[Downsizing Zeal] Peer Pressured Possessions

How many hundreds of CDs do I own because others like them more than me? More than one. More than ten. Maybe more than hundreds? It took me until my hoarding nadir to realize that I would buy anything that caught my fancy, rather than just specifically that which I appreciated the most. As I’m going through my collections to figure out what I’d sell for a dollar, I realize it’s actually a good portion.

I considered spinning a well-known CD.

As I looked it over, I imagined my commute, upon the third section of sudden slowdowns, which would usually be where I would lose just enough patience to where I would have to reassess my mess. I’d breathe in, slow down, and this would be the exact moment where I would know for sure whether the music I was listening to was helping me feel better about this path, in reality, I’ve chosen, or, whether it was time to physically switch discs as I metaphorically changed some aspect of my life.

I might call that the peer pressure possession point.

“There’s a point in my commute, whether it’s a sign or a tree, where I drop everything from work off at for the day.[1]” That point for all of us is where we should declutter our minds of vicissitudes and vicariously working problems out in our minds. It’s a point where we should be honest with ourselves and look at problems from different perspectives. If work is taxing our minds, what can we do about it? There are insignificant changes we can do to make significant progress, including not concerning ourselves with keeping appearances.

I arrived to work nearly one hour early.

Colleagues frequently lament how they must arrive early, also due to traffic, and how they’ll volunteer to start work earlier. As I fold over this peer pressuring prospect of performing preemptive work, not unlike thinking about work on the drive to/from work, or right before bed, I realize that this is all part of the same problem: identity.

My identity is not my job.

My identity is not my ownership of famous albums by musicians I would not be enthusiastic about seeing live or even listening to on a humble car ride. My identity is not sacrificial to anyone other than myself toward my own better reality. I have allowed my mind to be cluttered with subpar thoughts about mediocre albums, people, events, and other situations for far too long.

I went to the beach yesterday.

Rather than hurry home to consume some content or distract myself from my stresses, I wandered and wondered about current stresses. There are people that will dump their problems onto you. They will force their perspectives onto you, selfishly, as though it’s ok for them to flounder about and have you sacrifice your energy to help them flounder further. These innocently greedy people I cannot respect.

They do not help me feel better during those peer pressure points. They cause it.

Quotes: [1] One of my career mentors. He passed, but I will always recall the late afternoon chats we had and the advice he gave me about life and living with a career.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: My mind became polluted with thoughts of work on the drive into work. On the drive home, I thought of two situations – one of a colleague and one of a work-related situation – but they were less obsessive than the thoughts I had on the drive into work. Writing this essay helped me detach from the notion of wanting to attach my free time to this job. It’s a good job and I’m happy to have it, but I won’t sacrifice my life or my hobbies or my self to develop it further. It is a good job because it will help me write and will help me stabilize my life, not because it, as a job itself, is something I can retire upon. It’s a means to an end rather than an end. When I keep those sorts of perspectives in mind, I can give enough energy into the job where the bosses and my colleagues are happy, and I don’t have to use my full brain power. I think of it like this: In life, we all have access to our subconscious, or third eye, where we can see what we really want to do in life. At work, my third eye can rest. I can call on it occasionally for particularly difficult situations to help me navigate through, otherwise, I can focus on the physiological aspects of doing well at the job so my brain can rest and consider bigger ideas. I think when we sacrifice our identities for our jobs, we pervert our subconsciouses, which causes us to be angry and vindictive at work. One colleague was on a vindictive streak but in that sort of lyingly playful sort of way showed me that he graced me with an exception because he saw that I did some good work. Watching him explain something and debate his way to the victory of a hypothetical argument with someone was a bit like watching a novice proclaim mastery without any effort. I studied what he said, how he said it, and might later use those mannerisms for fiction, but for nonfiction, there is no point in which I feel that kowtowing to him would increase my career’s zenith point. When we don’t grow into our full, subconscious realities, we’re stuck in surface-level realities where we have to act petty and take people down, like that through either imaginary arguments or vague threats, instead of bettering everyone.
Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.
Photos: Boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of CDs, yet, how many do I love? This is what my mind explored as my body explored the beach.
Written On: June 13th [22 minutes, mobile]
Last Edited: Minor edits on the 14th; otherwise, first draft; final draft for the Internet.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.