nobody cares about your loud exhaust, michael

His name probably isn’t Michael, but I’m gonna go with it.

Outside one of the buildings where I go to school, there is a parking lot. Inside this parking lot, there is a motorcycle. Upon this motorcycle is Michael, and I want to knock him off of it.

Michael drives (rides?) a shockingly orange, very loud motorbike. When I say very loud, I mean startle you from sleep loud. I mean, get on the ground and duck for cover loud. I mean this boy spends 20 minutes revving his bike every time I have the misfortune of walking past the academic building loud. I have no intention of hurting him or his ego, but I swear to Jesus, Mary, Joseph and saint above that I want to destroy that bike. Good heavens.

The first time I walked past, I was with a friend who yelled, “We get it, your dick is MASSIVE” as we walked past. I laughed. The second time, he was just doing it. I didn’t want to yell but also, I just really hate how loud it is. So, I walked past muttering obscenities to myself. I most recently walked past last night at 7:50 pm while trying to get to my 7:40 French class, and that experience is why I’m writing this post. Y’all, I have never wanted to kick a bike so badly in my life.

I was already in a daze, having slept through my alarm, so the first kick of the exhaust was like a gunshot ricocheting through my entire body. Fine, it woke me all the way up. Not fine because it continued. The second kick made me mad because I jumped and bit my tongue. By the third, I was so close to just walking right up to him, but I didn’t want to be so close to the noise.

Essentially, what I’m trying to say is maybe you have the world’s biggest dick and you want everyone to know it via the ridiculous noise your vehicle can make – you can still just not. Consider just…not.

Nobody cares, Michael. Fuck your exhaust pipe.

love and light,
shalom xo

Advertisements

‘i’m never buying an exercise guide again’, or, ‘wasting money while manic’

i have a lot of things to do at the moment. apart from beating this upper respiratory tract infection & sinuitis, almost all of them are school related. i’m tired of school, friends. we are eight weeks in and i am eight weeks more homesick-ish. it’s a different kind of homesick. anyway. i am a bit of a spender when i’m manic, and it hurts me and i wanna talk about it! here we are!

when i’m manic, i feel like i can do anything. i can save the world, write songs, create series, become anyone – i can do anything. this being said, i also believe that i can buy anything. fellas. i cannot buy anything.

ya girl broke.

i have a nasty habit of buying in sixes while manic; see strawberry whirls (2013) menstrual cups (2016), tide detergent (2017), books?? (present). i’m gonna be telling y’all about the books.

i’m not sure why i started it, and i’m not even certain i remember what the first book was. [edit: i do! it was neil hillborn’s our numbered days.] anyway, i bought a book for a regular book price and didn’t think it was a dangerous purchase because it’s a book! i just wanted a book! (it’s never just a book, silly shalom.)

the spiral began softly: poetry book (acceptable), john green’s latest offering turtles all the way down (i mean, kinda okay, i’d been waiting for it for a while and it was on sale!), rae earl’s it’s all in your head: getting your sh*t together (which is both okay and not okay. mostly not because how did i get there? how did i get to the point of ordering it? i don’t know. also, i ordered it from ireland. ireland? why do i let this happen?)

and then. and then.

i bought an exercise guide for a stupid amount of money. stupid. truly, fuck instagram fitness and fuck my brain for doing me in like this. when i say stupid, i mean money i will need for a winter coat stupid. i mean “save for essentials” stupid. i’d never felt the urge to buy this stupid glorified ‘strictly no refunds’ pdf for twice the price of a normal book ever. and yet, here we are. here i am, crying about it night after night because i did.

friends, i wish i could say it stopped there, but i am too untrue of a person to become even more so by lying. it didn’t stop. i bought jonny sun’s everyone’s an aliebn when you’re an aliebn too and then ordered anOthER (excuse this, but i am offended at how ridiculous i’ve been) book by an irish author because i saw “eating disorder” and “sale” in the same sentence. (it was on sale, and book depository makes shipping free, but it’s still unacceptable.)

would someone please put an end to this?

if i’m being honest, i spend most of my time while manic begging my brain to stop. i’m tired of spending money i don’t have on stupid things in stupid patterns because boop! it be like that. i really hate it.

i really want this to be over. i will never forgive myself for buying that guide so help me God.  anyone wanna transfer their powers of moderation to me? i haven’t had any. ever. really, i went through a childhood journal of mine a few months ago and realised that i’ve been doing this shit since i was 12, albeit with less important things. i.e. not money. that i  n e e d.

i have too many books. i don’t have the time to read them all. at least i’ve hit six now, i guess. guess i’ll just freeze!

love and light,
shalom xo

MISTER RACIST JOKES BRITISH MAN.

Hello gang. I went on the completely rad ridiculously fun filled trip of a lifetime to Lisbon in the middle of November, and had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people. I feel so lucky to say that I have a friend from Maine who ate ice cream at sunset with me, that I have a friend from Calgary who is my favourite person to teach dance moves, and that I have a friend from Miami who may or may not be secretly (definitely not) engaged to another friend from Ireland. (We’ll see how that goes.)

I also, as such, have the joy to provide you with a story of one of the not-amazing people I met on this trip. I don’t know if you can tell by the title, but he’s Mr. Racist Jokes British Man (Who BROKE MY GLASSES)™. Buckle up, buttercup: we’re about to go on a ride down pink streets and several alcohols and toasted sandwiches and shitty people. It’s storytime.

My friends, cast your mind’s eye to the 21st of November: a regular day in a hostel in the Lisbon city centre. I eat breakfast, I walk around the city centre. I fall in love with Portugal some more, while listening to WALKTHEMOON’sPortugal‘ on repeat. I return to the hostel, sign up for communal dinner by Mamma, and meet two brilliant human girls from Massachusetts. They inform me of a party. Word about the party travels down the table, and after a quick session of getting dressed and drinking green wine in the street, at least a third of the hostel is headed to Brazil. It was a Brazilian themed party. We didn’t walk to Brazil.

Brazil is mad, and there is much drinking and dancing. After a while, we leave, and the group I am with separates from the group with the Massachusetts babes. We try to find another party, come across a dodgy girl who asks us to wait for her on a street corner while she fetches her friend (we don’t) and sing along with a group of people and a seemingly homeless man playing ukulele. I yell, “what is happening?” a lot. (That’s not new.)

We return back to the hostel for more dancing, drinking, and toasted cheese sandwiches with lifesaving capabilities. Mr. Racist Jokes British Man (Who BROKE MY GLASSES)™ has been with us the whole night. He’s fine. Cool enough guy. Talks a lot about very random things and becomes less likeable by the longer he keeps his mouth open, but he’s alright.

At this point, the way that the conversations (there are about 96 happening) got to where they are is beyond my comprehension. In the conversation I am currently in, we are talking about boobs and birth control. I don’t know how or why. I, being well-enough versed in both boobs and birth control, am contributing to the conversation. Mr. Racist Jokes British Man (Who BROKE MY GLASSES)™, who is not very well versed at all in either, chooses this time to enter the conversation. He turns from the bar and says to me, “You’re not on birth control, are you? No, you don’t take that, no”. He is laughing, and I laugh because I am confused. I say, “How would you know?” and he says, “Oh, that was a racist joke! Because you’re black!”

Y’all.

I can do a lot when I’m drunk. I can do the splits, I can do six shots (with deep regret in the future), I can demonstrate my life saving hair-holding skills – I can do lots. I can’t be calm. Nope. Calm? Far friend. Second cousin thrice removed. Calm?

giphy.gif

I sat down, alone, and for four minutes went OFF. In a very drunk fashion, I mumbled to my cheese sandwich about how I wanted to tear this human man’s limbs apart. I didn’t tear him apart. I got angry and then drank some wine. So. Here’s my anger.

WHAT THE FULL FRESH EVER LOVING FUCK. Mr. Racist Jokes British Man (Who BROKE MY GLASSES)™, what the hell are  you on? You understand that a racist joke is racist, right? That it’s not a joke and that you’re a racist asshole? Why did you open you mouth and have your entire adult brain create that sentence and then expel it like it was okay? Are you jas? Are we going to talk about how (a) you stink of pigheaded white colonialism mentality, and (b) you know fuckall about black women? I don’t know if you know, but you know nothing about black women. You’re also not a black woman. Actually, the fuck do you know about boobs or birth control? Ugh. Male birth control is necessary. Please. It makes sense to take the bullets out of the gun instead of putting on a bulletproof vest. You’re also the same human man who thought that saying, “Yeah in high school they painted my face black because I was playing the black guy from Fiji”. You???? You are the STRAIGHT UP WHITEST BRITISH PERSON ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET AND YOU SAW THE ONE BLACK GIRL IN YOUR COMPANY AND DECIDED THAT THAT’S THE WAY YOU SHOULD TAKE THE CONVERSATION? Wow. Wow. What a wow. You are a whole wow.

giphy (1).gif

This foolish ass man also broke my glasses. Grown human man breaks glasses of human woman, laughs and continues his attempt at macking on her. It reads like an Onion title. A lot of my life reads like an Onion title.

Anyway, I thought of all these things because I’m wearing the same dress I was wearing then tonight. And, because I miss Lisbon.

I’m doing Christmas baking with a pal in twelve hour. I hope I never see Mr. Racist Jokes British Man (Who BROKE MY GLASSES)™ again. I got v annoyed looking at him for the last couple of days he was at the hostel.. I’m also really tired, and really glad I got this off of my chest.

Happy time of day to everyone except Mr. Racist Jokes British Man (Who BROKE MY GLASSES)™. My petty ass is being petty. The end.

giphy (2).gif

love and light,
shalom x

(all gifs from giphy.com xo)

[It’s not gonna be] May

It wasn’t.

In this post, I talked about how shit 2016 had been up until then. I hoped & wondered whether May would bring better things – really, whether I would just get my shit together.

This post is a report back. A failed mission report.mission

 

We begin with a vision board in the middle of the month. I am already broke, and the remaining R400 in my account is money I owe to people. I fight with people on the internet, and annoy everyone who is friends with me on facebook by doing what I’m supposed to do on twitter, as I’ve been told.giphy

The blow-by-blow accounts of my days get semi ridiculous because I become aware of how pathetic I sound. I meet a girl from my high school on campus, and she greets me with “I thought you dropped out because you’re always crying.”. Nice. Lemme tell you something, fellas: If a person dropped out every time I cried for more than an hour there is NO WAY universities would be a thing. Honestly. They’d give up. I’d rob them of their business and they wouldn’t even see it coming.

I receive an email from a follower in Germany, and am asked where I get the inspiration to write the characters in the stories that I tell on my blog. I ask, confused, which stories? I am told, “all of them but mostly the ones with the bad luck and epic fails”. Ah. I see. My dear friend is unaware of the unfortunate non-fiction nature of my mishaps that I recount on here. I give them the news that despite the events seeming like jokes, I am the joke, and the events are true. The reply reads, “Oh man that is tough but still funny! Viel Glück!”. It’s my favourite email I’ve received so far.

On the topic of emails: my phone stops receiving my school emails. I log in at my computer and see that I have missed five announcements concerning my philosophy exam. Excefuckinglento. I’m too stressed to physically act upon my stress for the upcoming exam. I decide I don’t need to go to school for almost a week because I don’t have to, and then that I’ve earned five days off from studying.

giphy (1).gif

Two days before my exam, I become painfully aware that I was not deserving of those off-days.

I fight with a boy because he believes that I should put his preference of me, and women in general, wearing fancy bras, over my argument that I don’t like wearing a bra some days (because I can’t breathe HELLO IT’S A CAGE A BOOB AND RIB CAGE CAGE) and I don’t have to. I almost yell. I don’t because he’s stupid, and I’m tired.

HsMtQfG

Same, Simon. It’s a no from me, too.

I see a man get hit by a car on my way to a study session with my #1 pal. I stop and help him, call his girlfriend (thanks Robyn), and go to the police station with them to fill a form. They drive me to the police station, because I am helping them. I expect them to drive me back to where they found me, but they don’t. I am left at a police station half an hour’s walk from where I was going. I arrive at my friend’s house, and we go for brunch. We eat cheaply because we are broke. The value for money? A+.

My default state has quickly become “painfully aware”. I write the philosophy exam, and by some force of nature or witchcraft, I do not embarrass myself by falling on the way to my seat or crying loudly during the exam (like I did during the test at the beginning of the month.). I go to dinner to say goodbye to a close friend who is moving away. I am broke. I end up at a sushi restaurant with her friends who have platinum credit cards, and I am dying inside – but not in a cute way like Eliza Schuyler. DYING. I pay with my student debit card (remaining balance can buy me two lollipops), loose change (read: all the cash in my wallet) and the last shred of dignity I have.

maxresdefault

I have just gotten home. I have cried my makeup off, and then actually took my make-up off (look at me!). I have three exams left, one of which I am almost certain that I will need divine intervention to scrape a pass. I am very tired.

It is the end of May, and I have not done the things. June can kiss my ass. I’m here for eating sandwiches and pretending not to witness the crumbling things around me. 2016 has been a flaming bag of dicks so far. I’m not particularly fond of those.

love & light,
shalom x

The Week From Hell

Seriously. I was punched in the face before 8AM.

This is the first break I have had the entire week, and I only have 54 minutes left of it. The panic has been very,very real. While I have been lucky enough to have Hamilton help me get by (my obsession is a little OTT), sometimes, a superb rap musical just isn’t enough.

Monday: You know, Monday was the only okay day.  I went to my lecture. I remembered to take my meds. Things were working out, man!

Tuesday: SURPRISE BITCH. It was my immediate younger sister’s birthday, and that was fine. It was great, she was happy. I got to uni, and was late for my 8AM. The lecturer had changed. I had zero clue what communication models he was talking about. That day,  I realise that I cannot find ANY of the cases I need to know for my law test, in a week. My English tutor tells me that my way of thinking is wrong, a week before the essay that counts for half of my grade is due. Excellent The panic is very real.

Wednesday: WELL. My mother made some cryptic accusations (???) and told me that a meeting between her and myself would be happening this weekend. Excellent. I miss my 10AM lecture because I have the anxiety attack from hell. I go to the bank to close an account, like I have been trying to do for the last MONTH, and they keep me running. I send an email of complaint, because NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO GO TO FOUR BRANCHES TO CLOSE AN ACCOUNT. I realise that tomorrow is the philosophy test. Perfect. Nothing else could go wrong, right?

Thursday: WRONG. It rains the entire day. I get punched in the face by a taxi driver, and have to pay twice because he decided that it’s a good day for xenophobia. Lovely. I cry while trying to gird my loins in preparation for the philosophy test that I am very, very unprepared for. The guest law lecturer calls on me in class, and I say “Wasn’t it, I mean, kind of yeah not really.”. The question was what the third factor the courts look out when evaluating discrimination according to the constitution. Good job, Shalom. I arrive at my law tutorial, and haven’t read the case, BECAUSE I COULDN’T FIND IT. I can’t answer any questions. I see people leaving and wonder why, and then realise that they are going to the philosophy test. OH. SHIT. I run out of the lecture theatre, into the rain, and make the Great Trek TM to West Campus. I wait for 30 minutes outside the venue. I realise I am early, and that my slot is only in an hour. Ah. Wonderful. I decide to go to the library, and my student ID won’t allow me to enter. Excellent. I decide to go to the bathroom before test. ALL THREE BATHROOMS (not cubicles, as in, three buildings) ARE OUT OF ORDER. Perfect. I write my test, but not before having my shoe fall off of my foot, and having myself fall into a puddle. I get home, and THE INTERNET IS BROKEN. I also can’t fix it, because all of our landlines are broken because our internet is broken. Holy hell, okay.

Friday: I find the law cases. I get back my English assignment and score an A. I go to the bank AND THEY STILL MUCK ABOUT. I find out I am only leaving campus at 9 tonight. I mean, today could go worse. It’s only 3 o’clock.

I am tired. The entire universe has taken a piss both on me and in my coffee this week. I am tired.

I have no clue if I will finish reading the cases that I need to, and then finish actually studying for the law test. Prolly not. I have no clue if next week will continue at this rate. If it does, don’t expect much from me but more sarcasm than usual. If that’s possible. Ugh.

love & light,
shalom

 

I’m angry and armed with a blog.

this post has too many memes

  • me @ myself:get it together…..

  • also me @ myself:ur literally going through a lot rn? cut yourself some slack?

  • also also me @ myself:…anyway….i hate my entire self


pepe

Greetings, loved ones.

That was terrible. I said that in a Snoop Dogg voice and I’m haunting myself and I NEED TO STOP.

Basically, this is a post about all the reasons I’m angry. You don’t know this, but for the last three weeks, I’ve been complaining and not making intelligible conversation because as of September 5th, I grunt and make guttural noises and hope to be understood. Yugh. Today is also my 2 year anniversary with scooton.wordpress.com! It’s weird that I’ve been writing incoherent ramblings on here for as long as some people have been alive, and probably stranger that you’ve been reading them. Anyway. Onto the post. Looking back on this post, this is a suitable time for a profanity warning. You’ve been warned.

  1. WHY AM I STILL AT SCHOOL?
  2. All the matrics (seniors, final year of high school, whatever it is for all you international followers) in my schooling district have FINISHED THEIR SYLLABUSES  and don’t have to come to school anymore but I WILL BE LEARNING UNTIL OCTOBER 16 WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY
  3. I swear IF I GET CATCALLED ONE MORE FUCKING TIME basbs
  4. Seriously. I got catcalled on the way to an extra lesson nine times today. NINE FUCKING TIMES and I hate it so much. Like????? Don’t whistle at me!!! Don’t call me “baby”!!! Don’t TOUCH me!!!
  5. Troye Sivan has not yet released the Blue Neighbourhood part 3 video and I don’t like it

  6. I fuckin’ hate electrostatics.
  7. EVERY GODDAMN PHYSICS EXAM I ALWAYS DO SO SHITTILY IN ELECTROSTATICS AND ELECTRIC CIRCUITS AND I HATE ITbad
  8. Things are so expensive omg
  9. Things that cost more than two dollars are not illegal EVEN THOUGH THEY SHOULD BE
  10. I have to do really well in my finals and I am high-key freaking out about them like ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  11. COULD EVERYONE ASKING ME ABOUT MY FUTURE JUST CALM THE FUCK DOWN I PROMISE YOU WILL KNOW AS SOON AS I KNOW BUT FOR NOW GO THE HECK AWAY
  12. This also doesn’t make me mad but I’m gonna swear in ice-cream flavours from now on
  13. Who the rocky road decided that seven thirty was a good time for school to start?????
  14. I HATE BEING TOLD WHAT TO SO MUCH COOKIES AND CREAM I HATE IT SO MUCH
  15. I. Am still. ANGRY.

That’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by! Apologies for the assault on your eyes and potentially your soul that just occurred. I’m really tired. I’m going to study for chemistry. Or something.

love and light
shalom

On Faltering Hopes and Broken Promises

People with money who pay for all your things while you’re a minor. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without them. Unfortunately.

Whether your parent(s), your siblings, or whoever your caretaker is, someone always seems to let you down. Some more than others. Some promise you a trip to the mall and don’t let you know that they’re broke so you cant actually get anything. Some cancel said trip without letting you know. Some encourage you to get scholarships for high school and university options, and then flat out refuse to send you. Some encourage you to work really really hard at school, and take external tests and apply for all the universities that you want to…and then refuse to answer you when you ask about fees. Et cetera. I am angry. Et cetera.

My father is an important man. He’s influential and intelligent. People think he’s a good father too. (False.) But him -he source of 89% of my anger, sadness and frustration- aside, I’ve been trying to figure out how this life thing is going to work if people who hold such weighty claims over my life keep not coming through. As in, they just continue to leave promises unfulfilled and  leave me unable to plan any further than two months into the future. As in, I’m finishing high school in 10 weeks or so, and I have no idea if what I want is possible, or even plausible because my future doesn’t merit that kind of discussion, “it’s not [my] problem”, and because I should expect magic to happen and for my life to fall into a place along with fifty thousand dollars. Obviously.

College is expensive. This is a fact. Uni in South Africa is great, and the standards are great, and it’s all wonderful and cheaper but it’s not what I’ve been working towards since 2012. I was told then that if I worked hard and did well in my SATs, I could go back to the US for college. I got keen. I got down to business to defeat the huns. (Sneaky Mulan ref.) I fell in love with cities (hello, Iowa City) and universities all over the world (Buckinghamshire New University, I see you). I threw myself at schools (Hi, Bethel College!) and settled on a place that was more academically sound and in a super diverse city (Montreal. Hi. Yes.). And then, like everything else I’ve ever been invested in, it got snatched away because someone changed his mind.

Not this time.

There’s a lot I can take, but playing around with my future to this extent is a no-no. Closer to a hell no, no way on heaven or earth or in hell or in a parallel universe, but it’s a no.

Same, Simon. It's a no from me, too.

Same, Simon. It’s a no from me, too.

So, student loans are happening. Jobs are happening. Savings are happening. Selling shit is happening. Because I’m getting out of here next year, and I’m going to Canada with someone I love, and I’m making this happen. Whether the money giver gives or not, it’s happening.

I’m ferociously bitter. Also, my mom told me not to put my feelings on the internet. (Sorry mom.)

Love and light
Shalom

LET’S HAVE THIS TALK, PARENTS

Okay, look. I know my blog reaches people. I don’t know their ages, but I do know that I have a whole bunch of parents who are friends with me on Facebook and they should read this. Alright. Beginning.


Parents. Let’s talk about privacy.

There are some rules about having a teenager. First off, do not DO NOT DON’T invalidate their feelings. Don’t tell them that “everyone gets depressed” or retort with something you’re used to saying like, “clean your room” when they talk about wanting to die.

Secondly, respect their damn privacy. I’m speaking on behalf of teenagers, so when I say us, I mean your kids.

SNOOPING AROUND DOES NOT HELP. The facts are these: parents who think that combing through every possession of ours until they find something incriminating are not helpful. You guys create better liars. Seriously. Go through our journals one time and I swear to all that is holy, in the seven minutes that you were yelling about how we’re not allowed to profane or buy more CDs or talk about boys the way we do, we’ll have created at least four new lies and cover ups for the next time. Promise.

IT’S MY HOUSE is not an excuse. Yes, parents, I am calling you the hell out on this. It may be your house but the living space belongs to us and it is NOT your place to go through it. It is not your right nor automatic privilege to raise hell because we’re not fully functioning adults. One word: TEENAGER. We screw up. It’s what we do. We’re kids and there is nothing worse than a parent making you feel like your existence is a burden. Because this thing where parents expect us to be visions of Christ at seventeen is ridiculous.

STOP. GOING. THROUGH. OUR. STUFF. It will not make you closer to us, it will not give you a better picture of how “things : are, and it will sure ass hell NOT tell you what we are going through. It’ll make you think you’re doing the right thing, and that you’re on the right track, but you’ll really just be driving the wedge between you and your teenagers deeper, okay?

Lastly, threats are not okay. You can’t threaten us with everything we hold near to us and expect us to snap up and all of a sudden be the twenty four year old you wish you gave birth to. Don’t threaten us with our friends, music, diets, routines. NOT. OKAY.  Don’t terrorise your kids in an attempt to fix them for God’s sake BE CIVIL WITH US.

I am angry and this is important. Pay attention, mothers. Take note, fathers. Open your eyes, anyone who takes care of a teenager.

Shalom

On Being a Mediocre (but not really) High School Student & Person

<<prompted by Jessica Craven’s post here>>

I used to be clever.

Screw clever: I was brilliant. I started talking at 3 months of age, and I could read when I was two. I was sent to several educational psychologists because at the age of five, I was ready for grade two. I had an impeccable memory, I didn’t forget anything. When I was eight, my teachers would give me extra books to read and then would send me to the other teachers for more, because I would finish 30 page books in 10 minutes.

My point? “WAS”.

I think that people don’t realise how difficult it is to feel like you’ve gotten less intelligent. Granted, it’s believed that losing intelligence can’t actually happen, but it’s easy to feel that way. Using myself as an example for the tonnes of other students like me, let’s carefully look at where thing went wrong:

Everything was fine, kind of, until grade six: I was quiet, got into competitions, beat myself up when I wasn’t first, absolutely adored my title of “Smartest Girl In The School” and was constantly looking for ways to be better than my main competition: a boy named Slade. Granted, my unusual sadness scared me a little from grade five, but it was okay – I was still clever.

Grade seven came, and I started to feel the effects of depression. I felt lethargy at its worst, and felt the most lonely I ever had, up until then. I got my first detention. I tried to cut my hair (DIDN’T WORK). I tried to accept that I wasn’t pretty so there was no need for me to talk to anyone. Then I tried to talk to everyone. I tried to be friends with the pretty girls (DIDN’T WORK) and I tried to be friends with everyone (DIDN’T WORK). I tried so hard to be popular and became the confidant of many, the carer of most, but the friend of none. NOT. ONE.

My grades started slipping. I remember a meeting with my head of year, because I wasn’t in the top ten in the grade. I was 13th. From 2nd to 13th after 3 months of hardly eating, trying to become less less less, utter loneliness and extreme confusion. I was told my slacking was unacceptable and that it didn’t look good. I was externally apathetic, but internally sobbing- I just wanted to be enough. I was sad because I wasn’t as special anymore.I was just at school, not even mattering. But I was still smart enough to laugh it off,I was still brilliant.

Most people have the people that they leave primary school and go to high school with, or the friends they’ve had since they were tiny. I never had that. I never had anyone who was my friend; I just knew everybody because I talked a lot.

High school came about and I tried to create a new name for myself – Shalom became Scoot – and went to a completely different school than my brother and sister. I tried desperately to re-invent myself.  I coasted through grade eight and nine and was a B student, shocking all of my primary school teachers. I studied for subjects I enjoyed. I laughed at the ones I didn’t. I was still put into the ‘smart classes’. But then, I noticed something: I wasn’t as smart as they were. 

I started thinking, “what if I studied? Would I be as smart as Nina? Or Jessica or Sarah or Tamsyn or Slade, all who managed to stay smart?”

I found myself in trouble: I had never studied before. I felt no need. All of these people had spent their time working hard, and I hadn’t. I had been great, or at least alright, without the work they had to do.

Then, grade ten. Read: the first year I failed a subject (kinda).

I got really bad at maths despite my new attempts to work hard. People laughed at me and my efforts because I got moved into a weak  maths class. I studied ridiculously hard and only just managed Ds when I would get a B+ without any effort just a year prior. The people I sat with? All super intelligent. All taking AP classes, while I barely managed to stay in school. All swimming, while I choked – despite my flippers and floaties.

I’m in grade twelve now, and I’m still sad that feel that I’m not as brilliant as I used to be. Simply because I used to think that I could move mountains with my mind, because I was told so. I was told I would change the world because I would have the potential to do so. And all of a sudden, my mind switched off. I don’t know how or why, but I wasn’t smart anymore, and people tried to make it better by assuring me that I was smart, just not at school. That didn’t help at all, because I SHOULD be smart at school – I used to be.

I should still have the potential for brilliance.

This year, I’m trying to do well at school, because it does matter to me. I’m trying to get better at eating, because I value my health. I’m trying to have a positive outlook because I want to manage my depression better. I actually care, people! So many people think that I just waltz around, looking into people’s faces, giving sound advice, saying “wow! Cool! Lovely, wow!”  and pass through.

Learn this: I AM NOT JUST THAT.

Last week, a foolish boy called me a shallow character. I stopped, and looked him dead in the eye and said,

“I am not a character. I am not shallow. I am a hurricane with more brilliance inside of me than you will ever dare to find, and I am stronger than you will ever know.”

Dramatic? Yes, God yes. But true. I felt so powerful, and so plainly honest, that it couldn’t have been anything but the truth.

I tell people this:

Another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own.

I’ve decided that it applies to brilliance too.

I’m still brilliant, and that’s all I’ve been trying to get across. I refuse to treat myself as less, and I refuse to be treated as less.

apologies: this may have been a load of utter, utter crap.

love and light
s

It Is What It Is – Academic Awards Edition

Shalom Obisie-Orlu. Scroll.

Tonight at the academic awards evening at my school, that was what was called out before I walked onto stage and received my certificate. A scroll for academic achievement. Sounds good, right? Wrong. Let me fill you in on what has been going on in the swell of tears and banging in my brain for the past hour since the event ended:

(also, hello!)

At the school I was at from 2012-June 2014, academic awards can be achieved in grade ten, eleven and twelve, under half colours or full colours. With the report I achieved last year, I would have qualified for half colours. I’m confident I would have also managed to get full colours for netball, and been a councillor, or senior leader.

Does it matter? No.

In June/July of 2014 I made a decision to transfer schools in an attempt to save myself. As dramatic as it sounds, it’s the truth. I didn’t, contrary to popular belief, get bored and move to a school where I would have (a) nothing to my name, (b) no academic reputation in the most important year of high school, and (c) an extremely tough time fitting in to school in the middle of the year.

Nobody does that because they’re bored. Nobody uproots his or her life for attention. Nobody goes through extremely depressive cycles and ridiculous application processes just for fun.

It’s NOT fun.

Today, I was presented with a scroll. A scroll is the most basic academic achievement award presentable at my new school. It’s the award that anyone can get. You get a scroll for your first year of doing well.

It’s not my first year.

I’m not smart at school but I try really hard. I used to be brilliant. It was all I had. I worked so, so hard in the most difficult school year I have ever had to endure and then, this.

I meet the criteria for half colours. I meet the criteria at two schools, for goodness’s sake! I just so happened to make a decision and I now don’t get the award I deserve in every manner of speaking,because I haven’t been at the school long enough.

Look, tonight I’ve managed to offend one of my closest friends, almost swear at my mother, cry so hard my eyes are struggling to open, held back so many outbursts, fake smiled at so many people and said so many “thank you”s that I honestly wish I meant.

Grow up, Shalom. Get a hold of yourself. You got an award! Some people didn’t get anything. Be grateful. High school isn’t everything. You’ll be done with this in ten months.

I’ve been trying to get myself to understand these things, but how can I when they so clearly contradict everything I’ve been told?

  • this is the most important most important year of your life
  • matric stays with you forever
  • you get what you work for

Not the case here. I’m also really, really angry at myself; at the fact that I can’t be 100 per cent hapy for my lovely friends who did so well. About the fact that I snapped about not getting a good enough award when my lovely friend didn’t get an award at all.

I sound like an arrogant, unsatisfied brat. I know. And I hate it when people are like this. But these are my feelings and I would never act on them for fear of hurting another person (sorry Chy). I just needed somewhere to put them.

That’s all I have o say for now. That’s all the stupid, overprivelleged, arrogant and annoying ranting you’ll have to tolerate for today. I’m terribly sorry.

 

In truth, well done to all of the award winners tonight. You deserve it. (no cynicism intended)

with love,
shalom