Incomplete And That's Okay
I used to be a completionist, I would need to finish everything if I started it.
If a video game had collectibles, I’d do multiple run through, look up guides and not feel like I had ‘finished’ the game until I’d got everything.
If I started a show I would have to watch every episode, even if I wasn’t enjoying it any more and thought it had got bad. In those cases I would usually be okay with dropping it at the end of the season but I would still waste hours on something I wasn’t enjoying.
Comic books were a hassle too, if I bought into a miniseries I’d need to get each issue and for an ongoing I would commit to at least that story arc and probably the next one even if I had stopped enjoying it.
It happened in every aspect of my life, not just to media I consumed and the things I collected.
I’ve found myself way more able to give stuff up now if I’m not enjoying it or simply don’t have the time to commit to it. It’s really refreshing.
I’ll now play through a video game enjoying it as I go. I’ll still keep an eye open and grab any collectibles I see, but I won’t painstakingly scour every inch of a map in case I missed something. I would rather let the story play at a more natural pace.
There are far too many amazing tv shows that I haven’t even begun yet to waste time on anything less than stellar. Mediocrity doesn’t cut it in this golden age of television and I don’t have the time to commit to everything so if I check out a new show and am not enjoying it a couple of episodes in, I can walk away from it and not feel bad or like I’m missing out.
I don’t read anything in single issues anymore and the trades I pick up are of comic book series I am enjoying or by creators who’s work I know I’ve enjoyed in the past. I still like discovering new things now and then, but if I’m not hooked I won’t continue a series just because.
It’s a really freeing feeling, being able to step away. It also makes me, at least, appreciate and enjoy the things I do choose to watch, play, read and experience.
I’ve realised in the writing of this that this feeling is kind of an extension to the post I wrote a couple of months ago about cutting out the negative people in my life.
I think it all can be summed up nicely with a gif...
I think a lot of the things we consume these days push for a completionist mentality; video games have tons of collectibles, unlockables and achievements beyond simply finishing the story, the binge culture around tv shows makes people think they’re out of the loop if they don’t watch everything right away and, well comics I can kind of forgive because lord knows that industry needs as many readers as it can get.
My point is that it is okay to sample something, see if you like it and if you don’t, drop it like a sack of shit and move on until you find something you really do like and feel good about giving your precious time to! It works for me, maybe it can for you too.