Things have been pretty damn quiet on this blog for the past several months causing a few people to ask “Where’d Leah go?”
- I moved to (and am falling in love with) Berlin
- I left Stockholm with all the disappointment of wanting to love it and knowing it was not the best fit for me
- I grieved and situated myself into a life where my dad is a memory and a presence rather than a real person I could call on the phone or go visit
- I took on new teams and had the privilege of getting a new engineering partner
- I gave up some teams to new leaders (something that should probably come easier to me after all these years)
- I’ve been unable to concentrate enough to let books give me the reprieve they’ve always provided in the past
- The written word has been elusive and non-work creativity unattainable
- I’ve spent countless minutes, hours, days on a journey inside my own head during the strain of transition, the difficulty of grief, and the joy of adventure
And then my friend Don died. And in his death there is another profound journey to take. Losing Don means losing one of the people in my life who has always been in my corner cheering me on, while never letting me believe my own bullshit or going easy on me when I was wrong. He celebrated my honesty and courage. He pondered the deep things of spirituality with me giving me his agnostic bend and telling me his truth about wanting to believe, but finding it impossible. He always insisted that in his presence I feel brilliant, beautiful, talented, and strong.
So…in the days since his leaving us, I’ve had to give myself a heavy dose of “What would Don say?” about so many things. The one thing he would for sure say is “WHY ARE YOU NOT WRITING ALL OF THIS DOWN??? WHO GIVES A SHIT IF IT’S ANY GOOD. YOU ARE A WRITER…SO WRITE.”
And here I am. Tapping out words that hurt and heal. Acknowledging the loss and knowing full well that there is joy left in the remembering. The remembering of my dad. The remembering of quiet nights watching the snow in Stockholm. The remembering of summers on Whidbey Island and drinks on rooftops in Seattle. The remembering of painful business decisions and joys at major wins for my team. The remembering of long days without words…written, read, or spoken. And the remembering of hours of conversation with a friend who’s voice I can now only hear in my mind.
I’ve always believed that as an old lady I would fill much of my time with remembering. But perhaps some seasons of remembering refuse to wait for wrinkles and age spots. Instead they come when we need them. To boost us…to lift us…to pull us under the water to be baptized and born again…and to help us stand up straighter and press on.
Where’d I go?
Really…where haven’t I been.