four years in cleveland

very rare photo without bangs in my face. just look at that smile though.

Valentine’s Day marked four whole years in Cleveland. FOUR YEARS! Part of me feels like this post is wholly unnecessary. I’ve written some variation of it a handful of times before, all of which I’ve linked at the end of this post, but what can I say? Ya girl likes to celebrate!

First apartment alone. 2014.

Second apartment. April 2015. Kinda miss those blue walls…sometimes.

Current digs that I share with the man of my dreams. 2018.

I’ve been racking my brain over what I’d type in this post. I knew I wanted to share some photos from the past four years as well as some highlighting how great this last year has been but I wasn’t sure what to write along side them. Moving here was a huge momentous thing. My life is radically different. I’m radically different but it’s getting to the point where it’s no longer a ‘thing’. It just is. I live here. Does that make sense? When people ask where I’m from I tell them where I grew up, not where I lived previous to Cleveland like I used to. Life before here doesn’t really matter.

It’s hard to even remember what life was like back in 2014. I’d say most people probably have a hard time remembering what was going on four years ago but I just feel geniuenly clueless. My life revolved around… well, nothing. There were no bikes, no friends, no road trips, no wandering around at night, and dude, no sushi! GASP!

That girl who was afraid to do anything alone, who always looked out the window before stepping outside so she wouldn’t have to say ‘hi’ to anyone, who – without a doubt – was wasting her life, she could have never dreamed of how great life would be in a few short years. I couldn’t even ride my bike around the block. Now I spend my days counting down until the next time I get to meet up with a 100+ other cyclists to yell ‘Happy Friday!’ to anyone in sight.

Honestly, moving to Cleveland changed me. BIG TIME.

I’ve discovered so much about myself over the last four years. I’m happy that I’ve documented so many of my adventures, and created a space I can look back on to view my growth, especially on days I’m feeling down on myself. There are so many little anxieties that I’ve conquered that I might not even remember having had I not written about them. Creating a ‘before’ and ‘after’ has been so great for my mental health.

Life is really rad, and honestly, it is NEVER too late to start again. Being happy is worth so much more than anything that might be holding you back. Thank you so much for following along + being so very supportive of my journey.

2014 office

2015 office

2018 office

Past posts celebrating my move to Cleveland –

six monthsone yearread more booksthree years


Author: Kaylah Stroup

A collector of weird things. Plant Enthusiast. Wanderer. Beachcomber. Forever longing for the desert.

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  • What a lovely post!! I’ve been following your blog for years and years– It’s really cool and heart warming to see how much you’ve changed and grown! Plus, I forgot about the lockers and it was fun to see those again! haha Here’s to many more happy years! <3

  • Happy Cleveland-iversary! We’ve discussed this before, but I felt the same way before/after moving to New York. A city can’t solve all of your problems, of course, but living the life you truly want can definitely do wonders! I’m so happy for you and so glad that our paths have crossed and I look forward to many more adventures in the future (and I’ve already booked flights to come to your wedding, so that’s happening!!).

  • If you write about something often, that just means it’s affected you very deeply. I loved reading this again and how you are in such a good place now. So happy for you babe! Cannot wait to see all the wedding stuff unfold too!!!

  • So how *did* you stop checking to see if the coast was clear before you left the house in an effort to avoid talking to people? Teach us your ways, oh brave one 🙂

    • Ya know, I’m not sure. I don’t feel like there was one specific thing just like a combo of all sorts of things going on. Working on my anxiety in other areas, forcing myself out of my comfort zone as much as possible,and just plain being fed up with feeling like that helped for sure.

      This is something I’ve definitely wanted to write about more throughouly on the blog but I really have no super clear answers and feel like it’d just be a jumbled mess.

      Best of luck to you though! <3

  • Hard to believe I’ve been here for less than three years. I feel like Cleveland has absolutely brought about my best life. Happy anniversary to you!

  • Your apartment—all of them, really, but the latest one the most—is just stunning. You’re an amazing curator/designer, and have THE BEST taste in decor!

  • I absolutely love this post. I love that you celebrate the anniversary of this day, it was clearly such a significant and positive chance that you took, and you deserve to feel proud of how much you have grown since then.

    Whilst my step wasn’t as scary as yours as I had someone by my side the whole time, I also made a big life change almost two years ago now that required me to leave the place I was currently living and cut someone out of my life, and as scary as that time was, I couldn’t be happier living the life I do now.

    Like you said, I look back at my life two years ago and cannot think of what I used to do back then. Now, my life is all about baking, creating, going on adventures, and blogging my heart out, and it’s so strange to think about the fact that none of those things were part of my life until 2016. Anyway, I’m so happy for how things have turned out for you and I can’t wait to see where you’ll be in another four years time!

    Indya || The Small Adventurer

  • Keyla, with your blog its like with all my favourite books. I simply love to see the development of a character. I always wondered what triggered your social anxieties in the first place, But I also wouldn´t want you to write about it, if you don´t feel like sharing. I know how vulnerable sharing something online can make oneself.
    Have the time of your life!
    Kind regards

    • Thanks, Anne! I honestly don’t know! I definitely want to write more about my anxieties (both past and present) but struggle to find the right words! Maybe some day…