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Buried No More

I closed my eyes. Just take a deep breath. Just do the next thing. One foot in front of the other. I opened my eyes and looked at the ever-growing disaster of paper on my desk and sighed. Why am I still here? Why am I still doing this?

This thought had been haunting me for months as I had watched my anxiety and exhaustion spiral. I went home every day tired and no matter what health kick I went on or new stress reliever plan I tried, I woke up the same way. My problem wasn’t this pile of paper. My problem was my inability to say no to this paper. Everything else was just a symptom.

It’s no longer a question that this insanity had to end, it was now a fact. Deep in my spirit I had learned enough to know a good life was not measured by checking the boxes but by knowing why I was checking the boxes. I had no doubt that this job, this expectation, and this meager living were not why I was checking the boxes, but instead endless shoulds and have-tos that I had created along the way.

I turned and stared at the row of exhausted people across the room. Suddenly, something broke as the misery of staying finally overcame the guilt of walking away. I grabbed my favorite pen, my coffee, my purse, and I stood up and walked out of that office and into my new life.


Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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