Yeah, that’s a really long title.
I’m going to warn you, this is most likely going to be one of my tired posts. This is due to my lack of sleep and staying up late after work to work on the website since my fiancee is busy at work. It’s either going to be completely profound or completely useless. I’ll even sit here and debate posting this for 10 minutes most likely.
Anyway, tonight I was bored at work. The company I work for decided to take the internet out of my shack. Well, not exactly take it out…but make it so I can’t use it. This doesn’t make any sense to me. What’s the difference between sitting there staring at a computer screen and watching the security cameras while browsing the internet and sticking your nose in a magazine or book off to the side?
Anyway, this leads me to remember that Cardboard Connection Radio has their weekly show on Fridays. I was able to stream it through my iPhone so all was good in the world for 90 minutes while I got to listen to people talk sports cards. This was probably one of my favorite shows I’ve heard. I was able to listen to Brian Wallos of Benchwarmer talk about his product and his passion. I knew Brian was a great guy beforehand and just listening to him talk about his product gave me that much more respect for him and what he does.
But after that interview was a short interview and chat with Mario Alejandro of the former Wax Heaven and now, Wax Morgue. It truly was an interesting conversation that really got deep into the personal life of Mario as well as what went on behind the scenes of his blog.
I wasn’t around the blogosphere while his blog was popular. By popular I mean the people he reached far outweighs anything that this blog could probably ever do. Daily readers that I could only dream of. But all of that came at a price.
He was living the bloggers dream. A large readership, boxes upon boxes of cards for review purposes, calls from some of the big names in the companies and the hobby…basically the start of something huge in the hobby. And then, it just all crashed down. It took a toll on his personal life and trajectory of where he was going in life. With relationships broken and emotions drained, he was forced to close up shop at Wax Heaven.
The hobby and everything he put behind his blog and site were just gone like that. His collection became next to non-existent. His personal life went into shambles. He admitted that he thought about suicide.
It just makes me think where am I going with all of this? What does all of this mean to me and what am I getting out of this?
I’ve always liked writing about what I feel. I used to write poetry and songs as an outlet for my previous bouts with depression. Now, I sit here daily and write about something that I have a passion for – trading cards. Honestly, I don’t even know why I have this passion. I casually collected in the most over produced period of trading cards when I was a young kid. I got back into it during college and haven’t looked back since. Is it my love of sports? Is it me trying to look back on my childhood? Or is it me trying to relish in other people’s successes as professional sports players, something I desired growing up while playing pretty much every sport that was available? I don’t know.
I do know that I love collecting sports cards and opening packs and boxes and seeing what’s inside. I love finding cards from my favorite teams of my favorite players. I was excited when I pulled a Julius Thomas rookie card from my recent box review of 2011 Panini Threads since I’ve met the guy several times. I love finding a Red Sox card, just like I did when I was little. I also love seeing that big name autograph come out and just the surprise and adrenaline you get.
But the one thing I will never let it effect is my personal life. I will not run myself into debt by just buying a ton of product just to open it. I will not let it effect my personal relationship with my fiancee and have it cause problems in our future marriage. It will not take precedence when I have children one day. It will continue to be just a hobby. Cards and writing about cards will stay a hobby.
I say these things because I’m scared that it may do those things to me. I’ve been through enough rough times to go through something like that. You learn from your own experiences and the experiences of others. The interview tonight with Mario really made me think of the possible roads that I could choose to go down one day…the road of self-destruction (which I’ve done before) or the road of self-realization and stability.
Mario’s story isn’t the first of card collectors getting themselves into trouble with their personal lives and it definitely will not be the last. I just don’t want to be in that situation one day. If you yourself are heading in that direction, just remember that there are more important things out there than trading cards.
Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. But if the time comes where I need to leave, I’ll let my jersey hang in the rafters.
Ah, I enjoy a therapeutic post like this every now and then. Sorry for the rant, but I hope that maybe this post will save others from themselves one day, including myself. Thanks Mario.