This Is What I Live For

I have had the best day, ever, because I met Sav and Mit today for the second and third time respectively.

Not only did I meet them, but I travelled there semi-independently: my sister shadowed me to make sure I was fine, but I went on the tube on my own and it was exhilarating, thrilling and such a great experience.

I’ve been excited about this meeting for such a long time, though we didn’t know when it was going to happen. As I got off the train at an unnamed but large station, I stepped forward, to wait for the assistance. They didn’t come. I wasn’t panicking – I didn’t have time – because this lovely member of the public helped me. As in, he went out of his way to make sure I was alright, helping me out of the platform and not treating me like a child; it was just so nice of him.

So I was walking with him, my sister creepily following us, and I chatted to him a fair bit as we went to the Assistance Desk. I stood around, waiting for someone to come and collect me, and then I went on the bloody London Underground. I’m sorry but the paranoid as fuck girl went on the tube by herself and just – I’m so surprised I wasn’t falling to pieces out of worry. I was even talking to the Travel Assistance people on the tube, laughing, and speaking confidently!

When I got to the station where I’d meet them, I felt the largest smile growing on my face because I had done it: I’d got on a tube, been calm, not freaked out or ‘stick-insected’ as Sav likes to call it (rubbing my hands together and shaking). My sister buggered off – coming back for some reason just as Mit and Sav arrived. The bastards had walked right past me before they figured out where I was, doubled back and then we stood together, just talking before we even thought about where we’d go.

The day itself was amazing. It took an age to find the Tube map: Sav and Mit, being idiots – erm I mean, lovely people – eventually found it. “That blue thingy” became the first created inside joke, because the “blue” turned out to be the Piccadilly line – as someone pointed out to us when we were trying to name it.

There were so many highlights. We jumped onto a tube to Lecester Square, walked around, walked around some more and did more walking. The innuendos were on point: we managed to make sweet shops, the Piccadilly Line, food, elbows and magicians seem disturbing.

One especially amazing thing happened. As we were eating outside, a man walked up to me. He said that he was going to be blind soon – immediately, I switched on what I like to call my ‘Elm vibes’ where I become sensitive to others – and he told me that seeing me, laughing with my friends and being happy, gave him courage. Honestly, I nearly sobbed right there, because I indirectly helped a man through a tough time in his life: I told him, “Just please remember that it doesn’t end here – you can still live, and have a life.” After that, we visited Covent Garden Market (I think), managed to walk round in a circle and drank hot chocolate, as well as driving 6 individual people away from us with our screeching innuendos.

Here’s a list of particularly good highlights:
Sav putting “Let me just shove the whole thing into my mouth!” on his Snapchat
Mit finding out Sav’s passcode and posting a suitably Mit-type thing on his Snapchat
Having we like to call a “lap orgy” in the Apple Store, where we all sat on each other’s laps with Sav and Mit doing very suggestive poses
The Titanic =Elm +Mit – TRAGIC selfie taken in said Apple store
Sav and Mit trying to convince each other that they could get ANYBODY’s number and failing ahem ahem
A woman thinking that Sav and Mit were brothers because of this secret-acquiring thing which I can’t tell you because it’s secret
Sav and Mit’s fabulous guiding skills, which they hadn’t forgotten after 6 months
Me screaming with laughter, accidentally hitting both of them and being much too emotional
The magician and his juggling of his 6 balls, something that made Sav and I cry
Too many innuendos to count – I HATE YOU BOTH you’ve corrupted me forever

I think that today will go down in history for me as the day where I was entirely myself, no filters, no bars, no walls up. I waffn’t paranoid, scared, lonely, left out or any negative emotion I usually feel. I was – and am – so so happy. It’s almost a novelty, to have smiled so much today, to feel like I was entirely welcome and part of all of it.

What I love about these two is that they never make you feel stupid for being who you are. They don’t have prejudgements of me, don’t think I’m someone I’m not, and appreciate me more than so many other people do. I love them so much for it; I think they understood that because I injured them both with my extremely painful hugs as I felt so emotional. I’d feel sorry for them, but I’m still pretending to be angry at Mit for running off 10 metres when I said him ceasing to exist would be “annoying”, coming back and making me jump.

It’s not often that I get that glorious, whole feeling, one where everything’s gone as perfect as it could go, where I’ve not only made others happy but also myself. If I hadn’t done this today, I would have been miserable. I needed it, to walk around London in the nipping cold and brief spatterings of rain, to organise myself, laugh and hug people and stand on tip-toes on escalators to pretend to be tall.

Today has lit up a spark inside of me, which I thought was dulled, and that’s all thanks to them. Honestly, I feel like I can share anything with them and it wouldn’t be weird; they don’t see me as the blind one, or the tagalong, third wheel or spare – they see me as me and I’m so grateful for that. I’m not inadequate to them and both of them have such unique personalities, and bring such a refreshing humour to everything that I can’t help but feel included, with my interesting quirks that they seem to just instinctively understand. It may seem strange for this to mean so much, but I know that today was something I’ll never forget as it was a day for me, to love my friends, and really show myself that I could do this.

I can be independent, and with my blogging friends – or ones I met on here – I feel at home. It’s not forced or faked and I don’t have to try too hard – all I have to do is try enough, because my enough is other people’s enough, too.

From Elm 🙂

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 🙂