Contributed by Elle Zahrouni
Dear Younger Elle,
You’re probably sitting in bed reading Goosebumps and eating strawberry laces. Noice.
On a serious note, I want you to take your time. You don’t have to be the first one to finish, as your value isn’t measured by how quick you are to answer a question or how strong you are. Whether it's your studies, your sport, work or the way you think, take your time. This world is moving too fast which you cannot control, but you can control yourself.
Embrace and be nice to yourself no matter how you look and no matter who you’re surrounded by, because there will be kids who will be both negative and positive, so as long as you stay true and respect yourself, then you will be unstoppable.
You’re going to go through phases in life where you won’t properly know who you are and where you fit within groups of friends. Puberty hit you like a train and you’ll feel like you’re being secluded from your skinny white friends because all of a sudden your hips don't lie and people will lowkey call you fat ‘as a joke’ but you’re an avocado, the good kind of fat, trust me.
You’ll feel very lonely but you’re going to enjoy your company more and more. Also, at times, you’ll feel relaxed and at peace, however, you have a face that tends to show no emotion. People will call you miserable and unapproachable, sad and ‘look like you don't have a soul!’ You can’t help your face muscles and don’t smile for no reason on your own because that's fucking creepy. Be patient with these people they’ll realise you’re an actual ok person.
If you haven't realised already, you like being flamboyant, witty and charismatic with people you’re comfortable with. They’re gonna call you a weirdo and fam if you had a pound for everyone who’s gonna call you that!! Don’t be offended and when you want to tone it down that's okay too. Do what makes you feel comfortable and don’t feel like you’re being boxed in as a weirdo because I don’t think those people know what an actual weirdo is lol.
You’re going to meet people like you and you’ll soon learn there's a profession where you can get paid to be a weirdo. It's called being an actor and it’s going to make you feel warm and meet a lot of cool people. Despite your parents' hesitations and lack of support, they want the best for you so understand that. And be fucking nice to your Mum damn it. Remember that woman gave birth to you, bathed you, wiped your ass and fed you. You’ll understand soon why she’s an angel on earth so hang in there pal.
Your Mum will tell you a story that's going to piss you off. It's going to make you wish you could go back in time and change a decision that could’ve changed her life for the better. Now despite not being as supportive as you hoped she’d be with your ‘hobby’, you will understand that the conversations she has with you will have underlying messages for you to figure it out. "You can’t work in a job you’re not happy with". "This lawyer I know left to follow her passion". Your Dad is the same. Your parents went through life making mistakes and succeeding and making more mistakes. One of the many things you HAVE to learn from them is not to live your life thinking "what if". You’re going to have enough time to fuck up and things will be slightly slower because you’ll have one foot in a potential world where you’re doing your parents proud by earning an okay living with an ok company, and then you’ll have your other foot in a world where your hustle and grind in a semi-depressing city will be rewarded by working with incredible creatives and artists (and earning hella money).
There’s one thing you should learn and that's never to half-ass anything. Your parents won’t know that you’re pursuing your ‘hobby’ further and they’ll be confused as to why you got your headshots done (by the way make sure your hair is up in some shots because you’re gonna look like a 30-year-old lawyer with a stick up her ass). But understand that the process is going to be hard, scary and frustrating for you and your parents will feel that, but more, because you’re their youngest. Understand their perspective. Keep them away from negativity and be sure to work your avocado ass off and exceed their expectations.
Remember the world will not end if people don’t approve of you. You have your whole life ahead of you so relax, enjoy the small things, keep working hard and expect to work hard for a long time and always be nice. You’ve gained so much wisdom and maturity, I’m so proud of you.