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I’m basically a house cat with a penchant for introspection | IG: @shannonleighwrites ☕️:

How we long for that which we cannot have.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

The thing about being tied to the emotionally unavailable is that this person can be sitting right next to you and still feel miles away.

It’s a strange sensation, really.

You miss the person most when they’re close, because you know it’s only a matter of time before you get locked out. You can sense it — sense the fact that they’ll be pulling away from you shortly. And no matter how hard you try, you’ll always be unable to reach them once they change the locks.

If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s unavailable on an emotional level…

And there are pieces of me lost in all of its streets.

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I’m driving through the quiet streets of my small hometown, listening to a horror fiction podcast through my car stereo. There are thick clouds blanketing the sky like a fog, and though it’s not supposed to rain, I wonder if a storm might settle in during the evening hours.

As I’m driving, I pass my high school on the left-hand side — an old and spacious brown-bricked building sitting on the corner of a busy intersection. There are tall maple trees clustered around the property, their leaves obscuring the school’s high windows. I remember sitting in ninth-grade math staring out…

And how we can learn to better embrace ambiguity.

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At its essence, the fear of uncertainty is feeling uncomfortable with the unknown. And yet, anyone with any life experience knows that uncertainty is part of the package. There’s a greek proverb that suggests “there’s nothing more permanent than what’s temporary,” and despite my best efforts, that notion has proven itself to be true in my life, time and time again.

So why are so many of us equipped with a fear of the unknown, when so much of our lives are built upon that which we cannot predict or control?

It may be because intolerance of uncertainty is a…

The Art of Self-Righteous Anger

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Last year around this time, I was ready to rip the paint off my walls. Which walls? All of them. Why paint? Because wallpaper was (and still is, at least as far as I’m aware) out of style. In any case, I was furious.

If you’re familiar with the Fantastic Beasts films by J.K. Rowling, you may remember the Obscurus character — that swirling tornado of dark energy that ravaged everything it touched? Yeah, that was me. The more I tried to control my anger, the more powerful and destructive it became.

My fury had a life of its own…

As they say — you first have to kiss a few frogs.

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If you’re anything like me, you didn’t marry your high school sweetheart. You dated around and tried on different types of people until you found someone to settle down with. Or maybe you’re not like me — you’re still single and having fun, trying not to focus on a long-term commitment.

In either case, dating helps us discover who we are and what we value. It also resurrects old wounds and reveals our most salient pain points. Dating is an exercise in passion and patience, an intricate dance that often ends just as passionately as it begins.

I think everyone…

All the things I’d tell him if he were still here.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Dad, I wish I could get the last image of you out of my head. It was a sacred and devastating thing, to see you right after you’d died. But it was almost as heartbreaking as watching you for weeks in a coma, fighting to stay alive.

I walked into your hospital room that final day thinking I could handle it. My brother warned me it would be hard because he’s seen death more than I have. But I never anticipated it would be that harrowing. …

Reasons why we settle when we should just move on.

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First, I’ll admit I was the queen of finding men that weren’t right for me, and subsequently honing in on the few tiny reasons that justified sticking around. I was chronically dissatisfied with my love life, and while I couldn’t think of much else, I still couldn’t figure out how to move from the in-between into the realm of full-blown dating.

I made every excuse in the book for why I stayed. Hell, I even managed to convince myself that I was doing the right thing by sticking around. …

And how we often confuse this with love.

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

My high school boyfriend was… complicated. I was fifteen, quiet, and studious; he was seventeen, popular, and barely passing his classes. I was smitten from the moment I met him, but he barely noticed me.

I spent half a year trying to get him to come around, which at that age felt like forever. I figured if I could only showcase my determination, I could convince him we’d make a good couple. If I stuck around long enough, he’d know I was the most deserving of his attention. I had to stand out among all the other girls who wanted…

Sometimes you’re drowning, other times you’re swept away.

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

The first time I experienced gut-wrenching grief was after suddenly losing my dad in 2018. His death was much worse than I ever could’ve imagined. It hollowed me out. Somehow I survived it — which is the one thing I never thought I’d be able to do. Losing a loved one was among the most common things I worried about as a kid, and yet no amount of morbid ruminating could’ve prepared me for the reality of loss.

Something else I hadn’t anticipated about grief was that it’s more than just one great loss, it was a cluster of scattered…

A true story about a time when an entire family of mice moved into my car.

Photo by Colby Ray on Unsplash

It was the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, and I was working from home. As such, I was only using my vehicle sporadically to do grocery pickups or pharmacy runs.

I drive a Subaru Crosstrek and if there’s something you should know about Subaru owners, it’s that we tend to be obsessed with our cars/SUVs and generally take good care of them.

I’m certainly no exception to this.

My black leather interior gets cleaned and conditioned often. I vacuum the carpets meticulously, then cover them with Weathertech mats to ward off sand and salt. I get…

Shannon Leigh

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