16 years, 16 Weeks Early and I’m DAMN WELL ALIVE

I’m scheduling this post because I’m an absolute REBEL.

It is L‘s birthday. AND my birthday.

I’m 16 years old. WHAT THE HELL I’m 16 YEARS OF AGE.

I don’t often care, or even bother mentioning, that I’m shocked I’m still alive and ONLY with vision loss. I SHOULD have more problems. This girl, who’s a few years older than me, was born 16 weeks – or maybe a bit less – early, and her internal organs don’t really work. I’m blind. That’s it. And I’m so fucking thankful for that, but just WHY?

Survival rate was low when I was a baby. I was in an incubator for ages. BUT SURVIVING FOR ME WASN’T SOME MIRACLE. I just did. I just am, and that’s all there is to it.

People say I should be lucky that I’m alive. Maybe they’re right, but I’m NOT lucky. I just am. I’m here, I’m alive, and it’s not something to be celebrated. Yeah, I had a high chance of dying or developing other problems. Maybe I still WILL develop those.

It might seem weird that I’m so nonchelant about it, but I’ve never really had to think about the fact that I’m still here. It was NEVER an issue, never raised as one, never really celebrated except when my parents got emotional.

But for now? I’m living. I’m breathing. It’s not ASTONISHING – it just is. That’s how I often describe my life.

I’m not some inspiration. I’m just a human, a 16-year-old human in this messed-up world who’s trying to get by as well as any other human. I’m ME.

I guess I’ve never had an overappreciation for life. Life’s what it is, but now I’m starting to realise what living really is. I’m not philosophical about it; I don’t go round telling people they should live while they can and be thankful for life, because hell knows that it’ll make no difference – people live their lives how they want.

I want you to know that I’m just me. Whatever happens, I’m me. It strikes me as strange that I’m still here, still alive, but then I realise it’s just something that is. I may have been BORN 16 weeks early, but now I’m just me.

Thanks so much for reading. I don’t say it enough. You KNOW how deep-thinking I get at this time of night; it gets especially strong when I’m contemplating life and death and everything in between.

From Elm πŸ™‚

121 thoughts on “16 years, 16 Weeks Early and I’m DAMN WELL ALIVE

  1. Your were born for a reason so don’t think other wise! You have helped so many people on here you can just see it. So don’t ever think your birthday is not something to celebrate. I MEAN YOUR 16 FOR GODS SAKE. You ARE an inspiration to many and you are well respected. We all love Youu!!!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you have a lovely day, celebrating those 16 years you have battled through difficult obstacles but also lived and enjoyed through the happy moments- you have many more to come! You are inspiring to be so positive, despite the fact you are blind-your amazing! -Tash πŸ™‚

  3. Happy Birthday and I am so thankful you are alive. You have a life to live and you have places to go and people to meet and there is nothing stopping you. YOU’RE SWEET SIXTEEN ELM WOOO

  4. Happy birthday (again) Elm! You’ve done so much in the short time I’ve known you. You may be ‘just you’ but you are an amazing person either way. You’ve helped so many people and inspired so many people, including me. you may be just you, but each of us decides what that can mean through what we do every day. does that make any sense?

  5. HAAAPPPYYYY BIRTHDAAAAYYYY ELMMπŸ˜˜πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰!! Hope you have a wonderful 16th birthday and get everything you wantedπŸ’™πŸ’™ I love how humble you sound in this post haha. Many people here are appreciative of what you’ve done for them, it’s amazing that you survived – a one of a kind was born xD the blogging world wouldn’t have been the same without you! Have a great day and eat lots of cake xoxo

  6. First of all I’d like to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Second of all, sometimes at the dead of night when everyone else is a sleep and I just can’t close my eyes I think what your thinking about and I quote ‘life and death and everything inbetween’. But then I get up in the morning and I realise that I’m in this world for a reason. Sure I may be insignificant compared to the 8 billion people on Earth but to some people I’m important and that’s all that matters in the end.

    That was just my really bad attempt at saying…you have people who think your amazing so you’re not just existing. Your living. And you still have a lot to live! So do me a favour and celebrate your birthday like you’ve never before because honestly…you deserve it! Once again happy birthday!πŸ’™

    • OMG, thank you, you amazing girl! πŸ™‚ That comment honestly just made me smile. You’re so brilliant, because you make me feel like my life’s worth it.

  7. Happy Birthday πŸ™‚ Late at night, my teenagerness disappears and I turn into Aristotle as well. Is it annoying having a birthday so soon after Christmas because you get all the things that you want then you get more?

  8. I really really connect with the whole appreciation for even being able to breath. It may not be easy, but at least I can most of the time!
    And I’m also really glad we both had the opportunity to live this long and meet πŸ™‚

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! πŸ˜€ Elm, we all know that you’re ‘just you’, but ‘just you’ is awesome!! Yep, she pretty much rocks!! πŸ˜‰ So gear up and enjoy your day, okay? ‘Coz it’s a very special day — the day on which ‘just you’ was ‘just born’. One of the most significant events in history that ‘just happened’. You know. XD

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELM! As you said, you’re just you and guess what? That’s good enough for all of us because you are AWESOME! I hope you have a good fun filled day!

    This is a big one, and I command you to live this year of your life to the fullest! You deserve the BEST and the BRIGHTEST, my lovely Elm! ❀

      • You are so welcome Elm!!!! I so love reading all your stuff and it always makes my heart warm when you’re writing from a happy place πŸ™‚ XO

  12. Happy birthday!! You’re such a kind and generous human being and I hope you have an awesome day!!! YOU’RE 16 (so much older than me omg)!!!!

  13. Hey Elm! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You are an amazing person just as you are! You’ve given me such valuable advice so many times and reading your blog has been an absolute pleasure! Hope you have a good day and a great year ahead! Take care and have fun xx

  14. Elm, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Hope you had an amazing day. Enjoy this day. You’re such a kind, generous, helpful and compassionate human being!

  15. Happy birthday! Now you are 16, you can buy a lottery ticket, buy a sheep and start up a scrap metal business! Have a great day Xx

  16. Excuse me but like WE’RE ALL BLOODY WELL THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE ALIVE! It IS a reason to celebrate, and a BIG one, because as we’ve told you over and over you’ve made an impact on all of our lives. So happy sweet 16! And may you live 160 more (I know you will)

  17. Happy Birthday Elm! I hope you have a wonderful day. I’M SO THANKFUL THAT YOU’RE HERE. Like, how else would I have gotten through this year? I needed you and THANK YOU. Have a wonderful birthday!xx

    • Aww Em, thank you so much. You’re the one that’s just been the biggest inspiration to me, always; it’s an honour to know you and be your friend.

  18. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I know I’ve said it already but I hope you have an amazing day πŸ™‚
    I get what you mean about existing, but it’s okay, as you said, you’re only 16, you don’t have to have figured out the meaning of life yet πŸ˜‰
    But one thing’s certain and that is that you belong here. Everyone loves you, you are such an inspiration to everyone, we’re all thankful you’re here :3

  19. Lol, ur BLIND? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???????
    I can sort of relate to you πŸ˜› I have no problems that could bring me towards death, but my urgency to live is not as strong as others…

  20. Happy Birthday Elm! Your blog is such an inspiration to me, and I found Caitlin here (very good thing), and whenever I see posts it makes me smile. I love that you are so happy and bright even with everything else going on in life, and always find time to blog anyway. I hope you have the best birthday yet, and Happy New Year too!

  21. I feel like I oddly relate to this post? I was born a month early and had tons of problems after I was born. And I never thought about how it could be otherwise. Like I just had some problems and now I’m here and those problems have disappeared. I’ve never thought about those problems taking over.
    Crazy stuff right there!!!

    Anyways, I hope you have an amazing birthday Elm! Even though it may seem like you’re just existing, I can guarantee that you’re existing for a reason! Happy birthday πŸ™‚

  22. A very happy birthday to “The Girl Who Lived” and said BOO! to Death. See what I did there ;] Laughing, oh I’m so ridiculous. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELM, HAVE A GREAT ONE (I think I’m hours late BUT NO MATTER) I HOPE YOU HAD A GREAT TIME AND WISHING YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR THAT I PRAY WOULD BRING IN JOY AND GOOD HEALTH TO YOUR LIFE, MUCH LOVE. (Why on Earth have I been screaming? Being ridiculous again!) πŸ’™

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