Im posting this because I have wondered about a lot of things lately. In fact, most of it has been spurred by things my wife and I have seen on TV, mainly from the shows “Clean House” and “Obsessed.” Both shows concentrate heavily on hoarding, the practice of keeping massive amounts of unneeded stuff with very little or no value. From what I have gathered, most of the time these items normally clutter the house to the point of imposing on the lifestyle of the individual, something I see a lot of in this hobby.
See, the question I have is in regards to the relationship that hoarding has to collecting as a hobby, versus collecting as a way to fill some sort of emptiness within ourselves. Ill admit, I have collected many, many different things over the course of my life. If I were asked casually, I would automatically refer to those things as hobbies, but looking back on things, it may be more complicated than that. I am now starting to realize that my obsession with accumulation may have actually been a way to fill holes left by a lack of acceptance from peers, emotional trauma caused by many years of dealing with my Diabetes, or maybe even problems stemming from other parts of my life.
The differences I see are that my collection is a source of pride that does provide me with many feelings of pride and happiness. To me, that is a sure counterpoint to this whole discussion. However, from what I have seen, pride is a pretty common thing for hoarders. That fact alone makes me question my own motives in this hobby, why I do the things I do. More importantly, how much of my collection is entertainment and how much of it is actually a way to fill the spaces in between?
Another question I have is how people relate to this if they focus more on accumulation instead of quality of the cards. You see videos on Youtube from people documenting rooms full of cards, many in large boxes, obstructing basements and cluttering houses. How much of this type of collecting is actually a good thing? Are the boxes filled with virtually worthless pieces of cardboard a matter of perpetuating a hobby or is it a matter of mental instability? What if those things are not worthless at all? Is that any different?
Because I know that set and player super collectors dominate the Card Blogger Network, Im curious to see what people have to say. Where do you fit in with this? Do you feel the sets you collect play some sort of an unconscious role in your psyche? How much has it impeded on your life?
The reason I am discussing this, is that many people dont see why we collect, something we have deal with from family and friends alike. Oddly, collectors in general are thought of as nerdy, hermit-like, socially awkward, and lonely people, and yet we still show off the hundreds of sets we own without seeing the root of the issue. Is it the chicken or the egg? Do we collect because we personify the stereotypes, or do we personify the stereotypes because we collect?
Yes, you may be proud of your collection, as I am, but how does that relate to why you feel the need to be a super collector of a certain set or player? I freely admit that after watching these shows and doing some research, my collecting is definitely a way deal with the anxiety of my life. I understand that others may feel differently, but Im sure when you actually go through it, you may know what I am talking about.
Listen, im not saying collecting is unhealthy, and I am not saying that you should stop. Im just curious if others have seen the same correlations I have.