To Simplicity, Clarity, and Closing the Excess of Open Doors

. 3 min read

Hey you guys,

It’s that time of year again — time to reflect, set goals, and all that other introspective, soul-searching business I so adore.

And yet...

If I’m being honest, I haven’t carved out the time yet to really think about pointed questions I need to ask myself. Life has been so crazy. I think that right there may just be my starting point though.

One of the things I personally need 2020 to be is the year where I streamline and simplify, work toward what I really want, and do as little as possible of what I don’t want. This is something I continue to learn from those who guide me, whether informally or formally. We can really become whatever it is that we want, but we have to know what we want. The more crystal our clarity, the better.

I, like so many creatives (maybe you too), tend to have this tick that suggests I should do everything that presents itself to me. It comes from passion and excitement. But it also has an underbelly of insecurity, I know—a feeling of scarcity. Because I know what I adore. I adore writing. And that should be the central focus (with support from paying jobs, of course). But I get pulled astray by this fear. It's like, if I don’t purse this, or take that gig, what will happen? Will I be shutting doors?

But when I step back, as I am now, it's very clear that, no, that's not the case. In fact, opening tons of doors only invites in a whole lot of stress, confusion, and a very heavy chest.

So, instead, the goal is this: to focus on what matters. Writing, work that is creative and fulfilling, and relationships—those with others and the one with myself. The end.

"Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail."

—Henry Thoreau

As I look back over the years now, it stuns me how much has changed, how big a difference a year makes. And it also warms me like no other. The capacity that we have for growth is incredibly beautiful. If I think about my friends, my family, myself, etc. we’ve all grown what seems like an astronomical amount in the past five years. And I bet you have too.

Let's take a moment of silence here to honour that.

Do you know where you were five years ago today? What you were doing? In what headspace you were in?

Five years ago was 2014. Speaking for myself, then I was in an unhealthy relationship, surrounded by people who, for the most part, weren’t really my friends, but rather acquaintances. And, really, my life blood was interning in an industry that felt okay but not great. I was on the precipice of the hardest year of my life, the year in which I’d become the most physically and mentally sick I’ve ever been. And, as you may have guessed, I wasn’t writing.

Man. Talk about a life time ago.

To think of that time is to think of how far I’ve come though—how much I’ve gotten to know myself, how many layers I’ve stripped back to come to my core, and not only be okay with it, but actually like it in its odd quirks and colours.

I’m going to end this here, as I have some reflecting to do before I babble on. So now my questions for you:

Have you started to reflect on your 2019?
How do you want 2020, and the next decade at large, to look?
What questions are you asking yourself?

Let me know, if you'd like. You guys know I'm always curious about you!

Happy introspecting xx,

PS. This all just reminded me of my novel's main character, Scarlet. To see what I mean, you can read chapter one of The Play House here: Madame Renard's Antique Shoppe. And if you do, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts :)

PPS. Cover art by the incredibly talented Andrei Tarkovsky.