Would I sell or downsize anything I formerly loved? Any object that once gave me a deeply personal, satisfying, or emotionally positive memory? Sure. If that memory turned negative, then it should go. I have a Nintendo Switch bag I got from an event that I thought would make a good eyeglass bag, since I’ll be “switching” them in and out, but all I can remember is the mixed memories of going to that event.
I’ll probably give it away here soon.
That’s just a small example of something that I didn’t quite love, but the mentality is the same. Why keep something that doesn’t help you feel great? Especially when you’re not feeling well, anything that can bring you down is just a waste. It’s just a stupid red bag. I think we tie too much emotional value to things, especially if they have some kind of memory attached to them, whether they’re good memories or not.
Maybe we hold onto these things because they’re “ours?”
Anyone else that would take possession of that bag would have different memories than me. They might remember the interaction they had with me where I gave the bag to them. They might not even care about memories much at all, but just use it for, say, their own Nintendo Switch or Nintendo merchandise-holding needs. I might be overthinking this and many other things, but it’s for a good reason.
Why do we hold onto these memories of things formerly loved?
The event itself, when I was experiencing it, was fun. I met up with many of my then-friends, now-acquaintances, and it was an exciting event. I didn’t write about it either professionally or personally, maybe because by then I’d already been dropping out of that scene, and it was the last hurrah I had formally as part of that group before I dropped out. That’s probably why that bag has mixed emotions of happiness and sadness.
That, and I don’t have much other use for it.
If I had a Nintendo Switch, then I could use it to store controllers, games, or anything peripherally related to the console, but as an eyeglass bag, it’s just a silly pun. I’ve already thrown away more potent memories of events more bittersweet from this period in my life, and I still have a box that I haven’t addressed full of even more potent memories. I’ll clear them out soon, since I’ll need the space soon for selling other things.
Things like computers, media, and toys.
I once loved to collect all of these things, and I still appreciate them, but more from a distance now. The items I’ve downsized aren’t items that I hate now. Instead, I’ve processed those memories and decided to put them to rest. In this year of getting things done, that means putting away those lingering thoughts of mixed emotions. If I can put the negative feelings behind me toward this bag, then I’ll keep it, otherwise, I’ll get rid of it.
When we look too far back, we miss what’s here in front of us.
We might need to look back for context or for an overall sense of scope and scale, from where we’ve been to where we are, and where we’re going, but we shouldn’t attempt to revive the past. It’s gone. It’s fine to try to return to happier times when we know that they are happy, without the sense of nostalgia washing over us. We shouldn’t let nostalgia prevent us from moving into better directions.
I found a new home for the Switch bag.
I’m also going to be finding new homes for other things that I either once loved or might not care much about here soon. I recently unearthed a box that had my copy of Full Throttle from when I was younger. I haven’t played the game in ages, and although I liked it when I was younger, I have a copy for Steam now that I can play when I want, so the physical box and feelies aren’t as important to me as for someone else that might collect these items.
For me, there aren’t many memories tied to that box.
I remember when we got it at Incredible Universe and I remember the store’s interior, which was replaced with a Sam’s Club, which is now, well, is still vacant, apparently. Does the object itself hold that memory? No. I don’t have the object with me right now as I’m writing this thought. Did looking at the object job my memories of that? Somewhat, but this essay, or others I’ve written, can do the job.
Instead, I should consider whether an object inspires love.
Something like a photo of a loved one, an award earned through merit, or some other accomplishment that feels real are the things we should keep around. Not these sorts of mass-manufactured objects that were created, even a game like Full Throttle with care and love, unless the objects themselves imbue that certain loveliness to them, where holding them brings back positive memories that make us feel better than we already do.
I’m not sure when I’ll sell the Full Throttle box.
Probably after I play through the game, or attempt to play through it, to decide if that’s going to be an object I want to keep or not. If I find it’s an enjoyable enough experience now that I’ve had another twenty years of videogaming context, but it’s not in my top picks for favorite games, then why should I hang onto it?
Mixed memories like that are the worst.
Objects without ambiguity, like photos of loved ones or memories of terrible experiences, are easy to deal with. When it comes to games we liked well enough or bags that remind us of lukewarm events, what can we do but just say to ourselves, “what do we really feel about this?”
The more we assess our messes, the easier it can be to assess other messes
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Thinking about current things in my life that are hard to parse through. With other things, I can donate them easily, because they meant something to me once but now are obviously trivial. How about for other objects?|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal and Selling Zeal essays.|
|Picture: I was going to use a photo of the bag, but, it’s not really worth it to edit and show for this purpose. As much as it’s nice to have unique visual elements, I dunno, I don’t feel like I have the energy to do an intricate staging shot right now.|
|Written On: 2020 January 19 [16 minutes. From 3:48am to “then it should go” at 3:49am. From 3:58 to “moving into better directions” at 4:13am.] 2020 January 20 [9 minutes. From 12:04am to 12:13am. Gdocs.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 January 20 [Possible edits adapting from Gdocs to WordPress. Would this be the second draft, then?]|