• Leah Anne Little

L.L: Endings can be beautiful

Hey y’all, it’s me Leah Anne again, the soul searching South African in the USA, for new readers, go check out my first article if you like, otherwise, I hope this article helps y’all get to know me more!

In my home country, South Africa, you take all 11 subjects until year 9, where besides the compulsory 4, that being - English, Math, LO, and Afrikaans. You decide the 3 main subjects that you will do for the next 3 years of high school. Those subjects define what you will study at university to get your degree. Crazy to think at age 15, we are making life-defining decisions.

Some are lucky enough to have a clear vision with minimal restrictions or setbacks. Then there are some that have their paths set or directed by others and then there are the ones who go against society's norm and are either seen as outcasts or a visionary by society or loved ones. As high school comes to an end, we all know how we all branch off in our own directions. Some meet again and rekindle relationships, others form new bonds with people who just were not on the same wavelength at that point in their lives.

I was lucky enough to broaden my horizons and find many new diverse souls but also kept a few people from that point in my life and grew with them. I have had a pretty deep past but nothing built me more as a person than moving halfway across the world on my own with just my suitcases in my name.

They're my best friend from year 10 and I was, in my mom's office, after school studying for a biology year 12 final. I mentioned taking a gap year and the next minute there we both were on my couch the next week working on our applications to go overseas and Au pair. I left in Feb and shortly after that same year of 2019 in April she was in the USA too. What was meant to be one gap year turned into almost 2 years now and a completely different path from the original blueprint my old perfectionist self-set out. At the time it was flustering but I am so glad I traveled to the places I’ve been to have crossed paths with the strangers that are now family. I learned to accept any changes or rejection as redirection. Just like sunsets remember endings can be beautiful too and when one door closes another opens!

My friend and I both had our fair share of moving states and not being used to being apart from each other and people back home since she was my neighbor back in SA. None the less kept in touch more than ever and did a lot of self-growth separately by distance yet together at heart. This is a very important part of self-love. Becoming so rooted in your own being that nobody’s absence or presence disturbs your inner peace. In my past write, I spoke about realizing who truly cares for you and deserves your energy in return. Yes, you can rely on certain people however the tough pill adulting made me realize is that at the end of the day you are on your own, maybe not physically. However, no one knows you better than you know yourself, no one will understand your inner thoughts as best as you do. Learning to be at peace with being alone allows time for a detox almost, to reform your own views and opinions. Many people don’t realize how the seat you sit in at school or hanging with the wrong crowd can change your whole life and how if the people in the room are not challenging you in an uplifting way, you are capable of way more.

I came across this stunning word a few months ago and feel like it ties in perfectly with this week's write which I hope so far has brought y’all some positive head nods reminding you that we are all human.

Sonder- “The profound feeling/realization that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, have a life just as complex as one's own.” Which they are constantly living despite one's personal lack of awareness of it. The translation from Swedish to English is “without”. Their life has the same kind of feelings as yours does, just as complex - with heartache and happiness, routines and family. You exist outside of your own perception and could be a fragment or just another extra drinking coffee in the back of someone else’s story or, unknowingly be the main character in a stranger's story. It is crazy to think one different action or being at a different place, at a different time could change a whole scene, cast list, role, or path. But I realized if things didn’t go the way they did I would not know the people I know and love today. I would be on a completely different path.

Being the festive season, I hope this past thanksgiving we all practiced gratitude. It's now a time of giving so I challenge you to remember to always be kind to others, even if you are just passing by. Remembering “sonder” and that you don’t know the extent of the complexity that they are going through so even giving a smile can change/make their whole day making you the main character in that chapter for them. This time of year is just as stressful as it is relaxing so try practicing 10 minutes of focused breathing a day, it has many mental and physical health benefits and is so simple and convenient which will help you become one with yourself if practiced regularly.

I know sharing a smile a day can be tricky with having to wear our masks cause of covid so I can't wait to hear your feedback and share any other acts of kindness or posts of positivity from within your home with NIKA.

As always,

Lots of love Sunshine’s


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