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A girl named Ylime

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In her colorful and organized room, senior Ylime Blair sits with Pepe, an extremely affectionate and vocal black and white cat. She pulls out her beige recorder –she’s a white belt– that she’s had since the fifth grade, and plays a rendition of “1999” by Prince.

This scene is perfectly indicative of who Emily “Ylime” Blair (that’s right, Ylime. Pronounced Yuh-Lime) is.

I’ve known Emily for almost 13 years now. 13 years seems as if it would be ample time to get to know someone, to understand them. But I only met Ylime 4 years ago, starting freshman year, when she first started going by the reversed moniker.

“It started freshman year, the first month of school, when I realized that in a school of 3000 people I’d be surrounded by many many Emily’s, and that’s when I decided that I’d be Ylime,” Blair said.

“Ylime has more personality to it, it’s who I am as a person. Emily is who I connect with, but Ylime is my personality and my aura.”

Setting aside her distinctive name, Ylime is as special as they come. She’s fluent in sign language, well versed in astrology, and enrolled in AP Chemistry.

“I am fluent in sign language, partly because my dad is deaf and partly because it makes the world more of an accessible place,” Blair explained.

“I would encourage people to learn conversational sign language, like please, thank you, hello, goodbye. If you have a deaf broker or cashier, [you should] be able to sign thank you. I think that it’s important for people to know some form of conversational sign language.”

Throughout her bedroom, a bright and open space, there are many trinkets that suggest the individuality of Ylime.

On her wall hangs a lab safety poster, as well as an original abstract painting of a cat.

On a shelf sits a jar full of colored pencils, with a picture of Bob Duncan (the dad from Good Luck Charlie) pasted on it.

Beneath her record player that currently houses a Bob Dylan record (according to her, Dylan is a brilliant lyricist, but a lackluster singer) is a box of sewing and embroidery material.

Ylime picked up embroidery over the summer, as a stress reliever and creative outlet. Her simplistic yet sweet artistic style transfers nicely onto clothing. Most of the pieces she creates, however, she gives to her friends.

“I think that with embroidery, there’s not a lot of things that I want embroidered, because it’s not really my style,” Blair admitted.

“I like to delve into people’s personalities, and create and design a piece that embodies who they are, so that way they can wear something I made them that embodies who I feel that they are and what they mean to me.”

Fashion is a way for Ylime to set herself apart from the rest. She’s been sewing for two years, and only buys American-made clothing or thrifted pieces.

“There [are] a lot of pieces in my closet that I have made, or repurposed, or turned into something else, altered in some way because I feel like that makes it more unique. There’s so much fast fashion these days that it’s important to be able to recycle clothing and do it secondhand, or buy from American sellers….”

Ylime is a very giving person, and always tries to give back, or contribute to organizations that help others.

For three years, she was a part of the Clemente Players, a program at Trident Tech. However, instead of the money raised from shows going back into the program, it goes to charity.

“We raised money so that people who [were] maybe drug dealers at one point and who are trying to rehabilitate themselves and go into college again, or people who can’t afford college, we raised money for them to be able to go to college,” Blair said.

“That was really important to me for a long time, to be able to combine my skills and charity.”

Her career aspects, in fact, are all about helping those in a way that isn’t available now.

Ylime has been accepted to University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she plans to major in psychology. She eventually aims to become a talk therapist, so she can help people similar to herself.

“I want to be able to help people with their issues. I myself have my own personal issues and I feel like there wasn’t really someone who was able to cater to the things that I dealt with,” Blair said.

“So that way, in the future, there’s people who can help with that. You can’t help someone with a problem that you haven’t experienced.”

Though Ylime feels that there hasn’t been anyone to help her with her specific problems, there is one teacher here at SHS that has offered much appreciated empathy and support.

“I would say Dr. Hudson [has helped me a lot]. When I first had her last year, I was like ‘Oh, that’s Dr. Hudson, that’s funny’ but now…if something happens to me…she lets me leave class, she lets me take a breather, and recognizes that life is a challenge for me,” Blair said.

“She’s willing to work with [me] and help me out when I’m feeling anxious. The fact that she was so empathetic [with me], that’s meaningful to me.”

Despite life having dealt her a tough hand, Ylime stays positive. She lives her life by a motto: “When you find yourself in a tough situation, you can either choose to succumb to it or you can choose to find a way out of it,” Blair said.  

When you find yourself in a tough situation, you can either choose to succumb to it or you can choose to find a way out of it”

— Blair

“I feel that so many people these days choose to succumb to their emotions, when they’re feeling upset.  For me, it’s not a choice to succumb to those emotions, and I have to get myself out of it, and I have to live my life again. I choose to live my life every day. You cannot let life sweep you away.”

When you first meet Ylime, you may notice her exceptionally long hair, or her colorful nails. But if you look closely enough, you’ll see a small, simple tattoo, wildflowers, on the back of her left arm. This tattoo says more about Ylime than her hair or nails ever could.

“My tattoo is wildflowers. Most of the time when you see wildflowers in your backyard, you pick them, and you throw them away because you just want the flowers that you planted. You don’t want your weeds and your wildflowers to grow,” Blair said.

“Wildflowers grow in adversity. You don’t plant them there. They just grow there, and I feel like the times in my life that I’ve grown the most have been in adversity, so that’s what that tattoo means to me.”

If you ever hear anyone talking about a girl named Ylime, know that her name is just a small part of her. She’s certainly a complex character, who you’ll just have to meet to understand.

Ylime speaks about why she chose to create her nickname. She started going by Ylime freshman year.
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1 Comment

One Response to “A girl named Ylime”

  1. Destiny Boone on March 24th, 2018 10:41 am

    Great article! Really fascinating and informational insight into someone who has been a fellow classmate of mine since freshman year! You guys should do more student highlights!


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A girl named Ylime