What gives something purpose? By that I mean, what makes a purchase feel like it was a great decision and justifies its place within your cupboard or home?
Is it Utility? I’d worn out my Nike Air SB Dunk to the point where I wondered why I still had them. Then I realised there’s something inherently satisfying about knowing that they’d been with me through hundreds of miles, across countries and terrains… all the time, quietly performing their destined duty. And yes, they showcased the battlescars of a life-well lived – but they earned their place on my feet. I let them meet their eventual fate of the local shoe recycling bin with a tear in my eye, but pride in my heart.
It might be Rarity that creates its own purpose. I’ll admit that I’m a former crate-digger, and have experienced the bliss of time-dilation caused by sifting through thousands of records for the better part of a weekend. The hours, they melt away like butter – but time freezes when you find that gem you’ve been hunting for years. The angels sing as you lift that vinyl out of the sleeve and confirm that it’s the right catalogue etching on the groove. I might not have played that particular vinyl often after getting it back home – but there’s a magical aura gently emanating from it every time I walk past the record shelves.
Or maybe it’s Price? We’ve all been there, scooping up those unbelievable bargains. You know, those ones where you’re not sure if the store has mispriced the item or you’re just really, really lucky. Everytime you wear that jacket, you remember how you defied the laws of the universe and feel a warm sensation inside, knowing everyone else that has one, paid four times as much as you did.
How about Joy? Potentially the most powerful reason for owning something: because it brings you happiness. Many years ago, I spent countless days ogling over the Seiko SARB033 on watch forums, reading reviews and looking at photos. As a JDM (Japanese Domestic Model), I couldn’t buy one in the UK, so I was over the moon when my cousin went on holiday to Tokyo and picked up the watch for me. It’s not an expensive model, but I still get tingles every time I wear it.
It could be Memories? Maybe it’s like that t-shirt from that stag-do ten years ago… I’m never going to wear it again, but seeing it in the cupboard just makes me smile from ear to ear. I remember walking through Amsterdam, dressed up as a cheerleader, handcuffed to a giant-inflatable… ok anyways, you get my point. Those memories are powerful – and they evoke incredibly deep emotions and bond us to each other.
It’s hard to say which of the above is more important – they each have their place.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you wear it to destruction, hide it or just appreciate its presence.
What gives something purpose in your life? Perhaps the answer is simple: You.
Main image credit: Nikul Sanghvi