Life is Hectic

Sometimes, things happen in my life that make me sit up and ask myself, “Is this really happening?” I’ve had some pretty surreal experiences happen to me over the last year, where my life feels a little bit unreal. It’s hectic, to say the least!

There are memories that I look back on which fill me with joy. Most of those recent ones come from Vienna, where I screamed with laughter around my friends. Walking down the streets, holding onto each other at one point and getting so many things wrong almost made me feel like life couldn’t truly get this hilariously good. I came back to England and the cold shock of ‘reality’ made me pause. To be honest, I don’t quite know what’s happening.

I was approached on Tuesday by a representative of a company, asking me whether I wanted to audition for something. I have to be vague as I can’t actually say what it is. However, when I looked up what was required I almost screamed. This was kind of unfortunate as I was in the middle of a crowded place and so shouting would have drawn too much attention. It’s the kind of thing I never thought could happen, from an industry which I never thought I’d be properly involved in. It’s doubtful that big things will come from it but I want and need that experience. I just hope it can increase my confidence.

Acting has been going well: I’ve been offered jobs and because of my crippling insecurity, it’s been surprising because I honestly thought I was shit. I’ve been in contact with my agent too (and God, that’s weird to say) and I don’t feel like an utter failure. Though I haven’t been to any further auditions, things are looking up, especially as my attitude to everything is slowly improving as my mental health isn’t as unstable as it was before.

On Tuesday night, my heart crashing with emotion, I finally got closure from a situation that had been running round in my head for 8 months. It was the most freeing I’d ever felt and at one point I actually screamed, “I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM HAVING THIS CONVERSATION!” The person in question was amazing about it (I honestly don’t know how I thought it could be any different) and the honesty was refreshing. As it was a huge part of my life and I didn’t want to talk about it on the blog until I got closure, I need to dedicate a whole other blog post to it. Maybe then, I can finally start to process it all.

Friendships have been going so well too, ever since I crawled out of the pit of A-Levels. It’s been surprising to me that I can still be a good friend, that I can still be an interesting person to talk to. Not only have I gained closure as I said above but I’ve also had some pretty honest conversations with some friends about how my actions in the past affected them but also, how they affected me. Very recently, I’ve become friends with Connor and there are some people who you click with immediately and after a day of knowing them, you just know that they’re going to be a part of your life: he’s incredibly kind and inspires me so much; it shocked me that I could still form those connections and not feel like a fraud for having them.

Today, I’m going to a sort of induction at the college for the visually impaired that I’m attending next year. There will be so many people there and in a way, I’m really excited but also fucking terrified. I’m desperately scared that people will hate me and that I’ll make the worst impression but this is a huge new chapter of my life that I want to experience as fully as I can.I don’t know where any of this will go. But really, I’m excited. I’m excited to see what life, with all its crazy turns and “WHAT IS HAPPENING” moments, will show me.

Have you had any weird things happening recently?

From Elm πŸ™‚

The Music Habits Tag!

Hi!
Long time no speak, write – whatever it is I churn out on this blog. Things have been painfully hectic recently but I’m back with a tag! I can hear you shrieking for joy all the way from here, the air filled with the beautiful sound of silence. Okay no, I’ll shut up and stop whinging; onto the tag!

This was created by my amazing friend Sumedha who is a genius and you should seriously check out her blog. I love this tag of hers and it’s time I yelled about music more on this blog.

The Rules

  1. Tag the creator – Sumedha – so they can read all your answers!
  2. Thank the person who tagged you.
  3. Answer all the questions.
  4. Tag at least three friends.

This sounds fab I NEED TO DO TAGS MORE OFTEN! Right, the questions…

Do you download songs or stream them from apps like Spotify?

I used to download songs onto my phone but I got quite bored of that because I wasn’t able to find new music easily, so now I use Spotify to stream most of my music. For me, it’s easier and takes up way less space on my phone.

What’s your current favourite song?

Ooooh this is a difficult one. I’m really loving the acoustic version of Flicker by Niall Horan because it gives me a vague amount of hope and the piano accompaniment is beautiful. You’ll notice a pattern – I listen to sad songs a lot and the ones that aren’t sad, I’m too ashamed to admit to.

Last song you listened to?

I was feeling bitter and stereotypical so I listened to Let Me Go by Hailee Steinfeld – I actually really like it and it’s one of the songs I listen to that aren’t really weird or sad.

Who are your all time favourite artists?

  1. Katelyn Tarver
  2. We The Kings
  3. Hayley Kiyoko
  4. Alan Walker
  5. Dean Lewis

Oh god, my taste in music is strange… I don’t actually have many all-time favourite artists; I more get obsessed with songs.

Have you been to any concerts?

YESSS, I’ve been to Glastonbury four times – from the ages of 8 to 11- where I’ve seen Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jay Z, Marina and the Diamonds and a few others. I’ve also seen Rae live, and Hozier, which you can read about here. That was honestly amazing and I’ve loved all the concerts I’ve been to.

Do you play any instruments?

I kind of play the piano, though badly; the main thing I do is sing. On my contact page, you can find a link to my grim Youtube channel that I’m not even allowing myself to call a “Youtube channel”> On there, I occasionally warble out something you might call music, if you were being generous. I quit piano years ago so singing’s the only thing I really have, music-wise.

Do you play your songs on shuffle or choose a playlist?

Recently I’ve been getting really into playlists but I do want to start to shuffle my music more. I kind of like the uncertainty of it on days where that doesn’t stress me out. I’ve created some seriously cringe playlists on Spotify that I really hope I’ve made private…

Name one song that you always skip when it comes up on shuffle

Perfect by Ed Sheeran. I used to really love this song but now, it actually upsets me to listen to it. I’ll listen to it occasionally but I have too many internal things associated with that song to feel entirely at ease when I hear it.

Do you prefer playing songs on speaker or listening in ear/headphones?

When I’m at home, I’ll often listen to music on my speaker or just out loud. However, in public, I always put headphones in because sometimes I have pretty emotional reactions to songs and get embarrassed quite easily if people see me looking happy/upset in public. I don’t know – I’m quite odd.

Is there any popularly liked song that you don’t like?

I really don’t like Hurtin’ Me. It just makes me angry whenever I hear it. I’m listening to it at the moment and getting so furious that I’m going to switch to a less insufferable song.

Where do you usually find new music? Example through shuffle online

Usually, it’s through YouTube, or if something comes up on my Spotify that I’ve never heard before. If my friends really like a song and go on about it a lot, I’ll listen to it just to see what it’s like and quite a lot, I’ll get good song recommendations from it. Saying that, on top of some strange videos in my recommended, YouTube is usually my place to go.

Do you like songs based on tunes/beats or lyrics?

If one is really bad, so if there are shit lyrics or a shit tune, I won’t like the song. However, what usually attracts me to songs are the lyrics; if a song has a particularly relatable theme or line, I’ll automatically get obsessed with it. Some songs I like purely for their beat (but I don’t usually admit that shhh).

Name one song you think everyone should listen to

Waves by Dean Lewis. The first time I heard it, I cried because it pretty much describes how I feel on a day-to-day basis. that, coupled with the piano, makes me feel weirdly comforted whenever I hear it.

And I Nominate

Bethany
Alex
Perfectly Platonic
Bri
Kel


I hope you enjoyed my weird and rambling answers! I don’t have the best music taste ever but I own it…

What’s your favourite song?

From Elm πŸ™‚

How Acting Changed my Life

***Minor details have been changed for anonymity purposes***

From mid November to early December – nearly a month – I didn’t go to school. I wasn’t at home either, barely did any schoolwork, yet in doing so I created memories that will stay with me forever. I came to some difficult realisations about the future, namely that I had pushed myself to be what everyone else expected me to be. Now that I can’t be that any more, I’m almost in freefall but I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Where was I? I can’t tell you much, apart from that I was filming a small thing for something that might appear late next year. Instead of focusing too much on those details, I want to talk about how it changed my life in the best way possible. Not just temporarily but how it forced me to realise that I’ve shoved myself into a little box because of the expectations of myself and others for far too long. Those expectations have now changed and I think I may finally know what I feel.

I stayed in a city far away from the one I live in, with a train journey lasting just over 2 and a half hours. For the longest time, I’d fought with family over going by myself and finally, I was allowed to take that journey, the longest I had ever done. In total, I did it four times, sitting with my thoughts for company, reading, heart beating hard with a mix of anticipation and fear at what I knew would be an unforgettable journey. I was right.

Collectively for around a fortnight and a half, I stayed in a hotel that was 15 minutes’ drive from the place we were filming, with a chaperone because I was below the age of 18 at the time. I had my own room, could lay my stuff out how I wanted; it was exhilarating to come back to the hotel after having had dinner and to feel utterly in control of that space. The chaperone I had was amazing: she helped me to see life differently, to understand that there are far more options than the one you thought you’d do a year ago. Over dinner – where we went out pretty much every night when my schedule allowed – and breakfast in the mornings, we talked about life and anything we could think of. Walking through shops and streets, I laughed so hard that I nearly fell over at one point. The experience wouldn’t have been the same without her because I felt secure when returning back from set, knowing I had someone who I could count on to help if I got confused and just a friend who I could chat to.

Each morning of a day I filmed, I got up, had breakfast and – depending on my call time – relaxed or got ready straight away. My sleeping patterns got messed up. Often, I had 12-hour days at odd times and so I was exhausted but it was a rewarding kind of exhausting. Receiving a Callsheet was always interesting because you were never quite sure what you were doing each day, if something overran from the day before. So many times, I asked stupid questions about abbreviations but it just meant I learned, all the time.

Now, onto the filming itself. I can’t describe anything in detail really but it was exhilarating. Between takes, I howled with laughter with the other actors. The first time I properly met one of them, an hour later we were joking around like we’d known each other for months. I wasn’t afraid of truly expressing myself, breaking free of the ‘vulnerable’ stereotype, my insecurities being natural and able to be talked about. Waiting between sections of filming wasn’t difficult either: I had too many cups of tea for it to be healthy and one of the Runners – people who do jobs around set and help the actors if they need something – spoke to me constantly. I can safely say that the people made it worthwhile.

I wish I could tell you specific memories I have but I’m not allowed to reveal anything about the filming. However, highlights include shivering so hard in the cold, talking to an actor about mental health and our lives for almost an hour, learning about so many new things, chatting to the costume and makeup people and starting to use terminology that you wouldn’t understand if you weren’t in that industry. Coming back into the warmth when you were freezing felt as if your fingers were about to fall off and I took to mumbling lines under my breath and whenever I was running lines with the other actors, we’d sometimes just say the first line and run from then. I felt so comfortable around them; it didn’t matter that I looked young, that I had a disability, that I hadn’t done this much before. I felt utterly at home, able to absolutely sob with laughter and I didn’t care how I looked. It brought back my humanity and each time I came back to the hotel, I’d talk to my chaperone about how the day went and her enthusiasm for it all made me so happy.

I went for drinks after one of the days filming with some of the cast and crew. There, one of the main producers talked to me and told me I was wonderful, that I shouldn’t give up, that I should continue doing this. I beamed, heart soaring as I realised – maybe, just maybe he was right. After speaking to the director, one of the loveliest people, I started feeling a fire light deep within me. It was glorious and I got confidence I’ve never felt before or since, bolstering me like I was worth something more than I ever thought. I went back to the hotel – something I jokingly referred to as ‘home’ with my chaperone – and cried out of shock. They were happy tears, tears of gratitude and an overload of emotion.

The day I left the set for the last time, I cried so hard for hours. It felt as if I was leaving something behind and I felt horribly empty when I remembered that there would be no more Callsheets for this time, no more accidentally walking into walls and having to re-take whilst laughing, no more chatting to the director and the rest of the cast about my disability and them not caring that I was blind, just caring that I was myself. The train journey back was one of the most difficult I’ve had as it felt as if my heart was breaking: I missed it and still miss it, the simple companionship and jokes I had with people, the waiting that never seemed to be boring because I knew I was being useful. I was needed, part of it, like I’ve not really felt before.

Going to school made me feel small, powerless and so, so wrong. I’d thought, over the Christmas holidays, and realised that I really don’t know what to do about my future. It threw me: my lack of work done was piling up; I felt panicked all the time at the thought of this continuing, on and on. That snapped me back to a sort of reality. Before filming, it felt normal to feel this awful all the time and to have no respite. Now I compare myself to when I was happy to now, when I’ve reverted to feeling worried constantly. I shouldn’t have to feel like this all the time. I shouldn’t have to do a degree that will just exacerbate this.

What do I do, then? Do I still do my degree in English Lit and Creative Writing, regardless of how unhappy it makes me? Or do I look at drama schools in the year I’m taking out next year? It shocks me to note that this uncertainty, instead of making me feel terror, makes me feel less trapped. I’m less limited now. In a way, I can be more in control.

This will come as a shock to, well, everyone. It already has. Throughout my secondary education, I never went into drama; I never expressed an interest because I never thought I was good enough. This will be a surprise; I’ll have teachers and parents telling me I’m being hasty, that I should be sensible. However, in this, I’m doing the sensible thing for me.

I want to do what makes me happy, to do what feels right. I don’t want to feel as wrong as I have; feeling so terrified and unhappy about the future and believing that to be healthy is harmful. I’m having a huge re-think but maybe that was necessary to make me remember that my views for the future are not the only path I could take.

There are always options. It’s far better to be happy and to feel confident in yourself than to go along with what people tell you you should do.

I don’t want this to be the end. I don’t want to go, “That’s it,” and force myself to be content with a future that has never felt wholly “me”. I don’t want to be told I’m being a child about this, that I should just do the degree because it’ll give me a good future.

I want to make a future for myself, not anyone else’s version of my future. I will create amazing memories and the ones I made last month and the month before, though fading a little, have made a lasting impression on me. They’ve shown me that I won’t just fit into a little box.

A lot of changes are happening in my head. I’m behind in my schoolwork, desperately stressed, losing control of some of the things in my life and breaking away from the things teachers want me to be and from the studious person I once was. However, I was only that because I needed to be. It was the only thing I thought I had. I’ve been proven wrong. I’m still insecure, worried I’m running too far and too fast but for once, thinking about this doesn’t make me feel like I’m climbing a mountain that never ends. Maybe, I can be happy.

Not maybe. Definitely.

Have you ever had a complete turnaround about what you want to do in the future?

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

I Felt like I Belonged

On Friday, I was involved in a music competition for school. In our school, we have five ‘houses’ and on Sports Day and other such activities, we compete to see who will win – which my house never does. I never got involved in Sports Day by doing sports because I’m lazy as hell; I only volunteered this year to help the younger years with non-sport related activities. As a result, I didn’t have much involvement with the house system before this year. For the second year in a row, a House Music event was held; it was the first I performed in and it couldn’t have gone better.

Although I sing, I hardly ever sing with school or in a group of people at school; I used to belong to chamber choir but I quit and because of that, I haven’t been asked to perform at concerts. I didn’t use my initiative to volunteer even this time: one of my best friends, Pine, who has been friends with me since the very start of year 7, is a music leader – a sixth former who helps organise concerts and gets things in order. She, along with the other music leaders from my house, suggested that I get involved because they knew I had a history of singing and performing. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the guts to want to be part of it.

When I was in choir, rehearsals were a weekly event for me; ever since I left, I had all days free. However, with house music, one day a week – mostly – was dedicated to rehearsing. I tried to turn up for every one and thanks to the house leaders’ brilliant organisation, things ran smoothly except for one piece – Skyfall – that had to be scrapped which was really sad. We had three other pieces apart from the song I was in, all of which I hadn’t heard before the day of the show.

You may be asking, “Yeah yeah but what was the song?” If you’ve ever heard of Walk Off the Earth on YouTube, we did a similar thing to their Shape Of You cover but instead performed Locked Out Of Heaven, using instruments that wouldn’t ordinarily be used as instruments. I was the main singer and another girl did some beautiful harmonies (she has a wonderful voice). The dynamic (excuse the pun) in the rehearsals was amazing: we laughed; we joked around; we tried things and if they didn’t work then they didn’t and we tried something else. It really instilled confidence in me because nobody thought I was shit. I also knew a bunch of people who were performing – Pine, Laurel and others from my year to name a few.

When the day of the competition arrived, I didn’t feel nervous. I had told my parents three days before and all my friends knew but I didn’t make it into a huge deal because if I had, I would have been terrified. In the last lesson, we went to a sound check and I heard the other performances. Along with Pine, I chatted to a friend in another house and I’ll call her Coral. We used to sit next to each other in music last year and that day and evening, we got so much closer – it made me happy. I was stunned by a girl in year 10’s voice; it took about an hour to run through our house’s pieces which all sounded incredible. The excitement I felt after the successful rendition of our song was nothing I can describe; I felt empowered. What made it better was that I found out that the blogger who goes to my school was going to be there. She’s a percussionist and I briefly spoke to her when we went out to see if the xylophone had broken. She’s the only person who I feel happy with calling me Elm in real life and so I always know it’s her. It really made it hit home that I was doing this and that someone who read my blog would also be hearing me sing.

Coral, Pine and I went back to Pine’s house to get ready: I hadn’t been to hers since Prom but I absolutely love her house and family. We ate pizza, bitched about people and cried with laughter; her sister did my makeup because I’m utterly useless and would end up looking like a walrus if I tried. Pine’s sister and I bonded over the fact that Pine shrieks when her sister tries to put eyeliner on her and is even more resistant to fashion and beauty than I am and that is why she’s my favourite thing ever. I got incredibly angry at one point whilst recounting a shitty situation that had happened to me and they were so supportive AARGHH I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! Sorry, I’m getting emotional…

As soon as we got to school, around 6:15, I started to feel jittery. As we’d gone into a random technology room, it was filled with people who I didn’t know, playing and singing and warming up (I may have done a cheeky bit of screeching – erm I mean singing – just to get my vocals vaguely in gear). After Pine and Coral had gone to tune their respective instruments, I did some breatheing and then talked to my ‘blogger friend’ for ages. It was so nice just to speak to her about everything and anything – I had heard from Pine that her piece was fantastic and so was excited to hear it because I’m a weird person who fangirls over music DON’t JUDGE ME!

Luckily, Coral and I went into the audience to watch some of the acts. On the way there, I bumped into Laurel (one of the two people I have feelings for, I don’t even know). We hugged and she grabbed my hands when I said I was nervous; I totally overreacted afterwards and then told Coral I might have a ‘crush’ on Laurel. Coral was totally cool with it (turns out she may be bi too so we had a bonding moment over that). I saw Laurel at various points throughout the evening too, most notably backstage where we sat together and just talked.

Everyone was so brilliant in their performances! My blogger friend’s piece was genuinely so lovely; I smiled the entire way through and cheered especially loudly at the end. Other great things included a fantastic guitar solo by a guy in my english class, someone singing who had the exact same range as me and a girl with the most adorable voice ever. Seriously. I was mildly sobbing. None of it made me feel intimidated; I just enjoyed people having a good time and I revelled in the atmosphere.

By the interval, I was a wreck. If you’ve ever seen me in my real life get nervous, I was rubbing my hands together and trembling like a leaf (again, excuse the pun). Because we had to be backstage whilst the house before us was performing, I was standing with some people like Laurel (we touched hands, hugged and sat near each other) – who had a break from organising things – when Willow turned up. I hadn’t seen her in months: she’d left last year to go to college and so when we saw each other, we screamed and ran at each other. She updated me on everything that had happened in her life within 15 minutes and at one point I screamed “NO NO NOOOO JUST DO IT DO IT!” and tried to convince her to do various things I won’t repeat; it ended with us practically sobbing and telling the other that we loved them. Lots of hugging was involved, too, until we had to stop because she had to go and sit in the audience. Even then, we hugged one last time: I love that girl; she’s amazing.

The buildup was horrible. I was listening to the first act in my house perform (I didn’t get to hear any of the performances really in the house before us). Standing behind the door of the stage, I tried to keep my eyes focused on the lights and listen to the drums to focus myself. Either that or I thought about Laurel and how much I was confused just to get my mind off of shit. If anyone says I’m confident I’ll laugh in their face.

Up on stage, all my worries seemed to flow out of me. It was bright and noisy and beautiful; I sang as if I couldn’t have cared what people thought of me. I had to check the position of the microphone a few times (I can’t see it because I’m almost completely blind) but apart from that, I was utterly enthralled by the sounds and feelings around me. I’d been singing this song quietly before but with a mic, I felt like I could do anything. Nothing went wrong and when the applause came, I think I smiled – I felt happy.

“You have a beautiful voice, Elm!” said Laurel when I was guided off stage. It’s a blur as to what happened then – I know she was with me and had her arm in mine, saying that I was shaking but seeming so pleased and as happy as I was. I emerged into the backstage area and grinned, giddy to the point of gasping. It’s been so long since I did any of that. Coral was there and we spoke for so long after, telling each other we were talented but refusing to believe it.

There were four categories in which we were judged – best solo, best duo and trio and best ensemble. We won 2nd place for the latter AND I WAS SO HAPPY!!! Granted, I was incredibly confused when I was pulled up onto the stage, blinking in the light. Previously, I had been talking to Coral and the blogger friend, not knowing what was happening because we couldn’t hear, cramped at one point in the backstage area with a bunch of people screaming and the music teachers yelling at the screaming people.

Also, we won overall??? I have no idea how that happened either but our music leaders were fucking amazing. I’m irritated that the xylophone group – in another house – didn’t come first for ensemble because they deserved to but I will always remember how amazing that was. That night was about talent, beauty and showing people you could really get out there.

I got home late but the sleepless night was worth it. The next day, I went and saw L, going on the train by myself and having the best time ever which I needed after a stressful week. You can read all about our misadventures here because he’s a much more articulate writer than me. All in all, I’ve had an amazing weekend where I’ve felt like myself. L very much helped with that because I hopped on a train with very little nerves and travelled across London without falling over or screaming.

Coral said something to me that evening. “There are so many powerful voices but sometimes, people need to hear the pretty voices. You need to get out there and show them.” She’s right: when I did, I felt beautiful, alive and like I had a purpose.

It was one of the best days in recent memory. Do you have days like that?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Another Cover – I’m Proud of This One!

Heyy!

I’m sort of dying inside because I spent ages recording this, getting the volumes right and then being a perfectionist and being paranoid that it was terrible. Luckily, I kicked myself into shape and got a second opinion before posting it.

This is a cover of Little Do You Know – a song I adore, and which I’ve been wanting to sing for such a long time. One of my friends (she’s blind and from America, and has a beautiful voice) helped me to record this by giving me tips when I was freaking out about not being able to do anything with technology, so thanks so much!

You can find it here and I really hope you enjoy it. It’s not perfect, but nothing is, and I’m happy with it which is what matters.

It’s also rekindled my love for singing, if that’s possible; I now feel inspired to do this more often, as well as to do other work. It makes me happy.

Because of this, tomorrow, uI’m going to start working to my full potential. I’ve been lax recently, and very very unmotivated, so that NEEDS to change.

From Elm πŸ™‚

La La La – My Return to Singing

A long long time ago – actually more like 6 months ago – I posted a cover on my excuse for a Youtube channel and since then, haven’t posted any more.

That is, until now. I’ve missed singing – it’s not that I’ve not sung, it’s that I haven’t sung to you guys in such a long time. Because you can’t see my face, or me in real life, you’re only going on what my voice sounds like and I love that. It’s a wonder that I haven’t done this sooner, but life caught up with me and kind of sucked away my motivation to do much.

So, here you go. I sang Riptide by Vance Joy, and I adore the song: you can’t really sing a song you hate, or at least I can’t.

Apologies for the crap audio quality; I have no recording software which I can access, which makes me very sad. Oh well – it’s better than nothing – and my perfectionist nature will have to deal with it.

I really hope you like it. I tried recording it several times, and eventually just went with the last recording I did because I was picking my voice apart too much.

From Elm πŸ™‚

The “Piano Man” Incident and Other Fun Festivities

So there was this hilarious time, 2 or 3 years ago, that I got a crush on someone for 1 day, simply because I liked the way they played piano in our end of year assembly.

I wish I was joking. I’ve mentioned it in passing a few times before, but today it resurfaced – no, not on the same boy (though he is in my psychology class and a family friend of Red who, when he found out, laughed so hard he couldn’t breathe). In fact, it was on Laurel: the girl I sit next to in French, who I have a somewhat… “Admiration” or “fascination” for. It sounds creepy I know, but it’s increased over the last two days, perhaps because I feel starved of affection again or because I’m lonely: I don’t know.

Before I start warbling on about my “love life”, or lack of one, I want to focus on what – to me – was more important today. Because today was our last day and was filled with deep thoughts from me, laughter with my friends, too much chocolate to count and plenty of hugs. I got my nails painted with this snowflake nail polish and was far too loud in screaming about how I’d ruined it. It only hits you, that when you won’t see your friends for two weeks, how much you actually love them.

I mostly stayed with Wren at break and in assembly. We were in the hall for over an hour, and at one point I was in pain because I had to sit on the floor for ages, and we were howling about our misfortune. In among them, I won three “achievement awards” which were just commendations, and in the silence of the hall I burst out laughing and muttered, “WHAT? That’s so funny!” It was embarrassing, now I look back on it.

And then, Piano Man Incident 2.0 happened – or should I say, Cello Woman Incident? A girl had sung, and was amazing because her voice was beautiful, and after that Laurel was the next “musical item” as they phrased it. I’d been absolutely terrified ever since I found out that she was playing and I was scared that a reoccurrence of the PM incident would happen, and by that I mean I was told this morning. Ever since we hugged yesterday after French, which brought together all of the frustration and worry we felt about the subject, I hadn’t been able to get a messed up curiosity out of my mind, which resulted in me worrying about how I’d react to her cello-playing. She really seemed to need me yesterday, to appreciate how I spoke to her, but was that because I was me or because I was just there?

Okay, I’ll be honest: I’m well aware I sound like a creep. But music has always been something I loved, and it’s like you seeing a face and thinking “There’s something about them, some feature, and it’s amazing”. Something about music or the way people play instruments can “draw” me to them, and that’s almost what happened with Laurel: almost, but not quite.

When she played, I felt like I was entirely focused on that. Of course, other thoughts were going through my mind, like the rhythm of the music and the notes, but it was like I was fascinated by the way she played. However, it wasn’t like with PM, because I wasn’t fixated: it was more like an intense pride, or awe. I loved it, but it wasn’t all-consuming; I don’t know what to think.

My thoughts are a little jumbled right now. I know that I don’t have a “crush” on her, because I’m still sad and my mental health is royally terrible right now in that department. On the other hand, I’m well aware it could develop, but I’m refusing to let myself think about that because:
1. I don’t know her that well
2. I can’t ruin anything, not when it’s so new
3. If I get “involved”, I’d either hurt her or I’d get hurt
4. I have no idea what I’d want with her and I’m not willing to take that chance
5. I still have a rather skewed and not altogether innocent curiosity about the boy I talk about in this post. It won’t amount to anything (though who knows) and I’m screaming at myself for thinking about him because that’s fucked up on so many levels, but whilst that’s in my head, I can’t and won’t have the energy to develop feelings for Laurel without creating a whole lot of confusion.

Over the Christmas holidays, I’m going to seriously think about how I feel. On top of my stress, I don’t need romantic complications to upset me, but sometimes I can’t help it. My reaction to her cello playing was predictable for me, especially because I anticipated it, but luckily it wasn’t as much as I thought it would be. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. Afterwards, with Wren, I mused that it wasn’t as extreme as with PM (though that was when I was about 14).

In other news, we decorated the tree yesterday properly, and I have an interview on the phone in a few minutes. I’ll use the festive days and cold to get over this ridiculous not-even-infatuation.

Then again, when has me saying that ever worked?

From Elm πŸ™‚

If I Shout Loud Enough

For the past hour, I’ve been on the edge of a complete emotional breakdown. Crying, sobbing, overwhelming pain – I can feel it just behind my eyes and in my heart, but it hasn’t broken out yet.

I suppose a total breakdown is overdue. I haven’t had one in two weeks – not since I saw S last – and that has made it so that now, I feel empty and numb. God knows how I’ll write this post, because earlier I was burning up with such sadness that I could barely breathe.

As stupid as this sounds, I feel like not many people properly care about me. That’s the root of the problem, isn’t it? But it’s not even that.

I know that people care about me. When it comes to the S situation, though, I feel as if I’m shouting into a void where no one’s listening. You guys listen, and about three of my friends, but apart from that? I don’t know who to turn to. In short, I don’t know what to do.

Two nights ago, I cried. Pitiful sobs, tears sliding down my face and onto my pillow, and it was the most awful feeling in the world. Then and now, I felt hollow and like my heart was bursting. It’s rare that I cry on my own, but there was an exception for that night; nobody knew about it because I was ashamed.

It hit me earlier that I feel attention-seeking. I am lonely, even when surrounded by people, but I feel like if I say something, people will laugh at me and not do anything about it. That goes for everything else – when does my pain get “old”? When do people no longer want to hear about it, when do they get sick of me constantly going on about it?

This specific worry has caused me to shut myself off a little. At the moment, I genuinely don’t think I’m worth the effort of having people ask me if I’m okay, yet still my little heart begs for it. I find that awful, but what else can I do?

“You alright?”
“Yep, I’m fine!” but they see the slight not-fine on my face. I’ve managed to hide most of it, so that people don’t see the true extent of how I feel inadequate, like I’m nothing. It’s payed off, because I can distract myself, but on days like these I can’t hold the raw hurt back.

It’s not that I blame S or Pansy – though I was cheated on, it wasn’t them that created this chaos in my head. Rather, it’s the situation plus all of the things that have happened over the past year, building up into a crescendo of god-awful mental health. If this carries on, I’ll become much more concerned, and I’ll get help for it even if I don’t think I deserve it.

Why I’m Feeling Awful
β€’ I’m pretty sure I’m being ignored by a fair few people and I can’t deal with that because I’m pathetic
β€’ I can’t move on at all
β€’ Every day they’ll be making happy and funny memories with each other and I won’t be
β€’ I miss multiple people so much that I feel cold
β€’ I tried to finish a song that I’m performing tomorrow and I couldn’t and now I feel disgusting
β€’ I know that I’m overreacting
β€’ I’m scared that I’m going to scratch at myself
β€’ I’m scared that I want to

One day, I’ll be okay but I’m so far from that now that I can’t kid myself that it’ll be soon. All of this has had far-reaching consequences on my mental state, such as the growing fear that I’ll never be enough for anyone and that I should give the fuck up. I’m half-laughing because never would I have thought this would be how I’d be feeling.

Why is it like this? Why do I feel so helpless, and why do I want to show people that? I shouldn’t, because that’s manipulative and cruel, but I suppose that’s human nature.

I’m shaking; tears are finally spilling over. Good. Maybe if I cry, it can get the misery out a bit. All I can feel is this dull pain whenever I think of them together, because I’m so drained. I’m not happy and they are and hell, the reality of that feels like a mark on my skin.

Replacement makes you feel shit. I want to be enough, to be held and loved but I can’t deal with that. My thoughts are ragged and alone and huddled in a corner because I’ve let them out. Not being able to write that song today caused the most accute feeling of self-hatred, further amplified by the knowledge that how I spoke to him before will never happen again.

I don’t know how to explain how truly bad I feel, but I hope I’ve shown you a little. It’s good that you can get inside my head, that you respect me enough to read my posts.

Perhaps if I scream loud enough, someone will hear. Perhaps if I stay silent, people can move on with their lives and love who they want to love without feeling guilty because of me. Because really, am I worth anything? I was a first, and the first is never usually the last.

I have no clue.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Thought I Couldn’t Do It

Despite the fact that a substantial amount of people say I can sing, I often don’t believe them. It may be my in-built urge to dismiss any compliments that people give to me, and to try and prove them wrong, or because in my mind I tell myself that I can’t accept that I’m good at SOMETHING. Whatever it is, it causes me to laugh whenever anyone says I’m a good singer, and to only sing around people when I really, really want to or when I really trust them.

Today, I did something that shocked me a little, something I would never expect myself to do. I sang to strangers over the Internet.

Alright, they’re not REALLY strangers. I got added to this group chat on WhatsApp a week ago, with the majority of the people there being blind and teenagers, but from all over the world. So England, Germany, America, South Africa to name a few places. Apart from two people, I didn’t know anybody well; I’d been lurking in the chat for a while and alongside another group, with many of the same members, I’d read messages from the various participants. I didn’t often say much until today, just the occasional “Hi!” or messages to that effect.

I was bored today, and though I should be packing for Thailand, I decided to read what the people were saying on the group. Originally, I didn’t plan to join in, but the conversation turned to music and singing. That, I had a passion for, and so I took more of an interest because I knew that if I talked, I wouldn’t feel like an outsider.

One of the girls from Germany sang on a voice message. As I said that she had a great voice, some kind of urge took hold in me. If she could sing, why wouldn’t I? I still refused to think about it though, the nervous excitement buzzing through my body preventing me from forming any coherent music. Further discussions ensued, with another girl – one I knew vaguely – singing as well.

We spoke about instruments and music, and all through this discussion, people were encouraged by others to sing: “If anyone can sing, why not show us?” I said I would, as a sort of joke, but it was only until people shared how they liked to sing that something snapped. Oh fuck it, I thought. What’s stopping me?

Nothing stopped me but my fear. I took deep breaths, practicing a little before I sent the message. However, I soon realised that even if I DID mess up, it was alright: the exact words I thought were, “You don’t know these people, and you’ll never have to meet them. You’re just another person, who CAN sing, and you should be proud.” The thumping beat of my heart quietened a little.

I sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – you can find a cover that I did of that song a while ago here – shameless self-promotion I know. Because I absolutely love the song, I found it relatively easy to sing: I may have messed up a couple of times, when I couldn’t reach the low notes, but that was down to my nerves.

When I listened back to it, after I finished, I felt strange. For once in my life, I realised that I COULD sing. There was hardly any disgust when I thought that, because I didn’t feel arrogant. I felt, and still do feel, slightly in awe that I managed to get the courage to do THAT.

The response was really positive. It’s rare that I truly thank someone, especially a group of people I don’t know, on a voice message. This time, the “Thank you, that really means a lot to me,” easily passed my lips, and I felt no fear that they’d find me too weird.

These were people who I didn’t know. The people who would listen to my voice message I had not really spoken to before, so to display something that I’m usually shy about to them was stepping hugely out of my comfort zone. Yes, I may have things up on youtube and will sing when people request me to, but I often feel so much more nervous and upset that they’d think I was shit.

Even if it IS scary, do something that you wouldn’t normally do from time to time. You will feel so much better afterwards, more so if it’s something you love.

Don’t let fear hold you back. I wouldn’t do this every day – sing to random people – and once was enough for now. But I know that I CAN do that, if the situation arises, and that I shouldn’t let my worries dictate what I do. If you take nothing else from this post, remember that you’re the one in control of what you do and don’t do.

Singing is something I love. It’s something that’s mine, and I haven’t been doing it so much recently: something I hope to rectify. Instead of shattering my confidence, this situation has boosted it.

I have a smile on my face, and I hope that it won’t fade any time soon.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Did a Cover

Hey guys!

Throughout the day, I’ve been having no motivation to post, but about an hour ago I got in the mood for singing. The song, Can’t Help Falling in Love (originally by Elvis Presley) is a song that I adore, because it means a lot to me emotion-wise and all that.

You can find the cover here, but before you listen, I need to explain a few things.

Recently, I’ve started to really dislike my voice. I don’t know why: people tell me I’m a good singer, but I guess because self-hatred is a great companion of mine, I find reasons to disagree with them. I ALWAYS think I sound terrible. I know that I can’t sing high, because I sound like a chipmunk or just STUPID. But because I love this song so much, I thought, “Oh FUCK it! Why CAN’T I record it? I might as well.”

I’m not trying to get pity. When I was trying to record, I felt so frustrated because my high notes were – and ARE – weak, and it upset me a little because I thought that I couldn’t sing at all and that I just sounded strangled or not strong enough. I re-did it about 5 times because I’m a perfectionist.

Yes, it’s not perfect. I sound like I have grains of sand in my throat at one point, and I was using my phone plus a computer instead of a real microphone. I know all that, and though it pisses me off that it’s not PERFECT and parts of it aren’t good, I’ll just have to deal with it.

That’s what I want YOU to get out of this post. There are times when you’ll think that shit is pointless, and you can’t do it. That’s what happened with me and my singing today, because I got frustrated and angry that I just COULDN’T hit that note.

But try it. You might not think it’s necessarily GOOD, but you’re putting it out there. I put it up there to prove to myself I COULD. I love singing; it makes me happy. I can’t love it if I hate my own voice – and though I sometimes can’t help that, I can’t love singing EITHER if I never, ever show people what my voice is like. I can’t love it if I never take the chance to sing a song I like, and record it with WHATEVER crappy thing I have.

I did it and I’m happy. It’s not perfect, but I did it, and it’s ME.

I really hope you liked it, but not because of the symbolism. I hope you liked it because I HOPE it was good. Screw all my pretentious crap for a second; music is just music, no matter how much I had to record it or how frustrated I got.

Doing something you love shouldn’t come with a “Oh but I don’t like THIS aspect of it.” I’m doing it to show you, and myself, that we’re all human. Things aren’t perfect, but take pride in that. It’s important that you know your flaws, but with every flaw comes something amazing.

I won’t say it was “challenging” for me to put it out there. I’m confident enough that I can actually post a video without getting terrified. It was just the fact of proving to myself that I was able to actually SING that was a bit tricky. But I did it.

Take that step, to do something you WANT to do. Prove to yourself it’s okay, and no one else, cause you’re the only one you answer to right now.

From Elm πŸ™‚