Mint condition items are weird. If you never wear the concert shirts you bought, never used the bottles of soap you got on sale, then unless it’s for some kind of museum preservationism, what was the point? I wore a fresh concert shirt, its cotton still smelling vaguely of factories all these years later, to bed and wore an ever-so-slightly off-white Wii Fit hat today. This sort of object reverence in everyday living is weird.
Yet I am weird and now ever-so-slightly worldly.
I wanted to wear that specific concert shirt because though I always liked it’s printed design, I guess I wanted to preserve it for something. I’m not sure what. Who would I show it off to and when? Someone will say something like “cool shirt!” or “[Band name!]” when I’m out, but I’ve only once had a conversation with a stranger over my shirt. With a music producer who was interested in my music reviews, but he received the message, with the little “read” icon, and never replied.
Why keep things pristine?
Videogames and toys depreciate in value with wear. That I understand. What I don’t understand is everything else. When I drive, I see people driving luxurious vehicles, and my mind doesn’t go toward envy. If they’re parked in the apartment-mansion’s parking lots, I’ll wonder about priorities and investments. If I see them going to humble workplaces, I’ll wonder why they put up with a week or lifetime’s worth of permanent misery for a few hours a week of temporary luxury. If they’re driving into luxury workplaces, I’ll wonder what they studied to get there.
I still enjoy the notion of having nice things.
I prefer having a working coffee machine to a quirky one. If my car is reliable, I don’t care about its inward or outward appearance, other than that it is clean and low profile. As I move into this next phase of my life, where I sacrifice many nonessentials through sales or donations to reach my essential goals of writing or engaging with life on my terms, I wonder about how pristine my image needs to appear.
I’ve looked like a mess and gone behind closed doors.
What would happen if I lived somewhere cheap and had minimal obligations? I would put most of my money into furthering my financial stability. If certain investments could pay my rent, health insurance, and even an occasional luxurious coffee with friends, then I could spend much more of my time doing what I’m doing now: writing and exploring reality.
Leave the museum quality pieces at museums.
Let your clothes fray with use. Allow yourself the opportunity to use things you thought you’d like. If you don’t like it, toss it. If you do, get more. Sacrificing isn’t really a matter of giving up everything. It’s saying “hey, if I want to lose weight, what food do I not care about eating?”
Stop eating those foods.
Stop buying that junk.
Start planning out your own “museum.”
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I had the design of the shirt I wore in my head and wanted to wear it, even though I held back from wearing it for years, so I just decided to start wearing it. I wore it with my sleeping jacket and it loosened up the neckline a little bit too much, it’s a bit too big now, but I like the design. It’s the Arkona salmon shirt, if you can find it.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: A shot of my shirt. I thought about photographing my creased Wii Fit hat, but whatever.|
|Written On: June 14th [25 minutes, mobile]|
|Last Edited: June 16th [Editing one sentence’s word choice, otherwise, first draft; final draft for the Internet.]|