Last year, I decided to pursue my dreams of becoming a professional writer. I left my job in the corporate world and headed out into the world of unemployment and freelance writing.
I figured it would take six months since I had experience and had enough savings to last just that. Six months went by and the savings was gone.
Then I was faced with a tough decision—what to do next?
I tried to get back into the corporate world, but it's a tough economy and I still needed time to work on my writing. The jobs I was offered wouldn't cover my bills anyway.
I took a deep breath and looked around my house.
What about trading in my sports memorabilia?
Do I really need two autographed Derek Jeter baseballs or three Jimmie Johnson autographs?
I took stock of all the items I had, went to a memorabilia shop, and asked about the process of “authenticating” my items and how much they could sell for.
Would the money help? Sure, but only for a month or two.
But in the long-run? My memories would be gone.
Although I might have a lot of memorabilia, some duplicates, each item has a memory to go with it.
For example some people may say, “why do you need three Jimmie Johnson autographs? One should be enough.”
But each one has a memory of its own. One is from my very first time in a NASCAR garage at Michigan International Speedway, one is from Champion's Week in Las Vegas at the Jimmie Johnson Roast, and the last is from a contest I won, which has his crew chief's autograph as well.
All three memories are special to me and represent three completely different times in my life.
Sometimes I sit and look at all the things I have, feeling so lucky to have them. And then sometimes I feel guilt when I see my overdrawn bank account and the burden I've become on my family as they support me in my journey.
On the other hand, when I'm feeling down about my lack of money, the only thing that keeps me going are memories of a better time and a hope that one day, I can show my children these memorabilia and tell them about all the great adventures I've had.
It's a total catch 22.
Will I still have the memories in my head if I got rid of the items? Sure. But getting to look at them everyday somehow keeps me going a little and makes me strive to write more so I can achieve my goals and put money in the bank.
And to be able to make even more memories.
Photo courtesy of Farrah Kaye.