Monday, April 6, 2009

Moving & Material Wealth

Ahh, springtime. When a young man's fancy turns to love.

I however, being 30 (by no means OLD, I know), obey no such missive. My fancy has turned to solitude, and as such I find myself separating MINE from HERS, packing my life into a number of cardboard boxes, and seeking a new place to call home.

Not wanting to go into detail about this division, suffice to say the prospect of having a home all to myself for the first time since spreading my wings and departing the parental nest is one of the most positive feelings I have ever felt. Ever.

That having been said, the interim period of packing and moving is - and always has been - a torment that I would expect reserved for one of the deepest layers of hell.

Maybe it's the ability to see what typically represents a person's life, distilled down into the contents of a number of boxes.

Maybe it's the notion that one's life can be represented by a collection of "stuff".

While my bitterness is typically reserved for the acts of ignorance and and selfishness committed by mankind, in this case it is directed toward a more abstract villain - mankind's (and specifically, my own) way of acquiring a sense of accomplishment through the act of collecting material posessions.

In my heart, I know that I don't need all the things I have. I collect films out of habit, justifying each needless purchase to myself in a variety of ways - I need to listen to the director's commentary to aid in my film studies, this new edition has all new documentaries that the last 4 versions I purchased didn't have, this one is a limited edition and if I don't buy it now, I'll never have another opportunity. And yet despite being able to observe the situation rationally, it does nothing to deter my absurd spending habits, and thus a 6th copy of Night of the Living Dead enters my collection.

And to what gain? I've seen these movies a dozen times over, and yet I keep buying them every time they get rereleased. And they keep getting rereleased because people like myself keep buying them! It's a vicious circle that I perpetrate against myself.

It is a similar situation with my collection of books. As a writer, I must be an avid reader - no good writer doesn't read; writing skill can be honed via osmosis. As a complete nerd, I also play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, which means owning a vast collection of those books as well. Leave it to me to choose the heaviest hobby I could think of. A box of 20 hardcover books weighs enough to throw my back out. My collection presently fills 12 of those boxes, none of which I particularly want to carry up and down any flight of stairs.

And yet I continue. Even now, as I prepare to transfer the last of my posessions into boxes I find myself wandering the aisles of (popular Canadian electronics store) investigating the newest Blu-Ray releases (this, despite the fact that the Blu-Ray player is not among the posessions moving with me), and a shipment from (popular internet shopping service) is days away from my mailbox with three new books and a dvd.

In this, I have only myself to blame.

And even now, knowing that this problem persists, I wonder, if I could put an end to this cycle, would I?

1 comment:

Rachael said...

I'm sorry to hear about your break-up.

There's nothing like moving to make you realise just what a consumerist slave you really are.