I sift through a giant pile of games this morning; a mere fraction of my collection that has been broken apart, sold wholesale, re-collected and recently, sold again. This morning in my car on the way driving my wife to work, I told her "I don't know how much longer we can keep this up. I'm running out of stuff to sell."
We are trying to maintain a lifestyle that we prefer. I love staying at home with my kids, and my wife loves her job. But she doesn't make enough to support us, and since we only have one another to rely on, I have to work around her. This means working late. And it was only recently I was able to find something successfully that operates in this regard.
I've been something of a game collector for years. I had a collection of over a hundred Sega Genesis games, half of which came with instructions and manuals. Organizing and cataloging a collection, even a relatively small one such as my own is the most difficult aspect of said collecting. When you really start to amass a lot of stuff it becomes unwieldy.
Basically, in my habits, I fucked us over.
Swimming in debt from both my hobbies and our lifestyle, we reached a point of critical mass when my wife lost her job. Since then it has been a struggle. I went for eight months trying to get my foot in the door of a career without any real success. And my wife was able to get her job back after this time at a huge pay cut since she originally took severance upon being laid off.
Everything must go.
I've cut my collection down to PS4, Wii U, and Game Boy at this point. Selling old games isn't too hard; but when your collection is full of obscure or valueless junk, it's like trying to move an elephant. The only success I have had is selling games in big lots at a fraction of their value in order to increase their appeal to resellers. It was really hard parting with my Nintendo especially, mostly for the reason that my daughter and I would sit and play it. But when I look around the house and see almost nothing else of value, the choice becomes clear; sell your games. Sell them so you have money for food and gas. Because everything else coming into your house? That's paying of bills. It's paying off debt. Because you fucking sucked with your money. And even then it isn't enough.
It is getting better in terms of those habits. I can do a week of groceries on sixty bucks. Not the best food in the world, but some fruits and vegetables included to round everything out. A week worth of dinners. Yesterday, I went out with a friend and tried to do plumbing work with him. We made sixty dollars between the two of us for six hours of driving around. Rubbish.
It's hard to even pick up the computer and write. I can't tell if it helps or hurts me at this point. Every time I think of money, of the debt we are in, of the every day struggle, I get anxiety. There is no one who can help, and I hate asking for help. I've seen other friends set up donation accounts for similar reasons and get nowhere. And then you see a guy who has lost his poorly protected game collection to a flood rake in ten thousand dollars to replace it. I have sold almost all of mine and made a little over a thousand dollars all of which goes where it needs too.
We made a deal today that we may have to go back to me working full time. Even then, it's only a minor improvement until something finally gives. I generally like to write blogs or pieces with a point, and I am trying to make one here.
When it comes down to brass tax, all this stuff, this extra junk, this backlog of games that I put so much value into becomes a burden sitting on a list on Kijiji waiting to move. It becomes expendable. I think I write so furiously not only to relieve the stress but in the hopes that I'll find some other avenue of profit. That my skills as a writer will pay off, because nothing else has ever seemed too.
I guess I'm just venting because there is no one else to go too. It's been great reintegrating back into this community over the past month. It's easy to feel like you are trapped, alone, and I do on a daily basis. But those few moments I peruse the community blogs and read others, interact with the folks here, I feel like it isn't so bad. Then I shut the laptop, and the anxiety returns. The math of finances starts running through my head. And I put up a thousand dollars worth of game stuff for half that price out of pure desperation, willing and ready to be bartered down a couple hundred dollars more just so I can afford groceries that week.
Somethings got to give. But I'm almost out of stuff. The Wii U and PS4 are next on the chopping block. And I really hope it doesn't come to that.
But if it has to, goddammit, I'll do it.