I’m sitting at work. It’s not yet 5:30 a.m. The lights are still off because no one else is crazy enough to show up this early. I mean, who goes to work before the sun rises? But I like the quiet. It’s peaceful. I work best in the calm darkness, only the constant hum of computers to keep me company.
I have plenty to do today. My to-do list is filled and my calendar is double booked. Unfortunately, I don’t have any motivation. None. At least, none to do anything work related. As I sit here, alone, already on the clock, all I want to do is scour the Internet for information on the hot upcoming series by DC Comics or read about my online friends’ latest art acquisitions.
Just beyond those desires lies something I haven’t felt for years: the need to write personal essays. For the last few days, I’ve been spending time each night writing various memories of my collecting past. And as a long time collector, there are plenty of them. Images are pouring into my memory, and now that I’m writing about them, there’s no holding back. That first essay opened the flood gates, and now the memories are rushing out so fast that all I can do is jot down notes to remind myself to revisit that memory sometime down the road.
While I’m exhilarated by my newfound writing bug, I have to admit, it’s also frightening. I’m a little bit scared each time I sit down at the keyboard; for every part of me that wants to write about my habits, my addictions, there’s another part of me that doesn’t. Sure, I’m interested to learn about myself and to see what mysteries I might solve, but I also know that if I delve too far into my psyche, I’ll find that I really don’t need to collect. I’m afraid that I’ll discover that I’m addicted to hoarding and buying, addicted to hunting for more and more things to hoard and buy. Hunting and buying and hoarding not because I want to, but because that’s all I know.
Quite frankly, I’m worried that I’ll uncover some deep seeded truth and that I’ll no longer want to collect. After collecting one thing or another my entire life, am I ready to give up that side of me just because I have this urge to write? Is facing my inner troubles really worth discovering that I, to some degree, have wasted my life?
But maybe it’s not as bad as all that. I still enjoy my hobbies. In fact, on the good days, I love ‘em. On the bad days, not so much. So maybe what I’m doing here is exercising those demons so I can focus on the positive and relinquish the need to collect, so all that’s left is the good times.
Is that possible? Can a long time collector find peace with himself and his collection?
That’s what I’m here to find out.