I’m Leah. I’m 28 years old, and I live in North Sydney, on Cape Breton Island.
I was born in 1984 in British Columbia.
My parents brought me to Cape Breton a few months later when they moved here to buy land and build a home.
They were originally from Ohio (my dad) and Quebec (my mom), and they raised me and my little brother in a cabin surrounded by tall spruce trees, about five kilometers outside of the village of Baddeck. I’ve lived on Cape Breton for my whole life, more or less, with short stints in BC, Australia, the United States, and New Brunswick.
I’ve always loved writing, from when I was a little girl making my own books by stapling pages together, to my first blog, which I wrote from 2002 to 2012. (You can explore its archives here.)
In 2007, in the third year of a Bachelor of Arts degree, I experienced severe anxiety and depression, and ended up leaving university and coming home to Cape Breton to live at my Mom’s house and recover. Although it was a difficult period in my life, looking back, I’m grateful this happened. I learned so much about mental illness, about myself, and about my real passion in life: not a career or a place somewhere else, but my home, Cape Breton.
So, since then I have chosen to live in Cape Breton, to be a writer, to make a difference in my community, and to live a balanced life (as much as possible – life does throw curveballs!). I try to find inspiration all around me – in other people, in the natural world, in everything I experience.
Since 2007, to pay the bills and make sure there is food to eat (and with no specific trade or accreditation to my name), I’ve worked a variety of low-paying jobs, from short-term contract positions, which were dependent on government grants, (like teaching computers to seniors), to seasonal jobs dependent on the tourist industry (like waitressing or working in a gift shop). But, so far my love for this place has outweighed my need for lasting financial stability, and so far, I’ve stayed.
In September 2012, I headed back to school, to the Nova Scotia Community College‘s campus in Sydney, to study Graphic Design, which I’m really interested in, and which I also hope will provide me with steady, well-paying employment here on Cape Breton, in the future. Here is a post about going back to school at age 28. I also moved from Baddeck to North Sydney to be closer to the college, and to move in with my boyfriend.