Saturday, March 19, 2016

Selling My Childhood (for Magic Cards)

Hoarder's Greed

I was one of those kids. You know, the kids that used to keep all of the packaging, never lost any pieces of a game or toy, and was just generally fussy about putting everything away when finished with it.

One of the side-effects of being like this is that I kept a lot of the toys I had from when I was a kid around for way, way too long in my life. Toys I had when I was 10 years old were still sitting in storage bins, following me around into my mid-thirties! Heck, I have kids of my own now that are older than I was when I was playing with some of the toys I kept.

Higure, the Still Wind

Ever since starting college, I've tried to be a minimalist. I block and escape like a ninja when clutter starts to show up on my desk at home or at work. No files. No papers. No unnecessary junk. But, in the back of my mind, I knew that it was all a lie because inside my closet at home, I had boxes and boxes of old toys.

About 10 years ago, I sold my Nintendo Entertainment System, in box with all original packaging, along with a dozen games with original manuals. It was rough. It's hard to let go. But I did it and I think I'm better for it. Fast forward to a few months ago and I made the same decision, but this time with almost everything.


Everything must go!

eBay is my friend. A few months ago, I sold almost everything. All the toys and stuff I've been carrying around with me from apartment to house for the past 30 years is gone, gone, gone. I'm talking about original Ninja Turtles. Gone. Oodles of Micro Machines? Gone. Working mint-condition Talk Boy? (Look that one up, kids.) Gone. I had all kinds of crazy things in those boxes. Poof! Gone!

I hope all that stuff makes someone else happy.

I even sold my old comic books. Superman, Batman, Punisher, and the rest of the gang were filling up boxes and boxes. They're gone now, too. Although, I did keep 4 comics and put them in $1.00 picture frames. They are hanging up in my office now and look pretty good, if I do say so myself.

So, why am I posting this on my Magic blog? Well, you see, I had to trick myself to get motivated to sell off all this stuff I've been keeping for years. It wasn't easy. How did I do it?


Magic cards.

I really, really like this game. Maybe it's because I have trouble letting go and Magic has certainly provided tons of great memories over the years. Maybe it's because it's a great game. It's probably both and a lot more besides.

You see, I told myself that whatever money I got from selling all this old stuff was going straight into more Magic cards.

More Magic cards is a powerful motivator.

I didn't keep an exact, running total of how much I got. It took several months to list, sell, and ship everything. But, I estimate it was around $500 after paying fees.

Don't get my wrong. $500 is a lot of money. But, how silly is it that I carried all this stuff around with me for years and, in the end, I got $500 for it (with a lot of work to sell, by the way)?

Burden of Greed

Two little pieces of cardboard.

I wanted to make sure that I ended up with at least one memorable card out of all this craziness, so I picked up a beat up Time Vault.

Time Vault

Okay, okay. Time Vault not legal in Commander. But, it seemed like the card that best represented the passage of time and what it takes to move forward. I mean, you have to skip a turn to get a turn later, right? Unless you have the key, of course.

Mana Crypt

Since I got the Time Vault for a good price and I still had some money left over from selling all my stuff, I also picked up a Mana Crypt. Now, here's a card I can play in Commander! It somehow also seemed like a fitting card to represent getting rid of all that stuff. Using the Mana Crypt is like riding a roller-coaster. Sometimes you're up. Sometimes you're down. For me, every time I looked at all those boxes, it dredged complex emotions and memories. There was a lot of me tied up in all that stuff.

Enter the Infinite

If you're the kind of person that holds onto things forever, I can tell you that, for me, letting go of all that stuff felt great. And now, every time I look at that Time Vault or play that Mana Crypt, it's a reminder to not keep holding onto things I really can't hold onto anyway.