A Smidgen of Independence

Something really weird happened today.

On the way from my dad’s house to my mum’s, my mother asked me, “Hey Elm! Do you want to try independently cooking your lunch today?”

It took me a few seconds to actually process what she had said. You see, it’s my dad that usually helps me with getting more independent. He and I have cooked meals together – more with him doing most of the work but shhh – and he’s listened to me ranting about how terrible I feel when I have no independence. My mum, on the other hand, often “babies” me more and doesn’t LET me have independence. That frustrates me and upsets me, which causes me to snap and then we have an argument and I feel shit all over again.

If you don’t know, I’m almost fully blind (I don’t know how to explain my sight). Because of that, it felt like a huge deal to me. Getting independence and being able to live without constantly asking for help is really important.

You can imagine, then, that it was a huge shock for her to ask me such a direct question. After I got my senses back, I immediately said “YES! That’d be great!” and we discussed what we’d do. It was just pasta, with some sauce, but still.

Some people say that I’m confident, but in a lot of areas, I’m really not. We got home and I felt a little nervous, but I decided to wing it and see how it went. I didn’t build up expectations as to whether it would go okay, or go terribly. I just DID IT, with no angry thoughts about how I was shit.

I find it almost surreal that I did it. Not that it’s complicated, because it isn’t – I didn’t do it all by myself because I’m not THAT much of a rebel yet. Now I’m thinking about it, I feel a little child-like and almost embarrassed that it’s taken me this long, but I suppose it wasn’t necessarily my fault.

Yeah, I’m proud of myself. The pasta took AGES to boil so my mum and I have to refine the method we use. I was calm throughout the whole process, only getting really paranoid that it wouldn’t work once, and even then I didn’t start shaking or snapping at her.

Sorry, I just need to let that sink in for a bit. I made FOOD, without actually burning myself or crying. That might not seem like much of an achievement, but to me, it is. I was actually laughing with mum about the whole thing, because at one point we were discussing whether it had actually worked – WITHOUT ME GETTING UPSET!!!!

In all, I was totally calm. I was curious about what I had to do, and asked loads of questions – I didn’t feel like it was pointless or stupid, or that I was a pathetic baby. As opposed to even two weeks ago, my levels of self-hatred were – and are – EXTREMELY low, because today there was no cause whatsoever to hate myself. I’m really proud of that.

I think it was partly down to the fact that I’ve not been stressed at all recently (NO EXAMS YES), but also because I’ve been in such a positive mindset that it astounds me. Usually, I’m rather cold towards my mother but today, I treated her like she DESERVED to be treated. She was helping me, and I showed her I fully appreciated her help. I don’t do that enough, and I often take her for granted; today has shown me she DOES actually want to help me.

I feel like I can do all of this. Cook, be independent, and cross every bridge I come to. I don’t feel invincible, but I feel pretty bloody close to it.

I’m happy with myself.

From Elm πŸ™‚

69 thoughts on “A Smidgen of Independence

  1. That’s really cool – well done! πŸ™‚
    I feel really bad about asking this but I don’t mean it in a harsh way I’m just generally interested, like what’s it like living your life when you’re blind? I can’t even imagine how hard it must be but like how do you write posts or send text messages – does it read them aloud afterwards?
    sorry again if you hate people asking these things :/ you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to x

    • Hey hey it’s totally cool, in fact I LIKE people asking me! It’s so much better than people not knowing and NEVER knowing, you know?
      Basically, I have an iPhone which has voiceover on it – a speech software – and it reads out the screen. You use different gestures, so instead of just tapping on wordpress for example, I double tap instead. People’s texts are read out for me too πŸ™‚ As for living with blindness, I’ve always been like this, so I’ve never known any different. I guess I’ve got used to it a lot, but sometimes things still frustrate me.
      Thanks so much for asking again!

    • I hope I can πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, it makes my day that you’re happy for me! I want to just keep on going with gaining more independence.

  2. I’m happy for you.
    Yeah the transition to cooking for me was kind of a ‘Jump into the deep end of a pool without knowing how to swim’ experience because my parents were out of town and the person that was supposed to be taking care of us just jetted off so it was just me and my little brother. But I Googled everything and it turned out okay.
    It doesn’t matter how little it seems, every achievement counts. A day where I don’t spend all day on my phone is a good day to me.
    Yeah sometimes I wish I was more cool with my mother as well but… ah well.
    How exactly did you cook the pasta that it took so long?

    • I honestly don’t know. I turned on the heat too low, which MUST have been it πŸ˜€ Yeah, sometimes I feel so guilty for how I treat her, but I’ve got better.

  3. Thats so great Elm! Cooking can be hard enough so its amazing that you can do it being blind. Elm, I honestly don’t think you understand how inspiring you are. You just act like a completely normal person, with normal feelings and do everyday things and don’t let something like being blind stop you. I know a lot of us, especially myself would probably feel useless and have no confidence and not try out anything, but you are open to new experiences, you WANT to be independent and live your life as your own and I think that is brilliant. I think you need to give yourself more credit sometimes Elm, because when you get upset, you need to remember that not everyone could do what your doing! Anyway, long speech over about how great you are- I hope you enjoyed the pasta haha! What are you planning to make next- maybe you could make a bolognese which is one step up from pasta? -Tash x

    • Tash, you are honestly one of my favourite people. You actually convince me that I’m succeeding, that I’m NOT pathetic, and that means a lot because I need to be told that once in a while. Thank you for being so, so lovely all time and making my day. I’m so glt you find me inspiring and that you take some sort of idea from my posts, because that’s what I WANT people to do.
      I just try to live my life – not with a disability, not with hardship, but just live it as me.

  4. I can totally relate to this! Every time I’ve made an attempt to cook, I’ve always managed to burn something or the other haha. This has inspired me to give it another ago πŸ™‚ love your blogging style. Good luck with your journey to independence!

    • Awww thank you so much – yes, give cooking another go! We can do this! I’m so happy you like my blog – and yes, I want to get far along that journey once the summer’s done.

  5. A beautiful mindset makes a beautiful life, reading this made me feel so happy and the joy that you felt. Next time you’re feeling poorly, come and read this blog and remember that like is progress not perfection. Some of the most beautiful things in this world took centuries to make.

  6. This is really great to read! I’m so happy for you – soon you’ll be mastering all sorts of dishes. I really admire your determination, and you should be so proud of yourself x

  7. wooohhhooooo, great job, elm!!
    //dw I’m supposed to be cooking around this age, but I’m not HHAHAHAHAHAH

  8. Congratulations Elm! I haven’t been reading you for long but you are definitely an inspiration!. you WANT to be independent and live your life as your own despite what life’s thrown at you, which is absolutely brilliant, especially because it takes a great deal of strength – a lot of us, especially myself would probably feel useless and have no confidence to try out anything, but you are willing to step up and more often than not it seems like you ace the challenge! #Inspiring

    • Awww you just made my day and made me smile! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much. I wouldn’t class myself as an inspiration but that’s just me being me haha. Thanks so much – I just want to live really.

  9. An Awesome Read Elm! I’m glad you could get over this hurdle! Daily improvement is absolutely important and essential! I’m very inspired and proud to hear this story. Thank you.

    • And thank YOU for commenting such a lovely thing! It means a lot to me. I just want to succeed at being as independent as I can.

  10. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! That is a huge achievement in my book! I’ve masterd toast and anything that can be microwaved, but stoves are scary! Now I know someone has done it though, so I’m probably gonna have to try. πŸ™‚

  11. YAAAAY Elm! You probably cook way better than me… a few days ago, I almost burned a pot trying to make mac & cheese from a box. I’m hopeless at boiling. So maybe you can cook for me :).
    I’m really glad that the fact that you’re blind doesn’t stop in you in trying to do stuff like this and it’s super-inspirational. ❀ xo Hanna

    • Eeekk I really wanna hug right now because you’re fabulous πŸ™‚ Thank youuu – and I BET you’re not as bad as you think! C’mon, we can get through this.

  12. This is so inspirational. I feel like most of the time we take many things for granted like I’m a great cook but you wouldn’t find me in the kitchen and to know that you are blind but was so excited to cook makes me feel like I should appreciate many things. You’re such an inspiration to many others. Great post!

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