By Gavin Oattes
Need, Need, Need, Need, Need…
I remember as a young kid being obsessed with sticker albums. It was so exciting when my dad brought home the latest one, the buzz of going to the wee shop to get packets of stickers, only to tear them open was just pure magic. The goal was always to fill the album as quickly as possible, so I was first to be able to say “completed it!”. The race was always on.
We would spend every ounce of our pocket money, no matter how little we had, on those stickers. It’s an expensive business! More often than not, it was football stickers. I don’t even like football. But like millions of other wee kids, I was obsessed with collecting these sticky treasures. From the highs of finding a ‘Shiny’ to the crushing lows of discovering your pal had a ‘doubler’ of the sticker you needed most, but wouldn’t do ‘swapsies’ with you. It had it all.
Every day at school and every day straight after school; need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, got, need, need, need, need, need, need…
I never completed one. Ever. Very few people do. Like many things growing up, it’s usually a short-lived fad. Or we keep getting the same stickers, the ‘swap’ pile grows exponentially, and we lack the highly sought-after glittery ones. It can get repetitive, frustrating, boring even, we get distracted, jealousy creeps in, others get there first, they’re collection is bigger, better, and their parents buy them more, so we move on to something else.
There were always rumours that someone had completed it. Never saw any proof so in my head it didn’t happen. I reckon no one ever truly completes a sticker album. I really wanted to though, more than anything, was that too much to ask?
So often I wished I’d never started!
The attic in my mums house most likely has a box of nearly completed sticker albums. Everything from World Cups to Transformers to the Olympics. I even had the Neighbours album, none of them full.
Sounds a bit like life, no one ever completes it. It’s like the internet, you can’t finish it, there’s simply too much to do, too much to see. Yes, life is full of glittery prizes but there’s just too many “shinies” to collect. And it always feels like there’s someone who has nailed it and has it all. They’ve ‘completed it!’
But that’s part of the problem for so many. It’s always been the problem. The race is on, a constant search for the big prize of being first, constantly seeking the glittery moments, craving what others have, the dream car, the promotion, the mansion, prepared to swap it all just to be the first to say “completed it”…and then probably post it on Instagram.
Need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, need, got, need, need, need, need, need, need…
In life, the things we think we need are usually things we want. We really don’t need very much.
The only finish line in life is death and I’m not sure about you but I’m definitely not keen on finishing. There’s so much to learn and so much to do, you can’t possibly do it all. By all means, ram your life full and live life to the max but one of the biggest lessons we can learn is to be grateful for what/who we do have rather than spend all our time thinking about what we don’t have.
I’m just like you are. I enjoy collecting experiences, new memories and making new friends.
But if you’re one of those types, always chasing the next big shiny prize, then there’s no shinier prize than your happiness. And we all know the things that make us happy aren’t things…
Life isn’t for completing. And it’s not for competing.
It’s for living.
Here’s to being happily unfinished.
Various, MADE magazine