"A thousand endings, you mean everything to me,
I never know what's coming, forever fascinated" - Benny Benassi "Cinema" - remixed by Skrillex
I was staring down a cardboard box full of movies yesterday. They were the films that fueled my screenwriting courses (Tape and Sex, Lies & Videotape), they were the movies I used to relive my childhood (The Pest and Masters of the Universe). There were the Film School flicks (El Mariachi and Desperado ). There were the gems (the original Inglorious Bastards, Rob Zombie's El Superbeasto and the entire Jackass catalog). I was suffering through the perils of trying to live a more Spartan life and slim the collection. Logically, in a world of Netflix and Amazon, any movie could be in your hands for a couple dollars and in a couple of days, not even. My problem with moving on from owning the movies was the fragmenting of my personal identity - the proud purveyor of some weird cinema.
I'm convinced the economic theory of loss aversion is a psychological disorder of our generation. The basic theory says loss hurts twice as much as gaining feels great. Think gambling. It's the reason in regular life why we put the things we cherish on a leash, in a strangehold and constantly strive for security through paychecks, car parts, relationships, retirement, and diet. And on the other side of the coin, we want to loss things. We dream of Everything Better, which means moving onward and upward from the norm. Some of us would even sell our right kidney just to vacation like Rihanna. And yet, if knowledge is power and we know loss hurts a ton, shouldn't we be able to look in the mirror, accept it's not us, and let go?
No. In the end, I could only part with seven. Getting rid of movies still sucks for me. It's uncomfortable to come to terms with the fact that they make up a part of my identity. The reality kicks in, though, at least I made some progress. I thought, if I want to watch, say, Faces of Death six months from now, guess what, I just gave myself the quest of finding a new copy if it is something I really want to see in the future.
"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results." - Rita Mae Brown (questionably Einstein and definitely AA meetings too)
The whole reason for the cinema dilemma has been a pattern of my adult life. My thought is if you keep holding onto the same shit, you'll never have room for something new. If a cardboard box of movies defines who I am, it's time to trade in. I've welcomed change often in the form of big moves, smart or not. It happens just about every 3-6 months. Since graduating college, I've moved out three times and moved back home three times. I've been laid off once and quit two others. Actually, I quit two jobs but one of them twice. I've started countless blogs and some consequence-less goals. I drove 10,000 miles to San Francisco and then down through Austin. Now, I'm staring down another escape from my childhood home and it's why I'm taking a new, hard approach to my collection of junk.
"Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness." - Dean Karnazes
Whereas I've been dying to live back in the City since I left it, I'm moving in a different direction, deeper into New Jersey with some great friends bound to become even better friends. I've dealt with my questions and doubts. Yes, it's scary to move. It's unpredictable and it's super fucking exciting. Will I, as an adult, finally start a life, living outside of my family's home? God, I hope so. Where the big question mark revealed itself in my pile of possessions, I found something more important to me: spontaneity. I'm moving because the opportunity produced itself at the best time. Why not, I thought. Life should be a collection of experiences more important than material goods. To be extraordinary, you have to live an extraordinary life.
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar
It takes more than just some slacked-together decisions to make it, though. Sure, you might get lucky, I just think, more than most, in a world of endless distraction, focus is priceless. And focus doesn't come from sheer willpower either, like everyone thinks. It's not squinting eyes or a hand on the chin, it's repetition You can have the best of intentions and dreams at a single moment and find yourself face-first in failure one night's sleep later. It's not a matter of memory or strength or wanting, it's a nature of habit. Talk to yourself, don't rely only on others or things.
Without the tuning fork or the mantra, the Livestrong bracelet, or the question WWJD, we kick back. Without remembering daily what we are all about, we flat-line to our animal brains and simply rely on our impulses. We have the power to question. Have something consume you. Think for yourself. And worse comes to worse, you can always ask, "What's next?"
Until next time...
I explode into space.