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Week 9 – Things

September 30, 2012

I don’t know what to do with my stuff.

I have a lot of stuff. I own something like 5,000 comics, 300 DVDs, 50 TV box sets, 300 books and 200 graphic novels. I have two laptops, one desktop PC, an Xbox, a PS2, a gamecube, a Korean Wii, every Gameboy excluding the 3DS and probably 75 games between the systems. I own at least 3 TVs (I think one might have just been given to charity). I can’t tell how many CDs I own because there’s a pile of things in front of them, but I can safely say it’s between 200-300.

And I don’t know what the fuck to do with any of it.

In my head, every bit it is necessary. Every single piece of information that I could pull from a 1995 Spider-Man is essential to who I am as a person because it happened and it happened to me. Every book is a trophy… for me, I guess. People are smashing down my door to borrow the first Mission Impossible on DVD and thank god I bought the Batman Begins Special Edition because I’m ALWAYS re-reading the comic that came with it.

I’m realizing now, that when I move, I have to take it with me. I have to take every single thing I’ve ever bought with me and I’ll be carrying it with me for the rest of my life. Every bargain bin DVD. Every comic I’ll never read again. Every book in an author’s series. Everything I own is a reflection, not of what I know or of me, but what I’ve spent money on.

So, I’ve never been to Norway, but I did buy Season 5 of The Wire on the day it came out.

I’ve never been sky-diving, but I do own 85% of Geoff John’s run on Justice Society of America.

I’ve never stayed in a hotel after a play with a pretty lady and talked it out in the jacuzzi, but I do own both Theatrical and Extended editions of the Lord of the Rings.

Granted, these things don’t numerically translate to each other in the same way cuts from the Space Program doesn’t translate to helping the sick, but here’s where the logic carries over:

I’ve been spending money on weights rather than experience.

I value my Monty Python Box Set and the Two-Disc Network DVD and my Taschen Books and Sherlock Holmes Collections. I do. They improve my life. I have learned a great deal from them and I want to place them on a mighty shelf inside a beautiful library.

But I haven’t earned a library yet. I’m young. I’m just starting out and I’m valuing the wrong things. I should be seeking experience, making things and traveling to back up my every thought. I should have Henry Rollins’ adage “Knowledge Without Mileage is Bullshit” tattooed on the inside of my arms in case I forget it.

I should be trying to live, rather than carrying around evidence that others have.

The intake of information in this glorious future we live in is not limited to physical property. I can watch and read twice as much if I were to just move to digital content. But minimalism has to back that up as well. It has to be an exchange. I can’t download 80 books that look good because I need a library on a tablet. I don’t need a library on a tablet. The larger the library, the slower the fucking tablet will work anyway.

I want to downgrade myself to a back-pack based lifestyle. I want to migrate most of my purchases online and to tablets. I want to downgrade my comic and everything else collection down about 50%, whether through e-bay or other means.

I haven’t earned my library. So I’m going to figure out how.

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