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Hello Younger Me

If You Could See Me Now

By Leah EllaPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 5 min read
VoyageLA mag feature

"Hello Leah, you've been going, foot to the pedal, 100 miles an hour... It's time for a check-in." What would Younger Me think of Me, today? Here are some of my thoughts:

First off, I need to keep going because I've fought really hard to defy all the odds and 'rebel' against the expectations to be who others told me I should be. I have to applaud myself for being a great fighter for what I believe in. I've always believed in Me. I've always believed in my abilities to win. My Dad had a lot of confidence in me as a child. I was really good at sports and my competitive nature helped me to win and overcome all doubts, time and time again. My Dads friends would tell him that their sons would come home from school crying and complaining that I beat them at whatever sport it was. I am who I am, I won't apologize for it.

I must admit, not much has changed today... I still make boys cry. Hope that made you smile.

Why are you so hard on yourself, Leah? As you've read in my previous articles, I've had a very transformative 2023. One of those years that either make you or break you. It still astonishes me how I overcame very intense, emotionally overwhelming feelings... Made it out of the "freeze" and, or "faint" trauma responses. I spoke to my Counselor a few days ago and she reminded me that I am experiencing trauma, so to make space for that. It wasn't a good feeling to admit that beyond the mental strength that I innately possess, is a softness that I need to nurture for my inner strength to grow. What of my relationship with myself?

Sometimes I want to escape, whether it's in my mind, getting lost in a moment, or experiencing something pleasurable in a self-gratifying way but I don't want to be selfish. I'm not a user, although I encounter a lot of users, there is a difference in intention. If I had it my way, each moment would impress upon your mind a need to revisit it as often as possible, like a dream that you can never remember but wish to never forget.

I'm growing more and more accepting of being human and off the pedestal I've been placed on... I don't want to be perfect, I did at one point. It was a defense mechanism... Now, the expectations of others don't outweigh the expectations that I set for myself. Other people are not accountable to me for my actions. In fact, that is a trait of an emotionally immature person to expect someone else to do the hard work and the heavy-lifting for them. We are each accountable for ourselves so we watch our actions, do we not? Speaking of lifting, I just started lifting weights again this month and I cannot possibly imagine someone asking me to lift their weights as well while still expecting their muscles to grow.

Today is Monday April 8th, I'm still in LA... An extremely difficult city to live in without implicit trust in self, and in others, to hopefully possess similar genuine intentions and aspirations that you do and who want more than anything to see you succeed. I've let go of the competitive nature of my youth. I no longer desire to win, I want us all to win. We deserve that much for all of our efforts, do we not? I can't help think of the sacrifices that are somewhat required in this line of work... What of my sacrifices? I feel as though I have sacrificed myself for most of my life when my family chose for me to be something that I was not.

I read somewhere recently that people-pleasing is dishonest and even manipulative. That perspective really floored me because, the person doing the pleasing is not the selfish one. The selfish person wants to be pleased, even demands it and doesn't let you off the hook unless you do please them to some gratifying degree. The post said something of it's deceptive nature and then a lightbulb went off in my head. As a teenager in high school, I was notably self-absorbed, because perfection was desired of me. I'm not making excuses for that, it just is what it is... I think that some level of competition also existed where all the girls who were 14 years old were somehow competing for the same 15-16 year old boys. Then came the saying "yes" to doing things that I really had no interest in doing, which, became lies. The hardest thing to do is to lie to yourself but, today, I'm a lot more aware of honoring those yes's and no's so that I'm actually being true to myself and my feelings. I feel immense turmoil when I'm not true to myself and so I can finally say that I'm kicking my "people-pleasing,' ways. I understand being selfish of myself, my time, energy, emotions etc., what I don't understand are the people who are selfish of me and what's mine. It's a weird line to walk, isn't it?

Today is now Tuesday and it is my only sibling's birthday. I want to do birthday's differently this year because well, we were not raised celebrating any holidays including birthdays and we are worth celebrating. My paternal Granny is also celebrating her birthday next month in the Caribbean... Well, I want to go to Bali this year for my birthday. I'm now aware of at least four people who have visited Thailand this year, and I'm over due traveling to someplace new of a tropical getaway, that isn't the Caribbean. Next year, I'm planning to spend some time in the summer in Brazil. I'm sure that I will write more about why in the following months...

Just in case you're wondering, I'm doing ok, Younger Me... There are no real hollow holes inside of me anymore. The dark places all have light shining through now because I know that above all else, I am light and I am love. I feel deeply for other genuine souls, I would even like to be a Doctor within the next 5 years or so (beginning that journey) My purpose is deeply wrapped up in creating a better world around me. I'm not ok with mediocrity, why should I be? Doing the bare minimum has never been in my vocabulary. My expectations might need to be adjusted periodically and that's ok, I would rather start at the top of the hill, finding a way down than starting at the bottom of the hill with no idea what's waiting for me at the top.

This was good, I hope to speak with you more, Younger Me. I hope that you are proud and happy to be Older Me.


About the Creator

Leah Ella

Caribbean-American(she/her)+Actor+Life Coach student.

Welcome! Get to know me here:

Peer Support Facilitator-

Hear my words, Authenticity Podcast-

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