I’m Not Here To Be Perfect

not perfect

Hello again, friends.

I wanted to pop in and say a quick “hello” and I hope everyone’s doing well and things are going smoothly in your neck of the woods.

I sound like I’m writing a completely general and cheesy introduction email to get a reference from a past supervisor or something. Apologies about that.

Regardless, I do hope all of those things are true.

Because, if I’m honest, things for me are not.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of blessings that the Lord has given me in these past few weeks since moving. He is good–of this I am for certain. I even wrote a little bit about it HERE.

But I am very tired of putting on a brave face for everyone, worried that I might seem like I’m crying out for attention. Because honestly, that’s not a bad thing. We’re human and we crave connection. We crave the tight embraces of those who love and care for us when we’re feeling extra blue. It’s completely natural to need each other and need someone to come alongside you, pat you on the back and say, “Hey, it’s going to be alright. I don’t know what you’re going through, but you’re not alone.”

…aka “attention.”

This move hasn’t been easy. There have been some seriously unforeseen bumps in the road along the way. Moving all the way from the west coast to the east coast alone is a huge leap. Not to mention, moving all the way from Northern California (the Bay Area) to Georgia (the actual South) has been a “yuuuuuuge” (huge) culture shock to say the least.

Do you know about red ants? No?

Well, welcome to the South, folks. They just like to make their little ant hills in the grass, unbeknownst to outsiders from, say, California, and then bite said outsiders all over to say a nice Georgia welcome. Oh, and then, be careful where you park because they might just find their way into your car.

So, that’s how my first week went. A few spritzes of Raid, a gallon of Febreze and a swipe or two of Clorox wipes later, they did disappear–and my car smelled like the world’s worst perfume department ever.

With the ants gone, my car was finally drivable after a few days, so I was definitely happy to take some small trips to and from the local Trader Joe’s (aka home) and get around town as needed. That is, until last weekend–

Do you know where the worst drivers in the U.S. live?

I’ll let you take a wild guess…

No, please–take your time…

Ah, see. I knew you’d get there!

Yes, folks–Georgia, in my humble opinion, has (some of–this is me being gracious) THE worst drivers in the U.S. And you could not pay me to believe otherwise. And you might scoff at me and say, “Oh, Leighann–you’re being a little dramatic don’t you think? Really, I mean, THE WORST? C’mon now.”

“Yes. THE. ACTUAL. WORST.” I’d say, unblinking. I might even throw some claps in there for good measure.

I could sit here and tell you all of this, but perhaps it’s better to show you:


Yeah, that’s my car. Well, was…


*actual footage of me moments after seeing my car*

My case has heretofore, been rested…

It has officially been totaled and I now am in the process of figuring out how to navigate this part of adulting–along with the help of my loving parents and supportive family, as well.

I won’t harp on this much longer, because no one was hurt (praise God) and that is most important. But how does one total a car that was parked legally, in a residential area–that was PARKED? Did I mention, it was parked?


But there is a bright side here, folks: no more ants!

not impressed

And to the people who are all, “Oh, well you only had it for two months anyway, so you probably didn’t get too attached to it. So, it’s fine.” Um, heck to the no. When you save up your hard earned money and make your first big purchase of your young adult life and fall in love with your new car that you SHIPPED cross-country–you can tell me that. Until then, just–stop talking.

I digress.

These trials I am facing here in Georgia are hard.

Being away from my family is hard. Missing my friends back home is hard. Not knowing my surroundings or where my go-to places are yet, is hard. And being too overwhelmed with everything else to have much energy to do much more than get through the day is hard. I’ve probably cried more times in this room than I’ve laughed, and that’s hard. Because the truth of it is, sanctification is hard.

I don’t write all of this here to ask for pity–believe me, I’ve thrown enough pity parties for one–sans delicious party cake–to last me for a long while. I’m writing this because, as I said in the title, I’m not here to be perfect.

I’ve never been someone who is able post a happy-go-lucky picture on Instagram or Facebook when I’m knee-deep in overwhelm or sadness. It just doesn’t feel right.

But I know that there are people out there who do that, whether it is to just cheer themselves up–posting a silly #TBT picture to remind themselves of happier times or whatever–or just to post something encouraging for others. And yet still, there are others of us who post to make it seem as if we have it all figured out–and everything’s “fine, just fine,” when in reality we’re wallowing in the deepest of pits or sulking in the darkest of valleys.

I’m writing this tonight for anyone out there who needs to know that it’s okay to not be okay–seriously. As cliche and lame as that sounds, it’s the truth.

For reals, I’ve cried like three times today–that might sound excessive, but we all have our own range of emotions, okay?!

Just know that your loneliness, overwhelm and downright sadness is okay–it’s normal even. And if you feel like maybe it’s not the norm for you, that’s fine too–there are plenty of trained professionals out there who you can talk to and figure out next steps with.

Please reach out.

Be real. Don’t hide your feelings away–or worse yet–don’t drown them with risky behaviors and patterns (like stress-eating pints of Halo Top because they’re “low-calorie”). And yes, these things are easier said than done. Believe me, I get it, Most of the time, I am writing these things down for myself to remember, because it’s not easy.

But you can do it. It will get better.

Be patient with yourself, that’s the best thing you can do right now. And if it’s the only thing you do today, right now–that is enough.

And know that you’re definitely–absolutely, positively, unbelievably–not alone.

[[If you are in emotional distress or feeling like you might harm yourself or someone else, please call 

1-800-273-8255–they are there to listen, I promise (24/7)]]

First Car

RIP to my baby. And sorry people in Georgia suck at driving.

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Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 16 𝑜𝒻 31

Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
2. You are not the only one 
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 13 𝑜𝒻 31

Home. For now anyways—is Georgia. The most asked question I get lately has been “Well? Are you gonna stay out there, or move back to California?” So, to help answer anyone’s burning question about my plans for the future, here it is:

Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s just get this last year down and then talk specifics, shall we? Here’s to one of my last first days of school. 
To my fellow cohorts: May we grow. May we care for ourselves and others a little better each day. May we get up the hills to our classes in one piece #UGA
  • Wait, I can’t believe summer is over and I officially start my last year of my MSW program tomorrow! What is life? Time is flying by, and I’m just trying to soak up every moment ☀️
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 12 𝑜𝒻 31

Sunday morning. 
Mmmm, tacos 🌮 so far, I’m learning to enjoy this new life stage: also known as adulting. I’ll admit, at times it’s a little scary and a whole lot of trial and error, but I know it’s all a part of the plan—even if it sometimes feels like nothing is going according to plan 🤷🏾‍♀️ #adulting am I right? 
Faking it ‘til I make it since ‘92.

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