All This Stuff

I pretend that I know who I am but I simply don’t.

-Valentino Achak Deng (from What Is the What by Dave Eggers)

*****

Among other larger life issues that I refuse to think about for now, my immediate dilemma for today is fighting this head cold and the Jets pulling off a win in their playoff game against the Patriots tomorrow.  It’s hardly a dilemma, if I can even call it that.  I am sitting in my apartment, heaters now fully functional (the Super fixed it yesterday, thankfully), and my 40-inch Samsung flat screen television is blasting the Ravens/Steelers game.  I’m sipping on hot tea under the covers, snuggled in my couch and feeling somewhat disappointed about missing a gig tonight.  All the plans for my entire weekend have been halted and I am secluded in the comforts of my home, and, actually, just finished reading a book.

Life seems to pass by quickly, day by day.  I don’t even know what I do on most days.  Well, I work.  I like to think I have 2 jobs.  One in an office and another as a musician.  “Accountant by day, singer/songwriter by night.”  One job pays comfortably and the other, not very much at all.  In fact, I probably put in more to sustain it.  It doesn’t make any economic sense but for me, it’s become a way to survive.

Do you ever stop, look around and ask, Why do I have so much stuff?

This thought has come to my attention more than ever lately, and on a regular basis.  To be quite honest, even as I ask the question, I cannot deny that I have a desire to have more.  Like that nightstand from Ikea that matches my bed that I’ve been meaning to get.  Bigger planters to transfer my plants that have outgrown their little pots.  That cute jacket I saw the other day.  It seems the more I have, the more I want.  The more I want, the more I get.  The more I get, the more I have.  And the vicious cycle goes on and on and on.  Mostly, it leaves me asking that question… Why do I have so much stuff?

I suppose there are many practical and philosophical implications to that simple question.  There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with having so much stuff.  Unless… there is?  If there isn’t, why do I keep wanting to ask the question?  Could it be possible that having all this stuff is hindering me from really living?

I don’t have an answer to that question.  But that won’t stop me from asking.  I’ve been questioning much lately.  I’m afraid one day, the answers will reveal themselves, and it will not be pretty.

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