Words of wisdom (and humour) from Edmonton-born, LA-based writer Kelly Oxford.
She’s a screenwriter with a cameo in James Franco’s new movie, The Disaster Artist, a Twitter star who started the #notokay movement after Trump’s Access Hollywood comments went public, and author of the 2013 New York Times bestseller, Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar. In her follow-up book of personal essays, When You Find Out The World is Against You, Oxford talks about growing up in Canada, raising three kids in Los Angeles and living with anxiety. Here are a few of our favourite real-talk quotes:
On first impressions:
“I guess sometimes people think I’m annoying. I get that. I talk a lot and I’m very emotional. I’m kind of an avalanche in the way that I just arrive without warning and smother you and maybe kill you.”
On growing up in Edmonton:
“Growing up in the prairies gave me a fondness for weather and natural disasters, because most of what I could see was the sky, and we really couldn’t have earthquakes or tsunamis, lava flows or quicksand. (I realize quicksand isn’t a natural disaster, but for children who grew up in the ’80s, it was a huge fear.)”
On being diagnosed with anxiety disorder:
“I’d always hoped for some disease in my life, to add some morose glamour. Like when I got mono in the fifth grade and wrote to Kirk Cameron to tell him about my ‘kissing disease,’ hoping he’d find it evocative of me to have at such a young age…. ‘Panic disorder’ seemed somewhat glamorous. Not as glamorous as the kissing disease, but still maybe, I don’t know…cute? Relatable?”
On having children:
“Believe it or not, no matter how prepared or smart you are as a human being — for a while, after you have your first baby, you’re thinking, ‘Okay, I’m just going to get through this rough part. Things definitely have to change for a while, man, I’m working really hard, but getting through it! I’m doing it! I’m really great at all of this stuff.’ And then, somewhere around week seven or eight, you realize this is your new life. This level of work isn’t going to change, you are now a parent and this is just the way things are going to be. This feeling of responsibility, this ‘putting someone ahead of your own needs’ situation, is just not going to go away.”
On her parents’ divorce:
“Watching your parents’ relationship crumble, as an adult, is very difficult. I would venture to say it’s more difficult than being a kid while your parents’ divorce, but I guess that would depend on the circumstances surrounding the divorce. In my case, it was very difficult to support both of my parents. My dad didn’t really want to talk about it, and it was all my mother wanted to talk about. I ended up simply leaving the country.”
On living in Los Angeles:
“Here, in Los Angeles, there are almost four times more people whose energy I have to deflect than there were in Calgary. It’s exhausting.”
On first hearing Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood remarks:
“I immediately open my Twitter account and see everyone is tweeting about this. This is huge. This leaked tape is demanding a response. I have to jump in. I have no choice.”
On launching #notokay:
“I go back to Twitter and read as stories and tweets and retweets come in even faster than a few minutes ago, when I asked women to share. Thousands. I feel myself slipping into that quiet place, but I fight the urge, realizing this is bigger than myself. My white-hot rage has opened up a global platform for women on Twitter, people are paying attention. I add a hashtag to my tweets. Women: keep tweeting me assaults with #notokay.”
When You Find Out the World Is Against You, $17.99, hits bookshelves on January 30, 2018 and is available for pre-order now at chapters.indigo.ca.
Can’t wait to read it? Editors Inc. and Indigo are teaming up to give away a copy of When You Find Out the World Is Against You to three lucky winners! To enter for your chance to win, like our giveaway post and follow @editorsinc and @chaptersindigo on Instagram.
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