Holding on to things, to the familiar, to the past. It seems to bring some sort of comfort. Change can be frightening. You have to adjust to change. Adjustment means doing something new. Doing something you are used to is seemingly easier, even if it is in some way askew, broken, malformed.
I have to admit I have been a bit of a ‘pack rat’. A digital ‘pack rat’ more than anything, most recently. It may take up less physical space, being zeros and ones, but it takes the same toll.
Over the years I have collected a lot of things. Dust being one of them. My dust collection was impressive to say the least, and one of the cheapest collections you are likely to encounter. Ok, so impressive may be an incorrect term in this instance, maybe we’ll put that one up for debate.
I have collected vinyl, since I was fourteen. I have over a thousand pieces of vinyl to my name. There is something special about the ritual of taking the record from the shelf, removing it from its sleeve, putting it on the platter, removing the dust (which I didn’t collect, ironically), and placing the stylus in the groove.
Today even compact discs are a thing of the past, it seems. Physical media being replaced by the virtual. Although I also collected over a thousand compact discs too. Music of all kinds, from the age of twenty four, when compact discs began to replace vinyl rapidly.
When DVDs took over from VHS I began collecting them too. Again, over a thousand. Part of the home theater we constructed, and spent many hours enjoying together.
When I coded for Sega of America, and we worked on titles based on comic book characters, I collected comics too: Spider-Man; X-Men; Sandman; and even before that I had collected the 2000AD comics that came out in the UK (and here we are in 2011, and it is nothing like those comics portrayed).
When we used to listen to pirate, and regular radio, we would record the music that we loved, but could not yet afford. I amassed many cassette tapes with that music. Including the dedications we used to get on the radio stations we listened to. A hobby of sorts.
Being into computers and video games, I collected just about every system you could care to mention too. From Pong, to Atari, to Sega, to Nintendo, to Sony and Xbox. You name it, I probably have it. Even the obscure Vectrex system, which was a self contained vector graphics system. I also collected a bunch of PC titles over the years.
Then there are the photos, the letters, the books. Personal things that bring back memories. Even the artwork our children rendered as they grew up. All collected, like a museum, a history of our journey through life.
I do not want to let go of any of these things, not unless I absolutely have to. They all have a value to me. Some monetary, sure. Some of another kind.
However, if comes down to it, and I am forced into a situation where I have no choice …
I decided already, I choose happiness over things. For all the value they have, monetarily, or seemingly emotionally, happiness outweighs all of them. If I am forced to choose, I will always choose happiness.
I have learned to let go. Instinctively, naturally, peacefully. For I observed the anguish I experienced trying to hold on to things that were slipping away from me.
In a larger sense, letting go is like letting the sun set. It is something that is happening regardless of how I feel about it. I can be upset about it, because I don’t like the change, and having to adapt. Or I can accept reality, and allow peace, and subsequently happiness to fill that space that has now become available.
The sun has set, I have peace, and here comes the happiness.
Bless Bless og Sjáumst!