Faulkner said that in writing, it is paramount to kill your “darlings,” those special, yet extraneous, details that ego often asks us to keep in the manuscript. Creating feels so good, and it’s easy to fall prey to your own fripperies. If you don’t watch it, fear of whittling down your paragraphs can lead to a clunky, over-embellished final product.
My life is feeling over-embellished and lopsided right now. Too much detail in all the wrong places. Too many time wasters. Too little quality content. It strikes me tonight that my true connections are few, and I could be spending my time much more wisely than I currently do. Most of the actions I make in the social media sphere are an effort to woo or impress, but whom? The only people who follow my memes and photos, and longwinded musings are either good friends or decent acquaintances. We “like” and “share” each other’s funny little quips, but if that’s all a relationship is, what point of continuing? I’m only doing it to give myself mini doses of serotonin. I’m not going to magically find new people who love me in that echo chamber. I am addicted to feeling like someone gives a shit – and let’s be honest, very few do.
The kicker is that the ones who actually matter in my life aren’t even on social media. None of my best friends participate. I get my serotonin in our relationships by actually conversing with them IRL, at great length, either in writing or over the phone. Jess and Trin text. Katy connects via Signal. Natalie, Trin, and Katie use Whatsapp. Pete and Martius are on Messenger. I see Anne and Caroline and Amy and Theo in person.
I need to spend some time contemplating what self-made cancers to cut out of my life. I’ve already decided to end codependency once and for all in 2019. No more smiling and nodding and giving my soul away because it makes other people less inclined to be shitty to me. No more supporting the endless cycle of damaged, yet soulful, artist partners. Infinitely more saying YES to me. A corresponding number of NO to all of the people, places, and things that I don’t want to do but agree to because I’m afraid of what they’ll think, of letting them down, of failing as a woman or a professional or a friend. I’m tired.
Pretty sure that the first step to freedom is killing some of those darlings.