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Concrete Jungle

Living My Dreams

By Leah EllaPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
Country girl with Big City Dreams

I “come from” a tiny Island that takes about a 2 hour car ride to drive from one end of the island to the other. (Said in my Antiguan dialect aka- “broken english”) We were taught the Queen’s English but cut sentences in two to make them shorter, more direct, to the point and in a language only we could understand and make our own. A defiant cause, indeed. It’s no wonder that my favorite subject in school once I moved to America in grade 6 was English. Americans do not speak like the British and I do not always speak like an American. I have however, spent most of my life living in South Florida. When I lived in Florida, people thought I was from NY, now that I live in LA, people think I’m a Valley girl. Hey, I’m just me and my accent has a very wide range depending on who I’m around.

Home Base

Happiness was felt without question because life was always an adventure growing up in Antigua. Some of my most memorable moments were going “off road,” I’m talking driving through ponds (lakes) and making roads up the side of hills just for the thrill of it. Thanks to my Father of course, he was a pilot so even when the ground was beneath his feet, he was always in the sky. Today, I live in LA, Hollywood to be exact. My favorite part of this city is being nestled inside of a concrete jungle, with hills all around. When I first moved here 4 years ago, it reminded me of home- Antigua, West Indies. The dry climate, the way the houses are built hanging off the side of a hill, the breeze, and the flowers! I had bougainvillea in my yard, right outside of my parents bedroom window. Hibiscus in every, single color! It was like science class and learning about pollination at 6 or 7 years old, all again. I would always somehow end up with yellow pollen all over my clothes. I am at home.

The Differences

I used to read a book called The City and The Country Mouse. How funny, I must’ve been about 5 years old and somehow that story stuck with me until now. Actually, it just came to mind. Reading that story as a child, made me realize that there is always a choice and what seemed like 2 clear and very distinct, fundamentally different choices. It also impressed upon my mind the endless view of possibility. A word that I still live by. You know, kind of like Alice in Wonderland when she opens a small door and steps into a much larger world? I tried to return to the Caribbean in 2016 but grew tired of the redundancy. I’m the city mouse who every now and again, doesn’t mind the comfort and nostalgia of the simpler life.


When I walk through the streets of Hollywood, I look up and there are buildings almost as tall as the sky. What sits at the bottom of these buildings are disenchanted dream searchers who are living in the nightmare of poverty and homelessness. How they got there is another story but I can’t help but wonder? What of the boulevard of broken dreams? (Queue Green Day’s song, great song! Take a listen) More importantly, where did they come from before they lived on the streets of Hollywood?

Choosing Happiness

Just as it was instilled in me at a young age, choice is always an option and in this case, choosing happiness is a given. There are lots of paths and avenues to take, lots of twists and turns to make, but everything flows on the road to getting there, once you choose to be happy. Happiness is also a responsibility. You must feed your happiness and hold yourself accountable for living a happy life.


My drive makes me happy, my relentless desire to achieve my goals. I just got a promotion two weeks ago. The CEO said to me, “you can’t train or teach passion.” I hope to never forget those words because my passion got me through the door and into my first Corporate job. My decision to pursue my “passion for fashion” (yeah I know, cliche, I’ve been hearing that tag line since the age of 15) has outlived just about any other part of me. I loved trend forecasting, try job forecasting. The spiritual ones amongst us would call it, “manifesting.” I manifested this job out of quarantine. I had a burning desire to get back to work. I spent the last 4 years building my fashion network in the big city and now I have the once in a lifetime opportunity of bridging the gap all while revolutionizing the way we shop for apparel. A much needed revolution. With sustainability at the helms of retail and fashion, everyone wants a viable solution to keeping waste out of landfills and creating a happier world. Why not work for a company you believe is not only fashion edge (cutting edge) but also solution-oriented in countless ways. Fashion and tech belong together, it’s the perfect marriage of fit and function.


Who wouldn’t want to shop with more size accuracy? Imagine a world where you can find your favorite brands in all one place, in your custom size, not in some imaginary world but in the palm of your hand. Yes, on a phone. The thing that we all can’t live without. I’m writing this on my phone right now. It’s 2:34am and my passion has kept me up. You know when you feel like you’re on the brink of something huge?


What of the sacrifices we make to choose happiness? Sometimes it’s in the form of loving someone our family doesn’t approve of. Living an authentic life that derails lifelong friendships. Choosing to hustle over starting a family in the suburbs. Choosing the pursuit of a career over love. We’ve all either made sacrifices or have experienced someone who has made enormous sacrifices to live a life that only they can understand. There are songs made about the grind sometimes gritty, sometimes glorious. In my case, I call it the climb. The climb makes me happy. I also hope to one day, sooner rather than later, help the homeless rediscover their happiness all over again.

Melrose Avenue, June 2021


About the Creator

Leah Ella

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

Welcome! Get to know me here:

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    Leah EllaWritten by Leah Ella

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