My Life as Leah

est. 2008

13.1 miles of gratitude.

A few weeks ago, I ran my first half marathon.

Completing a distance race had been a long-time goal of mine for quite some time, but never seemed quite within reach. It was in the back of my head, not significant enough to be warranted a priority, and yet still refusing to be forgotten. When I moved to Monterey, in the summer of 2016, I told myself 2017 would be the year I would run a half marathon, and complete my goal…

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the last frontier.

I had never been to Alaska before.

The farthest north I think I've traveled was with my high school chamber choir, up to Vancouver when I was 16. I remember walking around downtown, sun barely beginning to set at 9pm, amazed by the difference just traveling up the continent had. It was a warm summer evening, folks out and about enjoying the relaxed environment. The promise of unfamiliar sights and sounds was stirring in my soul. I remember feeling excited about what each day held on our trip…

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the new normal.

I’m settling into a routine.

If you know anything about me, you know that I function well with a set routine. I enjoy watching the “newness” of a season slowly give way to a sense of normalcy, solid expectations of what each day may bring, what the workload looks like, what my weeks may be filled with. Routine is like a blanket on top of a comforter, when you are settling into bed, it provides an extra layer of warmth, comfort, and weight. It puts me at ease.

There’s something about the month of September that seems to be the yearly mark for normalcy and routine in my life. The past few years, I’ve felt my routines begin to settle down in September…

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comeback kid.

There’s something comforting about counting repetitions.

It’s methodical, it’s predictable, and it provides a structure. When I walk into the gym, I am not thinking about anything else. I am focused on my workout, on my weights, on my repetitions.

1, 2, 3, 4.
5, 6, 7, 8.
9, 10, 11, 12

And repeat.

I had a breakdown last week. The feelings, the thoughts, the fears over losing pieces of my life that meant so much to me swallowed me up like a wave in the ocean. I felt like I was drowning, and began doing anything necessary to get back up to the surface. I cried on my couch for a few hours. I sent text messages I should have left unwritten. I prayed, I cried some more, I went to a place I haven't been to in a long time…

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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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