My Life as Leah

est. 2008

familiar places, fresh spaces.

I'm a firm believer that one of the inevitable things you will experience in your twenties is the process of moving. Usually this comes in the form of literally moving, out of your hometown, back to where you went to college, in with a significant other -- your twenties will most likely be marked by stacks of cardboard boxes and hard decisions about which bits and pieces of your life to keep, and which to toss away.

And when you move, you are often faced with a lot of unfamiliarity. You have to begin the long transition towards acclimating to your new environment, your new community, your new "home." Sometimes this process is exciting, fresh, and well-needed. Other times it is difficult, draining, and depressing…

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week nine.

Nine weeks ago, I started a creative project.

I was coming out of one of the worst seasons of my life. If you’ve been following along, you know the story. I had just spent 10 months in the deepest depression I had ever experienced, paired with episodes of anxiety that flooded me everyday. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I felt like I had totally lost who I was, the person I had grown to love so much. I moved back home, without a job, a relationship, and a bottle of antidepressants. I had quit my job, unfortunately watched my relationship with a man I deeply care about end, and crawled back into my childhood bed trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do now. It was all ingredients in a recipe I’d rather not eat, something I wish I could trash and just start over…

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the long run home.

I started running again this past week.

I’ve never been much of a distance runner. I used to despise conditioning in high school, whether it was running sidelines during basketball practice or stadiums in the hot August afternoons after tennis practice was over. I’d much rather be doing “something” rather than the nothingness that I felt while running.

Why do people do this anyway,

I would ask myself as I huffed and puffed my way through a mile run in PE. It didn’t feel fulfilling. It just made me tired. Sometime between then and now, I figured out running is kind of therapeutic. And God knows I’ve leaned into anything therapeutic over the past year…

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when you fail.

This is a strange week for me.

I thought a lot about where I was a year ago, and the people, places, and different situation I was in. I thought about all of it as I drove down Highway 99 at 6am this morning. I sipped coffee from my thermos, turned up the radio, and let myself go back to where I was one year ago.

One year ago, I had just finished the first days of a new job. I was thankful to have a job straight out of graduate school, let alone a job in the industry and field I had been studying and working in. This job provided me a huge apartment, incredible benefits, and tons of opportunities down the road. It paid really well, had a supportive working environment with room for growth, and new friends and coworkers ready to partner with me…

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Growing up, I always knew the unofficial sign that summer had arrived.

One cool Thursday evening, just as the sun had set, I would hear the resounding "booms" from our home, and rush out into the backyard. If I looked hard enough, across the other rooftops towards the high school downtown, I would see them. Fireworks, slowly floating and exploding above the high school stadium. If I listened closely, I could hear the music over the loudspeakers, cheers and air horns between the cracks of pyrotechnics. The newest alumni of Dinuba High School had just received their diplomas, finishing their high school career and signaling the start of summer…

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I know my God.

It makes sense, right?

I've found myself in the same spot again -- sitting at my desk, a blank blog post in front of me, with things I probably should be doing (ie: job applications, cover letter drafting, thinking about and making decisions, etc). Instead, I find myself pulled to this blank space, I find myself sitting down and writing. I can't fight the urge, and maybe I shouldn't.

It has been one hell of a year so far.
I wish I meant that in a good way.

Some of you know what's been going on in my life seven months, and some of you may be completely surprised at what I'm about to write. Look, I don't apologize for basically dropping off the face of the planet for a while -- I needed to take time to lay low and be around the basic comforts of life. My parents, my childhood bedroom, my hometown, I needed simplicity and silence as I picked up the torn fabric of my life and future plans, and began stitching them back together…

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