one question: why should I take it?
I noticed something curious after starting to consume the low caffeine, high high-fructose corn syrup concoction, taken about 30 minutes after a 30-minute nap concluding my workweek: I felt uncharacteristically starved. I scavenged my fridge for carbohydrates. Nothing seemed to satiate this hunger perhaps provoked by this red syrup or perhaps by my disregard toward my mind’s eye and body with consuming such garbage even for a casual experiment. Why the sudden fascination with energy drinks?
Do we keep souvenirs as mementos of highlights or evidence of situations? I have a hat from when I visited San Francisco last. I’m sure you don’t need evidence from me that I went there once, and yet, we feel a need to have souvenirs related to things we’ve done, people we’ve met, and situations we’ve overcome. I am still guilty of this. Ideally, enough of my work should speak for itself to be both.
I spun one of these albums constantly throughout high school, the other only twice after college. Though both are in the same epoch of music cataloged as nu metal, so theoretically if I like one, I should like the other. I’m only keeping the one I have more attachment toward. I spun the hit single of the other. It inspired no enthusiasm. These sorts of comparative analyses can be helpful in downsizing, but also dangerous.
It’s not that I want to keep only my “best” possessions, or the ones that resonate with me the “most,” it’s that I want to get rid of everything that doesn’t, so that way as I’m doing my evening chores that help me prepare for the day ahead, I won’t be hindered by yesterday’s regrets or today’s misadventures. I don’t need physical records. I can record everything here that won’t enable my brightest future ahead.
I’ve put on a few pounds since last week. Besides addressing some lingering stress, holding onto other stress, encountering more stress, drinking some high-fructose corn syrup drinks, and eating an entire bag of “healthy” snacks over a three-day period, or less, it’s just been a rough week. That said, putting on a few pounds isn’t like breaking sobriety. It does tell me, however, that I need to more careful. If untended, I could become unhealthier.
“Do you have a copy without autographs?” “No.[1,2]” Autographs represent a moment in time where one person interacted with another person and recorded it via an object. Is it a way of “proving” that I once spoke to so-and-so? Why even care about such evidence? Even a photo just shows you were there. What difference does it make? What happens when the person giving the autograph or posing stops being as favorable or becomes detestable?
If my CD collection represents an analogy for my collections as a whole, where this morning’s blast through five mediocre CDs to get to one I’d actually like to hear more than once more might be a particularly harsh downsizing session, then I could probably easily compress my remaining valuables into new containers and either sell or donate the rest. All it took was proximity, patience, and persistence to figure out the pulp from prizes.
I’ve found good things about every job, gig, or whatever I’ve ever had. Whether my colleagues made the bosses tolerable, the location allowed some fun exploration, or the work was satisfying enough, when my mind flashes visions of the stairwell at this company or the workbench of that company, I always feel a melancholy nostalgia until I remember the rest of that job and how this one’s worst is better than some gig’s best days.