journal

Reinventing Myself

adventure

 

Master of Reinvention?

Probably not.

I've always fancied myself a sort of "master of reinvention"...mostly because I've had to do it so many times. 

However, now that I think about it constantly reinventing yourself might be a sign that you're not good at reinvention at all.

Perhaps the problem lies in how I was previously looking at this concept...

 

I Cannot Leave Here, I Cannot Stay

I'm ready for the next experience.

My sister has these words tattooed on the tops of her feet. It's apropos placement because our feet take us on our journey through life, but in the phrase lies a contradiction that keeps your feet in one place. And I can think of no better way to describe my situation right now. If I can't leave and I can't stay...where am I? I'm stuck. I feel so stuck. Whether it's because of debt, money, mindset...it's really all of the above. But more than money I think it's how I've chosen to think. I think we all limit ourselves. We come up with a million reasons why we can't do things when really if we really wanted to do something we would...I am guilty of this. 

I want to break the chain. It's so hard isn't it? Breaking out of these habitual thought processes that keep us in one place and limit our thinking requires hard work. It's much easier to clock-in to a 9 - 5, pick up our paychecks, take our 12 holidays per year, and satiate our unhappiness with television shows and possessions. 

I get so stuck in that mode of thinking. I get a momentary happiness from purchasing the things I've "wanted" for so long...no I don't need all of the things that I buy...most of us don't. We work jobs we don't want to buy things we don't need...and it's an endless cycle. 

That's a quote from Fight Club isn't it? Of course, I always find myself quoting that film/book (haha). 

Society wants us to limit ourselves. I always used to get so frustrated in conversations when people asked me what I did...for starters I was still finding out what I "do" (and I still kinda am), but if I said I was a photographer they would want to know what of. If I said I did a little bit of everything it confused people and made me look foolish. I've just never wanted to sum up what I did into one thing. Maybe that's easy when you're a lawyer or a doctor or nurse. Whenever I limited myself to just one aspect of my interests and talents it made me feel disingenuous. I spent much of my 20s not knowing how to describe who I was to people. 

If you're not this or you're not that, what are you?

So, I tried fitting into the confines that society wants me to be in...and that only made me feel worse.

To me, it's always felt akin to brainwashing and I've been searching for a way to get out of the system while also being afraid to leave it...because it's comfortable in the system isn't it?

 

life happens outside your comfort zone

I cannot leave here, I cannot stay.

Well...I  have to leave here and I can't stay. Ever since I moved back home into my parents house (for the second time in my 20s) I've been experiencing this feeling all over again - the feeling of not knowing where I belong. I have ideas, goals, and things I'd like to achieve, but a lot of them are far outside of my comfort zone. 

I've tried moving away with a significant other. I found that that isn't what I truly wanted. Now that I'm finally settling into what I believe is going to be who I am and what I want in life (at least for now) I know that I need to better my future for myself. 

From high school to the first half of my 20s I thought I was supposed to find a husband who would take care of me. Yeah, that's what I was taught and believed. I truly thought that in order to have everything I wanted I needed that first. How sad. I know that that can bring a lot of people happiness and if that's your joy then I am happy for you, but that's not my joy. 

Underneath everything I was taught and conditioned to believe is a rebel. I value my freedom and my independence sometimes more than I even realize. 

I broke up with my first boyfriend at the age of 14 stating "commitment issues" and I cheered "I'm free!" when he agreed to the breakup. Sometimes I think I knew myself better then than I do now. 

After that getting my drivers license and my first car was my next act of freedom and independence. It felt amazing. I could go where I wanted to go. I didn't need to rely on anyone and I could feel freedom behind the wheel. In fact, it was such a huge milestone for me that it's what I wrote my college essay about.

It's so surprising to me then that I found myself in my 20s trying to limit my freedom as much as possible, but a little bit of dormant feelings from emotional abuse, daddy issues, and unhealthy relationships can do that to a person. 

I may have lost myself for a while, but I'm ready to reclaim that freedom once again.

So, now that I know what I want to do comes the hard part: Doing it. 

It's very outside of my comfort zone, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

 

Never change for anyone else's benefit but your own.

my mistake: I thought I had to change who i am to be loved and accepted.

Reinventing yourself isn't about changing yourself...it should be about becoming a better version of who you've always been.

Look at it this way...it's like a snake shedding it's skin...or wait, maybe a better metaphor is a phoenix rising from the ashes, but either way...

As you grow you live in a moment for a time, you have new experiences, and when it comes time to shed that part of you and move on you do and you find that you are shiny and new underneath, ready for the next experience.

That's where I find myself now and I wish strength to all of you who are also along on this journey with me. 

We are not alone. We all experience this. It's part of being human.

Wherever it is that you want to go, don't worry you'll get there. 

You just have to take the first step.

The hardest thing I ever physically did was climb a mountain, but when I got to the peak I was so grateful that I did - the view from the top was incredible.

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Thoughts On Vulnerability

Why do I make myself vulnerable and share my struggles so openly?

First of all, I think it’s important. When I was growing up it would’ve helped so much to hear someone say, “I know what you’re going through, I understand you, and I have similar issues.” Because in moments of struggle, especially as a kid, you feel like you’re the only person in the world experiencing what you’re experiencing.

As a teenager that feeling only got worse for me. I felt alienated from my peers and I pushed away from friends and social activities. I felt like there was something wrong with me that kept me from being open about the things I was going through. While others seemed to be leading normal lives I felt mine crumbling around me. No one else was talking about their personal issues either. Because of that it took a lot longer than it should’ve for me to learn that every single person struggles with something - family, mental health, you name it...insert issue here.

Life isn’t easy for anyone, but we try to make it seem like it is.

We have this way that we conduct ourselves in society that doesn’t acknowledge our problems. Instead we are encouraged to keep personal matters to ourselves. But over the years I think I have started to see that form of societal thought shift for the better. 

With the Internet we’re able to easily connect with people who have similarities to us and we create little communities with the people that make us feel like we're not so alone. So, I like being open about my struggles within my communities.

Not only does it feel good to vent my thoughts and feelings - it’s incredibly rewarding if I’m able to help someone else feel validated in what they're going through. I know it’s helped me.

I look at it as being a sort of mentor to people who need someone to understand what they’re going through and offer inspiration, motivation, support, and advice if they want it. I feel like I have experienced quite a bit and made enough mistakes along the way that I'd like to at least use that knowledge to help others. 

Of course opening up on a large scale makes one very vulnerable to criticism and judgement, but I'm not going to let that stop me from doing something that I think is important. 

Even if it is a little scary I'm going to continue to do it.

And I fully support and encourage others to, as well. 

The more open we are the more connected we'll be.

Starting Over - My Blogging Story

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Hi! I'm Leah. But you probably already know that since you're on my website! :) 

Blogging has been a constant love/hate experience for me over the past 10 years. 

If you've been with me for any part of it then you may know a little bit about my stop and go blogging story. But just in case you're just finding me now let's start at the beginning!

I'm a writer and I've always wanted to blog - to share what I'm thinking, what I'm loving, and what I'm experiencing with others. Writing is one of the best ways for me to communicate. As an introvert it's just natural to me and I often say that I'm generally able to articulate myself better through writing than speech. Because of my love for writing and desire to connect I've always wanted to be a blogger! You'd think that I'd be a natural at it, but over the years I've struggled with finding myself in the blogging world. 

I've always thought I needed to have a focus - a brand. This led me to try on as many different styles as I could think of...a travel blog, a food blog, lifestyle, beauty, fashion...

But none of it stuck. I would be passionate about it for a time, but then my interest would fade and I'd be on to the next thing. So, I stopped trying to make the blogging thing happen. The only problem is I still have the desire to do it! And that's when I realized my issue:

I don't want to be defined by a certain style of content. 

I don't want to be the "fashion girl" or the "beauty girl."

All I want is to be me.

So, I realize now that my brand is both nothing and everything.

Complete freedom.

I'm done trying to fit all of my many interests into one sellable package. I want this blog to encapsulate everything about me. So, sometimes I might be reviewing a product, or I might be showing you all a new outfit that I'm loving. Other times I might be sharing what I'm thinking about or what I'm reading or watching on Netflix. 

I even want a place to share what I'm struggling with in the hopes that maybe my problems, mistakes, and experiences can help others or at the very least show them that they are not alone.

We are all complex people and although Social Media and the Internet might show you that we can all be marketed into one easy to swallow and sell brand...I simply refuse to be limited.

So here's to a fresh start! 

And welcome to my blog.

I hope you like it!

-LA