Sunday, August 15, 1999

Recollections: Hectic Week Before Arizona

My Recollections are instances in my life that I fondly recall for any number of reasons and I've written all of them down on or after June 2009, although the events take place over a very wide time span in my lifetime. Everything below is an account of my memory, which can be fickle and unreliable, yet often yields the most important life lessons and records those crucial formative instances in one's life story.

The week before I move to Arizona, I'm thinking and planning a hundred different things. I'm cleaning my room, I'm packing stuff and seeing what fits in my car, I'm budgeting a trip, and I'm closing bank accounts and quitting my job with Charles Farenkompf. I'm dealing with the Saturn Dealership as they drag their feet fixing a fender bender I was unfortunate enough to be involved in several weeks before. Long, awkward, melancholy conversations about coming of age and life choices with my parents fill my evenings on the patio by the pool and I spend my evenings renting movies, occupied by my odd new hobby: coin collecting.

That's right, of all the things on my mind before making my first big move across the country and starting higher education, coin collecting makes the top 5. Several factors play into this: I was originally drawn in by the 50 State Quarters program: A 10 year, US Mint celebration of the diversity, culture, heritage, and wonders of the United States of America. Also, I was cleaning out my room, and taking care of a big, heavy piggy bank. What better time to start than with a pile to sort through.

I started collecting the 50 state quarters, bought some coin folders, then went through pennies and dimes searching for different years and mint marks. Even the evening before my departure, I couldn't be bothered with the details of my trip, only sorting through new rolls of quarters and dimes acquired at the bank. Was I engaging in some kind of escapist activity, distracting myself from the changes about to happen?

I learned and realized much later that coin collecting, and collecting in general has a psychological component to it: someone mentioned that it was an unconsious attempt to turn order into chaos. Thinking back now in 2009, on times when my urge to collect was strongest, this makes perfect sense: I always collect the most coins at periods in my life where I'm in a serious transition. Will this always be the case?