Kill your darlings

Last week I took two people to bed with me, and it reminded me of the expression I had learned while studying journalism. “Kill your darlings.” It is a classic piece of advice given to writers, meaning to eliminate an unnecessary storyline, character, or sentence in writing. Over the years, this expression has also acquired a broader symbolic meaning in life. Everything in life is about choices, Big or small. If we are in favor of something, there is something else that needs to be reprioritized. Such is this dualistic life on earth, and why “choice” is the theme of this post and sharing my experience from last week.

On Sunday, I decided to go for a walk around Nøklevann. The walk around the lake in my area offers a varied landscape and is just the right length. I needed to get out into nature and move some energy:

  • I needed to move the energy of the past week. It hadn’t been bad, just full of situations and decisions.
  • I needed to shake off the ones I had taken to my bed.
  • I wanted to be creative, take pictures, and make a simple blog post with 5-7 photos. It would help me break the passive ice I had been frozen into, which I blamed on my shame for procrastinating editing my interviews with various people.

When I set out on the walk, I was completely unaware that it would also be an icy experience. The slippery path required my total presence and sharpened all my senses. I had to watch every step carefully, or I could fall. At worst, breaking a body part. Balancing on the ice and, at the same time, looking for motifs took a lot of effort. The beautiful sunlight brought out different shades of color in the ice and nature. Everything was just so beautiful. How could I choose to limit it to 5- 7 photos? I had planned, wanting to avoid killing my darlings, and there I was.  Again choice. Decision. Choice. Decision. The same topic that made me take two different people into my bed.  

One of the relationships weighed on me, which is how it ended up in my private space. 

I was not proud of the person I became in the encounter with a 9-year-old at work. I knew I had to take responsibility for changing the course and getting us out of our hostile interactions. Children are children, and yes, they can trigger us (believe it or not), but I had more power in my role as an adult. I knew very well that using power without my whole heart would have disastrous consequences.  Just take a look at the state of the world. It speaks for itself and says a lot about who our leaders are and how they are using their power. But back to me and that Kid.  

“How could I turn the situation around?” became the big question, eating up my energy in the silent moments of the night. 

On the other hand, the other relationship was of a very different nature. It made me bubble with joy. I whimpered inside and wanted to scream out loud:

“Take me! Take me! Take me to heaven.” 

A man had appeared in my life and awoken a dormant longing inside me, but was I brave enough to express it to him? That was the other big question that occupied my mind when the evening calm was supposed to rock me into the landscape of dreams.

I hope you enjoy this crazy fun music by Gogol Bordello. They are an American punk rock band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We must be a bit crazy to dare to take risks. Their crazy music inspires me to take life less seriously and be more loco.

And how did both stories end?

“I’m sorry. You’re right. I should not have done that.” was my response in the following situation with the Kid. I made a conscious choice to  respond differently, not giving in to my triggers.

In turn, that brought out the kindness in her, and suddenly we were in another place. A space open for dialogue.

“We have misunderstood each other. Let’s try to start over. What do you say to that? How do you want me to meet you?” I listened to her answers and was also honest with mine. I said I couldn’t accommodate some of her wishes and explained why and she accepted this.

What a conversation. What a victory. I had managed to turn the situation around through a conscious choice. It was a victory for her, for me, for both of us. Maybe the peace won’t last forever, but I know now how to cope. I can always make a conscious choice and not give in to my triggers. 

And in the second relationship, which had me bubbling with joy?

Even though my whole heart knows that life becomes relatively tame if I don’t dare to take chances, I gave in to my fear of rejection. I didn’t dare take the risk. Am I a coward? Maybe. Should I have chosen differently? Maybe.
But who knows, maybe I will wake up braver tomorrow and choose differently; however, for now, I get out my Frucow ( A mixture of frustration over being a coward) by putting it into words.

What about you? Have you faced any small or more significant decisions lately? And what was your choice based on?

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