I’m learning to become brutally honest with myself and my collections. I picked up many projects and objects, but when I’m sick without energy or even when I’m not, how many do I actually care about? Through no fault of their own and through no reasonable estimate of my own, many of these have turned into burdens, and the way to release those burdens is through individually interacting with each one to keep or close.
I talk a lot about my CD collection.
It’s the easiest example of how hoarding can get out of control. I bought a significant portion of my collection through dollar bin specials with musicians I didn’t know much about or didn’t care much about, but for an insignificant price, why not add to the collection? Now that all my CDs are packed up in boxes that are choking up a number of shelves in my storage room, I’m faced with these sorts of questions that most may never have had; their parents may have taught them this already: Do you really care about what you own?
I’ll relisten to most every CD in my collection.
I don’t bother if I look at the album cover and think to myself, “I honestly like/dislike this CD.” The box pictured above sits between two other boxes: the keep box and the donate/sell box. Once the keep box gets acceptably full, I’ll look over all the CDs once more, then pack them away for this round. I’ll grab a few CDs from the purge box before every thrift store drop-off run. Maybe soon I’ll see about selling a batch of CDs. The quandary there is I’ll be in a place where I’d be likely to spend more money with either store credit or just by chance.
The black bag is what I bring in the car for listening sessions.
There was one spin recently where I put the CD in on a drive, thought about how I might be able to use it as part of some writing inspiration, only to turn a corner, switch to the radio, and at the next stop put the CD back away. No. If I ever want to listen to that musician again, I can look them up online. I don’t need to keep paying for this CD for years on end based on how much space it will take up physically and mentally. CDs are a good example of this, but this applies to everything I own. Most of it I own because I once owned it.
I would be happy if I could sell most of these things.
Not even for much of a profit, which is why I’ve been donating basically everything. I just want the freedom to move somewhere quieter, smaller, and cheaper. I hope I’ll have got my income sorted out by the time this essay publishes, but it’s an oppressive feeling knowing rent is due and you don’t have much money in the bank. I felt sick today but also really depressed. I feel like the job market has evaporated for me, and I worry about even being able to hold down a job once I get one, because I’ve been out of work so long.
What if I can’t keep this next job?
Until the end of this lease, I will need to aim for certain jobs. These jobs have a certain stress threshold that I can manage. However, they will also more than likely suck up a majority of my time. Not that I’m using my time any more efficiently now, but if I get one or two hours per morning or evening to work each day, I’ll be lucky, and I’ll burn through most of my energy rather quickly, but I’ll also be in better financial states. I was thinking about that today and it just demotivated me from doing anything. I hate being in this spot.
All this junk was one factor in that.
If I’d been more reasonable in my collecting and if I hadn’t purchased so much stuff with disposable income during those feast periods, I wouldn’t be so stressed now in this, my possibly most difficult famine period. It’s not so much that I replay memories of buying some of these CDs with regret as much as now I know I’ll never return to those habits, even once I start getting money again, because this is not a good feeling to be living in. I probably won’t do well in interviews in this mindset. I’m not the “happy corporate person” right now.
I am more honest with myself now than ever before.
All it took was living in a desperate fear over not being able to afford to pay rent where, now, some cheap superfluous object doesn’t catch my fancy anymore.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Feeling sick and depressed all day, and if I could have, I would have skipped writing anything at all and went back to sleep.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photos: The sorting box.|
|Written On: April 30th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|