From starting her day with barefoot grounding in nature, to prioritising inner health and hydration and winding down with family dinners, Elle, 58, tells youtime that she "aims to fill every single day with meaning and purpose."
Unless you are an immigrant, you have no concept of what it is like to walk around not knowing anything. I mean that literally. I did not know cultural norms, which meant I did not know how to act or dress American. I stood out. I had to couch surf as I did not have a place to live just months after arriving. I did not know there were stores that had discounted groceries or places to buy used furniture. My first apartment was empty for a while. For years, I scrambled to make ends meet. Many times, filling my belly with water because I had no food. I had no extra money. I was not financially literate. I lacked most survival skills. The great side of this story is that somehow I learned to navigate everything. This experience made me tough, resilient, and fearless.
Of course, this journey has not been easy. I have put myself through college while supporting my mother back home. There were months I did not know how I would pay the rent or bills. At times, I had to work multiple jobs. I had to still show up in hostile environments despite inner battles with deep trauma. I doubted my ability to succeed. I was ashamed of my accent. I dealt with racist treatment almost everywhere I went. I had to learn content and language at the same time, which meant reading the same sentence too many times to count. It involved being the recipient of microaggressions. 2b1af7f3a8