I Can Vaguely Socially Interact

Today, Robin and I went to a water park. I’m writing this on Thursday night, and half panicking that I won’t get it up in time. (Which I didn’t because #Rebel) CALM, Elm!

The water park was about half an hour from our campsite, and was huge. It had so many attractions, but Robin and I only went on two because I’m a wimp. After we went on them, we walked around (even though the floor was fucking boiling and our feet killed), went to get food at a noodle bar and relaxed in the “shade”. Saying that, the shade got interrupted by sunlight most of the time, and suncream had to be reapplied multiple times. Urgh.

You’re probably not wondering what the title means, so I’ll tell you anyway. It’s the thing that sticks in my mind when I remember the day, as sad as that is.

The first thing we went on was something similar to rapids. It was a water slide where you had to go in those rubber rings, and I went in one with Robin. You slid down and shrieked whilst you splashed into water, and it was bloody brilliant. I mean, I enjoyed it immensely, and yelled “BLOODY CRAPPING HELL!” on at least two occasions.

On the second slide, the “social interaction” happened. It’s actually laughable how I put that in quotation marks. Whilst the queue for the ‘crazy river’ wasn’t too long, the one for the other slide was significantly lengthier. As the sun beat down and I waited, with Robin and her mum and dad, I heard teenagers – speaking English – behind us.

Now, this has been rare this holiday. The norm is to hear Italian, German and Dutch, so to hear English was a shock. It was even more of a shock !hear it from someone who sounded close to my age, so because I’m a weird child, I fixated on it.

Oh, Elm.

Luckily, it’s fresh in my mind, so I can recount it properly. The whole experience happened at about midday, before I had lunch, and so the sun was intense. There were breaks of shade, but all throughout the time when we queued, I heard them behind me. I’m really fucking strange in that I like to socially interact, though I’m awful at it, and so I tried !get an opportunity to speak to the boy (he also had a little brother who was about 10, though I had no idea of the older boy’s age at that point).

Robin’s mum was talking to me about how old I looked (apparently I do look about 14, sometimes 15), and I kept on thinking about the people behind me. When the conversation moved onto how I supposedly had a good figure, and that Robin and I were both very pretty, I started to feel more confident. It wasn’t that I felt insecure before: today wasn’t a bad day for me in terms of that, because I feel alright about my body. It was more that I was worried as to how people would view me in a social situation. Because of that, as we reached the top of the staircase, I turned. Partly !get the sun on my face, and partly to just… Build up the nerve !tell myself that I could talk to people, if I wanted to. It was important to me that I could because it proves to me I can be okay in situations like that.

After I was ahead of Robin and her family on the staircase, I thought my chance had gone. That makes me sound like a stalker, but it was honestly only that I wanted to talk to someone my age. At school, I don’t branch out often (OMG I’ve made that pun before but still) and so I felt a crushing disappointment when I thought that I wouldn’t be able to show a stranger, someone I didn’t know, who I was when I was feeling the most free I’d felt in a long time. Does that make sense?

We turned right at the top of the staircase, walking into a patch of shade. I’d hung back a bit, mostly to get Robin in front of me so she could help me not look like a complete moron on the slide.

Robin’s mum spoke to them first. They were talking about a slide that they’d had to queue for for one and a half hours, that was – I think – one of the tallest in Europe. On hearing that talking, something changed inside my thinking; I thought: why not? So I turned once more, and just asked a question like “Are you SERIOUS?!”

After that, it was surprisingly easy to speak. I only thought I was an idiot once, when I said that I was so paranoid that I’d burn and he laughed a little. His brother was cool too: they were going to race each other down the slide for 5 euros, which made me chuckle.

Feeling somewhat bolder, I decided !ask questions. Robin’s mum found out he was staying at a campsite not far from the water park. When I spoke to him, he said he was 15 – and the strangest thing? It turns out that he lives in a place very near to the town where I go to school. AS IN, he lives VERY CLOSE to my school and would have gone to it if his dad didn’t move house.

As we got on the slides – there were five slides going down next to each other – I found out his name was James. Using his real name might be risky, but I’m at the point where I just don’t care. Him finding my blog is pretty much impossible, and even if he did, he most likely thinks I’m strange (which isn’t a bad thing!)

Possibly the most hilarious part of it was when I came off the slide. I realised I couldn’t exactly stand up, all 5 foot 1 inch of me, so I shrieked exactly that, followed by “WOAH, where am I?!”
James then called, sarcastically whilst laughing, “In a swimming pool!” My response? “SHUT UP I KNOW!” Laughing all the while, to show I was taking the piss. At least, I hope he realised I was… Oh god.

“So, we’ll see you around,” was the last thing he said. Afterwards, jokingly, I said to Robin that we should go looking for him, but I knew we wouldn’t see him again. The park was massive, with so many people that it would be like looking for half a needle in twenty haystacks. The disappointment I felt was short-lived, but it was more a sadness at a missed opportunity. Not really romantically – realistically, nothing could ever have happened, but just in a friendship and potential future happiness sort of way.

I didn’t get his number, or his facebook or anything. However, the possibility of us having mutual friends is so much higher than it’s ever been before with anyone I’ve met on holiday, which is rather scary if you think about it. I was in my bikini for fuck’s sake, acting like a total lunatic and laughing, carefree. He is someone I will, most likely, never be around again and so for me, it didn’t matter how I acted: only that I was happy.

I didn’t worry that my hair was horrendous, that I laughed too loudly, or if I turned and faced him too much. I didn’t think about how he saw me, or if Robin would judge me (which of course she didn’t). Again, he’s just a random boy on holiday, who I met for 20 minutes, and who I know nothing about. Still, I’m smiling because I’m remembering how great it felt to be in that moment.

It’s getting so much easier to say that I’m proud of myself. I spoke to someone, spontaneously and randomly, without thinking I was out of place or that I should just shut up. Maybe, over the past year, I’ve become better at speaking to people I don’t know, but this time was when I put it to the test.

I passed that “test”. I’ve never been more glad of that.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

I Went to Pride!

I have honestly had one of the best days of my life – I’m still smiling and I feel unbelievably happy. Why? Because I went to my FIRST EVER PRIDE!!! (Okay Elm CALM)

Yesterday, Ivy (one of my best friends ever) and I organised a trip to London. We needed to buy French books – or well, we wanted to – and she’d found this really cute little European bookshop that sold so many books in different languages (Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and obviously French). We just decided to go and find it, by taking a bus and a train and searching around the surrounding streets.

We found it, and it was so so nice! The street it was on was so pretty and picturesque (so I was told) and then we spent ages in the shop. It was quiet, peaceful and amazing and is just the kind of little place that makes London so beautiful. After we left, we got something to eat and sat in this random covered walkway and chatted.

It was whilst we were sitting there that we talked about Pride. Both she and I wanted to go, but there was a little fear of anything happening that would be dangerous, due to the recent Orlando shootings. Because we’re spontaneous and we wanted to see what it was like, we hopped on a train (okay no, we just got on whilst being a bit nervous) to Piccadilly Circus.

God, I can’t even describe to you how I felt when we stepped off that tube and there was just noise as we entered the station proper. “ALL PEOPLE GOING TO THE PARADE, USE EXIT 4!” The nervousness and excitement was mounting and I had to breathe deeply to try and calm myself. We got out of the station, heard the music and cheering and whistles and then we were at Pride and it was beautiful.

I never quite understood the sentiment that you could get so emotional that it became overwhelming, but that’s EXACTLY how it felt in the first few minutes. The sun was shining and we were just walking through crowds, going back and forth through different streets. There were so many people, wearing “I Am Gay” t-shirts, signs that said “Love wins!” “Love is united!” and confetti and balloons and just INSANITY.

Ivy described it all to me. There were couples holding hands, kissing, and random people with rainbow dreadlocks wandering down the streets. The windows of shops and the archways were FULL of rainbows, Pride flags, music played from pretty much everywhere and all the people seemed to be talking and laughing. “I SAY LONDON, YOU SAY PRIDE!” was the highlight of when we actually got involved in crowds.

There were some streets that were quiet, and some that were so crowded that I couldn’t get my cane out and walk because I’d hit people. I kept shrieking “SORRY!” whilst holding Ivy’s arm, and cheering at random points throughout the times when different busses were going past.

We were going to meet Ivy’s friends on a whim, but that didn’t happen. We spent ages trying to find them, wandering up and down from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square and back, and THEN it started raining. It didn’t quell the atmosphere, though; people were still clapping and cheering and throwing balloons.

I bought a rainbow Sash, wore it and took pictures which I then put on Facebook. It’s the first time I’ve more or less publicly declared I’m not straight. It felt so bloody freeing because I was wearing something with a rainbow on it, surrounded by crowds of people who were PROUD to be who they were.

The highlight of it was definitely having Ivy there. We were in London, at Pride which we hadn’t planned, properly enjoying ourselves and smiling. I loved it and I’m going next year, and nothing can damn well stop me.

I’m so happy, because my dad called me up before we went and basically told us we should. I said I was scared and he just said, “You should go, Elm.” He was proud of me for going and that’s the main thing that convinced me I COULD do this. He didn’t even bat an eyelid and was so so happy when I called him, through cheering crowds and yelled, “I’m at Pride, dad!”

Even my mum didn’t kick up a fuss when she saw it on Facebook. To be honest, even if she had, I wouldn’t have cared. I don’t think anything could ruin this day for me.

Fear didn’t stop people from having a good time. It didn’t stop us from smiling and from feeling we were part of something. We knew no one around us, but that was so good; we were people in a crowd of those who wanted to be there.

I’m proud to be part of the community. I’m proud that I had the confidence to just go to Pride because I FELT like that. I felt so incredibly comfortable with Ivy beside me, because we were just being us and revelling in the fact that WE WERE AT PRIDE, spontaneously.

Today was brilliant. Today was happiness, and freedom, and two girls’ unplanned journey into a world of loud music and amazingly happy people. Today was a leap into the new, and a day that started off with books and ended with a smile.

Today was Pride, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unplanned or not, today was being proud of who we are.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

The Happiness Tag!

I’m such A UUUUURGH; I need to start doing awards!

So: an amazing blogger (seriously, she’s about the loveliest person I can think of right now) by the name of 3liitlebirds created a tag called The Happiness Tag, and nominated me – THANK YOU EEEEKKK!

So, the rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (YAS thank you!!!)
2. Find 10 images, media items or videos that make you feel happy.
3. Nominate a blogger who inspires you.
4. Nominate your most recent follower (That’s actually such a nice thing to do; this is why this blogger’s awesome).
5. … And nominate anyone else you want!

This might be a bit tricky for me, because of pictures and the like, but I’m gonna see how this goes. I think I might just do a few videos – SORRY! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I LOVE THIS SONG, it’s classical and pretty and beautiful and I just ahhhh!

I found this video when I was… 13? And laughed so hard with my friend for about 10 minutes. AWWW babies I mean they scare me but shh!

It’s the double rainbow guy! This is just so so adorable and I love it hehe!

I don’t actually like the original version of this song – WHY do I like barbershop quartettes? This is just so fun and nice and I like music yes.

He’s 12 and he’s “singing” and he’s insane and I swear, I laugh every time. If you haven’t seen this, GO DO IT it’s amazing.

I know it was a bit different to the original tag, but I’m a rebel.

And I nominate:
A person who inspires me: Luna

My most recent follower: Fairly Irrelevant, Fairly Confident

Reine
Dziey
Hideaway Girl
My Teenage Madness

And literally anyone else who wants to do it. It’s a great tag, a way to spread positivity, and it’s original too.

I hope you enjoy, and kudos to 3liitlebirds for creating it!

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚

Exquisite Corpse – We Need Your Feedback!

Hi guys! I’ve got something really exciting planned – well, actually, Rina is the mastermind behind this. As a collaboration with other bloggers – hopefully, we’re going to play a (modified) version of a game called Exquisite Corpse, and we need your help.

If you don’t know what that is, it began as a game between poets: in the original, person 1 writes a line of poetry and folds the paper over so person 2 can’t read it. Person 2 then writes a line of poetry and folds the paper over so person 3 can’t read it, etc etc – and once it goes around the room or group, the first person reads the entire poem, which could end up being bloody awesome or really strange. You can read more about it here.

So, this is the rough idea of what we’re going to do, using my blog as the main platform. It’s still in the works, so if you have any ideas on how to improve it, let Rina and me know!

1. At the beginning of the week, on a Monday – next week, or whenever we decide to do this – I’ll post the start of this on my blog, and I write the first line of poetry, word, sentence or anything along those lines. It’s totally free in the blogging world, after all.

2. Somebody – let’s call them person 2 – reads the post, then writes a comment that would follow mine – so, the next line or sentence in the story.

3. This next bit is important: Person 3 will read person 2’s comment, but instead of ‘replying’, they’d leave a second comment afterwards to add to the creative piece, so it doesn’t get confusing. REMEMBER, don’t reply; leave a SEPARATE comment! Then, person 4 would do the same, and the piece evolves from there. Does that make sense?

4. Throughout the week, both Rina and I will link back to the post to get more people involved, and to hopefully make it grow more quickly.

5. We’ll end the piece on a Friday, which gives you a week, and at the weekend we’ll put everything together into one massive piece. Hopefully, it’ll be great, especially if loads of people get involved.

Now, here’s the thing. Is there an easier way to do this? Send us your feedback, and hopefully we can get this thing going! If this goes ahead, we’ll post instructions on our blogs next week.

Let us know if you’d like to get involved.

Credits go to Rina, who wrote the draft which this post is based on, and who came up with this amazing idea.

From Elm ๐Ÿ™‚