Warning, this is a long, personal post.
I wanted to share my experience with collecting in case it resonates with anyone else. I’ve been a collector of things ever since I was a little kid. My family didn’t have much money, so I tended to hold onto things hoping they would be valuable, or useful, later on. Collecting things also gave me a sense of control over something that I wasn’t able to feel otherwise. I was exposed to Pokemon in the late 90s (I’m 29 now), and of course became obsessed with it! More hours logged on my Pokemon Red than any other video game I’ve ever played. Had a small binder of the cards given to me by friends, but only ever opened a couple packs myself.
I more or less stopped collecting until 2016, when I built up a pretty big collection. I’d realized though that collecting had become too big a part of my life, to the point where I wasn’t enjoying things I used to. Ended up trying to sell it all to someone in Australia (I’m in the USA), and it got “damaged” and they got a full refund and I was out my cards (learning experience).
March 2020, everyone gets back into things, including me. I’ve been collecting pretty continuously since then, and have built up a nice collection once again. But, again, it’s not something that I’ve been able to find balance in. I’ve been lacking in my relationship to my girlfriend, I’ve been distracted at work, I’ve been putting off talking to my friends and family; I’ve been obsessed. Constantly running around looking for new releases, always online looking for good deals on cards I need, organizing my collection, creating spreadsheets, selling things, participating in Facebook groups and forums. It’s become something that I no longer enjoy.
So, it’s time for me to step away, for at least a while. Time to look forward to spending $3,000 on a trip to Disney, instead of agonizing over which cards to get with that money. Time for me to re-prioritize experiences over things, and travel more, run more, sit outside and look at pretty changing leaf colors.
I wanted to share this in case anyone else feels like they are struggling to find balance with the hobby. It may feel like the FOMO is too much. If you step away now, how much more expensive will cards be when I come back? At least for me, no matter what that figure is, my mental health and happiness is worth it.
Thank you E4 for being a welcoming place so full of knowledge! I’m sure I won’t be able to stop visiting cold turkey, but hope to be back in the future with a more healthy perspective on collecting.