Monday, September 12, 2011

The Art of Letting Go

More than 12 years ago, when I was a still fledgling otaku, I started collecting anime related items. I can still remember, I started out with "text cards" of Yuyu Hakusho and Gundam Wing. Had I known ahead of time that typhoon Ondoy will submerge our town back in 2009, I could have prepared and I may have been able to show you what these "text cards" are. More commonly called as "text" or "teks", it is like the Filipino version of trading cards, only smaller and a lot cheaper (so cheap, for PHP1 you'll get 4 pcs). But so many things had happened for 12 years, so many stuff have been accumulated. My collection grew into something bigger, it has become my trademark. Not that I'm a huge collector, but collecting (anime) is my passion, in my circle, it's what I'm known for.

When we decided to renovate the first floor of the house after the Ondoy damage, I got the chance to own a room, and by room, I mean showroom. I mean, I shared bedroom with my siblings my whole life, and when I finally had my own one, I got to showcase my stuff. I had them neatly organized in shelves and have them situated parallel to my bed. I wanted them to be the first thing I see when I wake up.


It didn't disappoint, everyone who see it in person is amazed. It feels great I tell you, when something you put your heart into is appreciated by others. The thing is, it's an expensive hobby and I'm not rich. In so many ways, this hobby doesn't suit me because I had to sacrifice some of my needs just to purchase a single item. There are many useful commodities that my hard earned money could go to. This idea had never left me. In every purchase comes a tinge of guilt, I felt like that I'm being selfish. My eldest brother is my no.1 critic for this obsession. But I always justify that this simple pleasure of buying collectibles eases the loneliness I feel for being alone. ~sigh

Last year, unfortunate events in my life led me to believe that I'm being punished for forgetting God and being selfish. I am reminded many times that He does not punish but He tests, and I believe that. Still, I made it clear to myself that I would change ways so I that won't forget about Him. I prayed harder than I ever did and made a pledge that I will quit. I made a promise that I will stop buying toys. I could not give up books and comic books, I wanted to continue reading and learning but I had to stop hoarding toys...And I stop.

For 10 months now, I have not made any toy or even anime related purchase. Other than the happy meal toys that my friends gave me and the dispenser I won at M&M's online promo, I have not made any accumulation. Instead, I've come to a point that I figured I need to downsize, I need to let go of some stuff. Aside from the ones that I have in my room, I have more stuff tucked all over the house. I don't wanna end up like those hoarders I see on TV. I want to get rid (in a good way) of some items that I have less attachment. Stuff that I bought on impulse. My friends and I collaborated to put up an online shop (Fandorasbox) and I put up my own on ebay. I have already sold some toys and manga (I have my own share of "horror" stories with buyers but I'm not gonna talk about that now) and while I have items up for sale, I'm still figuring out the stuff that can stay and which ones should go. It's a tough process I tell you, I have deep emotional investment on so many things, but I figured that it's not healthy to cling on to material things. After all, we'll all end up departing from this temporary world we live in.

I'm working on this. Honestly I still check stuff on ebay, and everytime I see something interesting, it breaks my heart, because I know I can't get it. Not because I can't afford it, but because I made a promise. It's a form of discipline and to be honest, I don't know what I'm gonna get out of it. Suppressing my urges like that and quitting on what I believed to be my passion. I don't know where it's gonna take me. It's a tough battle I'm fighting, and it's too early to say I'm winning, but I know I will.


Anonymous said...

there are good and bad investments. If you dont plan to sell or just hoard these stuff, it's a bad investment. Now if you plan to sell them in the future after they fulfilled their purpose to you, now that's a different case. It can work to your advantage.:)

Nagi said...

It'll take a while before you can really get used to it. Besides, this is your hobby for like 12yrs. So it's not really going to be easy. But I admire you for striving that hard to fight those urges. You just have to remind yourself on your goal, why do you need to sell those stuff - is it for the "investment" aspect, you outgrown the items, etc. You're doing good so far. Keep it up.

kidd said...

@Anonymous thanks so much, I wish you left your name. That's very helpful. I will keep that in mind :)

kidd said...

Thank you Nagi... It is very hard :( I realized, this must be an addiction and I'm on a rehab. Haay.. But I'm keeping up :)

yojichan said...

*hugs* I know exactly what you're going through...we've been in the collection business almost the same time..anime-wise, Japanese-wise..being an otaku is not a joke even if some people think it is. But as we grow our priorities should grow with us as well. As much as we cannot please everyone in this world, we cannot sustain our love for some of our collection either. It's a good start, that you are considering of letting go of things and turning them into money. Money which is lighter to carry and doesn't take up much space other than your wallet compared to a collection. I give myself a timeline for certain things. If I still love it for 10 years and taking me back to the memory of the first time I held it in my hands then I keep it. But if I look at is as more of waste consuming pile of waste of time and money in only a couple of years, I see no point in holding onto it. I let it go. I may even throw it away or give it away without any regret whatsoever. And then there are some that still holds some market value.

kidd said...

Thanks so much Aish *hugs back* it's a tough process but I know I'd get through this :)