wide-eyed and so damn caught in the middle

excuse me for a while, while i’m wide eyed and so damn caught in the middle of ending what was the biggest year of my life so far.

2017 taught me so much. i don’t know where to start except by saying that on new year’s eve last year, i was in the ivory coast, taking awkward photos with my sisters. we were at some event that we didn’t fit in at, but it was okay because (corny as it is) we were together. if you put that shalom in front of december 31st, 2017 shalom, she wouldn’t recognize me. i look different; i cut off all my hair, i sound different and have this weird english / south african accent going on, and i feel different.

apart from the awful respiratory infection i seem to have managed to contract thanks to the new england phenomenon of snow and frozen everything forever, 2018 is the first year i will be starting off as an unbroken person. for once, my brain is in check and my life is something i’d imagined – i am alright. 2016 shalom would not have recognized that, but she sure would be happy to see it.

i am wide-eyed and taking in everything for the first time in a long time. i wrote about this previously, but my eyes are open wide enough and it’s such a change from the usual brain fog i’d become accustomed to. i can’t begin to say how grateful i am for the help i’ve gotten while i’ve been here. i’d like to think my existence is a testament to it.

in any case, this year i: completed the monthly me series for 2017, started the currently series, wrote so much prose for music that i adore, moved countries, started making peace with my body, started to understand what i want to do, went to the beach in winter, saw more live music than i have in all nineteen years of my life, became the manager of a band, got over my ex, threw up more than i have in a while, saw snow, got hit in the face with said snow, taken a road trip and then some.

excuse me for a while. see you in twenty eighteen.

love and light,
shalom xo

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monthly me | december ’17

I did it! A consistent feature every month. Look at that!

December is over and it was a really good way to close out 2017. Onwards!

 

december

I mean, whoa. In December I did so much that I can barely remember it all in the best way. i’m not even sure where to start this post because this last month has been so very 2017 in nature that I’m mostly just grateful to the universe that  I made it this far in one very awed piece.

The month started with my first trip to Princeton, which saw me coming back home with roller blades that I definitely cannot use and do not use. They were free, okay. (I need to get rid of them.) It was a lovely trip, followed by a photoshoot a few days later which taught me that I am not photogenic. No sir. I am a difficult photo subject because my face has approximately seven million expressions and also I’m awkward. So that was, uh. Fun. On the plus side, about seven of the 100 photos came out okay and have now replaced the old ones on my about page!

The weekend after is still unparalleled. I organized for Shoobies to go up to Boston to do an in studio recording at a radio station, and oh did we go. I just… I don’t really have words for how incredible that trip was, but Casey – lead singer, you’ve seen him here before – keeps calling it cinematic. He’s a writer too, so I think you can all trust his words. Word. Anyway, Boston was a movie and I can’t explain it any better.

What else? I’m the manager of a band now, I’m going to England next year, I have no money for my trip to England next year, I’m in Boston right now, I’m going to a wedding next week, snow is cold and stays forever, everything is icy, and I’m happy. I’m really alright, my dudes. Sure, this weather keeps my lips looking so chapped that Blistex is gonna invite me to take out stocks with how much I buy pretty soon, but I am doing rather well, and that’s aces.

I did royally screw up my hair and doctor’s appointments but I mean. Eh.

tunez & vidz

how come every outcome’s such a comedown?

this is the greatest and best song in the world…tribute.

she said WHAT and i told her that i didn’t know

little loves

  • That hotel lobby in Boston where I couldn’t feel my face
  • Coffee in the snow
  • Going to the beach in winter
  • Realizing that it’s been worth it

snippets of internal monologue

  • permission to call all forces in to stop a very stupid action? please?
  • coffee in the snow is iced coffee, shalom, duh
  • oh honey. connecticut is a no go.
  • we love a dance party!

I am currently being attacked by a viral infection that is threatening to take me out, TKO style. However, 2018 is looking bright. Far better than 2017 was looking when I was standing in 2016. Bless.

love and light,
shalom xo

crimbo thoughts | currently #5

currently, i am experiencing my first white christmas! i haven’t started working on the december monthly me and i’m stressed about it.

currently, i am writing. i recently undertook a writing project to write prose for an entire ep, and i am so close to finishing it that i surprised myself. i’m on break in boston for a little while before i head off, and planned to use the week to finish the project. the day i started, i’d already finished three parts out of four. a shocker, really. why on earth can’t i do this with literally any other thing that i want to write? my atlas series is still not done and i have three planets left to write. heaven knows when.

currently, i’m listening to bon iver’s 22, a million and wondering about the swollen lymph node in my neck destined to show for a throat infection that’s undoubtedly on it’s way. my wisdom teeth are doing that thing where they ache like hell but not enough for me to sit through the hassle that is getting them removed. in any case, the bottom right quarter of my face aches and that’s that.

currently, i’m thinking about all the life that’s happened this year. 2017 has been the best worst year ever. so much happened that made me want to jump but i learned so much; more than enough to make up for the badness. i met incredible people and continue to do so right into the end bits of this year, and i’m so grateful for all that i’ve learned. last christmas i was on the west coast of africa watching waves and writing about my unquiet mind, and how i wanted to be home. this christmas, i am in the home of a dear friend, thinking about my trip to portugal last year and desperately wanting a grilled cheese.

currently, for emma, forever ago is playing and i’m debating whether or not to cook. regardless of which way it goes, i am confident that i’ll be okay. this year has showed me that i can be okay, and i am.

currently, i am okay.

love and light,
shalom xo

eyes wide open

do you ever feel like you can’t fully take in what’s happening around you? like your eyes are open, but can never open wide enough? i feel like that all the time and i always wonder if i actually am missing out on life, or if i’m tricking myself. either way, tonight i opened my eyes wide enough and i’m still riding that wave so i’d like to tell you about it. thanks for hanging.

we pull out of the quickchek yelling yer killing me and my head swoops with the milkshake in my hand. enough yelling – emily asks me if i’m ready as she rolls the windows down. i’m not ready. never ready. always almost, but never ever. it’s 8:30 pm in north jersey just before christmas, and when the breeze slaps me in the face, i think i’m ready.

she puts on sex, and i almost start crying. i yell and we yell – this album is so well produced! it is. after we’ve got one thing in common, it’s this tongue of mine i start looking out of the window. milkshake on lap and doritos in hand, i realize just how much life is out there on a friday night. christmas lights choke trees and houses and they stand quietly in submission. there’s a big curve on a major intersection and emily is harmonizing with matty healy, and i see it. i see it all because my eyes are so open they may fall out.

down the street, past the house with a million trees, they’ve all got boyfriends anyway brings me back down and i can’t explain what’s happened. the song changes but i am still awed – everything is bright at one time or another if you can see enough. my eyes are open and my hands are cold from sticking them out of the window and floating with the wind that carried them there, but my eyes are open.

my eyes are open wide enough. and this is how it starts.

love and light,
shalom xo

know i think you’re awesome, right?

i have a love hate relationship with gatherings that have more than 9 people at them. i like parties as much as the next guy, but only if it’s a dance party with people i’m comfortable with and a record player at some point. if you’re to throw in some primary school jams like 3oh!3, a good time is to be had. that being said, nine is enough people you know to be comfortable enough to sway in the arms of mr. jack daniels and then, regardless of the irresponsibility, to cosy up to the ever loving captain morgan.

in almost two years of university, i’ve learned that a party is really only a party if you feel like something is going to explode soon: be it a confession of suppressed emotion, a bottle shattering or the ice finally breaking. one of the first frat parties of the year saw all of my little community in my hall go, and i couldn’t help but feel like the comedown from the party would be better. it was.

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the next one had more than nine people but actually had things come crashing down, so it works out. it was an after party for a show and it was excellent. it was this show, you know. we were at eric’s house and a bunch of lights fell down during what i think was bohemian rhapsody, and it was stellar. everything exploded perfectly and my heart was wonderfully full, and i can’t be more grateful for that night and braiding my braids.

our rules, our dreams, we’re blind. the people i know are homemade dynamite.

(now you know it’s really gonna blow.)

love and light,
shalom xo

dance, dance

it’s finals week, and we’re falling apart to half time.

when i started writing this post, i was in the dining hall and dance dance came on. it was a wednesday and i was thinking about whether skipping class then was a worthwhile endeavor. i got almost all of my french studying done, so i’m going to say it was worth it.

i’ve been feeling as though i’ve been dancing on a weird plane for the last two weekends. today’s saturday, and a week ago i was dancing in boston with friends who make music to dance to. yesterday, i was dancing to the tune of becoming a manager and to the good people around me. in short, i have done so much dancing in the last two weeks that i should have fallen apart, but i’m still here!

the first snowfall of the season did something to me. i don’t know if it’s because i’d never seen snow like that before or because magic is real or both, but the snow was so so purifying. i can’t describe it except by saying that i feel ready. i’m ready now.

i’m ready to feel good things, and the next month will be a whirlwind, but i’m ready. i’m ready for four finals and to dance and to manage a band and to have heart eyes for boys and to plan for england — i’m ready.

okay universe, i’m ready.

love and light,
shalom xo

saturn | atlas

CREDIT: NASA / NASA.GOV

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is saturn: a reflection on life and infinity


I often think that if I had an understanding of things the way that you did, I would be a different person. My house would be upon a rock rather than on the sand, and I would know more – with all of me, I would know. But, how good it is to know that we will never know everything.

You taught me that knowing isn’t worth it, sometimes. That the courage of stars is maybe all that I would ever need: the audacity to exist, to shine, even after death has pronounced them dull. I wonder if I would would live more audaciously if I was a star. Will you live? Will you continue to live, now that you’re gone?

The infinite interested me too much. What less is expected from a child that wanted so much more that they too became fragmented; lost in time and space? I wanted to be everything, to feel every surge of energy that this great blue ball had to offer and still, I was stopped by myself. I am so infinitesimal, but I wished to be infinite.

I wished to exist as everything, but you reminded me I would not. You reminded me to stare blankly, to go in uninformed, to learn, to grow – to live.

Now, I live.

How rare and beautiful it is that we exist.

 

laugh until our ribs get tired

spotify recently told me all of the music i’ve been listening to since i got it – so since august. ribs, by lorde, is up there in the top 20 and it baffled me to see it there considering the fact that i don’t remember listening to it any time after 2015. it did make me think about the fact that it is no longer 2015 – nearly no longer 2017 – and i still get that same rush i did when i listen to it.

it’s not enough to feel the lack, so here’s a snapshot of 2014 and ribs.

2014 through 2017 is a bob ross painting, except all the paintbrushes are rock solid and the end result is a bit of a mess – but bob ross made it, so it’s worth it. 2014 was dancing behind “do not enter” signs and making enough mistakes to only make them four or five times over. i learned and loved and felt, and all in a spectacular sixteen year old way. it’s crazy to think that i’m not 15 any longer, because i can still remember that year like it happened in last night’s lucid dream.

2015 was spinning until i was dizzy in every aspect of my life and being very proud of myself for not throwing up despite it all. goodness, do you remember your last year of high school? two years later and i can still tell you about change room discussions and story exchanges and eating chips in a theatre costume room instead of being in maths. high school ends, and so does 17.

seventeen ended and i was heartbroken and devastated in such a way that i still don’t understand it. i’m so grateful for first loves and what they teach us, but more importantly, i’m grateful for first heartbreaks and how surviving them is the bravest thing you could ever do at one point. boys and girls and non binary pals will break your hearts and i don’t know about you, but i’ve always liked puzzles and putting things back together.

i wish i could tell you what 18 was, but that was a year and a half ago and now i’m closer than ever to two decades of whatever it is i’m doing here. i’m finally learning the joy of being a carbon based lifeform – how lucky we are to never struggle with a logical notion of forever.

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anyway, i took a bunch of photos with my roommate today and they reminded me of ribs and they reminded me of how i wished i’d feel when i reminisced.

high school ends. it ends.
thank god.

happy last day of school, south african students!

love and light,
shalom xo

// l o v i n g s o m e o n e //

ohhhhh we’re back with those the 1975 song posts aren’t we just! well, i’ve had this one in my drafts since june and i just got a moment to get this out of my head. so, here we are. loving someone. also, i’m trying to write something every day this month. bedid?

you should be loving someone, shouldn’t you? i like to think that despite what we may have conditioned ourselves to do, we all are loving someone at any given point. despite being what i believe is the base human emotion, loving is difficult in every way it is simple. loving freely can be illegal, loving wholly can be all consuming, loving at all can bear a kind of hatred that burns with the passion of a was-love – loving is complex. but i think, you should be loving someone.

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as easy as it is to see love and chalk it up to romance or familial duty, i like to think the joy lies in the choice. you should be loving someone, if you choose to. you should embrace the freefall of romance, if you choose to. you should throw caution and advice out for the end goal of more than you could give your heart yourself, if you choose to. if you choose to, you should be loving someone with your heart out.

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i think for the most part, all actions are based in love. i think that the default human emotions are love and apathy. the opposite of love is apathy. in any case, the two motivate everything that anyone’s ever done, as far as i know – be it a love for control, or apathy towards the plight of others. regardless of which is at work in any given situation, there are people. people with hearts for others and desires to live, people with nothing to live for and nothing to die for and yet, here we are. loving what and who we love without ever fully understanding why. i think that’s a part of the human condition – not fully knowing. what a shame it would be to know everything at all.

amy winehouse sang that love is a losing game, and i sometimes i wonder if she was right. if we’re all human and we’re just loving to be more whole, then it really is a losing game. love isn’t the cure for brokenness, and i think that using it as spackle really gives way for further destruction. loving as we may be, the human condition is a fragmented one – the quest may not stop but neither will the cracks that appear in us all. love can’t fix that. i don’t think it can – not when loving someone holds the power to jam a crowbar into those cracks. maybe i’m naive. sometimes i hope so.

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i am forever in alongside the boys in jumpers
on bikes from schools and cars
with autumn leaves fallen sparse across mid-afternoon
she blazed about how
cultural language is an operating system
a simple interface rendered feeble and listless
when tested with a divinity or a true understanding
of the human condition
i never did understand – the duality of art and reality
living life and treating it as such but with a certain disconnect
to touch that cajoles at the artist with comfort and abandon
and between the spires and rolling roofs of the white city
that orange, english light cast only one, singular shadow
for you are not beside but within me

you should be loving someone.

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me | november ’17

November was a fucking blast. I don’t think I’ve ever started off a monthly me so brash, but looking back on it, this month has just been pretty good.  Here’s to that, and to the fact that it’s December and my monthly me posts are still the only consistent things in my life! November.

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november

November really seemed to fly by, but it also took so long to do so? I think this is because there was just so much going on this past month that I didn’t even get a chance to stop and freak out about the time passing. The month started off with anti-prom (what it says on the tin) and two or three shows and my friends’ EP release party! The Off Brand released their self titled EP and it’s so good I would not be wrong to be upset about how good it is. It’s over here!

What else? This month there was a lot music wise and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it all. I met Walk The Moon? Things are MAD. In essence, I bought tickets to their January show and was something like 2nd in line for the presale, so iHeartRadio invited me and a guest to a secret show that blew my bloody socks off. I am shook. It was honestly one of the most incredible, intimate moments I’ve ever experienced. Bless that band. I also happened to celebrate my first full American Thanksgiving weekend in Wayne, NJ with my friend and her lovely family. It was rad as hell and ended with two shows in two nights and a dance party where lights fell down before we returned to school. Speaking of…

bri born

I’m gonna be real with you all and tell you that Bri has had such a major effect on my life just by existing near me. I love doing life with her. We’ve found ourselves caught up in band business and bond over a love for LANY and Almost Famous. She’s so full of life. Bri reminds me of everything I want to be when I catch myself dissociating – I often feel like I can’t open my eyes wide enough because I don’t feel real, but Bri’s eyes are open and take in everything. Bri reminds me to live more. How lucky I am to do so with her. Dream team, baby.

tunez and vids

we got carried away

for you are not beside, but within me

backseat taxi love

 

other loves

  • planning a trip to another state for break! and? yes. it’s fun
  • getting on top of my shit
  • my new meds that get me out of bed before 8 every day
  • bri born and every experience we’ve shared this month

snippets of internal monologue

  • ten bucks says you vomit as an escape strategy. i dare you.
  • how many times do you have to say boobs until it sounds weird? three or four, i think.
  • look….at his hair…..i just. i’m weak
  • okay shalom go ahead sabotage yourself NOTHING WE’RE NOT USED TO

And now November is done! We’re in the last bit of 2017 and I’m ready to go baby, I’m ready. I’m going to try to write more in December because it’s exam month and I love procrastinating, so. Thanks for sticking around. Hi to the newbies around here!

love and light,
shalom xo