On Working & Anxiety & Patti Smith

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dear Olive,
It's a funny old business, the film industry. One day you're on the verge of bankruptcy, the next, gainfully employed five days a week, with childcare for only two. I'm trying not to panic, but that's impossible. There's so much to organise in the next week and I'm feeling paralysed by it. I've suffered a lot of anxiety lately - for the first time in years, although through recognising it, and making a few small changes, I feel like I'm getting on top of it. Giving up coffee *again* has helped. And so has taking time out to just breathe deeply and repeat a self-affirmation. It sounds such an inconsequential activity, but in practice, it's had quite a powerful impact on me. 
I love this Patti Smith interview that I listened to this morning - her advice for young people. While I may not entirely qualify as young, I still think it's a lovely (and timely) reminder about life. "Life is really difficult, you're going to lose people you love, you'll suffer heartbreak ... but on the other end, you'll have the most beautiful experiences. Sometimes just the sky ... or you find somebody to love, or your children ... We're born, and we also have to die. We know that ... We're going to be really happy, and things are going to be really fucked up, too .... Life is like a roller coaster ride, it is never going to be perfect. It is going to have perfect moments, and rough spots. But it's all worth it. Believe me."

PS If you haven't read Just Kids, you're crazy.

16 comments:

little wild moose said...

Thank you for the link to the Patti Smith interview - I really loved watching her speak. The part you quoted also stood out for me, too - poignant words. I'm sorry to hear you've been suffering from anxiety. Anxiety and I - we are old friends, so I know it's no fun! I'm with you on the coffee, and refined sugar heightens it, too. Off to borrow Just Kids from the library! x

one claire day said...

Oh Kel, I didn't pick up on these anxieties when we had our little chat the other day. I'm sorry we didn't get to talk about it more. Your irregular work schedule would certainly bring some anxiety for all of you... but I guess the flip side is that life is never dull... spontaneity is a really good thing. The ability to adapt and accept change is not something easily achieved.... and being pushed out of your comfort zone every now and then really makes us much better people.

Much love to you. Everything will be ok. xx

one claire day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fast times in m√ľnchen. said...

Hi Kellie. Sorry to hear your anxiety has reared its ugly head but glad to hear you're managing to control it. I'm going to write down that Patti Smith quote for when I need a reminder that life isn't meant to be perfect. But that's ok. All the best for your new job! xx

mamatribe said...

Hope everything falls into place for you guys. Sorting out logistics surrounding little people's care needs (in a way that our hearts are ok with) is mind-boggling complicated and stressful.

mamatribe said...

Hope everything falls into place for you guys. Sorting out logistics surrounding little people's care needs (in a way that our hearts are ok with) is mind-boggling complicated and stressful.

Astred*designcherry said...

Things have a way of working out. Whether it's the universe helping the pieces fall together or your own hardwork.
It's not easy to see or understand when you're in the middle of much anxiety (I know that well) but I find when I remind myself that I can breathe a little better.

Rachael @Mogantosh said...

Love this quote Kellie. Patti Smith blows my tiny mind. Her literary voice in Just Kids was so unusual and funny and beautiful...I loved it. Working in film is tough to merge with family life Kell, I've seen that in other friends. All the best for this next gig. Hope your methods keep helping to cenntre and calm you. Sending love xxx

Lila Wolff said...

I understand and can only imagine the stress of finding care on short notice.
With anxiety I find the breathing helps and finding time for things like yoga that take my mind away from everyday stress.
Will be thinking of you and focusing on everything falling in to place for you.

Gaby said...

i remember this so well from growing up with my film industry dad. it is a CRAZY business. hope you're getting some downtime x

Mama Smith said...

It will all work out! I do understand the crazy schedules, my family is all in either television or film. My dad is a retired gaffer and it was always feast or famine, but it's also a fun and creative environment to grow up in (and incidentally any freelance work feels much the same with respect to stability, even in a totally different field).

It's tough to push away anxiety, but try... soon you will have that new schedule down to a routine.

xox Lilly

mama bear said...

I'm glad to hear that you feel like you're getting on top of the anxiety. And best of luck for organising next week and the start of your new job! xx

ps. I've just finished reading Just Kids for the third time (since you recommended it last year!) she is an amazing woman. have you ever read her other books?

The Wholefood Mama said...

Kellie sounds like you are handling your situation beautifully. I went to a yoga seminar last night and your post relates directly to what the teaching was last night, in a nutshell basically we will always have some form of 'suffering' in our life but it is how we respond to it that matters and the tools of yoga - bringing awareness within, focusing on our breath, mastering the thoughts in our mind - can help us to walk our path calmly even if there is 'chaos' around. I so admire you for giving up coffee, I only have on cup a day but I know my nervous system would thank me if I gave it up. Congrats too on being a Village Voice top 25 blogger yay you!! xx

The Wholefood Mama said...

That was meant to read 'one cup' x

little earth stories said...

Wishing you some calm in your week. I like the concept that we need to work at this (I certainly do) - which it sounds like you're doing. xx

Megan.K. said...

Coffee doesn't help me either when anxiety rears up like that for me... so thank you for the reminder. I forget sometimes and wonder why I'm feeling worse!
That's a lot of changes and big transitions going on. Finding childcare/working/balance. All huge.
But, congratulations on working again!!

x
Megan

p.s Am crazy. Will read it :)

 

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