This is a post written by my beautiful friend Gracie which made me screech with happiness when I read it. I love her and will forever be proclaiming that NONE OF THIS IS TRUE but she’s unfortunately determined and wanted to prove me wrong with this post. I hope you enjoy this and thank you, Gracie, for being a beautiful human.
Elm and I have been friends for almost three years now (although it feels as if I’ve known her forever), and I truly believe that she is my soulmate. Without her, I wouldn’t be here today, writing this post; without her, I wouldn’t have travelled internationally with friends; without her, some of the best moments of my entire life wouldn’t have happened, and without her, I truly don’t know what I’d do. We have so many incredible memories together: singing ridiculously loudly in the shower, hitting pillows, being literally telepathic and waving at one another on FaceTime (even though we’re both seasoned members of the blind squad) are just a few. We’d be here all day if I listed everything and – to be perfectly honest – none of our inside jokes would make any sense to you (literally neither of us even know what we’re talking about most of the time, so we can’t really expect anyone else to).
My favourite thing about Elm is definitely her family – don’t tell her, but the only reason I’m friends with her is because her stepmother’s stir fry is yummy, her dad and I have formed a band and her sister is good at making very, VERY alcoholic punch. Obviously I’m joking (my actual favourite thing about Elm is bullying her for her height!), but seriously, her family are some of the kindest, most loving and welcoming people on this planet, and I genuinely feel blessed to know them. Elm is absolutely just as compassionate, altruistic and benevolent as her parents, and I know that – regardless of anything – she will always be there for a phone call or a five-day-sleepover. One of my favourite memories with her is sitting in her back garden talking, with her dad showing us tomatoes and random other vegetables at arbitrary intervals, because it just felt so natural. That was the first time I’d stayed over at her house, and – from that moment onwards – I knew that there would be no pretences whatsoever, that I could be completely myself around this family, and that – even if only for a week or so – I belonged.
Both Elm and I have struggled (and are struggling still) with our mental health, which can sometimes cause a friendship to crack and splinter. With us, though, it’s achieved exactly the opposite: we calm one another down when we’re anxious; wake one another up when all we want to do is sleep; talk over feelings and emotions way into the night when we don’t feel like speaking at all, and, most importantly, we show one another the love that we can’t always show ourselves. The brilliant thing about our friendship is that it isn’t toxic: one of us doesn’t constantly vent to the other, with our issues taking precedence, but rather we mutually support each another to grow and evolve as people, regardless of how positive we’re feeling at the time.
One thing in particular that I’m crazily proud of Elm for is her journey to independence. IN the last year especially, she has started travelling independently on buses and trains, preparing and cooking food when home alone and learning walking routes in and around her local area.To most of you, that was probably a little underwhelming, but please remember that those things are difficult when you have no useful vision. Usually, both Elm and I are advocates for not posting about sight loss at every opportunity, but I had to mention the progress she’s made (I mean she’ll never admit how incredible she is herself) because I am inspired (I USED THE DREADED ‘I’ WORD!!! CRINGE) by her determination and tenacity every single day.
There will never be enough words (in any language) to enable me to articulate just how much I adore Elm, and how much her friendship means to me. She is my best friend – the one I call when I’m scared or lonely, the person who never fails to make me laugh – and I am unbelievably lucky to know her. Elm, thank you for always letting me be weird with you. Thank you for saying the most ridiculous things in stupid voices to make me laugh when all I want to do is cry. Thank you for trusting me, for letting me trust you, for always being there for me.
Thank you always,
PS: I wub.