Name: Noah Reich
City: Los Angeles
Fav thing about your city: Anything & everything is possible. I also love being so close to my family.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself! I try to read 100 books a year. Trying to catch up with my mom who reads 200-250 books a year.
What is your connection to mental illness?
My connection to mental illness is so closely rooted in my own depression and the ups and downs I've struggled with throughout the course of my life. Mental illness awareness and the fight to reduce the stigma has become one of the greatest driving forces in my life.
What does your everyday look like?
Some days I wake up next to my partner Dave and let the new morning air fill my lungs with hope and determination and some days I'll hardly make it out of bed. Podcasts and audiobooks really help to soothe my mind while stuck in Los Angeles traffic on my ways to and from work. As an Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering, one of the main aspects of my job is to help create happiness for others and bring joy to the world. I take that mission to heart. I try to put myself on a path that allows me to experience and soak in as many moments of joy and happiness that I can. I hold onto those moments when the storm of my mind hits. People that know me know that I constantly describe experiences and things that I love as "life-changing." There are days where it's impossible for me to envision my future let alone the next few hours, anytime something helps me see through that fog and see that future, I consider to be not only life changing but life saving. Sometimes it's an episode of RuPaul's Dragrace, sometimes it's a talk with a friend and other times it's as simple as edible cookie dough.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I didn't really learn how to appreciate books until a few years ago. They were always a chore for me and always something that felt more like an obstacle than a pleasure. In a few short years, books have become my oxygen and a central part of my DNA. There's a mantra one of my favorite writers Cheryl Strayed talks about that I wish I could use a time-turner so I could relay it to my younger self. "Books will save your life. Books will save your life. Books will save your life." As a kid, I felt so isolated by my pain and my thoughts. I think James Baldwin put it best when he said "You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive."
Who is a Role Model to you?
My ultimate role model is my older sister Becky. I've spent my entire life following in her footsteps and I'll spend the rest of my life continuing to follow her lead. She's an educator, a mother of three brilliant girls and an activist. She taught me the importance of education and the pursuit of wanting to know more. She taught me how to read, write and love. Those three things are the foundation of who I am. She instilled in me a curiosity of the world at large and the people that inhabit it. She's pushed me to want to be a better person in order to help make the world a better place. She constantly reminds me of the remarkable impact that a single individual can have.
How do you spend your Self-Care Sunday?
I use to be the person that was constantly on the run. I'd pack my days with back to back outings and I was constantly exhausted. Even when it came to showering, I'd use a 3 in 1 shampoo, soap, conditioner combo so I could just jump in and jump out. A couple years ago, I got burnt out and completely crashed. I was in such a rush to experience as much of life as I could that I became numb to it. I've become the process of slowly building up again and a huge factor in that has been slowly down. Recently I've discovered how incredibly soothing baths can be. I treat it like a ritual now by using candles, bath bombs and a playlist with an artist I love named Lissie. I went from never having the patience to take baths to staying in them so long that I become a human prune. Baths are life changing.