Emily Sedgwick is a Communications Specialist by trade. When she’s not working, she runs a Disneyland and mental health blog, using Instagram as her primary medium. Emily and Leo discuss the symbiotic relationship between her blog and job, following her joy to build community, cope with depression and find better opportunities. The episode wraps with Emily sharing her experience with societal pressures through the lens of her identity as asexual. Whether you’re into Disneyland or not, Emily’s story reminds us all of the magic behind finding and cultivating that which brings us joy.
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By: Leo Yockey
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Leo Yockey show. I am Leo Yockey, that if you didn't know that by now, you must be new Welcome. I'm so glad that you're here. We have a cool show lined up for today, I think I really enjoyed this conversation. This is I think, the oldest friend that I've interviewed so far, not not oldest by age, but like oldest in the years of friendship. So I'm really looking forward to it. But I'll get to that in a minute. For those of you who get my journal prompt, how to go, I know this one was a lot longer than normal. So bear with me for all the extra writing, but I think it was worth it. Because this topic is one that I'm actually kind of struggling with myself a little bit. So we are on this journey together. For those of you who don't know, every Friday, I send out an email with one of my favorite book quotes from a different book every week, and a journal prompt to go along with it. And we're all kind of just on this journey to get to know ourselves a little bit better. And I always participate too and and add into the beginning of this podcast, like what what I got out of the previous one. So this past week, we were talking about Bernie brown and being in a fog and not really getting a lot of work done in that fog and maybe just chilling out from work and watching a movie or doing something fun, instead of trying to bulldoze through that. Because Listen, I know for me when I'm in that fog, because I start to feel like it's like I can't focus. And I kind of feel this like weird energy in the front of my head. And I am like really compulsive like I go to just grab to like whatever muscle memory will do, whether it's grabbing my phone and going on Instagram, going on to you know, cnn.com from my browser and looking at the news or the LA Times or something like that. You know what I mean? I guess the best way to describe it is, it's like I kind of lose control of what I'm doing. And I'm not being intentional anymore. And the more than that I tried to just write the ship and just will myself back into being productive. It's almost like being in quicksand, right? Like I'm trying to climb my way out of climb my way out. And it's like, the more that I climb and fight and and and try to dig my way out, the more I sink in. And it's the weirdest days like I feel like we don't allow ourselves to have breaks. You know what I mean? Like, we think that it's bad if we need to take a day off or a week off or an hour off, even in some cases. So now I'm just trying to figure out what my pattern is, you know, I can kind of figure out what the fog feels like. But now the next step is figuring out when it happens. Why is it happening? Yeah, I don't know. What, what did y'all get out of it? I got a couple emails back. Thank you. For those of you who emailed me back. I know some people were really stoked to see a Bernie brown quote. Yeah, it it. Listen, let's get into the show. Like I said, My guest this week, Emily Sedgwick, she is the oldest friend that I have that has been on this show so far. She we work together way back in the day in like 2012, and have been friends since we've been to Disneyland together a couple of bunch of times. And I will touch on that in a second as well. She works currently as a communication specialist for a retail company. But in her free time, she is a blogger. And she you know, she uses Instagram mostly as her medium. And her posts and her content focuses mostly on mental health and Disneyland. Now, for those of you who don't know, there is a community of people who really enjoy going to Disneyland. And there are adults who essentially go every single week, sometimes multiple times a week, and some of them go for the culinary experience because there's a lot of good food and drinks in the park. Some just go because they like to go on the rides. Other people go to like take pictures and meet other people and just be in the nostalgic environment. And it brings a lot of people a lot of joy. So you know, there's a lot of people who don't get it and kind of judge it and there's a lot of like, Oh, I don't trust an adult who's into Disneyland and to all that. I say Why? Why does it matter? When something brings someone joy and it does doesn't harm anybody? Why does it matter? Because at the end of the day, we all spend money on weird shit. Why does any Why are there adults that want to build stuff with Legos? Why are there adults that want to be shirtless in 20 degree weather and paint their bodies the color of their favorite football team? We all do shit. That doesn't make sense. Because it's fun, and it brings us joy. And that, hey, that's kind of the point, you know, that Bernie brown talks about when she talks about play, sometimes we just got to do things because it brings us joy. And that should be all that matters. But anyway, that's just a little bit of context for what Emily ends up talking about. Emily Sedgwick is a communication specialist by day and has a blog primarily on Instagram, where she talks about both mental health and Disneyland and kind of brings the two together in a fun way. We're gonna talk about that a lot in this interview. And we also talked a little bit about her sexuality, because Emily just recently came out as asexual. I feel like it was cool to be able to talk to Emily about what that experience is like, and you know, kind of like everybody else on this show. It's just another example of how much easier it is to live live. When you know your truth, and you live your truth. And you accepted because having to constantly think about what society's expectations are and whether or not you're you're living up some it's just it's no way to live. Here's Emily. What's up, Emily? How's it going? It's going great. I mean, it's the weekend right now. I am relaxing, chillin with my dog. Life's good. That's great. And you're on Monday through Friday flow, right? Because before you worked on Saturdays, I did. Yeah. I mean, for the past, what, like eight plus years of my life, I've been working the weirdest schedule ever. So it's great to actually have a normal weekend and be able to plan ahead for things. Not that we can plan right now for anything. But you know, hopefully soon. I know we're getting there. We're getting there. By the time this comes out, I will be fully vaccinated. But at the time of recording which peek behind the curtain for the listeners, today is Saturday, May 8, I'm about three weeks out from being fully vaccinated. I get my second shot this Thursday. And then two weeks after that, I'll be fully in. Oh, that's exciting. I'm actually fully vaccinated as of next Tuesday. So three days until it's past my two weeks and good. Congratulations. That's awesome. We'll definitely we'll definitely hang out very soon once we're fully vaccinated, especially now that I'm up here in the valley again, yeah, the speaking of weekend. So what, what exactly is it that that you do both in work and on Instagram? Yeah, I'm for work, I have a full time job. I'm a communication specialist for a retail company that has locations all across the US. So for them, I do internal communications. So typically writing a lot of emails and memos and news bulletins, and newsletters, and documentation for employees across the company. So it's really cool to kind of be able to write in different styles and, you know, really tune into who I'm speaking to, because it'll either be a line level employee, or maybe a manager or a field leader, or, you know, just all sorts of people across the organization. And I think that kind of ties in with what I do with my social media channels as well. So I have an Instagram account, it's magic starts with M nets, em like Emily. And I started it just because I had too many extra photos from my Disneyland trips, because I'm a very frequent Disneyland visitor or was pre pandemic. And it kind of grew into a lot more than that. So I use it pretty much as a personal blog now, but still related to Disney, and then just kind of my personal mental health journey, and really trying to build my audience and community there. So I post a couple times a week, I usually do have a lot of prompts on my stories. I have a mental health series that I do on a somewhat regular basis, and it's really eye opening to me how how much people resonate with it. And I think it really ties in with what I do for work in that, you know, I'm still kind of finding out what that who that audience is and like what they want to see because at the end of the day, yes, I'm I'm posting for me on Instagram, but I also have to be mindful of what the people that follow me want to see Because otherwise, I'm just kind of speaking into a vacuum. So there's a lot of overlap with, you know, finding that audience finding what resonates with them. And how do I tie that into my passions as well and make it something that everybody can relate to or enjoy? Yeah, that's really interesting. I like I like that a lot that you're kind of looking for the right voice to use with your audience. And you kind of see the importance of that from your current job. Now, in your previous job, you also, were involved in posting things on social media and stuff like that. So which one came first? Did you start utilizing social media at work? And then started doing Instagram? Or did you were you already posting things on Instagram and creating this Disney account and then kind of shifted into a job where you were also creating content? Good question. Um, so I was working with social media professionally before I started my Instagram account. And even prior to the role, the full time role that I had, with social media, I had an internship where I did social media for a web show back in college, and I had a couple of nonprofits that I was helping out with social media just kind of on a freelance very short term basis when they needed assistance. So I wasn't a stranger to working with social media. But I hadn't ever tried to grow my own account from the ground up until a couple years into my full time role where I did work a lot with social media. In that role, I was mostly kind of engagement and responding to comments and having conversations with people and not necessarily creating the content that was getting posted. And you know, writing the actual image captions, and stylizing, the photos and whatnot. So I think that job kind of made me want to get into that side of things. And from there, I started my Instagram account and had a lot of fun actually being the person behind the content and being able to kind of make it whatever I want. Do you do you think that you were heading into and this might not be something you have an answer for? Because I'm not sure that you've thought about this? But do you? Do you think that you would have had headed down the same path with content creating on Instagram? Had you had you never done social media for a job? Hmm, um, I don't know. I mean, I don't know if I would have and, I mean, I could see it going either way. I think it might have been less likely, if I if I wasn't working with social media, even at the capacity that I was, which wasn't necessarily content creation was just more kind of a customer service function of social media, but I think being able to understand how the platforms work, across like, on all sides, and you know, from every aspect of it, I think, kind of helped me feel more comfortable starting an account and, you know, using things like analytics to see like, how my posts are performing, and, you know, understanding the reasons that brands, well hire somebody, like what I was doing to kind of engage the community and talk to people and, and build that brand presence. So I think kind of having that knowledge really helped kickstart it for me, and helped me realize, oh, okay, like, this isn't something that I am totally clueless about. I feel like if I hadn't ever worked with social media, previous to this, I probably wouldn't have known what I was doing. Not that anybody really knows what they're doing. But I don't think I would have had enough competence to go in and say like, yeah, I can do this. I think I probably would have just kept up with my personal friends and family page and just shared to me Disneyland photos there. Yeah, for sure. And I mean, listeners, this is a very tangible example of this, but I feel like this is something that doesn't get discussed enough is that when you find things that you enjoy, oftentimes, you know, we can get a job that will pay us to learn how to do it, you know, you're learning about social media analytics and, and how to reach the most amount of people and and how to, you know, make branded content, you're learning all these things, literally collecting a paycheck while you do it, and you're immediately turning it around and applying it to your own personal brand. So I think that's really cool that you were able to do that. Because I know personally because I got to see you you know through all the phases of your mental health journey, and when you got really into like really into your your Disneyland Instagram stuff, your mental health was not in a good place. At the time, and I mean, it was it was from the outside looking at it almost seemed like it was deteriorating more daily. So can you kind of speak to how your Disneyland account tied into your depression at that point, whether it was like a coping mechanism or whatever the case maybe kind of walk us through how those two things went hand in hand with each other? Yeah, I mean, the reason that I was struggling was, a lot of it was related to my full time job at the time. And, you know, that's always what I thought it was, I ended up seeing a therapist, and after multiple sessions, she basically told me, yeah, it's your job, like, you need to get a different job. And I was like, tell me something, I don't know, I had been career, I had been searching for a job for for quite a while by that point. And just kind of looking for my next step. You know, like I said, I was working with social media a lot, which was really cool. But from more of a customer service perspective, and there were other aspects of my job that were more customer service heavy, and that just wasn't something that I enjoyed or was passionate about. And while I was good at it, it was kind of slowly eating away at me every single day. And so I think you're right in saying like, day by day, it was it was getting worse. And I did end up starting medication. And while that helped a little bit, it just wasn't, I just wasn't fulfilled in my life. And it was really taking a toll on me, you know, careers. While it shouldn't be your entire life, it takes up so much of your life that if you hate what you're doing, and if what you're doing for work makes you miserable, and gives you mental health decline. Like that's a sign to get out. Yeah, and I knew that, but it was just hard and like, my opportunity wasn't coming. So I think with my Instagram account, when I started that, it was a bit of a coping mechanism for me. And it was kind of an outlet for me to do kind of whatever I wanted, and actually make content that I was passionate about, and prove to myself, I think that I could do a role that required me to be more creative and less customer service oriented. So it was kind of my biggest and one of my only sources of real joy for a while, which is why I leaned into it pretty hard in those times. So I think it got me through a lot. And not just being able to have that creative outlet. But the people that I met through creating that account, are still you know, I have so many good friends today that I met through Instagram. And I think the fact that that payment such a pivotal time in my life. I think it just made all the difference. And it's really the reason that I've kept up with the account. Yeah, yeah, I think I mean, you touched on so many, so many good things there. And actually, you kind of pull the curtain back a little bit for me, because I think you revealed something in here that I don't really think I ever fully understood, because I knew, you know, I, you you talked to me a little bit about your previous job, you know, when you're in it at the time, and that you were unhappy. And at the time, I don't think I really realized maybe you didn't have the vocabulary for like the the realization yet that so much of what was upsetting you was that you wanted something more creative. And this was a more customer service based job, which, you know, for the listeners, in Emily's previous job, she was more so like the social media customer service person. So she tweeted at the company, you know, she would be one of the people like responding on behalf of the company. So yeah, on social media, but definitely not like creating posts and stuff in the same way that that she does on on her own accounts. So I think that's really interesting that whether it was conscious or subconscious, which did did you know, at the time, were you like, consciously aware at the time that you wanted to create more, and that was part of why this this job was, in your own words, slowly eating away at you. Um, in some ways, yes. I always knew that. I mean, I always knew I didn't want to do customer service for the rest of my life. That was a no brainer. And I knew that I wanted to do I know I've always been somewhat of a creative person. I've always loved writing, whether it's just like writing an email to somebody or, you know, writing in Instagram caption So, you know, I'm good with words. You know, I love my puns. So, I think I wanted to do something where I could just be more creative and use that side of my brain. But I didn't necessarily have a an exact path that I wanted to go down with that. I just knew, you know, I have I have a lot of great ideas. And I would love to work a job that actually requires me to use those ideas and share those ideas with the company and actually, you know, see them go somewhere, instead of just trying to pick up the pieces of someone's terrible experience with a company or answer their question that they could have found the answer to on the website if they just scrolled a little bit. Yeah, totally. So you were able to do that in in your own environment, which I think is great. Because even just say you're like, I know, I want to do something creative. But our know what, you know, you're able to kind of just use your Instagram account as this playground to be able to figure it out. And and I know the content of itself has evolved a little bit over time. We'll get to that in a second. But I want to focus on something else that she talked about the people that she met, because I know for one, and I'm pretty sure I'm pretty sure I already said something because my plan is to talk about the Disney, it kind of explained Disney culture. And in the intro, you know what I remember, you know, Emily, and I had Disneyland passes, and we go together. And I remember this evolution where it was like, towards the end of us going together, people would come up to Emily or Emily would go up to people and people in this community like they know each other. It's literally a community. It's literally like a culture there. So can you can you share, like one or two like really noteworthy experiences that you had, like with with people that you met through Instagram or something that you got to experience because of your your Instagram account specifically? Definitely. Yeah. The first story I'll tell is you were there for it actually. We went to the parks on Mickey Mouse's birthday. So it was like November. I don't remember I'm such a bad Disney fan. I don't remember Mickey Mouse's birthday at there's dizzy fans screaming out there. So sorry, I'm a paid November at cancel me now. That sounds where I know it's November. But anyway, so we were at. We were at the parks. And we you know, as typical la people were fashionably late. So we don't like getting up early to get to the parks at opening. Unless we're Linus shout out to that weirdo Linus. Shout out to Linus. Linus is the reason I rode Rise of the resistance for the first time, by the way. So like, thank you, Linus. Anyway, tangents. So we arrived, you know, early afternoon as we would. But for Mickey's birthday, they were giving out these cute little free souvenir buttons that said, like Happy birthday, Mickey Mouse, and I really wanted one. And when we got there, they didn't have them at the entrance anymore. And we went in a couple stores, and they didn't have them. And I was like, Man, that sucks. Like, what if they're out? So I posted on my Instagram story. And I was like, hey, if anybody's in the parks today, and somehow got an extra button, I'm looking for one. And then not, you know, 10 minutes later, I got a DM on Instagram, from a couple girls who we followed each other. And, you know, I had never really talked to them before we had disliked each other's posts. And that's kind of it and they were like, Hey, we do have a couple extras. like where are you out, we're over in this area of the park. Um, so we ended up we were near that area. Anyway, so we ended up we were like getting a character photo or something. Once that was finished, we went up and met them and they gave us a couple of their extra buttons. And it was really cool because that was I think the first time that I really just randomly met up with somebody that we mutually kind of knew each other from Instagram. And since then, almost every time I have gone to the parks, I have run into them, I see them so much like I went to the touch of Disney event that they were having, like the food festival before the parks open for real after the pandemic and I ran into them there and it was just the coolest experience so it's really cool to just notice that you know, you see them all the time because they love Disneyland and you love Disneyland so it's not only your that you're just both fans of the same thing like you share a lot of the same experiences so that's really that was really cool for me to kind of have that happen that day. That's super cool and I and I do remember that and I'm actually so glad that you use a story that I was there for because I can attest like when we got there and and those those pins were gone I mean you you were upset like that kind of like ruined your day a little bit so on the flip side to have the pins like kind of major day again and especially I mean ended up being so much better have an experience to kind of go through like not having it and then being able to like utilize your network and and now you have it and now it's an adventure now you have these friends. I think that's really Cool, but I want to, for the listeners, I want to make sure that they understand the timeline that I'm seeing here. Because you know, if you even if you don't give a shit about Disneyland specifically, I think there's a lot of things about Emily's story that are really universal. So, anyway, if you know, you know 99% of my listeners just went What? Did the skip What? Yeah, no. I love it. Anyway. Um, so a couple years ago, or however, when it went exactly did you start this Instagram account? The second Disney one, um, the Disney. Gosh, was it 20 lates. It was in September of either 2017 or 2018. Okay, so it's been about three or four years. So, three or four years ago, Emily's in a job that allows her to use social media but not quite in the way that she likes. Son happy with the job becoming depressed. Because when we're at a job that we don't like, you know, it can it can eat away at her soul because of how much time we spend there. Meanwhile, Emily's creating this Instagram account because she goes to Disneyland a lot. She enjoys Disneyland she wants she takes a ton of pictures while she's there, and she likes making captions. And there, they are always very punny. If you go and follow Emily, she always has puns on her caption, if you're into that kind of stuff, they're delightful. You'll love them, her links in the show notes. But I digress again. So she's creating the Instagram account. And it's helping her cope. And meanwhile what she's also doing, she has this outlet, but she's also learning how to have better reach on Instagram, she's learning how to make her account more appealing to other people like her something that I think it's Arlen Arlen Hamilton says, you know, you have to be who you are at all times. So that the people looking for, you know, know who you are, know where you are. So you're working on doing this, you're you're consistently getting better at it. And, and I can say also from having witnessed the behind the scenes that you know, your trips to Disneyland, were becoming a lot more deliberate and strategic, and you were starting to think about this content, and it was giving you, you know, something to do something to focus on. And all the while you're building this community, building this community, and then two things happen. One, that experience from using your social media in this way, as far as I know, helped you get that other job, right? Yes or no? Um, I would say somewhat Yeah, I actually got my job through LinkedIn, and I don't think I would have ever even thought to try to optimize my LinkedIn without my social media knowledge that I gained from this whole thing. So there it is. So learning stuff together. So you know, you learn stuff to be able to get a better job. So your actions on Instagram, your choice to take that depression, and cope with it in a creative way, in your way, your very unique creative way. purpose, like lifted you up, you rescued yourself from that job, that was depressing you that honestly was killing you, right. And you also have created this amazing community where you have these friends who make the things that you enjoy, more enjoyable, you know, like you did all that. You did that. I did it. How does that feel? I mean, it's when you say it like that, it feels great. You know, it's not necessarily everyday that you look back at the past several years of your life and kind of see how you progress. So yeah, I mean, it's, it's really cool to look back and, and see what, how much better place I'm in now than I was even, you know, a year and a half ago. Yeah. 100%. And I think exactly like, like you just said, you know, when you when you put it like that you don't really think about your life in the past few years. And I think I think it's important that we do that every once in a while, because it's so easy to get caught up in what we want to be in the future. And this ideal version of ourselves that will never hit because the perfect ideal version of ourselves doesn't exist. If we get to that life's gonna be boring, we might as well die, right? So like, we're always gonna, like, not add up to that. But if we look past to our past, and look at where we were at, compared to where we are now, you know, a lot of times and a lot of different ways, you know, we'll be better off. And if we look back and really, really look and peel back and say how exactly did I get here? from there? We'll see that it's usually those moments where we decided like, I'm going to do something. I have to do something, what can I do? What do I love and and and doing it You know, I've heard people joke. I don't know if they're joking, actually, I've heard people say, who don't like Disneyland who are like, I don't trust adults who are obsessed with Disneyland. And I've started responding. Like, as someone who's also obsessed with Disney as an adult, I get it. We're all kind of going through something. Yeah, it's definitely our version of the bar. It's fine. Exactly. But that's the thing that I that's my, my, why that makes me mad like that argument from people. Because it's like, how is enjoying a theme park? Or like, a themed experience like Disneyland, different than things that other people enjoy doing? Like there are grown men who like paint their faces and go to sports games, every chance that they get? I tend to agree. I don't understand that. But hey, like, if that's what brings them joy, let them have that, you know what I mean? Like, I get it, because I have that same feeling for this other thing, which is Disneyland. So it's kind of like, I just wish these people like either these people don't have something like that, that makes them that brings them that unconditional kind of joy. Or they just haven't made that connection. Like, oh, the way I feel about this is the way that Disneyland makes these people feel. So maybe I should stop judging them for enjoying things, you know? Yeah, exactly. And that's exactly it. It's like, the reason why I think your story's universal, even if people don't care about Instagram, don't care about Disneyland, is because the thing that you did was fine, what brought you joy, and found a way to both do more of it, find a way to be creative in that space, and find a way to connect with other people in that space. So that that formula can be lifted and taken into anything? Do you need to go to more sports games? Do you need to go to the theater? Or do you need to, you know, literally create stuff and woodwork, like whatever that thing is? Like, go find it and go do it? You know? Yeah, I had an experience where, in the last job that I had, it was affecting my mental health really badly, also. And I started writing a lot and writing helps me kind of cope. I wasn't fully better, like I still had some looming mental health issues, because I was still in that job. And that job was the root cause of a lot of the issues at the time. But those other coping mechanisms did help. So did you find that even though you know, all your depression stuff, probably you were probably still dealing with it up to and after leaving that job? But was it? Had it? Had it gone down? Was it starting to subside? Once you started doing the creative stuff? Um, I think in some ways, yes. But in other ways. Now, you know, obviously, if you're in that rough of a mental state, nothing's really going to help you until your situation changes. But I will say that, you know, being active in that online community that I had fostered for myself, and being able to like go to the parks and have those unique experiences. In those moments, I did feel actual happiness, which is something that I couldn't remember feeling in years before that. So it did remind me what it feels like to be happy, if that makes sense. Like, I would actually genuinely feel good about it. And that was something I really wasn't getting from any other aspect of my life at the time. So I think, even though overall, my situation wasn't necessarily improving, because of it, it was the reason that I remembered what it was like to actually be happy about something. So I think that was really a great thing. Yeah, and I think that's great. Yeah, I think that's a good point. You know, there's definitely a jumping off point or a cut off point or a line in the sand, whatever you want to call it. Where, yeah, just to just say you can you can take pictures and sing your way out of depression is naive at best and dangerous at worst. But just it's almost like, without sound so cheesy, but it's like, it's like Chicken Soup for the Soul, like chicken soup, not gonna make your flu go away. But it sure does make it feel a lot better to deal with it. And this was kind of your, your mental health chicken soup was was this Disneyland thing that probably made it easier to or maybe, hopefully made it easier to deal with other things, and maybe even in some cases gave you the strength to do the things that you actually had to do for your mental health that your doctor wanted you to do or your therapist or whatever the case. Yeah, definitely. I think it did kind of help give me the motivation to just keep going and do you know, normal, everyday life things that people probably wouldn't even think about. But it's you know, once you get into that state of depression, you just don't want to really do anything anymore. So the fact that I had one thing that kind of kept me going through life and made me realize like, Oh, yeah, like I should be a functional human being like that was really, really helpful. Yeah. So like, once you once you left the job that was like severely affecting your mental health. Were you surprised by anything that was still like looming with your mental health? Like, were you? Were you expecting like things to get resolved more easily? Were there still other roadblocks at that point? A little bit. Yeah. And I think the way that I ended up leaving my job was more unique than most Well, maybe not more unique than most over this past year. But sure, more unique than hopefully a career trajectory might be in the future, though, because so when the pandemic hit, I had ended up starting working from home, because we couldn't go into the office. From there, I was furloughed. And they told me, we'll call you back when we need you. But we don't know when that is. And in that time, while I was furloughed, and not working at all, that's when I actually ended up interviewing and getting this new job. So it kind of slowly tapered off from the company that makes sense. So it wasn't really as big of a change as I had always thought it would be. And don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to get this job offer. It was amazing. But I had always thought of it being like a bigger moment, like I had always pictured, like, Oh, my gosh, I'm going to get a job offer, I'm going to solve up happiness, like it's going to be the coolest like most euphoric feeling. And it really wasn't like, it felt good. But it wasn't this, like, Oh, my gosh, fireworks moment that I had always thought that it was going to be and I think part of that might be because I had been away for so long anyway, and not working there for like four months and kind of having time to almost like reset, which I think that furlough I really needed it just for my health. And it did just let me you know, get back on track with just being being a human adult. So that I really think before, in that time, I also adopted my dog. So I think I was going through so many different changes at the time that by the time I did step into the role that I'm in now, my whole life was kind of different. And it had been gradually changing. So I think the biggest shock for me is that like, it wasn't just this aha moment, and everything was better. It's still even with all these abrupt changes felt more gradual. And you know, depression doesn't cure itself overnight, even if the thing that's making your symptoms worse, and aggravating them the most completely goes away. Like there's still healing time from that. So I mean, it isn't until just now I've been in this new job for, gosh, five months now. And it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I talked to my doctor about starting to taper off my antidepressant because I don't feel like I don't have that thing, aggravating my depression anymore. So I don't think that the medication that I'm on is necessary anymore. And I talked to my doctor, and she agreed. So I'm just now starting to kind of taper off of that. So that's been an interesting experience. But yeah, I feel like, I guess, if you're expecting a huge change, I would say don't because things are going to feel more gradual than you think. And I couldn't agree more. That's that tends to be my experience as well, because we can be taken out of the environment, but the me that was damaged and traumatized through that experience is still going on. So yeah, it's a much slower process. And congratulations on being able to taper off the antidepressants. I'm really glad that you've come far enough that that is a thing, like that's very exciting. It is. I mean, there was a point where I was like, Well, I'm probably going to just be taking this for the rest of my life, and not really feeling a huge difference. But if it keeps me you know, from crying at work, then I'm gonna keep doing it. Yeah. 100%. So, we have, we have a little bit of time left, and I'm gonna just completely swear because this is my show, and I can do whatever I want. Yeah, so for me, I look back a lot at times that I was, you know, depressed or had debilitating anxiety. And I found that a lot of times, I can reframe what I'm going through, you know, in the high in hindsight, a lot a lot more easily like I can, I have a better understanding of certain things that I was going through. And I realized that a lot of my problems often don't exist in a vacuum like even even in my case of, you know, like work stressing me out. It wasn't really so much work. It was the work on top of the pandemic on top of the other mental health issues. That I had been ignoring for all these years. And when there was easier jobs and no pandemic, it was easier to just ignore that stuff. So it's kind of like the the snowballing of it. I found for me looking back on my life, being transgender, I can look back on things and realize that there are moments of depression moments of Finn like things weren't right, that I thought were about outside circumstances. And I realized now that living in the wrong gender was at least part of it. Or being in an in an environment where I felt like people didn't really understand the real meat was like, definitely part of it, even if it wasn't a cause. It definitely didn't help you know. So again, this might be something that you haven't had time to think about. But you recently came out publicly on your Instagram as a sexual and with this being Pride Month, I would be remiss if I didn't even bring it up. Have you like looked back on any moments in your in your life? Because I, I have a few other friends for asexual? And I know a lot of it is like the societal pressure of What do you mean, you don't want to be with anybody? So like, have you ever felt like in times where you were going through depression? and depression? Usually one of the biggest issues is that like, you're we're constantly beating ourselves up, why can't I get out of bed? I should be doing better? Why do you think that there were extra pressures about like, your, your sexuality that hadn't been explored that were like weighing down on you, in addition to all the other stuff? You know, I totally think that it did impact me. But I don't know if it was so much during this last kind of big bout of depression in my life, or if it was Previous to that, because I mean, I know before I even started my previous full time job that ended up kind of heightening my depression. Before that I was just in kind of a customer service, like retail sort of role for quite a while and having already graduated college, it was just kind of one of three, I mean, when I graduated college, I was still living with my parents for a couple years. And so there were to me, I had like these three major things that I needed to fix, because I was an adult now, and I shouldn't be like, at this stage in my life, I should be at this stage in my life. And number one was housing, I wanted to have my own place, or at least not live with my parents anymore. Number two was my job. I wanted a actual, like real big girl job and not like a retail job. And number three was our relationship. And I don't think I wanted a relationship necessarily, because there was anybody I was particularly interested in and like, wanted to be with, like, I wanted a relationship because I wanted that experience, but so many other people in my life I've had, and I felt like I must be missing out on something by not having like a long term relationship with somebody. And so that kind of, I think made me I don't know, if I would say depressed, but definitely just like questioning myself and my self worth. And it really played a lot into my self esteem, which wasn't the greatest for me, you know, as a young adult. And I think part of that was that reason. And, you know, a lot of people have misconceptions about asexuality or like, don't understand that it is a spectrum. So just because you, you know, aren't sexually attracted to people doesn't mean that you aren't necessarily romantically attracted to people or, you know, you kind of feel almost like a platonic bond. But like, it's almost more than that, like, Oh, yeah, like, I want you to be like my person, but like, I don't necessarily want to sleep with you, but like, I want us to not be just friends, you know, so it's like this weird, like, in between feeling. So it's difficult. And you know, there were times when I was interested in in men and had crushes on people. And it was just kind of it was weird, because it's like, you want to this, this person, and it was just kind of messing my head a lot. And I think, realizing that there are other people like me, who have who experienced the same thoughts and feelings that I do kind of made me more comfortable being like, oh, okay, well, then, maybe this isn't something that I need to be looking for. Because I feel like now if somebody who wasn't also somewhere on the asexual spectrum, I don't think it would work out. And I think I would, that would just give me another reason to be depressed and yeah, I don't need that in my life. So I think coming to terms with who I am has made me realize like oh, like maybe This isn't one of the three things that I need to focus on, you know what I mean? Like, I don't need to focus on this to make my life better. I can just like, cross that off the list and be like, you know, if I meet someone great that understands and kind of feels the same way that I do awesome, if not, no big deal. Like, I am so happy and being independent and taking care of myself. And I think having another person to share that with would just kind of be like an added bonus if it were to happen. Yeah, that totally makes sense. Thank you for sharing that. You cut out in some parts of it, but I think so hopefully, hopefully the recording recorded okay, but even Oh, yeah, man, you just cut out again, I think we got the the most important stuff, which is that asexuality is a spectrum. And honestly, the biggest clue that maybe you were a sexual was that you kind of realize that your desire to have relationships mostly came from societal pressure, basically, like, this is what everyone's doing. So this must be what I want. Which is, which is so fun. Because to me, that's kind of like the theme of the show of this show. Even though it's more with like careers, it's like, you know, we don't just like, go to college and get good grades and get a good job. Like, we have to be a little bit more creative. Like that was kind of your experience, even with your sexuality was like, you know, it's not just, you know, graduate from high school, meet some nice young man and then marry him and have babies it was, you know, something wasn't quite right with that. And you had to figure that out. And now, now that you figured it out, there's you know, that that nagging feeling of Am I doing something wrong is subsided, and you can you can live your life? And I think that's great. Yeah, me too. I'm very happy. You just kind of having that having the knowledge and knowing like, you know, I don't need to waste my time with dating apps. And I don't need to waste my time trying to find somebody to be with for the rest of my life, because that's not my path. And that's not, you know, it works great for some people, but it doesn't work for everybody. And I think a society and just people on a on a broader level need to understand that what works just because it works for a lot of people doesn't mean it works for everybody. And you don't you know, just because somebody just because someone is single, long term doesn't mean that they're unhappy. Exactly. Exactly. And, man, I think that's the perfect note to end it on. D Do you have anything else would you be remiss if you if you didn't add, if there's, if there's that wire, where's harder, and now, is there anything else you'd like to wrap up anything, anything that you want to get off your chest by anything that we've talked about, the most important thing, I think, to take away is that you, you got to listen to yourself, and what your body is telling you what your mind is telling you. And listen to yourself first. And if what yourself is telling you doesn't align with what society is telling you, that doesn't mean it's wrong. And I would always 100% recommend going with your person, even if they go again. Listen to yourself first. That might just be the episode title. I love that. I love that. Thank you, Emily, I don't I don't know if you remember when you first started your Instagram account and like your follower count was going up. And I kept being really excited for you. And you were like, Oh, I don't know, I guess the thing I was like, I'm getting I was getting excited for you. Because I was able to see some of what I had kind of explained earlier, I was able I was able to see that this was that this was helping you with your mental health and that it was also taking places and it's just, it's so it's so good to be able to see that we didn't even talk about this the social media aspect of your platform. So if people want to follow you, you know, they'll see like a healthy mix of, of you doing what you love and being really involved in Disneyland and and talking really casually, about your mental health and taking care of yourself and and, you know, being being mindful of others and all that. And I think that's great. So if you know, for anybody who wants to follow you, I mean, I'll put the link in the show notes. But where where would you like to be found? Yeah, you can find me on Instagram at magic starts with M. And that's e m, like Emily. And that's pretty much primarily where I live on the internet. Now I am working on launching a website slash blog, which I do have the URL for but it just doesn't have any content on it yet. Maybe by the time this podcast airs, there will be content on it. So if you want to check that out, it's magic starts with.me. So bookmark that. And there might be content on it when you're listening to this or there might not be but there's only one way to find out. The suspense. I love it. Well Emily, I love Have you I'm so excited for where your life is headed. I'm so happy to see you on the other side of this depression. It was, it was a privilege to be able to, you know, witness some of this journey and I'm, I'm one of these days we'll go to Disneyland together again. Yes, one day when they bring annual passes back, we will be there. Right? You just gotta just just got to make that happen. Although I heard they're never coming back. So I don't I don't know. We'll talk about that offline. I come from Yeah, yeah, pretty sure most of my listeners don't care. So probably, hey, maybe you have like a whole untapped knee audience they didn't know about. They're just like all closet Disney fans, and now they're finally comfortable sharing that with you. You never know. Well, you hear that closet of Disney fans? Now's your chance. If you want me to know that you are a closeted Disney fan listening to the Lia shot. Shasha. Listen to the Leo Yockey show. Please send me a DM and tell me as such, because I would love to know we'll get a Leo Yockey show. Disneyland trip gone. It'll be lit. I would be I would totally do that. Oh, yeah. Why not? leave a review? Five stars for Disneyland? fans. Exactly. Yes. All right. Thank you, Emily. I will talk to you later. I don't know why I said that. Like I was gonna say other things. See you, Emily. Hi. Thank you so much for having me. This is super fun. Once again, that was Emily Sedgwick. Thanks for coming on the show again, Emily. For those of you who like Disneyland, and even for those of you who just want to feel some of that Disney nostalgia. Emily's Instagram is a great follow. Even if you just appreciate a good pun. Honestly, she she's great to follow even for that because every single post has some sort of really creative fun. I love it. Anyway, if you like this episode of the podcast, be sure to rate it five stars. Give me a review. Be sure to subscribe or follow or add I don't really know what Apple podcasts is doing anymore. It's all very confusing. And if you want to sign up for my journal prompts every Friday, you can go to Leo Yockey calm that's leoyocky.com I do not think I said that last week. So hopefully anybody who wanted to sign up just saw it in the show notes because it will always be in the show notes. I copy and paste it so never have to worry about that. And follow me on Instagram or other social media wherever I'm at. You can find me at Leo evolving. That's LEVO l vi n g. I will see you next week with my friend I Isha Blake and we'll be talking a little bit about the tech industry. Stay evolving.