Meet Elena Sophya.
Sometimes it is in the darkest times that we find light and our strongest will to live. Sounds tricky, right? This is how I found myself here, in London.
My name is Elena Sophya, I am a Ukrainian actor and scriptwriter who recently moved to the UK because of the war in my country. I remember being a 10-year-old child and writing myself letters from the future me, saying everything will be alright, I will be a famous actor and author, living in London and having a happy life doing what I love.
I told myself that no matter how hard it is, I have to carry on pursuing my dream. That I can never give up.
I remember proudly walking to my acting classes at university with an enormous golden bag with “LONDON” in huge letters on it. I bet you could see me a mile away.
So I always had this feeling – I have to be here. And now I am. But I never thought the price would be so unbearably big and horrifying. Even so, I have never felt the will to live so strongly and I have never wanted to do what I love as much as I do now.
But also, it’s about being happy to be alive, that you have been given the biggest gift to just be. I am going to share my story with you and tell you about my three dreams: life before the war, the war, and my life in London. I speak of them as dreams because it’s hard to understand whether any of these are real. All I know for sure is that my will to live and to create is.
And I hope that by sharing my story with you I will gently remind both you and myself that we must never give up on life. Because it is the most incredible gift we can ever be given.