I may want my life to be just as it was before, or better. But that is unrealistic. My life is better than it was before, but “before” and “better” are relative.

See, my life is better today than it was four years ago. I am in a much better place, metaphorically. I am stable, fully functional and working. I still struggle, but I am not easily overwhelmed. I am not in pain, except at times when I remember that I am 32 and living with my mother.

However, is my life better than it was 7 or 10 years ago? How about 20 years ago? See how it’s relative? When I think about where my life stands now, about how I measure my life, I don’t think about all the progress I have made in the last 4 to 6 years. No, I think about the difference between my life 6, 8, 10, 12 years ago. I think about what I was doing then, about what I had, where I lived, who my friends were. I compare the present to an easier, nicer time and I completely ignore the hard, not-so-good times. 

I need to redefine my reference point and change my perspective. I have accomplished a lot in the last 4 years. I made an effort to rejoin society and the workforce. I went back to school; it may not have been intellectually challenging or even stimulating, but I learned a lot of facts, gathered information and acquired some new skills. That said, going back to school took me on a path that guided me to my current job. It is not a fancy job, and probably anyone who knew me pre-struggle would be surprised at what I do, but I like it. My average day is never average and never boring. I learn new things everyday, and still get to use those old things I know. 

If “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”, I have been playing an extra in the background since the intermission. Now, I get to play the main role in my life again.

Of course, this progress did not happen overnight, and changing my perspective will not either. Just because one has an epiphany that could potentially change everything does not mean that one immediately changes to conform to this newly revealed “truth.”

Therefore, step #2 is to leave the past in the past. To begin, I am getting rid of the grand majority of the stuff I have had in storage since 2008, and most of my library. (NOTE: If you are looking for a certain book, you may ask, and, if it’s in the “leave” pile, you may have it. You pay postage.)

I am not completely certain as to what is currently overwhelming a 10′ by 20′ storage unit. What I do know is that paying $100 a month to keep stuff that I obviously don’t need is a waste of resources, both financial and physical. I am sure there is someone out there who has a use for the things that have just been taking up space for the last four years.

I began the de-clutter process today by finding a buyer for some of my books. Later I will figure out the best way to rid myself of some of the stuff in storage. In the meantime, I have given myself the deadline of December 31 to empty the unit.

Wish me luck!