On Structure, and Sharing It

"I could tell you what water is made of: two parts hydrogen, one of oxygen. I could describe what it feels like to dive into a lake on a hot summer day or the briny feel of sand and salt at the beach, but the task here is to find your own pool of liquid and give it shape...

You have to find your own dynamic structure, one that fits your story and what you personally have to share.

...You can't tell every minute of your life--or put in every darling experience. You can't eat everything on the table. You choose a portion, some fruit...and put it on your plate. You choose a time, a subject, a place, you give a shape to what is unruly. You lend it a form. The form is not a trick. It develops out of what you want to say and how you want to say it.

--Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend from Far Away

I came back from Salt Lake City feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things I want to do and how far I feel I still have to go. I often find myself wanting to share every part of my life while simultaneously treasuring the long, slow brunch I shared with my husband in a dark tavern on a lazy Sunday afternoon; or the hot cup of coffee I drank while I sat down to talk to a new friend for the first time in my favorite coffee shop. The hour-long walks I sometimes take by myself or the quiet cups of tea I often drink in the afternoon sunlight of my living room. They don't make it to my Instagram feed and yet they are valuable moments in my life.

Last year I felt like I was almost "there" in some way (but what does that even mean, really?), and this year, though I've come so far in so many ways, it feels as though there has never been a longer road ahead of me. Do our standards get higher as we go on? There is so much that I want to create, write, or share and I haven't even begun yet. And then there are the things that I might never let you read, that will stay typed out on old pieces of paper stapled together through old writing workshops, or scribbled quickly and furiously onto the pages of a leather-bound notebook in the drawer of my bedside table.

2015 is quickly becoming for me the year of less is more, or rather, do less with more. More effort, more intention, more love. More creativity and more practice. More thought. More laughter and more adventure. And, somehow, more structure. I will stretch myself but not too thinly. And I will be truer to myself in the process.