“My name is Alexa Phelece and I am 17 years old. I live in Garden Grove, California 7 houses down my best friend Michelle Greene also known as Meeshell. I have a mother named Tina, a father named Thomas, and a twin sister named Brianna. I have a puppy named Harlie, a Chihuahua named Tinker and a funny face named Chance. (Update: Harlie is now 12 years old, Tinker is 16 years old, and our beautiful funny face – Chance has gone to Heaven.) For most of my life, I have felt like I am the different one of the group. Whether it comes to living in my household, playing on a team or sitting in a classroom.”
“Now, it is easy for me to accept who I am because of all the years I tried to deny it. I used to want to be like everyone else, be cool, hangout with the popular kids, like what everyone else liked but it was hard. I now just accept my wild self. Many people think I am nuts half of the time because I say what I feel and do what works for me. Other people’s opinions don’t affect me much. I have a good group of close friends and a boyfriend who tries to handle me with care. I love life. I thank God for everyday even when the day was not my favorite. I like to do everything and nothing. I stick to my morals but I am interested in other people’s point of views. I have made so many mistakes in life, but I like to think I learn from them. I know a lot about myself but not everything and I like it that way.”
“I dislike when people say they need to find out who they are because I believe you cannot find yourself. I believe you create yourself. And so far, I am looking forward to continuing my creation.”
These words were written by a brave, fearless, young Alexa ready to take responsibility for who she was; good or bad. I understood no matter what the challenge may face, I had all the support I needed to overcome any obstacles. It’s OK to not have all the answers, but you have to be willing to seek them. We must be curious about everything that we are including our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions.
This work taught me about the value of ‘SEEING’ myself even if I wasn’t proud of everything. It forced me to look at myself, and my actions. At 17 – this is HUGE! I realized my life was happening in realtime and how I was behaving and thinking was a directly reflection of ME. how I see the world is a reflection of how I see myself. After graduation, I could no longer blame teachers, homework, or bullies for who I was or the emotions I was feeling. I now had a new sense of ownership and control over my life (that at 17, I wanted so badly). I just wanted to be me without feeling WRONG. I was ready to create myself in the vision I saw for myself not what I THOUGHT I was suppose to be in order to be liked or loved by everyone else.
This scrapbook represented the ME that I knew to be true, the ME my higher power recognized. I would often measure my worth on the version of myself I felt others saw when they looked at me. This assignment taught me an important SKILL. It was a <<thinking>> skill that focuses on my ability to reflect on my own actions, my own thoughts, my emotions and the internal standards I had set for myself.
If you are self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behavior with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you. At 17, I was not have been fully aware of the negative thoughts, feelings, or false beliefs had towards myself and others but this assignment propelled me on a path evolving that skill. At 27, looking back at this scrapbook, I can now identify some of the deeply rooted emotional blocks and fears I was dealing with and still working through to this day. I honor all of this as a part of my self creation process. This was the process of creating a happy, meaningful life for Alexa. Self-love is recognizing that all life has meaning, and it’s our job to find ours with no judgement or self criticism. There is only lessons for the taking.
Those words I shared in my 12th grade graduation project were honest, raw, and exposed a very real part of myself and my belief in myself. I hope that you see the power of who you are and your contribution to this beautiful world we get to be a part of. We all must find our meaning, our purpose and then create a life that answers that call.
In the scrapbook there were other pages filled with photos, images, quotes, and lots of other great advice given to me by me.
Whether you are 17, 27, 57, or 107, I hope you also take away these truths.
1. Your environment shapes you.
2. Animal love is amazing.
3. Face who you are, even the dark parts.
4. Caring about fitting in with others, sucks.
5. Say what you feel.
6. Do what makes you happy.
7. Others opinions don’t matter.
8. Believe in a higher power, and a ‘higher’ you.
9. Always live in gratitude and be thankful for life.
10.Try everything, even when you don’t know the outcome.
11. It’s okay to be happy doing nothing.
12. Life is about creating yourself.
I hope you take this message and you move forward with your life. We may have never met but I feel grateful for you. You are important to me, you are important to this planet, and you matter. The light in me recognizes the light in you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and welcome to my website.