BIRTHDAY BADGE: Elm is 1…8?

When a friend has something great happen to them, I have two in-built responses.
1. I smile politely, congratulate them on their achievement, and then back off to a corner to bitterly sulk as to why they are so much better than me and why they can do everything that I am so bad at.
2. I squeak in excitement, give them a huge hug and tell them – genuinely – how proud of them I am, because I care about them, and they are a close enough friend for their successes to feel like my own.

Elm – our dear Elm – is one of these amazing, close friends, and it gives me such pride to be here today, writing her 18th birthday post. Happy birthday, elm, and welcome to adulthood.
[This is the part where I give the ‘words of wisdom’, but I’m 16 and pretty thick so hahaha good luck Elm!]
I hope you are having a brilliant day, filled with fun, laughter, and your friends and family.
And cake. because cake is good.

I didn’t feel worthy of writing such a momentous post all by myself, so I enlisted the help of some fabulous bloggers and Internet pals, to wish our dear tree leader a happy coming-of-age.

Ocean
Blog
Twitter
“Happy Birthday Elm! I can’t believe you are 18, I think we started talking when you were only 15 or 16. You are such a fantastic friend and a wonderful person and I feel privileged to call you my friend. I admire your dedication to blogging and how you help so many people with what you write. Never forget how far you have come, I know some days are hard but so far you have got through every shitty day which shows just how strong you are. Happy Birthday once again, from Ocean”

Sav
Blog
Twitter
“As someone who’s kept me grounded like an anchor and kept me on the right trail, it’s only fitting you have a slightly above average birthday because of all the residue this past year has left on you”

Gracey
Blog
Twitter
“Elm, you’re absolutely definitely truthfully the worst person I’ve ever met and I hate you. By that I mean that I love you so, so much and I think you’re amazing! You’re so strong, intelligent, independent and hilarious, and I couldn’t wish for a better gal pal. I adore you, weirdo. Keep going, and a massive happy birthday from meeeee! X”

Kirithika
Blog
Twitter
“You know Elm, I don’t know you nearly as well as I’d like to, something I’m hoping to change in 2018! But from what I do know, I know that you’re so kind and selfless and always there to voice your support for people however big or small the issue. And beyond that, you show your support for happy things too! It’s easy enough to chuck out some heart emojis under a sad tweet but it requires authenticity to go ahead and share your joy under a happy tweet. I really do like that about you. You’ve shared a lot of struggles with us over the past few months and I’m proud to see the progress you’ve made, I only hope that you find more happiness over the next year and beyond! Happy Birthday Elm :)”

Em
Blog
Twitter
“Elmm!! Welcome to the 18 (or 81 😂) club – we’re all old here and have to take several naps to get through the day, but it’s all good fun! Thank you for blessing the blogging community with your beautiful writing, but most importantly thanks for being such a kind and caring friend. I hope you have the loveliest birthday – you really deserve it! xx”

Astrid< a href=”https://www.hideawaygirl.com/”>BlogTwitter “ELM I LOVE YOU SO MUCH- I hope to Skype with you more and to have a massive catch up 🙂 thank you for always supporting me and other people who are in such hard times and when you write about your experiences, you’re helping people massively as they know they aren’t alone so thank you Elm 🙂 I hope you’re gonna have an awesome 18th birthday, you’re an adult now; I have an adult friend OMFG!! Haha, I wish you the best year and I LOVE YOU :)”

Dziey< a href=”https://dzieyy.wordpress.com/”>BlogTwitter “Happy birthday Elm! You’re the star of WordPress and I hope you have a very very awesome birthday!”

It’s so heartwarming to see the lovely things that everyone has to say about Elm: she is such a key part of the blogging community, and a foundation in so many friendship groups both on and offline. I’m honoured to be classed as Elm’s friend each and every day, and it always makes me smile when something great happens to her, because she deserves it more than anyne else I know.

Bethany< a href=”https://bethanyandbooks.wordpress.com/”>BlogTwitter “Happy birthday Elm!!! It’s crazy to think that you’re 18 now, an adult. Sorry, I didn’t want to make you feel old in any way, whoops. Anyway, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for always being there for me this year. I always feel like you’re my mini cheerleader which always makes me smile and also convince myself to keep going with this blogging thing and to even start expanding that next year! I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for you and I hope I can come along for the ride, if only through a screen. Happy birthday!! Xxx”

Eve< a href=”https://www.twistinthetaile.com/”>BlogTwitter “Elm – I am so lucky to know you, I can’t believe we have been blogging friends for so long. You always write beautiful & relatable posts, many of which have really helped me. You support others so much and are genuinely just super wonderful. GO YOU ❤️ Happy birthday, I hope you have a great day!”

JasmineBlogTwitter “ELMMMM – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! A year ago (oh my gosh i’ve known you for a yearrrr) when I was just starting out blogging and you commented on my posts, I had no idea you would become a person I trust and respect so, so much. You’re such a lovely, kind and supportive person that puts absolutely everyone above yourself. Your caring nature has made you practically a role model figure in the blogging community, even a motherly figure! (which is a compliment I promise😂) It’s an absolute pleasure to know you Elm, you’re an amazing human, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!! Have the most AMAZING 18th full of fun and laughter, you deserve that and more Enter adult life with a blast!! Xxxx Elm: you have achieved so, so much in the first 18 years of your life — as a child. The rest of your life lies ahead of you, waiting for you to take charge of it. I know you will, and I know you will have every success going in the future, and I simply can’t wait to observe that for myself. You’re strong, caring, funny and so, so much more, and I can say with every certainty that those who are lucky enough to know you are just that — lucky. They are lucky, like me, because you are the most fabulous person I know.<br<br
ohol nowww LOL

This year, it can be your birthday.<br
t;

The Mystery Blogger Award!

It’s been so long since I’ve done an award and I’m sat here mildly disgusted at myself for being so bad at this!

I was nominated by the lovely pair at Findthebeautyy to do this! I found their blog recently and think they’re fantastic; check them out if you want a wonderful variety of posts! Thanks for nominating me; it means a lot.

Although I’ve done this award once before, I thought I’d revisit it because I remember loving it so much. Created by OkotoEnigma, it’s described by her as “An award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.” I think that this perfectly captures the essence of blogging!

The Rules

1. Put the award image or logo on your blog.
2. Thank the person that nominated you and link their blog in your post.
3. Name the creator of this award and link their blog in your post.
4. List the rules.
5. Answer your nominator’s questions.
6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
7. Nominate 10-20 people.
8. Ask your nominees 5 original questions of your choice.
9. Share links to your best blog posts.
10. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
There’s so much variety in this and it makes me happy! Right, here we go.

Findthebeautyy’s Questions

1. What is your reason for starting your blog?
I needed a place to vent my feelings out – an outlet – and I wanted to help people with their feelings too because everyone deserves to be heard. After the end of my last blog, I wanted to start again and I thought Elm was the perfect name and way with which to do it. Turns out I was right and if I can help at least one person through this, I’ll be happy.

2. What motivates you?
Motivation has always been a struggle but the main thing is when I know it’ll help me or someone else. Also, my life experiences give me motivation to either do something or not do something: when doing work, my main motivation is that I know that in the long run, it’ll have a positive outcome. Then again, I do have short bursts of that motivation; I need to work on it.

3. What is the most important thing to you?
This is so painfully cliché but it’s making people happy and helping them. I thrive most when helping others rather than myself and I think it’s so important to make other people smile. Of course I’ll look after myself but for me, I’m happy when others are too. Luckily, it’s a principle that has remained constant for me.

4. Who’s the most important person in your life?
Ahhh I’m not sure; I can’t name one specific person. My dad is very important to me as well as my friends and someone I was previously in a relationship with as all of them shape me as a person. It’s so difficult to choose – nope, I can’t do it. I’m so indecisive!

5. What makes you happiest on a bad day?
Having fun with friends which lets me remove the sadness. I really like positive atmospheres and so when I’m laughing, I’m the most happy even when I’m miserable. Smiling makes everything better, I think.

3 Things about Myself

1. I hate the feeling of sand on any part of my body apart from my hands.
2. I hardly ever watched TV when I was younger; I just listened to audiobooks and played outside.
3. When I laugh too hard I cry and then people often ask me what’s wrong; also my laugh is one of the most obnoxious things you could ever hear.

My Nominations

1. Sunset
2. The Anonymous Girl Writes
3. Formerly Myself
4. Maitreyee
5. Astrid
6. Smiling Dreamer
7. Indiesonglyrics
8. The Small Quiet One
9. Just A Blank Space
10. Rainbow Girl
11. Elsie LMC

Whether I’ve found these blogs yesterday or two years ago, all of them have beautiful writing styles and are unique in how they express themselves.

My Questions for You

1. Have you ever been in love?
2. What’s your favourite instrument and why?
3. What do you admire about yourself?
4. If you could take one lesson you’ve learned from blogging away with you, what would that be?
5. At the moment, what’s the thing you most want to do?

My Best Blog Posts

I critique myself a lot so this will be really difficult.
My Blog in the Real World
I’m Not Scared to Say What my Fears Are
Why I Write How I Do

I hope you enjoy answering those questions and if you don’t know any of the bloggers I’ve listed in my nominations, check them out! You won’t regret it.

Love from Elm 🙂

I’m Fabulous and Oh Yeah It’s Elm’s Special Day

Sup … ElmTrees?
I’ve never come up with a name for followers of the great Elm’s blog, but I think ElmTrees works, no?
So glad you agree…
Shall we start again?

sup ElmTrees — it’s L, from consider Yourself Warned…, and I am delighted to make your acquaintance. Now, follow me ‘cos I’m fab innit and everyone should love me … wait, this post is meant to be about Elm? Oh… OK, i’ll try again.

You may be aware that today, 31 December 2016, is Elm’s 18th 31 December on this Earth (when she was born, she was technically 0), which makes this her 17th birthday — happy birthday, my nature-obsessed friend!!! (It’s also my birthday but i’m not self-obsessed so I shall not beg you to wish me a happy birthday too but ffs you should do that OK?) I’ve know Elm for, like, 6 years; our friendship has flourished for 5 years to this very day. Elm has been there for me during everything: the good, the bad, and the blogging. I really couldn’t have asked for a more stable, kind-hearted and posh-tea-drinking comrade to accompany me on this little thing I call a life.

I think that it’s very easy to say that you will do something ‘next year’, when you’re ‘(age + 1)’ years old, because it seems so far away and that makes it seem less frightening. Well, Elmsta, ‘next year’ starts now, and you and me together are going to take it on. I think that the great tree herself will agree with me in saying that this year has seen her change and grow as a person in so many different ways — I mean, she’s finally got taller (sort of)! But honestly, she’s started doing so much more, being more independent, working on her writing and blogging and so much more, and that all opens up doorways and opportunities for the year ahead. You (Elm’s readers), elm, and I know that this year hasn’t been all fun and games for our tree; she’s had her fair share of shit and undeserved heartbreak, but even that is something to reflect on in the new year, and use to make her stronger. (Shhhh, clichés are my forte.)
Honestly though, I mean it.

For now, though, just have a fabulous day Elm: I think I speak for the whole Bloggosphere when I say that we wish you all the best for today, and all the best for year no. 17 (excluding your first year on Earth bc you were lil baby Elm nawwwwwwww).

… REMEMBER TO READ MY AMAZING BLOG BC I AM AMAZING LIKE ELM HERE AND OK I’LL SHUT UP ABOUT ME NOW BYE BYE BYE …

L XX

Being Proud of My Blog

Over the past week or so, I’ve been my own personal category of rubbish: having no motivation to blog, not replying to comments, not reading blogs and checking my Twitter about as frequently as the Supermoon coming around. As I crawl out of my hole of procrastination, I’m wondering if I really – really – should be proud of this blog of mine.

It should be a stupid question: I’ve been writing on here for just over a year and a half, and I occasionally read over my old posts just to get a sense of how much my writing has improved. At some point, I’m going to go over to a friend’s blog and do exactly that with them, laughing as they laugh and blinking back tears when they do, because so many of you put emotion into your words that I feel like I’m experiencing what you feel. That’s the beauty of blogging.

Like with everything, insecurities always creep in. Am I good enough, for me, for you, for anyone? To combat it, I’m going to tell you the reasons I am proud of what I do. Yes, I may not have been great recently at keeping up with anything, but I’ll try.

I’ve developed with this blog. I can safely say that I’m not the same person I was a year and a half ago, and I can attribute that to the things I’ve written on here. My blog has helped me to grow, appreciate people, and understand why people think how they think. Putting my thoughts into order has helped me to sort them out so much more than I would have before, and now before anything, I think of how it would impact someone.

At the risk of sounding horrifically arrogant, my blog has helped people. Maybe not much, and only in the smallest of ways, but I know that at least one person has read my post and thought, “I relate.” If I can give people the feeling that they’re not alone, that someone else feels how they feel, then it helps both me and them. Through my words, I want to give people advice and tell them that I’m here, and I’ve achieved that in some respect.

I’ve amassed a vague amount of followers. In the grand scheme of things, follower count doesn’t matter and I’ve not got that many when you think about it. However, for me, it’s a personal achievement. It shows me that in my time of blogging, I’ve gone far beyond what I ever thought I’d do: I was hoping for 100, maybe 200 if I could, but nearly 2000? It never even occurred to me that I could get this far, and I’m proud of that. I’ve reached something I never thought I would, and stuck with it.

On that note, this is something which I’ve worked so hard on. I don’t spend hours planning posts, but when I sit down to write, all of my attention is focused on my words. It’s taken time to write how I write, to be comffortable with my writing style, and that’s always changing so it’s never set in stone. When I do read blogs and when I comment, I try to reflect my blog and along with that, my personality, in that. I put as much of myself into this blog as possible, because I want to show you who I am. I want to show the people that I love the real me.

The most important thing? I haven’t given up. It’s the one thing that’s been constant for me, through my turbulent emotions and feeling awful, and I need that. Even when my stats drop, when I get hardly any comments, I keep going. Stats don’t control what I write, or the quality of it; I control what I write, and when. My love for this blog has kept me going, so if I started to resent it because of anything, that stability would go. In a sense, having this blog has made me who I am and I don’t know what I’d do without it.

I’m not perfect. Sometimes, I get angry at my blog and call it shit, but that’s something so many bloggers do and it’s okay. I find it very difficult to talk about myself or things I’ve done in a positive way, but I’ve tried.

If you’re proud of your blog, or your schoolwork or music or personality, then tell people. Don’t shut yourself away from it, or call yourself big-headed.

You aren’t arrogant. You aren’t self-absorbed, self-obsessed, for thinking that you’ve done well at something. The reality is, you have.

From Elm 🙂

Guest Post – Trapped Behind

Hi, viewers of Elm’s blog:

It’s me, L, you know, me! L, off of
Consider Yourself Warned…

I’m actually writing this post without even letting Elm know that I’m writing it; I’ll text and ask her permission in a little while, obviously before publishing. Although I don’t even think I have the rights to publish… Hmmmmm….

What am I even wanting to talk about today? Well, I want to talk about life. Vague, L, vague…

I was thinking earlier on today [although it’s only 6am, so it was very early] about walls.
No, seriously, I haven’t lost it, promise…
If yu’re in your room, I bet you’re used to your walls: their colour, there little imperfection, the area where the wallpaper is just beginning to peel away from the wall. When I was younger, I used to think that there was nothing outside of my four, plain, dull-coloured walls. Outside of my small, compact room, I thought there was nothing, that everything was already here, and that was the end of it.
Even to this day, I sometimes forget that there’s a world outside, that there’s more to life than my four walls.

If you read my blog [which you really should], you’ll know that recently, I’ve had a bit of a whirlwind journalism experience, with my story being picked up, with a resulting radio show, TV segment and live radio interview. I think that only when I stood outside BBC Broadcasting House in London, my phone at the perfect angle for a selfie did something finally click into place in my head:
There’s more to life than those four walls.
Trapped by my own naïveté, I’d never considered what was really out there, available for me to grab at. Until then, I’d been living my life around conventions; living by the unspoken rule of society, living not for myself, but for the tradition of society.

What am I trying to say, exactly? Well, live. Live your life, grab at experiences and opportunities. Escape from your four walls, however frightening it may be – and yes, it is frightening. Stepping outside the world in which you’ve lived for your childhood is frightening, full of opportunities to screw up, make mistakes and end up in trouble. But listen: it’s not scary. There are people just like you and me, and trust me, if you can take the step out from behind your four walls, the hardest part is over.

I hope this made an inkling of sense, and that it’s made you think; about what, I don’t know, but thinking is good, and apparently burns calories… I’m all in!

L XX

A Tribute, of Sorts

I’ve broken my hiatus rule, and I feel bad for it, but I WANTED to post this.

When a friend leaves the blogosphere, for WHATEVER reason, it often makes me feel really sad, and a bit like I’m never going to talk to them again, which is ridiculous. It’s happened twice before to me, with two people I considered very good friends, and it’s happening again. I wanted to write something to let this blogger know that no matter what, she’s made an impact. Before you ask, I’ve got permission from her to write this.

That blogger is April, AKA simplyme – or you might know her from her URL, simplymyblog.wordpress.com. April, I promised you I’d write this, so writing this I am. That made NO grammatical sense.

I may not have known you for very long, but to me, that doesn’t matter. You were always – and will always be – the person I think of when I remember lovely comments I’ve received. You always help me out with whatever I need, giving advice that rings true wherever I go and whatever I do. There aren’t many people in this world, April, who I can safely say are kind and loyal, through and through.

You make me smile, especially when you email me, and those conversations are going to stick in my mind whenever I think of you. It’s a funny thing, how you remember people – but trust me, how the hell could I ever forget you?

You aren’t gone forever. You’re still here, I know that, and that’s why I’m saying this. You’re going to continue your life, but always remember this.

You’re going to put a smile on people’s faces, like you’ve done for me and so many others. The blogging community loves you, because you’re truly a person to be admired. You’re going to make a difference in the world – large or small, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to change people’s lives.

You’re amazing, and I’ll miss you. You’ve made a mark on the blogging world, so you can put this part of your life behind you with a grin on your face. We’re your friends; we always will be.

This might seem overly sentimental, but I’m saying goodbye to a friend. I’ve never had the chance to do this before. I wish you luck in EVERYTHING you do, because you deserve it. And of course, if you do come back, we would never shut you out.

I’m not altogether happy with this, but I hope you will be. I just want to say that you matter to me – otherwise, why would I be writing this?

It’s 10:45 at night, so I’m a bit jumbled with my thoughts, but one thing’s clear to me. We’re part of a group here, and to me, that translates to saying farewell in style.

Love from Elm 🙂

Guest Post – No, It’s My Birthday!

Hey Guys:

My name is L (sure, don’t judge me, because it’s not my real name… Or is it). I’m a blogger (surprise surprise), and I’ve been invited by our lovely Elm (hem hem hem hem hem) to guest post on this blog. So before I start, let me just tell you that you’d get a MUCH better quality of blog if you read my fine writing, at
Consider Yourself Warned…

There is little that Elm and I have in common, although that is a complete lie; it was just a good way to start a paragraph. We’re both blind, from London (roughly), and most important, we share a birthday. Our birthday is on 31st December, and it’s been a long-standing debate on which of us owns the birthday. Of course, being the superior being, I am certain that the birthday is mine, and I kindly share it with Elm.

She, on the other hand, claims that `the birthday”‘ is hers, because she was born first. Of course, this is ridiculous: everyone knows that the first is the worst, and the second, moi, is the best – it’s common knowledge! Despite this blindingly (pun) obvious fact, I’m willing to settle that our birthday belongs to both of us, and that we are both equally as important as each other (you have to lie to these less intelligent beings you know!)

As my birthday is, well, mine, I thought I’d tell you all about my birthday, and what happens each year. I’m not one for parties, which means I was undoubtedly born on the WRONG day – New Year’s Eve is the BIGGEST party day of the year. I like to have a quiet day, sometimes shopping with my sister, using the Christmas and birthday money I have received. Also, like this year, I sometimes go out with `the family”‘ for a meal at a restaurant. I like that, because it’s quiet and peaceful, and I feel very sophisticated (which I am, of course… It’s not hard to tell). Present opening either happens in the early morning (6 or 7) or early afternoon (1 or 2), depending on my parents’ work hours that day. Cards are usually in the morning, because that’s where the money is, and if I’m going shopping, money is usually pretty hand (I know, I must be a genius… QUICK, CALL OXFORD!!!)

I do hope that this post has been an enjoyable read for you; I hope that you’ve gathered who’s birthday it is (mine, of course);,and that the best (me) was clearly saved until last (the last day of the year, if you hadn’t quite got that yet). Don’t forget to check out my blog, and I hope to write to you all again (I never said soon…)

L XX