Thursday, February 26, 2009


My current state of vulnerability sets possession at a term that supersedes any material vice. I miss possession more than anything right now. Right now in a place where I sleep in a hallway and function off of the belongings of two other people, having my own things seems more soothing than anything in the world. This isn’t a need for something to show off, but a need for a personal attachment to something tangible.

I first realized that this was in issue to me at work the other night. One of my co-workers offered me a metal water bottle that the club was giving away. I took it without a second thought.

The next day I woke up to see this shiny red water bottle staring at me. I continued on with my daily routine and headed to the gym. This time, however, I filled up and packed this new water bottle. Still in my mind this didn’t seem to abnormal, I mean who couldn’t use a water bottle at the gym. Continuing on in my day, I headed back to my apartment and threw my things down…only to see this shiny red water bottle staring at me. I decided to take it out of the bag it was in and wash it. I finished cleaning it and felt the need to fill it up again. I filled it up and took it to the couch with me where I worked on my computer. I guzzled down the water and still thought nothing about it.

Not able to consume any more water, I didn’t know what to do with my new friend…the red shiny water bottle, but I knew that I didn’t want to put it in the cabinet with the other cups and beverage containers. I walked over the closet where I keep my clothing and put it on a shelf.

It hit me at that moment how strange it is to have a connection to a water bottle. I thought about it further and figured it out why I felt this water bottle was so special. It was the first possession I had in Los Angeles. It felt great to have something that I brought home, something that I could use.

I realize right now how crazy this sounds—how truly, truly crazy this sounds.
The need to own something goes beyond this water bottle. I guess it was just the first item that has quenched my thirst for my own belongings (pun INTENDED).

I remember being younger and starting my first job; my first taste of money that I earned myself. I remember buying my first night out, my first articles of clothing and my first everything. This new freedom was something I couldn’t describe. Since earning my first dollar I have had somewhat of a spending problem. I never thought of money as something to save, rather it was a ball of fire burning through my pocket.

I am starting to learn why I’ve had this problem. It wasn’t so much that I needed the items I purchased, but I liked the feeling of owning something. I am naturally a nurturing person, so I welcome all forms of possession; be it an article of clothing, a car, or a gift for a friend, I get satisfaction from being the owner.

Coming out to Los Angeles has forced me to sacrifice one of the feelings I love and have loved from the start. I sleep in a hallway of an apartment full of items owned by two other people, paid by two other people. I have no space that is my own. I have no space to put anything that is my own. I’ve lost touch of the feeling of using something that is mine. It hit me tonight, as I was feeling depressed, that the hole in my life is possession. Until the future, I will love and care for my new shiny red water bottle.


Natalie said...

Great post, Nick. I totally get it. I am the same.xx

Lisa said...

nothing about this post is strange or weird- it makes sense completely. the water bottle is a sign of things to come.cherish it xx

Anonymous said...

Nick, as I read your post I kept thinking about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. We all need that sense of belonging, shelter, comfort, etc. Lisa said...nothing wrong there. You know Nick, you are so intelligent and so committed to greatness, there is no doubt that one day it will be yours! Success awaits you my friend. Just don't forget "the little bloggers" when you are rich and famous!

Faith said...

Oh, it is such a pretty, shiny red water bottle! Cherish it!:) I would! Not crazy at all.

Anonymous said...

I completely relate to this. Ever since my divorce I have found myself living with friends or various roommates. One of the hardest things to deal with is sitting on someone else's couch and washing someone else's dishes when all of my belongings are crammed into a tiny storage unit.

Anonymous said...

I'm so with you. Years ago, my husband and I spent two years living with my parents. The entire contents of our apartment sat in boxes in their garage. I knew it bothered me, but I didn't know how much until we moved out and got another apartment.

When I opened the boxes that contained my wedding china, I sat on the floor and cried while holding a plate.

Our possessions, for better or worse, are a part of us.

J9 said...

This is the same reason that charities exist to give foster children, or children placed into Child Protective services a teddy bear. It is something that is all their own, they don't have to share it, and they can take it with them whever they go. Many of those kids keep their teddy bears for the rest of their lives. It is important to their self worth and well being to know that they deserve something of their own.

Terri T said...

great post! I can truly relate to this need and want to own things....which is why I'm struggling one day one :(

Alyssa said...

dude! i once lived in my friends parents garage! i totally know what you are saying! i don't want to come off like a freak, but have you been to church? i really don't want to preach!! but god loves you & does not intend for you to feel this way!!!!!! email me anytime!!

Alyssa said...

ok i'm sure that came out the wrong way. that's usually what i do to myself.

findingmywingsinlife said...

Nothing crazy in going on in your head, I assure you.

T.J. Seale said...

Thanks for sharing these thoughts, many people would not question their actions, and therefore miss out on the self-discovery.


Anonymous said...

hey Nick! Linked over from Natalie's blog- loved this post. You make total sense..... and you have such a gift for writing. May your journey be filled with many many shiny red water bottles- there is nothing wrong with wanting to surround yourself with objects you love. All the best.

Newbie Mommy said...

Nothing new, but pat pat, you're completely sane. My dad lived on a terrace for a year, I lived in a dorm with 50 odd people, I starved for a month before I got a job when I studied abroad. Ego got in the way, I refused to turn to family :)
Nick.. you'll survive, sweets. Hang on.
One learns, I oft say :D, life is tough, but you learn, darn, that you are indefinitely tougher

Nick James said...

Natalie- Thanks for the comfort. I'm not alone!

Lisa- I never thought if exactly like that. Things to come...I like it. I'm a sucker for some good symbolism.

Audrey- Forgetting you all is impossible. It takes one of us to understand it, but we learn so much from eachother. How unique is that? We don't know eachother from Adam, but we teach eachother so much. Forgotten will never be the word.

Faith- It is a looker, eh? Haha. Thank you!

Dancing Queen- The washing someone else's dishes part is so true. Wow--you truly it the nail on the head. I cook and clean nothing of my own. I am glad you understand, however, I think you deserve to not understand (I hope that made sense).

Naughty kitten- I enjoyed your mini story. Do you still have the China today?

J9- I love charity. As of now, I don't have much to offer. In my success, however, I have a huge goal of starting my own one day. I have the name all picked out and everything!

Terri- Sorry that you are struggling, but both of us will prevail!

Alyssa- Although I am not extremely religious, I do enjoy visiting church every once in awhile. I am a very spiritual person. I love God and he loves mes. Thanks!

Finding your wings- Thank you! I needed that!

T.J.- Welcome to OB...I checked out your blog. You are one heck of a writer, eh? Thanks you. I like the idea of is my driving force.

Miss Goddess- Thank you to Natalie for bringing you into my circle. I look forward to reading your blog. Thank you for the nice words!

Newbie- I enjoy the idea that after our struggles comes triumph. Thank you!

~Sheila~ said...

First of all...let me say that this post reminds me of my son. He's going to be 14 and will be working soon (child labor laws allow 14 yr olds to work in Texas)..not my doing...he is anxious.
My son is very possessive of his belongings. He has a younger brother and sister so I'm not sure if he's trying to grow too fast.

I will be reading more to see what I can learn from you...

Now about the bottle.
I think because it's so red and shiny..I'd be drawn to it. It would be across the room gleaming at me all day.

Great post.

Frankie Anon said...

Great post! Isn't it strange what unexpected things take on meaning and importance in our lives? Cherish this time in your life -- full of energy and hope and a future that has more magic than our poor imaginations could ever invent.

honkeie2 said...

I love all my stuff! I am about as materialistic as anyone can be! I buy crap all the time I want, but not need.

Pavitra said...

I know what you mean. I am possessive about mostly all of my things. You look like an amature against me; I am attached to more things than you (mostly everything).

Mmm said...

"It hit me at that moment how strange it is to have a connection to a water bottle. I thought about it further and figured it out why I felt this water bottle was so special. It was the first possession I had in Los Angeles. It felt great to have something that I brought home, something that I could use."
--Love this. I was wondering the same thing. You capture it perfectly.

keep in mind you ahve your inner space, only you own that. I have had to hold onto that after moving from inner Lonon to what is essentially the sticks of Colorado never to return again. It is my constant and it where I connect with God who has been there through it all with me, when i feel that or not. It helps.