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S1E15 - Introvert Moves Across Country w/ Leah Guillama (Part 2)

Episode Description:

In this episode, I am joined by my sister-in-law, Leah Guillama. She’s a fellow introvert like myself and that’s actually what bonded us together. Leah decided to leave all things safe, comfortable, and familiar for a new life all the way across the country to Virginia. We talk about her reasons for leaving, the pros and cons of living in a completely new environment, and how it’s been so far. I feel like a lot of introverts will resonate with the experiences that Leah goes through and the different tangents we go off on. Have you moved across the country or even farther? How was that experience? Please let me know on social media. I’d love to hear your stories.


Some parts of the transcript may be edited for better readability, but the content remains the same. Mostly removed duplicate words, vocal filler words, and added/removed some words for clarification.


Continuation from Part 1...

Leah 29:21

That's so weird.

Meliza Manalo 29:22

Yeah. Because not everyone knew where I was going. They just knew I was leaving the company.

Leah 29:29

They're like, "Bye!"

Meliza Manalo 29:30

Yeah, it was three days later. Because I think I took a Monday off. That was pretty funny.

Leah 29:38


Meliza Manalo 29:39

Anyways, so back on topic. So, Louie went from California to Virginia. But we didn't explain why. So, why did you move from here to there?

Leah 29:52

So, I met my husband in California, and he joined the Navy. And then he ended up being stationed in Virginia. So, he was out here for, I believe, two years before I decided to move out here. We weren't married at the time, but it's so weird because I feel like this is the only decision in my life that I didn't overthink.

Meliza Manalo 30:20

That's true. Well, our lease was also up.

Leah 30:24

Yeah, it was going to be. I still had a good like, because he asked me in February, if I wanted to move. We weren't even engaged yet. He asked me in February. And at first, I thought he was joking. And then when I realized he wasn't joking; I didn't even think about it. I was like, "Sure. Okay. Yeah. I'll move there." And then our lease was up in that September, so I had a few months. But yeah, I moved out here, mainly for that reason. But I was also still going to school. And I knew I could get more out of school on the east coast. Because with the Forensics, it was hard to find something in California, surprisingly. Don't know why, but East Coast has a lot more opportunities when it comes to Forensics. So that was also a plus. Yeah, those were the two main reasons why I decided to move all the way across the country away from every single person that I'm close with. Because of only one person.

Meliza Manalo 31:28

How long have you been there?

Leah 31:31

It's been three and a half years. It'll be four years in December, I think.

Meliza Manalo 31:36

Four years already? That was fast.

Leah 31:40

I think so. Because it was December of 2016 that I moved. Yeah. So, four years, almost.

Meliza Manalo 31:47


Leah 31:48

I know.

Meliza Manalo 31:51

It came in five, I don't know, time is going by just so fast.

Leah 31:56

And at first, I thought it was only going to be for three years. So, I was like, okay, I can do three years. That's fine. We're adding on another six years.

Meliza Manalo 32:08

God, that's such a long time from now.

Leah 32:11

Yeah. So, we're just dealing with it. And it's different definitely. I never thought I'd do anything like this because I'm so attached to home, family. I'm so attached to what I know. I feel like that's part of being an introvert, too, is that I can be uncomfortable in places that I don't know and around obviously. I'm uncomfortable around people I don't know. I'm not the one to go out and just make friends.

Meliza Manalo 32:43

Yeah, exactly. And also, you said, you resonate as being an anxious introvert. So that's even like more so, how can you like move across country?

Leah 32:56

Oh, yeah. And then when you add the military in there, too. There's a lot of people that you're meeting constantly, and everyone's so in and out, too, that you'll feel like you're getting close to someone and becoming really good friends. But then all of a sudden, they go on deployment for six months, or they get stationed somewhere else. So, you don't ever see them again, and they go to a different state, or something like that. So that makes it kind of difficult too. It's probably one of the reasons why I only really made one really close friend here in the last four years. And she ended up moving this past February back to her home state. So that's a bummer.

Meliza Manalo 33:43

Yeah, I know. I remember when you told us she was moving. I was like, oh no!

Leah 33:49

I know. It's very weird because we are very attached to each other. She was my neighbor, Erica. You know Erica.

Meliza Manalo 33:58


Leah 33:59

Yeah. She's my neighbor. So, she's right there. So, anything either of us needed, we're right there next to each other. And both of our husbands ended up being gone at the same time, just somehow it just worked out that way. So anytime we were alone, we had each other. So that made it really easy. Having that on buddy. So, it's been weird now, because it’s kind of feels like how it did when I first got here. I didn't really have many friends. Like, I make friends with people, but you know, it's weird. I have a lot of acquaintances, but I'm one of those people that I like having just a really small group of people that I'm close with and want to hang out with constantly.

Meliza Manalo 34:51

Mm hmm. Yeah, it's like that meme. Where introverts or extroverts when they're around people they're comfortable with.

Leah 34:59

Yeah. Oh my god exactly. If it's me and Erica together, we're non-stop like talking. She used to call me sometimes on the phone. And we're on the phone for like two hours straight. I think we've been on the phone longer than that before.

Meliza Manalo 35:17

You guys live next to each other.

Leah 35:19

Yeah. It's so easy for us to talk to each other. I don't know, we spent so much time together. But I can't do that with everyone. You know Casey, she's really good at just making friends with anyone anywhere she goes. She can talk to anyone. No problem.

Meliza Manalo 35:39

Yeah, it's crazy. Even Bailey. There are times when we're at Target, and I'm just waiting on her. Because she's talking to someone. Like why do you need to talk to someone? Let's get our stuff and leave.

Leah 35:53

Even my parents. That was the worst as a kid.

Meliza Manalo 35:57

Oh my god. Yeah. Your dad.

Leah 36:00

My dad was definitely the worst. My mom can be that way sometimes, but my dad was so bad.

Meliza Manalo 36:07

They're just so good at talking to people. Like, it's insane.

Leah 36:10

Yeah. The funny thing is, my dad told me that when he was a kid, he was painfully shy too.

Meliza Manalo 36:18

Oh, really?

Leah 36:19

Yeah, I remember him telling me that years ago. He said he had no idea how to talk to people. He couldn't hold the conversation. He was so nervous to go up to any stranger and talk to them. And now look at him. Complete opposite.

Meliza Manalo 36:35

That's how Brandon is though. Oh, I'm echoing.

Leah 36:39

You're echoing?

Meliza Manalo 36:40

Yeah. Oh, now it's gone.

Leah 36:43


Meliza Manalo 36:44

That was weird. No but, that's how Brandon is too. In high school, he was really shy and really quiet and very reserved. And even in our friendship, I talked to him first. I came up to him. Because Mikie was like, "Hey, can you go talk to my friend real quick? See if Brandon was coming over to sleep over?" But Mikey wanted to go talk to another friend real quick, but he didn't want to leave Brandon alone. And so, I talked to him. But now it's like, everyone loves talking to Brandon and Brandon can talk to anybody. And he can talk to them forever. And there are times where Joseph will snap me, and it's just Brandon talking to their customers. And Joseph is just waiting for him to finish the conversation.

Leah 37:37

Yeah, I find that happening to me at work a lot.

Meliza Manalo 37:41

Oh, really?

Leah 37:42

I feel like I'm kind of similar to Brandon in a way that people kind of gravitate towards me sometimes.

Meliza Manalo 37:49


Leah 37:52

Most of the time, I'm like, why? But other times I can be in the mood and I can talk to them forever. Even though I don't really know them. It's kind of rare, but it does happen.

Meliza Manalo 38:04

I think, I don't know, maybe it's just how you guys look. Maybe you just look super friendly. So, we don't do our yard anymore. Brandon hired a yard guy. But before Brandon would time it perfectly so that when he does the front yard, it's when everyone's at work or there's no one out there to come up to him and talk to him. And then when he works in the garage, he'll avoid opening the garage. So that no neighbors will come by.

Leah 38:36

That's the kind of stuff that I do. I always like doing my best to just avoid people because I feel like they will come up to me, talking to me.

Meliza Manalo 38:50

Brandon knows our neighbors. And he even has some of their phone numbers. And I'm like, I don't think anyone even knows my name. I think our one neighbor knows my name just because our mail accidentally got sent to them. And that's it. (Laughter)

Leah 39:10

That's funny. Yeah, I'm like, that was Fabian. Because he's an introvert or an extrovert. So, he's usually the one that's like talking to people and stuff. And that's how we got to know Erica and Joe. Because Fabian literally popped his head over the fence in our backyard and was like, "Hey, you guys want to come over for a fire later?"

Meliza Manalo 39:32

Oh my god, I would never do that.

Leah 39:33

I know. I was like, he told me that. Because he told me like, "Oh, the neighbors are gonna come later." I was like "The neighbors? When did you talk to them?" He's like, Oh, I just peeked over the fence." I was like, "What? You did what?"

Meliza Manalo 39:47

Oh, my goodness.

Leah 39:49

I could never. And I'm that type of person where if I see our neighbors or something in the driveway or whatever and I just pulled up from work, I'll sit in my car until they leave.

Meliza Manalo 40:02

Yeah, we had this one lady. She owns one of the houses and they were fixing it up because it got burnt down one year. I don't know how that happened. They just renovated it and fixed everything. But anyway, she was there every morning to check on the house. And she just loves Link. She just absolutely loves corgis and just herding dogs in general. And so, I walk Link in the morning, it got to the point where I would go and look outside the window. And I'm like, okay Link are we gonna walk today? Should we wait? Sometimes I'll just walk him later or I'll get up super early.

Leah 40:49

I've done that. So, when you get to know a person...

Meliza Manalo 40:54

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Leah 41:24

I feel like in the beginning, it's kind of easy to have. Because I kind of like small talk sometimes. Because it's quick, it's not important. It doesn't really matter what you say most of the time. And it's just a really short conversation usually. And then eventually you have this little bit of small talk over and over until you start to kind of get to know them better. But I feel like there's this weird 'in between', between not knowing them very well and then knowing them really well and actually becoming friends. And I feel like in that little grey area, it can get weird sometimes to the point where sometimes you just want to avoid them because you don't want to get to know them too well. I don't know if that's just me.

Meliza Manalo 42:14

Yeah. No, I get that. Like, you don't want to know them too well, because you don't want them to end up being your friend. And then that's another friend you have to deal with.

Leah 42:22

Yes. And that's so bad. It's just terrible. But that is the kind of stuff that happens at the salon. Where I'll see the same client over and over again, and the conversations will become a little bit more personal here and there as they go. And it just gets to a point because they are clients. So, it's highly unlikely that we're going to become friends. Especially when it's a different age group or you don't really have that much in common. They're at the salon constantly, so you kind of have to talk to them all the time. But there's this weird part where I start to get really anxious about seeing them. Sometimes, if I have another receptionist there, I'll try to get them to kind of deal with them rather than me. And it sounds really bad, it's so weird. But sometimes I just get so anxious when certain people come in. Because it's like, I know you well enough, but not too much. It's hard to explain.

Meliza Manalo 43:31

No, I totally get that. That in between. And you don't want it to cross the line of friendship. Because you've gone so far, and you've dedicated too much time. Yeah, that reminds me of this time in college. What is it? So, I used to take the light rail to school because it is free for college students. And there's this guy who just so happened to sit where I'm sitting. And we had a conversation the entire train ride over. I think the train ride was like a good half an hour to school. And then we just so happen to also be walking towards like the same building for class. So, from the start of the train ride and then walking into school, which was another like 15-minute walk, and then going to our class. We were just talking the whole time and I did enjoy the conversation and all. But then he asked for my number. And I said, "Oh. I'm..." It was embarrassing. But I was like "Oh, I'm already taken." He's like, "No, I just want to be your friend."

Leah 44:47

Yeah, that happened to me in college, too.

Meliza Manalo 44:50

Yeah. And then I was like, "I don't really get my phone number out." And then he's like, "How do you make friends then?" And then I was like, "Well, how about..." God it sounds so stupid. But I was in my 20s. Early 20s. I was like, "Let's have fate decide. And if I see you again, then I'll give you my phone number and we could hang out." Ever since I was like, freshman or sophomore year of college. And mind you, I went to college for five years. So, all the rest of my three or four years in school. I avoided him the entire time.

Leah 45:33

Oh my God.

Meliza Manalo 45:36

So, I would see him on campus. And I would walk in a different direction.

Leah 45:42

Oh, that's terrible. That kind of happened to me too in college. I remember I was sitting in some office for some reason. I think I had to deal with a financial aid issue or whatever. And this guy sat next to me. Super friendly dude, just one of those people that just comes up and just talks to you. And he was doing that. And I'm just trying to be polite. I really didn't want to talk. But I'm too nice, I guess. And it's hard for me, especially back then it was hard for me to tell people, I don't want to talk to you. Get away. In a nice way. So, he starts talking to me a bunch. And then he even adds me on Instagram and stuff. And he literally just wanted me to be his friend or whatever. It's so weird to me. It's such a weird concept to me. But he just wanted to be my friend, and he did the same thing. And I feel like I actually did give him my number. I can't remember. But then I would do that. I would do that at work at Target too. Customers would ask me for my number sometimes. And I can't say no. So, I give it to them. But then I just don't respond. I don't ever answer it. I don't respond to the text. It gets so awkward. But now I'm better about it. I'm better about saying no.

Meliza Manalo 47:07

Yeah. Now it's easier.

Leah 47:10

Yeah, that was like early 20s. I was probably 19-20.

Meliza Manalo 47:14

Yeah. And now it's definitely easier. Well, at least for me. You were still in school, but because I only deal with work colleagues now. And most of the time, they don't want to be friends. Because they go to work for work. And if you become friends, that's just kind of additional. Yeah, just something extra that happens. But man, jeez.

Leah 47:41

I don't like to try. This sounds bad again. I don't like to try to make friends. Like I'm never going to be the first person to come up to you. I feel like it just needs to happen on its own. And that's what I felt happened with Erica. And I think that's one of the things that makes it so difficult for me moving all the way out here with no one except for Fabian.

Meliza Manalo 48:05

Mm hmm.

Leah 48:06

It's hard. I don't make friends very easily. I don't go out looking for it. I don't really like to try.

Meliza Manalo 48:16

And you don't know how either.

Leah 48:18

Exactly, I don't really either. I feel like every time I try; I feel like I'm coming off as weird. Or like, almost stalkerish if I keep trying to ask someone to hang out.

Meliza Manalo 48:30

That's your anxious introvert talking.

Leah 48:32

Yeah. See? I'm telling you. Because I think about things too much. I overthink everything and like, am I being weird? Most of my friendships, I don't really remember how we became friends. It just kind of happened.

Meliza Manalo 48:49

Yeah, same. I think my friends came up to me first. I know for sure Bailey came up to me first.

Leah 49:01

Yeah, that's how all of my friends have been doing. Everyone comes up to me.

Meliza Manalo 49:06

Yeah, and I don't know. I don't remember how it happened. But I'm also friends mostly with people I've been friends with since high school. Like all my friends I still keep in touch with, are friends I had since high school. So, we had a class together or something. Or we got grouped into some assignments together. So, it was super easy. And we just so happened to have similar personalities and it worked out. But as an adult, I have no clue. I mean, I did that. Did you listen to my last episode?

Leah 49:42

I think I'm behind one episode.

Meliza Manalo 49:43

Okay. So, I did the friend finder app. And I did that episode, mainly because I was just so fascinated by the dating. So, I did the dating episode with Mia.

Leah 49:55


Meliza Manalo 49:57

And they have the Bumble app and then Mia was showing, oh not Mia, Bailey who showed me the app. And I was like, whoa, this would be great for introverts for finding friends. So, I tried it out, and I didn't meet a couple of girls. And there's one that actually, or two, that actually I still talk to now. I think we'll probably someday meet each other in person. We'll see how it goes. Well, I'm pretty bad at texting people and keeping in contact with people. And that's another reason why you were saying the whole grey area where you don't want them to cross the line of friendship. Because, not to sound narcissistic or anything, but I do have a lot of friends and a lot of people I keep in contact with. And it's like man! I have to add to that group, to that list.

Leah 50:52

Yeah. I was about to say that. I feel like I have a quota. With like a max number of friends that I can have.

Meliza Manalo 51:01

Yeah, exactly.

Leah 51:03

And it feels like I've already reached that. That's another reason why it's so hard being out here too, is that I feel like Erica was the last. She's the only friend I've made as an adult outside of high school. And I feel like after her, that's enough people. I can't handle anymore. Because when I'm friends with someone, I want to be like best friends with that person.

Meliza Manalo 51:30

Yeah, exactly.

Leah 51:31

And I feel like all of my friends that I have, I'm really, really good friends with them. And it's hard for me to add any more to that. Because it is hard work keeping up with relationships and being all the way out in Virginia and all of my friends being in different states. I'm not very good at texting, either. I'm not very good at talking on the phone. So, it's hard to keep up with people.

Meliza Manalo 51:55

Yeah. I guess that makes sense with your whole restrained introvert thing too. Because I feel like I'm kind of restrained too. But also, I just took the Myers-Briggs test. The free one. Yeah, and apparently my type is very cynical.

Leah 52:20

I can see that.

Meliza Manalo 52:21

Yeah. And so, I'm very skeptical of people. And I question people's loyalty. And I don't want to share too much. That's why I like the group of friends I have. Because we've already established that. There's already years of friendship there. They already know about me and my personal life. And then you put a new person in, and I got to talk about my childhood, about why I'm like this, why I'm somewhat of a psychopath. (Laughter)

Leah 52:55

And then you just scare them away.

Meliza Manalo 52:58

Yeah, exactly. Because I'm a particular person. And I think that's what I called you at one point. That you're very particular.

Leah 53:06

Oh I'm 100% particular. People who don't even know me that well know that I'm particular.

Meliza Manalo 53:12

Yeah. And then to have to like, I don't know, gain that same type of friendship with another person. That's a lot of work. And that's years of trying to figure out is this person trustworthy? And can you just share with them without the fear of them, I don't know, judging you? Or sharing with other people, stuff about you, you know.

Leah 53:36

Yeah. And it's exhausting.

Meliza Manalo 53:38

Yeah. Like, in our group, say you tell me secret. Like, the only people I can probably tell is Bailey and Casey, who you probably already told anyway.

Leah 53:53

Pretty much anything I tell any one of you, you can all know.

Meliza Manalo 53:57

Yeah. Exactly. So, adding someone to that group would just ruin the balance of things like, I don't know. I get what you're saying. I get you. (Laughter) Okay, so this episode is supposed to be about you moving across the country. So, since you say that you're an anxious introvert and all that, so how did it feel when you finally left California? And you on your married way to Virginia?

Leah 54:40

I was actually really excited for it. I don't think I really thought too much about the social aspect of it. But I was excited to be in a new place because I grew up in California. I haven't traveled that much. I just really was looking forward to just kind of being more on my own. And I was lucky to have Fabian with me. And so that helped out a lot. But it was nice to just kind of get away from the family because I was getting really tired of everybody.

Meliza Manalo 55:22

Everybody. Oh, it's just like a constant.

Leah 55:26

Yeah. And like you said, our family doesn't really understand us that way. And so, it was nice to just kind of be away from that for a little bit. It makes me appreciate it more now being away, so I'm always really glad that I did it. I think it is probably the best decision I've ever made in my life was moving across country as hard as it is. But where was I going with this?

Meliza Manalo 55:57

How did you feel about moving?

Leah 56:01

I definitely was really, really terrified of getting a new job.

Meliza Manalo 56:07

Oh yeah how was that?

Leah 56:09

That was really scary. Because for one thing, interviews are just scary in general. And then, as an introvert and being shy, it is a lot harder. So that really freaked me out. And I loved my job. So, the job that I had before I left for Virginia, was much like yours. It was an ambulance billing company. So, I had my own cubicle.

Meliza Manalo 56:35

Oh, yeah.

Leah 56:36

Yeah, it was in an office. It was a regular nine to five job basically. And I absolutely loved having my cubicle. It was just me in this little box. It was me and my computer and I got to listen to music while doing work. And it was literally just all computer work. And that's the dream. Didn't have to really interact with anybody. And my boss was Austin, which is another really, really good friend. So, life was nice when it came to my job. And so, I knew when I moved here, and I'd be going to school, I wouldn't be able to find another job like that. So that really freaked me out. I was very anxious about that. Having to learn a new job, meet new people, just be around a bunch of new people constantly. So that was scary. And it did take me a couple months. It took two months for me to find a job when I first got here. In the beginning, it was so nice because I hadn't had that much time off work since I started working. So, it was just nice to have just me and Fabian kind of enjoy ourselves. And it was around the holidays too.

Meliza Manalo 57:53

Yeah, because you left in December.

Leah 57:55

Yeah. I think I left a week before Christmas. A week, maybe two weeks.

Meliza Manalo 58:02

Ooh, that was so hard for our family too. Because like Christmas. Oh, I remember your mom being upset about it. She was like, "You're not gonna wait till Christmas?"

Leah 58:17

I left on Aiden's birthday.

Meliza Manalo 58:19

Yeah. Because the holidays are huge for our family.

Leah 58:23

Yeah. Oh, yeah. But I did it on purpose, because it was going to be the first Christmas that Fabian and I got to spend together. And he had a bunch of time off work. So, I did that on purpose. And so, we had like the first two weeks that I was there, it was just me and him. And I loved that. Just us not having to worry about any other person, didn't have to go to any parties or anything like that. So, it was nice. It was so calm. The first two months, they were kind of nice. But towards the end, I remember thinking like I really need a job. I loved being on my own. I loved being home. I loved being in my own little bubble. But after two months, it was getting a little hard. Especially not having friends to visit every once in a while.

Meliza Manalo 58:23


Leah 58:26

Cuz like, the quarantine. I guess it was kind of my version of quarantine almost. Because I couldn't really go anywhere. Because I didn't know where anything was. I didn't know anyone. Fabian had to go back to work eventually. So, it was just kind of me there.

Meliza Manalo 59:38

Yeah. I wanted to take a quick break to talk about Instacart. With Instacart, you no longer have to do the shopping and you can get your groceries delivered right to your doorstep. They connect you to a personal shopper who you can easily chat with online or on the mobile app. It's super easy to use and can save on travel time and going through the store. Listeners will receive free delivery on your first order over $35 Follow the link in the description to let them know I sent you and to help support the show. Use Instacart and you'll never need to step into a grocery store again. So how was your first year there then? Compared to now, I guess?

Leah 1:00:12

I think the first year, it was pretty good. I think the excitement of being in a new place kind of helped me kind of get out there more. And Fabian being an extrovert, we are constantly doing things. And him, he was already here for two years. So, he knew a lot of people, had a lot of friends already. So, I kind of just piggybacked on that, I guess. We would go out with his friends all the time. So, I'm constantly meeting new people. And it actually didn't really bother me that much in the beginning. It wasn't too bad. It wasn't until I distinctly remember there's an exact moment where I became homesick. And wherever I kind of shifted, and I kind of fell back into being anxious around new people, and just a lot of people in general. And I think that didn't come until a year and a half or two years into living here. And at first, Fabian hadn't gone on deployment yet. So, he was home all the time. And it was like, the moment I remember where I got homesick was, I went to a Lights concert.

Meliza Manalo 1:00:14

Oh, so does that bring you back to our first Lights concert?

Leah 1:01:39

Exactly. Because we've been to several Lights concerts. Me, you, Casey, Brandon.

Meliza Manalo 1:01:46

It made me sad a little bit when you said that.

Leah 1:01:49

Even Dotan. I think that's the first time I cried about being homesick too. Because I went to this concert, and at this time, I hadn't met Erica yet. So, I didn't have a close friend or anything. So, it was just me and Fabian. And so, he came with me to the concert. And Fabian is not really a fan of Lights, so he doesn't understand.

Meliza Manalo 1:02:12


Leah 1:02:13

Yeah, he didn't understand how I felt about her, how excited I was. It was nice having him there, but he just didn't understand like you guys would.

Meliza Manalo 1:02:22

Yeah. Especially when you started going to Eisley and you saw Sucré and...

Leah 1:02:29

Yeah, I started going by myself. So sad. But I did go to a concert by myself. But mostly because he was deployed. He would have gone but, you know, it's just not the same.

Meliza Manalo 1:02:42

Yeah. It's not the same if they don't like the band.

Leah 1:02:45

Yeah. Fabian and I have been to so many concerts that we both love. And it's so much fun. And that's what makes it so much fun because you're sharing it with someone who loves it just as much as you do. But with certain artists and bands, he doesn't feel the same way as I do. But I know there's a lot of friends that I have here that do. That's when I got really sad. I remember we were driving back home, and I just started crying because...

Meliza Manalo 1:03:13


Leah 1:03:14

Yeah. I started to miss everyone, and I would think about how much fun it was to have these big groups of us going to the Lights concert. And it was just, it was a different feeling. That's when it really hit hard.

Meliza Manalo 1:03:31

Yeah. Because Bailey and I went to a She & Him concert. And Bailey loves She & Him, but I don't think she loves She & Him as much as we love She & Him.

Leah 1:03:43

Yeah. Oh my God. I haven't been to one.

Meliza Manalo 1:03:47

Oh my god. She's so cute. And the whole thing was like, you would have loved it. I was so mesmerized by her. There was one point where someone, I think, bumped into Bailey or something. But I totally didn't even notice her. I was just so mesmerized by what was happening. And I just remember turning around and be like, "Oh, are you okay?" (Laughter) It was such a good, oh, it was beautiful. Because it was the Christmas one too.

Leah 1:04:17

Oh no!

Meliza Manalo 1:04:18

The Christmas special one. And I had like my little Christmas outfit on. I had my little red sweater.

Leah 1:04:26

Yeah, I remember you telling me about this.

Meliza Manalo 1:04:30

Yeah, and I was like, awww.

Leah 1:04:31

I was so sad. Because I knew I was going to California for Christmas, but the concert was like early December.

Meliza Manalo 1:04:38

Yeah, it was the first week of December. Because I asked you like, "Hey, when are you gonna be here?" And it had been too late. I was like, Ah! You would have loved it. It was a good concert. I mean, I think they do it.... Well, it's COVID time. I was going to say they do it every year.

Leah 1:04:56

Not this year.

Meliza Manalo 1:04:57

Yeah, it was good. That made me sad when you said, you went to the Lights concert. I got like, I don't know, chills or whatever. Because I was like, "Ahh she didn't get to go with all of us."

Leah 1:05:08

I know. And then the Sucré concert, I would have loved to share that with you.

Meliza Manalo 1:05:14

Oh yeah.

Leah 1:05:15

And I went to two. So, the first Sucré concert, I actually did bring a friend. She's a co-worker. I didn't talk to her, since we work together, because then that's how it goes with co-workers usually. But it was a lot of fun going with her. And she actually ended up really falling in love with Sucré, which is awesome.

Meliza Manalo 1:05:34

Oh, she didn't know who they were before?

Leah 1:05:36

Mm hmm. She had no idea. Had never really listened to her before. And she loved the concert. And now she loves Sucré.

Meliza Manalo 1:05:44

Oh cool.

Leah 1:05:45

Yeah. But then the second concert I went to, she couldn't go. And I didn't know anyone else that could go. I think Erica couldn't go either, for some reason. And so, I ended up. I was like, I'm not missing any more concerts. I hated myself for missing other concerts simply because I didn't have anyone to go with. So, I was like, I'm gonna do it. But I love doing things by myself anyway. So why not try going to a concert? And I actually really loved it. It wasn't that bad. I had a really good time just by myself, listening to her. And yeah, it was great.

Meliza Manalo 1:06:22

And that was on 'The introvert to-do list'.

Leah 1:06:26

Oh, is it?

Meliza Manalo 1:06:27

You remember that?

Leah 1:06:28

Yeah, I do remember that list. I don't remember what was on it, though.

Meliza Manalo 1:06:31

I think it was like, 'Go to a concert by yourself'. Or like, you know.

Leah 1:06:36

I remember thinking that I had completed almost everything on that list.

Meliza Manalo 1:06:40

Yeah, I think that was, there is one last thing that you did. Was it recently? That you finally checked off your list, but I can't remember what it was. I think it was 'Going to a concert by yourself'.

Leah 1:06:52

It might be that because that was fairly recently. It was last year, I think.

Meliza Manalo 1:06:56

Yeah. So, I think that was the last thing. Because everything else was like, 'Eat at a restaurant by yourself', 'Go watch a movie by yourself'.

Leah 1:07:02

Yeah. I've done that so many times.

Meliza Manalo 1:07:05

Yeah. I enjoy eating at a restaurant by myself actually. Yeah, that's a normal thing for me to do. I don't think people know that. I just realized. But yes, I do.

Leah 1:07:17

My favorite thing is going to the movie theaters alone.

Meliza Manalo 1:07:22

I don't think I've done that. Because I don't really go to the theaters.

Leah 1:07:25


Meliza Manalo 1:07:27

Unless someone asks me to go with them. Which is the only reason why I go watch a movie at theaters anyways.

Leah 1:07:32

That's true. Yeah.

Meliza Manalo 1:07:33

So, I haven't done that. Plus, I get annoyed at people.

Leah 1:07:37

Yeah, this is why it's so nice going by yourself.

Meliza Manalo 1:07:41

Well, I mean like, uh what was it? We watched a Scary movie. And there's that guy, you know, there's always that guy who makes jokes to lighten the mood when it gets too scary. And I'm just like, dude, it's a scary movie.

Leah 1:07:59

Why are you here?

Meliza Manalo 1:08:00

Yeah, people come here to get scared. Don't make it a comedy.

Leah 1:08:05


Meliza Manalo 1:08:07

So that's why I don't. Like I, wait what movie? I think I was watching Toy Story 4? Whatever the last one is. And I was just, uhh, I was so mad because I ended up sitting next to a kid. And the kid kept tapping my leg. You know how theaters now have the lounge chairs? Yeah. So, we both reclined back, and he kept tapping my foot with his foot. And he was just a little kid. And I was boiling up inside. And I was like, God! This kid. I've been waiting forever to watch this movie because I love Toy Story. And I'm like, you're not even old enough to know what the first 'Toy Story' was. It was just so livid. And I was like, okay, this better come out later, and I'm gonna just rewatch it at home. (Laughter) Which I did, actually, when Disney+ came out.

Leah 1:08:29

Yeah. That's funny. Yeah see, I feel like that's how we differ. Because, obviously we're both introverts, but I feel like sometimes we can be very different in the way that we are introverts.

Meliza Manalo 1:09:16

Mm hmm.

Leah 1:09:17

I feel like I can handle like that kind of stuff a lot better.

Meliza Manalo 1:09:22


Leah 1:09:23

No offence. That sounds offensive. But...

Meliza Manalo 1:09:25

No, I get that. I feel like sometimes I have a very short fuse.

Leah 1:09:31


Meliza Manalo 1:09:32

And I think, especially you. You're more patient with kids, which I mean...

Leah 1:09:41


Meliza Manalo 1:09:41

Yeah. I mean there's a reason why I'm not going to have kids. You know.

Leah 1:09:46

That's because I think I grew up around babies constantly.

Meliza Manalo 1:09:50

Well, you also spent most of your...

Leah 1:09:54

Childhood taking care of Ava.

Meliza Manalo 1:09:55

Yeah, exactly. So, you kind of already have that motherly, I don't know, trait about you, I guess.

Leah 1:10:04

I think that's why people think that I'm an extrovert is because I am really good at handling. I can handle loud noise. I can handle crowds. I can handle just. I can handle chaos pretty well. Because I'm really good at hiding how I actually feel, I guess. And I think that's why people think I'm an extrovert, a lot. Because I just, I'm good like, for instance, Fabian. He's extroverted. But he also not very good in crowds and a lot of noise.

Meliza Manalo 1:10:42

Oh, really?

Leah 1:10:43


Meliza Manalo 1:10:45

That's interesting.

Leah 1:10:46

I know, isn't it? It's weird.

Meliza Manalo 1:10:47

Yeah, that's really weird.

Leah 1:10:49

With me, he hates grocery shopping. Absolutely hates it. Can't stand it. But I actually kind of love it.

Meliza Manalo 1:10:57

Oh, I love grocery shopping.

Leah 1:10:59

And I don't mind it. Like he just hates how people are with the carts. And all that kind of stuff, which is understandable, cuz people get really annoying. I get annoyed by things like that. It's just, I can just kind of ignore it almost. I don't react to things very easily, I guess.

Meliza Manalo 1:11:18

Yeah, I'm kind of like that, too. I don't get road rage really. Sometimes when Bailey is with me and then, you know, some idiot does something stupid, she's like, "Wow, I'm so amazed by your composure."

Leah 1:11:36

Because Bailey is the complete opposite.

Meliza Manalo 1:11:38

Yeah, exactly. But in my head, I'm going off at that person, you know.

Leah 1:11:44


Meliza Manalo 1:11:45

But I just don't express it externally.

Leah 1:11:47

Yeah. Like, if people actually knew my thoughts, they might actually be a little scared of me.

Meliza Manalo 1:11:53

Oh, my God. I said the same thing the other day. I was like, people don't want to be in there. Too dark.

Leah 1:12:01

Yeah, because people told me all the time. They're like, "Oh my God, you're so nice. You're so sweet. You're so full blown." I'm like, haha if you actually knew what goes on in my head, you probably wouldn't be saying that.

Meliza Manalo 1:12:13

Oh, I know. I don't cuss, like, I don't curse, you know. But in my head, I'm just dropping F-bombs all over. (Laughter)

Leah 1:12:24

But that'd be interesting to hear. That's true you don't really curse.

Meliza Manalo 1:12:31

No. I mean, it comes out every once in a while, but not to the same extent as you, Casey, and Bailey. Not even close. Because there have been times. Well, I guess when I get really angry, sometimes it'll come out. But that's very rare. I don't get really angry. I get irritated, but I don't get angry.

Leah 1:12:55

Yeah, I'm the same way. It takes a lot for someone to make me angry.

Meliza Manalo 1:13:00

Like Brandon absolutely does not curse at all. Like zero. But when he's angry, that's when it comes out. That's when you know he's angry.

Leah 1:13:13

Yeah, that's true. You very, very rarely see him angry.

Meliza Manalo 1:13:17

Mm hmm. It takes a lot.

Leah 1:13:19

Yeah, I think me and him are both like that. And which is very different from the rest of our family.

Meliza Manalo 1:13:26

Yeah. It really is. Oh, man. That's what makes it tiring. (Laughter) Okay, so anyways. So, what is it like? Cuz you say you're an anxious introvert. And then it was kind of hard getting a job and blah, blah, blah. So, what's the pros and cons if you had to weigh them out? What are the pros and cons of moving across the country? Like, if you took Fabian out of it, obviously. He's a pro and all that. But if you took Fabian out, and it's just like you just moving across the country? What's the pros and cons of that?

Leah 1:14:08

Pros, there are a lot of pros. My school life got better. As much as I love family and being around family, it was nice to be able to just focus on school. Because I went from being on academic probation to getting straight A's every single semester. I still have a 4.0. And it's been three years. So that helped a lot. Just having that time to kind of focus on myself and not worry too much about family. That sounds really bad too.

Meliza Manalo 1:14:43

No, that totally makes sense, though. I'm pretty sure, I would have better grades.

Leah 1:14:48

Yeah, everyone in that age, I feel like, should leave the house and experience life. And just experience things on your own and take care of yourself. So, I think that's a pro. There's a lot of pros right there. It is like learning to take care of myself, away from family, not being too reliant on anyone. Fabian helped me a lot. But even so, I'm definitely less reliant being out here, on anyone, than I was in California.

Meliza Manalo 1:15:22

Mm hmm.

Leah 1:15:23

And then, school was a lot easier. Just new experiences being in a new place. As scary as it is, it was nice. I've never seen the East Coast before. So, it's nice to have this first-hand experience. And there's a lot you can do over here, too. So, I've gotten out to see a lot more than I ever thought I would. What else? I feel like these are the only things that don't involve Fabian. (Laughter)

Meliza Manalo 1:15:55

So, what are your cons then?

Leah 1:15:57

Cons. Obviously, trying to make new friends out here. Just the social aspect is the hardest part, for sure.

Meliza Manalo 1:16:12

Mm hmm.

Leah 1:16:14

I got pretty lucky I feel like, with my job. I actually really like my job. I love the people I work with, and the boss that I have. So, I got pretty lucky with that. And so, it's not too hard anymore. I feel like I didn't travel as much as I thought I would. But that definitely was the hardest part. Just meeting all these people. And a lot of it has to do with the military too. Not really Fabian specifically, it's just the military life in general. I think the biggest con here is just people, so in and out of your life. It's hard. Even if I tried to make friends or tried to get closer to people, it's hard anyway, because people are so in and out. They're here for a few months, and then they're gone for a few months.

Meliza Manalo 1:17:10


Leah 1:17:10

Yeah. And like I said earlier, it's hard for me to keep it in touch with people when I don't have that face-to-face contact. Because I don't really like texting all the time. I don't really like calling all the time. I'll see things on Instagram, and once in a while, maybe I'll comment on something, but it's still pretty rare. I don't really use Facebook and Instagram that much, and stuff like that, like social media in general. I feel like that's the biggest way I've been able to keep in contact with people. Because I've noticed if I don't have them on one of those like, Instagram or Facebook, then I really have no idea what's going on in people's lives.

Meliza Manalo 1:17:54

Yeah, that's true.

Leah 1:17:56

Yeah. Which is kind of bad. And I'm trying to work on keeping into contact with people more often. But yeah, that was the hardest thing to learn out here. It's just how to, how to keep in contact with people back home. While trying to make friends out here. I think that's the hardest thing, especially as an introvert.

Meliza Manalo 1:18:22

Yeah. And it's hard too. Because typically introverts value one on one conversations with people and long-time friendships and stuff like that, and quality time. And it's hard to do that if people are just, there's no guarantee that the person is going to stay there. Even for you. It's temporary for you. Because you guys are only staying there because Fabian has to be there. If he didn't have to, you wouldn't be in Virginia.

Leah 1:18:50

For the longest time, I really didn't want to make friends with people because I felt like it was so temporary. Because I felt like three years was going to go by like that. I was like, there's no point in investing all this time in people. And then I'm just gonna move away. And I thought I was moving back to California. So, I was like, there's no point in doing any of that. But then it happened with Erica, which is awesome. But I don't see that happening again, really. And a part of me doesn't really want it to either.

Meliza Manalo 1:19:24

Yeah. Because that's like a special case, because Fabian invited them over.

Leah 1:19:30

Yeah. And there have been plenty of times where Fabian kind of tries to set me up to have friends. And I appreciate that he tries so much. But it's hard for me to do it that way. He's a little different. He can make friends like no problem. Never has an issue with that.

Meliza Manalo 1:19:55


Leah 1:19:56

For me, I don't like to be pushed in that direction with a specific person.

Meliza Manalo 1:20:01

Yeah, it has to be natural.

Leah 1:20:02

Yeah. It just has to happen. And that's how we ended up in our relationship too. I wasn't looking for anything. I don't think he was really either. And we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. And it just happened.

Meliza Manalo 1:20:19

It just worked out. There was just that spark.

Leah 1:20:22


Meliza Manalo 1:20:23

Like that needs to be for friends.

Leah 1:20:25

Yeah, exactly. It's pretty much the same thing.

Meliza Manalo 1:20:30

Yeah. Because that's kind of how all my friends ended up. We weren't looking for friends necessarily. It was just like that first conversation, right. It just really worked out to a point where you want more of it.

Leah 1:20:48


Meliza Manalo 1:20:49

Because if you don't want more of it, I don't know, then I'm done.

Leah 1:20:54

It's like it won't go anywhere after that.

Meliza Manalo 1:20:57

Yeah. Like, what's the point of trying to keep it together if it wasn't even, I don't know, it wasn't like a great first start? I don't know if that makes sense.

Leah 1:21:08

Yeah. First impression. First impressions usually get stuck.

Meliza Manalo 1:21:14

Yeah, that's why it's so great when that first impression ends up being really awesome. When I first met Tatum for the first time, what was it? We weren't like friends or anything. We went to a birthday party together. We just so happened to be friends with the person who had the birthday party. And then we just started talking because I think we just sat next to each other. And then we just started talking and we ended up talking the entire party.

Leah 1:21:42

Yeah, I feel like that's how most of my friendships have started. Pretty much.

Meliza Manalo 1:21:48

Mm hmm.

Leah 1:21:51

It just happens.

Meliza Manalo 1:21:53

Yeah. So, do you have advice for people who want to move across the country? What's something you wish you knew before you went over there?

Leah 1:22:03

Oh, man. I'll have to think. I've never really thought about that. Because honestly, overall, it was really good. It was the one, okay, I guess my advice would be to not overthink it. Because that's the one time I didn't overthink things was when I moved out here. And I feel like everything just kind of fell into place almost on its own. Even the job situation, I got my job because I went to the hair salon to get my haircut. And I was talking to the stylist. And I was talking to her about how I had worked at a salon before and how I just moved here, blah, blah. And then the next day, I get a call from the owner. And she's like, "Hey, do you want to interview for a job here?" I was like, "Yeah!"

Meliza Manalo 1:22:57

I don't think you ever told me that.

Leah 1:22:58

Yeah. That's how I got the job at the salon. And then I also worked at the coffee shop for a year and a half at the same time. And I got that job because Fabian kind of helped me with that. One of his friend's wife knew the general manager of the coffee shop and they needed someone. So that kind of, that was mostly Fabian's doing. But yeah, I felt like everything just kind of fell into place. And just things happened the way they were going to happen. And I just didn't really control things too much like I normally do. I'm very much that type of a person.

Meliza Manalo 1:23:43

Yeah. Me too.

Leah 1:23:44

Like control and plan every single minute of my life. But when I moved here, I really had no plans. I knew I was going to start school, but that wasn't going to be for a few months. And I just took the first few months off to kind of figure things out and take things one step at a time.

Meliza Manalo 1:24:06

Yeah, because I feel people like us, who are planners or whatever, if we were to, that's why sometimes being too logical and too rational can be kind of hindersome.

Leah 1:24:18

Oh, yeah.

Meliza Manalo 1:24:19

Because I feel like, if we were going to weigh the pros and cons beforehand, if we were gonna really think it out, because rationally, California is safer. Because your family is here, you had a really good job, you were attending school and you were good in a financial spot and blah, blah, blah. And you like kind of left all that behind.

Leah 1:24:46

I literally threw all of that out the window. (Laughter)

Meliza Manalo 1:24:48

Yeah. Exactly. Sometimes it's not to, it's good to feed into that spontaneous side of yourself.

Leah 1:24:58

Because if I had really thought about it, if I had let myself really think about it, I would have been terrified. I would have been so anxious and so scared. But I'm really glad that I did it. Because it turned out, I mean, things are gonna turn out. No matter what, things will just work out. Because I've learned that since then, that things just kind of work itself out eventually. But yeah, I think that my biggest piece of advice is to just do it. Don't think about it and don't be scared. That's pretty much it.

Meliza Manalo 1:25:37

Okay. That's pretty good advice, I think.

Leah 1:25:40

Thanks. I'm not really good at advice.

Meliza Manalo 1:25:43

Yeah, me neither. I said that in one episode, like, "Don't listen to me."

Leah 1:25:48

I remember that.

Meliza Manalo 1:25:53

Because this podcast is for fun. Like, I'm not a professional at anything I say. I just like to talk. You know, do your research. (Laughter)

Leah 1:26:07

You should always do your own research no matter what.

Meliza Manalo 1:26:10

Exactly. Always. All right. Well, we've reached, oh my God, we've reached over an hour.

Leah 1:26:17

Oh Jesus.

Meliza Manalo 1:26:18


Leah 1:26:18

Have fun editing that.

Meliza Manalo 1:26:21

Thanks. Well, thanks for getting on to the podcast. And I can't wait to do on with you, Bailey, and Casey. Because oh my god. You need to listen to that episode.

Leah 1:26:33

I'm so excited. You have no idea.

Meliza Manalo 1:26:35

So good. It's just hard to get Casey off.

Leah 1:26:40

(Laughter) Yeah.

Meliza Manalo 1:26:46

Because she works at night and we work during the day.

Leah 1:26:50

Completely opposite.

Meliza Manalo 1:26:51

Yeah, and then she's never off when we need her to be off. But yeah, we'll make it work someday. And that will be a fun one.

Leah 1:26:59

That's gonna be crazy.

Meliza Manalo 1:27:01

Yeah. But thank you. Thanks for getting on here.

Leah 1:27:06

Thanks for having me on here.

Meliza Manalo 1:27:08

Alright, guys, that's the end of the episode. Hope you enjoyed that. I'm sure to have Louie back on for future episodes. If you want to stay in the know on future episodes, please follow me on social media. I'm on Instagram, Facebook, and I also upload these episodes onto YouTube. All the information will be in this description. But you can also check out my website at Thanks so much you guys for listening and I will talk to you guys in the next episode.

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