A Steamer Trunk Full of Skeletons and Such

“I want you to click ‘Like’ as hard as you can…”

Ahhh Spring! It’s time for rebirth. Time to make a fresh start. Even the Cubs, God bless ’em, think they have a shot this time of year. It’s time to believe again.

And it’s time to do some spring cleaning.

The Wife and I have accumulated quite a fortune in clutter the past few years, and we’re not the most organized people in the world. However, this year, we’re committed to sorting through our stuff, possessions and articles, and paring things down to a more essential number.

Anyways, after a challenging year, we have been talking about simplifying, unburdening ourselves by letting go of things. Or, as Tyler Durden said in Fight Club, “The things you own end up owning you”. We are un-Durdening ourselves. So to say. In order to move on, we have to lighten our load.

Porter with Large Steamer Trunk Premium Poster

“Say, you forgot your trunk, you lousy so-and-so!”

As we have planned for our big purge, I have realized that I am carrying a lot of internal clutter as well. Self doubt. Past failures. An obsolete self image, which holds me back in many ways. It’s as if everywhere I go, everything I try to do, I am hauling a giant steamer trunk around, the kind that everybody used to travel with in old movies, the kind with stickers from exotic places like Gary, Indiana, carried by porters who say things like, “Say, don’t get sore, see?”. But mine trunk’s full of Skeletons, Demons, and Shiny Objects. And every time I encounter a new opportunity and a door opens, I struggle to squeeze this Albatrunk through the doorway, until frustration sets and I give up.

ADHD adults tend to have self-esteem issues, because many of their behaviors are outside the norm. High energy, impulsivity, unique social skills; they all tend to illicit negative reactions from others at some point. Eventually this feedback begins to tip the scales toward a poor self-concept. This is something I have struggled with. Mightily. It makes us never quite comfortable in our own skin, and makes us mistrust ourselves.

And yet, we cling to familiar lies, because there is comfort in old habits. I clutch my weather-beaten steamer trunk, because, while its contents may be toxic, they are mine and they provide excuses for all manner of poor performance.

In order to move on, we need to forgive ourselves, create a new Narrative. Drop the old steamer trunk in the middle of the road and run, not walk, to the next open door.


Leo Babauta has some interesting ideas about decluttering and simplifying on his Zen Habits blog, here.

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