December 2021 Life Update

beautiful yellow leaves on a tree in Connecticut - December 2021 Life Update
The last of the leaves a few weeks ago

December 2021 Life Update

Even though I check in and tinker with my blog on a near-daily basis, I feel like it’s been months since I last really said anything.

This semester has been a lot. Close family members are dealing with serious chronic illnesses. And yesterday, I took my cat, Wednesday, to the emergency vet because she wasn’t breathing well.

She spent four hours in the emergency room receiving oxygen and diagnostic tests. It turns out she has asthma, which isn’t surprising given that she was living in a terrible hoarding situation before we adopted her. But she also has an enlarged heart, which could signify a serious health condition.

We made the choice to bring her home with asthma treatment so that we can look into further testing. In addition to being incredibly stressful, it was incredibly expensive. With so many other medical concerns circling around, it just feels insurmountable at times.

Leah with her sister, Jennifer - December 2021 Life Update
I saw my sister in October

As far as my schoolwork is concerned, I have literally had my life changed by the Work, Debt, and Christian Witness course I’m taking with one of my favorite theologians.

I don’t think anything has radicalized me as much as looking deeply at the ways Capitalism forms, limits, and exploits us. While, in some ways, I’ve been thinking about this for years, now I have the tools and the reading list to understand it more rigorously. I am writing my final paper on influencers. We’ll see how it turns out.

Being back in school in-person has been wild. It’s amazing how you can spend a lifetime doing something – that is, being around people – and still have such a hard time adjusting to it after one year of Zoom life.

I find myself frequently exhausted and trepidatious. But I have also found myself less emotionally inhibited in a way that has been affirming. I frequently tear up over how grateful I am for the kind, challenging, brilliant people I get to study alongside. It’s a shame that this seminary journey is almost over.

Leah with a blue hat and fuzzy sweater in front of a river in Virginia - December 2021 Life Update
In the Shenandoah Valley last week

Speaking of that, I am preparing for ordination exams in early January. They’re basically like comps, if you’re familiar with those. I will write six essays on six areas of study over the course of three days.

Then, in March, I’ll be ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church!!! It’s hard to believe it’s actually happening.

I just need to finish four papers and a presentation before this semester is over. Then, hopefully I’ll get a brief chance to breathe before things pick up again.

wicker headboard with quilt and orange pillows - December 2021 Life Update
I finally got the wicker headboard of my dreams!

I’m grateful for you all: for sticking around, for commenting, and for encouraging me in spite of my inconsistency these days.

Hopefully I’ll be able to put together a few outfits posts soon.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

May we recommend...


  1. Best of luck for your exams! You got this! (and hugs to your sweet kitty)

    1. Thank you. Final papers are done, thankfully! And the kitty doesn’t have a heart problem after all!

  2. Leah, I hope you’ll share some points from your paper on influencers, I am intrigued! Congratulations on your soon to be ordination, that is so wonderful. I am sorry about your kitty, I hope you find a solution. Thanks for this update – Merry Christmas to you and Daniel!

    1. I’m thinking through how to translate it to a blog post. It was definitely fun to write! Thank you – excited for a big life change. Good news is that the cat doesn’t have a heart issue, just asthma as far as we can tell.

  3. Congratulations! (Also, I have always loved your room. Hopefully you can really rest there soon.)

    1. Thank you. It had to become my classroom over the course of last year, so there’s a desk on the other side. There are some not so restful vibes in there, lol.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.