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Brizzy Rose and Emma > Interviews > this is korey

this is korey

Korey is a 26 year old woman from Kettering, Ohio, currently working as a contract designer for Disney Stores. Korey studied at FIDM in Los Angeles and received a degree in both fashion and graphic design in 2014. Sunny California was home to Korey for 7+ years where she was mommy to a Sphinx cat named Rembrandt, and practiced Taxidermy, until she realized she didn’t want to belong to one city anymore and took on the role of a “Nomad.” In July, she will be moving to Spain for 6 months to learn Castilian; Spanish. Korey’s story wasn’t always aesthetically pleasing, adventurous, or fairytale-like however. If you find yourself browsing her Instagram (@koreyleach) You might grow green with envy by all her travel posts, but it has been quite the trek for Korey to get to this point of her life. Emma and I had the opportunity to interview Korey when she visited us a couple weekends ago.

“if there is something I desire in life, I act on it. I try my best to live life without regret, despite how abnormal it may seem to most humans. ” — Korey Leach

June 11, 2017

B&E: Korey! We are just so excited to have you on our blog! Thank you for taking the time to do this; I know the questions we are going to ask aren’t going to be easy to answer. First thing’s first, can we talk about your tattoos!
K: Yes, what do you want to know?
B&E: Well, which one is your most favorite?
K: *Points to big self portrait of Rembrandt Van Rijn on right arm*
B: Yea… my half inch tattoos have nothin’ on that.
E: I am dying to get at least 10 more tattoos.

B&E: What’s a fun fact most people don’t know?
K: Few people have had the chance to witness this but.. I often start my mornings rapping Eminem lyrics.
B: You better lose yourself in the music, the moment you own it, you better never let it go
K: You only got one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
E: Where is Eminem these days?!

B&E: Can you talk a bit about what you’ve done in the past few years- like what countries you’ve been to and what adventures you’ve gotten into?

K: In the past two years, I’ve managed to cross a significant amount off of my bucket list. I try to go all out and make my first experiences as memorable as possible. A few I’ve crossed off include scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, cliff diving in Santorin, caving in Budapest, and most recently, paragliding in the Swiss Alps.

B&E: What would you say has been your favorite place to visit?

K: I can’t say I have a favorite place. However, I’ve narrowed it down to three different categories. Favorite country: Iceland. Favorite city: Paris. Favorite place by the sea: Lagos, Portugal. The sea is my happy place.

B&E: All of that sounds incredible and completely breathtaking. We know getting to this point in your life has been a journey of soul searching and living as if this moment right now is your last. You lived through something at a young age no one in their lifetime should ever have to live through. Do you feel comfortable talking about it?

B&E: All of that sounds incredible and completely breathtaking. We know getting to this point in your life has been a journey of soul searching and living as if this moment right now is your last. You lived through something at a young age no one in their lifetime should ever have to live through. Do you feel comfortable talking about it?

K: My mom passed away when I was 10–she was shot by her boyfriend.

I remember every detail of that day. I was at school. Specifically, 4th grade Social Studies, on a Thursday. I was called to the principal’s office. (I remember being so nervous because I had never been in trouble) After sitting in the principal’s office for a bit, he finally told me something had happened to my house. A while later, two police officers walked in and told me they were taking me to the station. We walked to the patrol car; the female officer directly in front of me and the male officer directly behind me. (I later learned they had yet to locate the man that killed her and believed he may try to harm me next.) At this point I knew something wasn’t right. (My mom and I were very close. Anyone that knew her would tell you she put me before anything in life.) At this age, I had a cell phone. My mom had me carry it to school incase I ever needed to reach her. When arriving to the police station, I excused myself to the restroom and attempted to call her. Her phone went directly to voicemail. At that point I knew something was definitely wrong. The company she worked for required her to have her phone and pager on at all times. I went back where the officers were sitting. They brought me a subway sandwich and asked what I wanted to watch on television. I couldn’t care less what was on tv, I just wanted to know what was going on. If something had just happened to our house and the police offers had to pick me up, my mom would have beat us to the station. She wouldn’t have let me sit there alone for even a second. About two hours later, my dad arrived. He told me we were going to my house to grab some clothes and that I was going to his house a day early. (He lived in a different town and I used to go stay with him every other weekend.) I remember thinking, if something happened to the house, why would we be going there? We arrived at the house, gathered some of my belongings, and we headed to his house. He had to stop at a gas station to fill up his vehicle. So while he was pumping gas, I attempted to call my mom again. Voicemail. He went inside to pay for gas, so I called again. Voicemail. The 1.5 hour drive had never seemed so long. When I arrived at my dad’s, my sister came over. (We have different mom’s but the same dad.) I thought to myself, why was she there on a Thursday as well? What’s going on? Finally, my dad asked me to come sit with him in the living room. He said, “Something happened to your mom.” I asked what he meant. He then responded, “Tony,” and nothing more needed to be said. The following days, nobody wanted to give me details (after all I was only 10) and I wasn’t allowed to watch the news. Little did anyone know, I would call my best friends that lived in Pickerington, and they would tell me anything that came on the news.

B&E: We cannot even begin to imagine what you felt then, and how you feel now… How did you cope, growing up?

K: It actually wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally came to peace with everything. For many years I blamed myself. I would go over different scenarios in my head about how I could have altered the outcome. Before my mom made any big decision in life, she would always discuss it with me first. For example, the year before we were still living in Wisconsin–She asked me how I felt about moving back to Ohio to be closer to family. Of course, I agreed that was a good decision. Two weeks before she passed away, she asked how I felt about her getting back together with Tony. I told her I was fine with that…because honestly, I wanted anything for her that would make her happy. However, if I would have said no to either of those scenarios, the outcome would have been different. If I had not agreed to move back to Ohio, she would have never met Tony. If I had told her not to get back with Tony, she wouldn’t have. That’s kind of how we were. We were each others best friend and we put each other before anyone and anything else.

Therefore, I could have altered the outcome. But I couldn’t continue to beat myself up over it, day after day. People often think I’m crazy when I say this, but I’m a firm believer in “what’s meant to be, will always find a way.” If something’s meant to happen, if it’s someone’s time to go, it will be. The situation can be altered, but the outcome will always remain the same.

B&E: You have to know, it wasn’t your fault. Believing there is a reason for everything is detrimental. The way you express your relationship with your mother shows us that she wouldn’t ever want you to blame yourself. She sounded like an amazing woman. In what ways did her death impact your coming years as a child and as a teenager? How would you say that experience shaped the way you live today?

“I learned that people can be selfish, cruel, and that just because you have the chance to hug your best friend goodbye before school, doesn’t mean you’ll have the same opportunity come evening time.”

K: As a child and as a teenager, it definitely forced me to grow up much quicker than most. Following her death, I moved in with my father; I relocated to a new town and started a new school. At a young age I learned that the world isn’t always this beautiful place. I learned that people can be selfish, cruel, and that just because you have the chance to hug your best friend goodbye before school, doesn’t mean you’ll have the same opportunity come evening time. That experience has without a doubt shaped the way I live today; I know that tomorrow is not promised. Therefore, if there is something I desire in life, I act on it. I try my best to live life without regret, despite how abnormal it may seem to most humans.

B&E: You have to know, we are completely moved by you and your story, Korey. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You are so special and we truly believe your mom would be proud of the woman you are today. Living life to its fullest is something we all should aspire to, regardless of circumstance. We cannot know what the next minute will bring.

So, we have to know, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

K: At 31? Ideally, I should probably be more settled. Maybe choose a set location and not quit my job once a year to flee the country? A majority of my friends have houses and are married with children. I sometimes envy that. Maybe not so much the children part, or even the house part (I’ve become a very minimalist person and I don’t really desire physical belongings), but having someone to share my life with, yes.

“Honestly, in five years, I just want to be happy. That may sound pathetic, but it’s true.”

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