Hanging on – By @_helenasmith

By Helena Smith


Hanging on.


The end is near and the pressure is mounting. And now more than ever I have begun to realise how important making time for myself and my passion projects is. Being able to compartmentalise is not something I find easy and to be quite honest I naturally reject it when the work load gets heavy.


At the beginning of this week Marc set us the task of writing three goals we wanted to achieve by the end of the week. I love lists, so this was right up my street and I think at other points in the year the goals I would have set myself would have been completely work related. The ones I set this week were not. And knowing that this was for a reflection slide I knew I had to make time to make sure I completed them, which I have and I feel great. But more importantly I feel calm!


And I am so determined to make sure I stay like this. I do now find it easier to disengage with work and let my brain rest for an evening or so, and I am definitely much better at recognising the signs of when I do just need to stop.


Yesterday at three I had to just put my pen down and say to Susie, ‘I think I need to go home for a bit’. My brain wasn’t working, each time we pressed go on the timer to scamp my thoughts wandered and I wasn’t building on her ideas.


Having had a slightly unsettling event happen in my social life the other week, she’s been great at also knowing when I start to flag, and taking the reins on plans for the day or just simply telling me to go to sleep. Which is fab and I think part of the reason I feel calm at possibly one of the most important points of our careers.


I’ve also found in the last weeks how vital it’s been to be mentally focused on recognising that this career is no one’s but mine and Susie’s. Though that seems odd to say it’s so easy when you’re in the studio to end up accidentally listening to what other people are doing in the room, what crits they’re going on, who they’re seeing and what they are being told by said people. While this is useful to some degree in terms of keeping the adrenaline high, it’s also a great anxiety booster. Knowing the days you can handle this I think is also key to how well your work goes in the day.  And each time I find myself getting anxious I remind myself to stay in my own lane and just keep going. It’s a marathon not a race.


We’re almost there, and I’m excited.


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