today i am depressed

not a fun one today.

these photos were taken by my webcam around 2:30 this morning  when i posted a lengthy post on facuebook regarding sexual assault and religion and queerphobia and femicide. i cried for three hours.

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i woke up at 9:41 this morning and i haven’t been able to get up. it’s 12:26 now. i’m wearing the same hoodie and i’m just tired. so tired. not sleepy tired, but depressed tired.

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granted, i am depressed every day. that’s my diagnosis. shalom has major and manic depressive disorder. okay. thanks to 300 grams of bupropion every day and a lot of experience with myself, i manage. i get through the days. i complete to do lists.

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today my to do list has groceries and taking my sister somewhere and writing and exercise and eating and studying. i know this because i wrote it out on Sunday night. i also know that i am already disappointed because i can’t do all that today. i can’t. i can’t get up.

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today i am depressed, and it takes a toll. today my body aches because of how hard i cried for women who are at risk for existing last night. today, i am writing this from my phone in my bed because i don’t know if I can get up.

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today is a lot.

love & light
shalom xo

painkiller post

am i in a lot of pain? yes.

are these painkillers on top of me? also yes.

a tiny revelation that has come from texting all of the people in my phone, eating a bag of nachos, losing and regaining various levels of feeling in different parts of my body, and trying to feel drowsy but feeling just…woozy instead: people can suck, but if you’re good, you can be good. you can be good, and not suck.

everyone is so so worthy. everyone is worthy of effort and companionship and unconditional love from somewhere. everyone is worthy of consequence. everyone is worthy of sleeping in their bed of worms sometimes. everyone is worthy of malaphors. (malaphors are craaaaaazy yo i love them)

it’s alright. the world is a mess. apocalypse now? maybe. building blocks of our reality falling out of the sky like that light in the truman show? absofuckinglutely. but it’s alright. one day, some boss ass pal is gonna wake up and remember that they can do that thing they’ve so badly wanted to have been done. i hope we’re all that pal one day.

my head is in my shoes y’all.

love n light
shalom

EVERYTHING’S IN ORDER IN A BLACK HOLE

Alternatively: What to do when the level of shit that things are is too. damn. high.
(Edit: Alternatively, alternatively: A letter to a Shalom at rock bottom from a pseudo-Shalom who has some strange foresight.)

Hello gang. The alternative title of this post is an accurate view into my life for the last year or so, as you’ll know if you do even the tiniest bit of scrolling down my homepage. I’m a bit done with complaining about how much everything sucks for me on here, so here’s a little guide about how to deal with dealing with everything that sucks. What the hap is fuckening?

I’d like to start off by saying that every time I think I have hit rock bottom, there seems to be a deeper hole to fall into. At present, my room is a warzone: I climbed over a sleeping bag, vision board, laundry basket and pile of books to get to my computer. My body is the same, and my brain is…lukewarm. So to begin, understand that sometimes you can get lower than rock bottom. It sucks, and it happens, and you’ll live through it.

At rock bottom, it’s important not to get comfortable. (This whole post is sort of me yelling these things at myself, more than anything else.) As awful as it is to be on the jagged edge that is unemployment and really fast weight gain and very real isolation, I’ve found that I’ve made a sort of nest down here. It panics me because I feel like I’ll never be on top of things again, and that is a terrifying thing. So, force yourself out of the nest. Go outside three times a week, even when you have absolutely no reason to go outside. Text that friend who you’re friends with but you’re not sure if they’re friends with you. See how that goes. Run errands and check things off a list. Kick yourself into remembering that you can do things, and then do them.

Take care of your brain and body. Again, I come to you as a girl who has eaten french fries, ice cream, and salt and vinegar chips today, so I’m talking to myself. I pulled my head out of my ass and re-started taking the medication that helped me previously. Why did you stop, Shalom? Well, disembodied space voice, I don’t know. I thought I was getting better (which I was because the medication was working) and then I stopped taking it after my last refill (and stopped getting better). Go to the doctor if you feel unlike yourself. If rock bottom makes you want to jump off the ledge, go to the doctor. Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency. I am feeling better than I have done in the last couple of months. I’m glad and grateful. Take care of all of your health, starting with your head. Re body health, don’t fall into only ice cream and salt and vinegar chips five times a day every day. If you do, slow it down. (SHALOM, SLOW IT DOWN.) Are you healthy? Is the amount of gross stuff you’re putting in your body making you feel gross? Are you not putting enough food into your body in a quest for some version of health that…isn’t actually health? Take care. Friends, take care. Food is fuel, and it is necessary, and it is FINE. It’s really all absolutely fine. Stretch. Rest. Shower. Drink more water. Take care.

If, like me, you’ve been lacking routine due to monumental failures and your apparent unemployability, start doing something every day. It can be putting a glass of water by your bedside, or frying an egg, or doing calf raises while you brush your teeth, or spending five minutes outside, or writing down your feelings, or reading your respective holy book, or cleaning up a little bit of your space every day. Say yes to something you haven’t before. Do something. Remember that despite how much you feel like you are on the fringes of life, society, and sometimes sanity, you are here. You are here. You are here, and despite the madness, you can do things every day.

Understand your loneliness. I’ve been isolated from the few friends I made at uni last year because I didn’t go back to uni at the start of this year. My then-best friend moved across the ocean, and was no longer my best friend. The people who I thought I was growing with moved on as well, and stopped talking to me. My messages went unanswered, and sometimes all I got was a really patronising, “we’ve grown apart,” or “these things happen”. Understand that you are not alone because you are unlovable. You are not alone because everyone hates you. You are not alone. (The internet is an awesome place, and even if your friends are 15 000 km from you, they are your friends.) Even on your own, you are not alone. Even by yourself, you are something else.

What else? Words from the death to stock photo pack that today’s featured image comes from: Move toward the light. Build. Improve. Find good. Understand that rock bottom must end. Understand that even the hole through the hole through the floor that you fell through has a bottom. Understand that your tummy can change from chiseled to very, very soft in a few months. Understand that your body is still good. Understand that you are still good. You are still loved. You are still worthy.

love and light,
shalom xo

there is nothing to write about

I’ll be damned if I start another one of these with, “I’m so tired.”

BUT Y’ALL. I AM.

I have 39 drafts sitting here, asking me to do something with them. Post them, delete them, offer them as a sacrifice to the People In Charge Who Refuse To Hire Me — something. I spend most of my time thinking about writing and then not writing, because after five years of putting all of my pre-pubescent/teenage/other-stage-of-life thoughts on the internet, there is nothing to write about.

There is a lot going on in the world. There is waking up at 11 a.m.– reading about another innocent person being gunned down by police, another twelve girls in DC that are missing, another instance of Tomato Laryngitis saying something that should have gotten her fired years ago, another day of the Trump administration setting another piece of America on fire — and then there is going back to bed at 4 a.m.. Nothing to write about.

I am living on the weirdest fringe right now. I committed to a university, am preparing to leave the country and my family and everything I know, have become fast friends with my roommate and remain in awe at how she and all of her friends do such !!! makeup every morning even though they’re in school, am reading and editing the beginning of my friend’s book, cut all my hair off in a ridiculous decision and now feel even more awful about my face, planned for six vaccinations, messed up my sleep schedule further, and have semi-planned my friend’s July holiday. Mania is exhausting. Coming down is worse. Nothing to write about.

Me and my brain have been fighting constantly and consistently since That Day – I don’t know if I wrote about the day I found out I was fat? It was yikesy. – and it’s been hell since. I keep seeing so many of those new year resolutions slip past me, and I think I’m starting to understand why I don’t write them down. The betrayal I feel is unbelievable. Mostly, I want to unzip my skin and remain out of it for a while until I figure out how on earth do deal with my allocated flesh bag. Still, there is nothing to write about.

There is nothing to write about except what I always write about, and I have grown tired of my brain. It is a good brain. It is always full of conversations between me and myself, files of What Not To Do, love for others and a hyper-aware knowledge of what’s happening around me. It is exhausting. It’s exhausting because even on days (most days) when I do nothing but move from my bed to my computer to my bed, I have to deal with the noise of neurotransmitters not doing their damn thing. It’s too much because I am too much and I want to write about too much and the too much that I am, and the trade-off for too much is nothing.

There is nothing to write about, and I wish there was.

(all I’ve done today is listen to this on repeat and write this. It’s 7:13 p.m., and I’ve been up since 11. So sad, so sad.)

love and light,
shalom xo


featured image from death to stock

l.i.f.e.g.o.e.s.o.n

as of march fifth, i am twenty for twenty applications and rejections. life goes on.

i committed to a camp and a week-long kid’s ministry  holiday club thing on sunday. life goes on.

the logistics of my moving continents in less than six months are terrifying and fuzzy. life goes on.


i spend silly amount of time thinking about songs and when i want them to play in my life. for example, i have a very specific vision of me moving into my shared apartment in new york city after i graduate from college, and playing “this is the beginning” by boy. i make little music videos about my life and about what i want my life to be in my head, and very near lose my mind when the song matches up perfectly. i’ve thought about the song i want playing if i’m a runaway bride, about the song i want playing when i figure out i can do what i love for a living, and about what i want to be listening to when i get on a plane to visit my mom.

despite my extravagant time-wasting song thoughts, finding a song that describes the present is hard because i spend most of my time in my head and not in the moment. i heard this song for the first time in 2012 but i’ve had it on repeat for the last four days. it makes for a lil shake up in my brain that i need.

as a person, i’m used to having high expectations and being disappointed, then trying to avoid that disappointment by having no expectations and somehow still being disappointed. i’m used to feeling like death and wanting to desperately step out of my skin for a day or two. i’m used to wondering how on earth i’m still here, and i guess it’s because life goes on.

life goes on.

i have really little money and just a little more sense, but i know i have heart. i have an awfully massive amount of heart, and if that’s what has kept me going my own way the same way life goes on in its own way, then that’s what it is. i have heart and a bunch of tired, and life goes on. right now, that’s all i know to be true. everything else is a big hazy mess of real & not real dissociation games and feeling like trash and not being physically able to fix it and feeling all of the anxiety in the world in agonising three minute bursts.

life goes on, i guess.


the other day, i talked to my future roommate about where we’re going to live this fall. life goes on.

every day, donald trump does something to incriminate his entire administration and inches closer and closer to impeachment. life goes on.

i’m not as sad as i used to be. these days, i can notice rapid cycling. l.i.f.e.g.o.e.s.o.n.

love and light
shalom xo

currently

currently, i am trying to figure out how i want to look, what makes me feel good, why i don’t like my body & my face, and what i can do about it. i am trying to figure out if the way my body moves is alien to me because it has never moved like this, or because i’ve never noticed. i’m not sure how much of a difference it’ll make.

currently, i’m growing old trying to get into college and to make sure that neither of my sisters have to go through the long winded process that i am currently going through (to self: shalom, have you emailed mrs. hind for your sister?). i am trying to find work for the american summer, because…well, point five. i am unsure of what the future looks like from as early as june, and i don’t enjoy the uneasiness that comes with it.

currently, i am trying to make my way into freelance writing because i’m broke and because i really want to write. so far, a byline from women’s republic (a start up magazine that i am honoured to write for) looks possible. i’d like to write for the establishment, though. i need to get on that.

currently, i am dealing with the fact that i don’t have clothes outside of sleep shirts, a pair of jeans, and sweater dresses. i’m becoming more aware of how i think i want to present myself, and i think i need clothes for that. there’s a running joke in my family about me and becoming a nudist because of my lack of clothes, and it sounds like a joke, but oh, the possibilities….

currently, i am broke. as usual. i didn’t get the job at lush which sucks so hard. i am trying to scrape up R200 because i will not miss vodka party if you paid me. i mean, maybe if you paid me. seeing that i’m broke, and all.

currently, i am lonely. i’m not in school, so friends from school are (1) far and few between to begin with, and (2) in school. it’s a bit shit, the lack of platonic and romantic partners in my life. i need friends. and maybe someone to make out with. or maybe just some sleep.

currently, i’m putting on a pair of joggers i stole from a friend (she let me keep ’em tho, tell ’em ash) & going to run errands for my mom. am i going to lament over the price of tampons and yoghurt? probably.

there’s a lot going on right now, and i’m trying my best to ease into it. with my track record, i probably won’t. you’ll find out, though. chronic oversharer and all that.

love and light,
shalom


featured image from death to stock

of mondays and joy

experiencing fully fledged joy that isn’t mania as a depressed person is a strange experience. it’s very alien, and today has left me fulfilled yet super tentative of tomorrow, because i know something has to go wrong or back to normal, at least. it’s regression to the mean.

in the northern hemisphere (and now, all over the world too), the third monday of january is known as “blue monday” – the supposedly most depressing day of the year. it’s recognised everywhere and people really feel terrible and everything sucks, until tuesday. on tuesday, things go back to the way they were, and people no longer feel blue. for most people with depression, it doesn’t work like that. it definitely doesn’t for me.

i’m a happy person who’s depressed. i love people, and i thrive on the happiness of others. i adore belly laughs and tired sighs from days full of loving, but my brain also doesn’t make the neurotransmitters it needs to be making, so what we get from that equation is me. i rapid cycle between excessive optimism and damning despair far too much and far too fast. i’m dealing with it okay, though.

however, today has been a really great monday.  much like this one.

i didn’t get any sleep because i don’t get sleep, and had a really teary two a.m. i freaked out because i had so much to do including mailing transcripts for university admissions (keep those fingers crossed for me please!) and an interview for Lush. LUSH. The super amazing smelling, ethically brilliant and people focused brand. I was so stoked that I got an interview, but I was pretty sure it was all going to go to shit because of how my morning went. It was 21 degrees outside and I was sweating like a Christmas goat while trying to do my eyeliner because ya girl was anxious as HECK and also I was running late for a thing with a friend. It’s okay. I got there. Then the goodness began.

Jo bought me a hazelnut honey latte and I lost my mind because it tasted so good. We ran generic errands and I bumped into a storybook boy at the printing store. STORY. BOOK. As in curly hair big smile British accent story book. BOY. I sang to him about capitalism and he had a very cute laugh. I ran away because I’m an IDIOT and Jo gave him my number. He probably won’t text, but I’m glad I met him nonetheless. I have a boy to put in my stories now. I played with a Newton’s Cradle in a birthday store and got really giddy about science.

By DemonDeLuxe (Dominique Toussaint) – Image:Newtons cradle animation book.gif, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3717500

I then almost skipped out of my interview because anxiety, but went ahead and did the damn thing. I have a trial shift on Thursday! I am SO EXCITED. I then went to get some tea, paid for a short and got upgraded to a grande for free. YES. I then got free samples of cheese and of bread at Woolworths and bought a cheese and tomato baguette that surprised me with the best tasting basil & mayo I have ever had. My eyebrows also did the damn thing. I got home and napped for three hours, ate a pie for supper, found a blog that’s probably my new favourite (do check out Dora @ For The Goldfinches because wow – follow her on instagram too! She’s a joy.) and got invited over to swim with a friend tomorrow. It’s also MLK Day, so I got to smash down some microagressions regarding not being black enough, which was exhausting but necessary. I’m glad I did. Happy birthday to my biggest writing hero, Lin-Manuel Miranda, too! There’s a gif party on twitter if you wanna come. #gifTparty

I’m a bit sad that today is over, honestly. It’s been the best day that I’ve had in years. I’m grateful for it, but also hyper aware of the fact that everything has to swing back to the middle eventually. I learned about regression to the mean from Teen Wolf. I have a weird relationship with that show.

Despite how well today went, I still have the undercurrent of despair running through me, but I’m okay with it. It’s not the loudest in this moment, and every moment that my brain allows me to just be is one I am grateful for. I’m about to knock myself out with some heavy sleeping pills, and I’m really glad that I can. On Saturday, I didn’t think I’d make it to the end of the day. Thank goodness I did though. Who else would have taught that cute boy the capitalism jingle?

love and light,
shalom xo

of resolutions and old new years

Hi, gang. I’m working on a better salutation that doesn’t only have it’s desired effect when I say it out loud because this is a blog. And you’re reading, rather than hearing. Anyway, I’m working on that.

New year’s resolutions (see how I placed that apostrophe correctly? Huh? Huuuuh?) are weird for me. Not because I don’t make them, though, because I make the hell out of them. I usually do pretty well when it comes to accomplishing them too. For example, my 2016 resolutions – or, as I wrote down in my purple planner, “for 2016” – included the following:

  • more acceptance
  • big moves
  • dedication
  • take care
  • more water
  • save $$$
  • keep learning

…and more of the sort. While super vague, they all made sense to me because I wanted them to be a little cryptic so that I wouldn’t expose myself if someone found my planner and called me out on not being dedicated enough. The dedication could have been dedication to eating more pizza rolls…if I’d ever had a pizza roll. But you’re catching what I’m throwing, yes? My resolutions have been big on a small scale that only I understand. I usually make them on the first day of the year and have a page in my planner and it’s all really lovely. Can you sense what’s about to happen? How I’m about to tell you how that’s not happening right now? Good.

This year, for starters, I don’t have a planner yet. It’s almost the middle of January, and I am yet to create a January spread. The new year is old! It has lost the sparkle that makes people believe in hope and change and all the good January first things. I have three events in the next week and I’m freaking out about each of them on a really high level because I haven’t written them in the 2017 book because Shalom’s “get a planner before the year ends” ass was too busy getting and fighting off malaria in the Ivory Coast.

(It’s dawning on me presently that I would have much better made this a video. I feel like the way I’m hearing this in my head is a lot better than the way you’re hearing it in yours. Do you hear what you’re reading in your head? For real, that’s a question I’d like to know the answer to.)

I’ve decided to share my resolutions with you. I feel a little strange about typing them because they don’t yet exist in another format. So, here we go:

for 2017:

  • Acquire (because I didn’t feel like saying “get via self purchase or gift from parental party) a phone (an iPhone, maybe?) that will not be stolen four months after purchase (or at all). (2016 had a bad track record for phones and me.)
  • Stop (or do my very best) cancelling plans (or not following through with them) to sleep or eat or cry or *insert Shalom activity*. I am the worst. I will straight up ask you what time you’d like me to be there when I know I’ll be in bed. Anxiety and depression suck, but I’d like to stop saying  “yeah I’ll come” then not, in favour of saying that I’m having a hard day and I won’t be coming. Start doing that, future Shalom.
  • More girls loving girls! More seeing girls as people and not objects & influencing the worldview of girls! More girls that don’t interpret other girls as competition! Girl love! (!!)
  • Move back to the US. Is my timing off on this one? Yeah. Yeah, I know. I’m scared too. I am, however, moving continents, and that’s exciting all on it’s own.
  • Work a full-time job (it’s that simple. I need a job. I’ve gotta get one.) and save meaningful money from it (for next travel adventure or for life. We’ll see.).
  • Get into college. No, I’m not in high school. Yes, I have done a year of university already. Yes, I’m still playing the game of hanging in the great continental education system divide. (Note: Apply ED or EA if you can. It makes the waiting less painful.)
  • Take better care of my body and be healthier (without letting intrusive eating disorder thoughts back in)This is a hard one because the balance is so, so delicate and I really don’t know if I can handle it? We’ll find out though. I’m an oversharer.
  • Make some friends. That’s it. It’s that simple (it’s not simple). I’m just trying to make some friends outchea pls help
  • Get my driver’s license. I really didn’t want to do this until I drove a quad bike on the beach on Christmas and I think that maybe I can do this.
  • Tell more people that I love them (because I think just not being kind to everyone I can is having a backfiring effect on me? Like, I have too much feeling and I am suffering.) and practise intentional kindness more often.
  • Don’t break my glasses! 
  • Create more, unashamedly. For real. Being afraid is a thing, and anxiety and consequences and dealing with them are all things that I need to just handle. I need to say what I need to say. I need to make stuff.
  • Be more perspective of my mom and her feelings. I’m not explaining this. I love you, mom.
  • Become fluent in (at the very least) one of the languages I’m half fluent in! I feel like I’m more willing to take on Portuguese than French. But either way, I’m doing it!
  • Learn to cook a good pasta sauce. I’ve learned to cook a lot more than I thought I would have, but I’m lacking in the pasta sauce department. It needs to be stocked.
  • Perhaps, just…give less damns? (I was going to use a better choice word but I realised I haven’t sworn this whole post and it is EXCITING.) If you add the handy cocktail of neurotransmitters I get at the pharmacy because my brain doesn’t make them, the effort I put in on a daily basis to do the life thing, and the being a pretty okay person, I think I’m working really hard. I think I’m doing okay. I think people who want to jump on my back for existing can enjoy the ride (especially the part where I fall over. Several times.).  I’m gonna be a better human if I can, and I’ve written things down so now I’ve got a plan.

Thanks for being part of my old new year so far. I appreciate you. Years years bears.

love and light,
shalom xo

love is out there | 2016

i spent the post shower hour (that weird space where you’re clean and naked and have more than enough time to think) watching the google zeitgeists from 2016 all the way back to 2010 & had a good cry. more than the average 5’8 girl, I am ready for 2016 to end. i am ready to be done. so, gang; a look back.

in 2016 we were made aware of how cruel time can be. we saw wars go ignored, we lost heroes, we witnessed bigotry on a 1945 scale, and tweeted for peace in berlin, baltimore, aleppo, lebanon, and so many more because we couldnt pray faster than our thumbs move.

2016 decimated my morale. 2016 completely broke my heart time and time again, and gave me no chance to put it back together before it crushed me again. 2016 & it’s robber friends ended up stealing 18 000 rands (!!!eighteen!!!) worth of stuff from me – not to mention my health: i came down with my 6th & worst case of malaria on christmas day and i’m trying to get my body to repair itself. i have beem exhausted from the fight against sexual violence & the fight for human rights every single day. i have sang and shouted and cried that black lives matter. i have put all i have to put on the line for equality. i have hit, and 2016 hit back. it’s been a trying year.

“And it has been
one hell
of a year.
I have worn
the seasons
under my sleeves,
on my thighs,
running down my cheeks.
This is what
surviving
looks like, my dear.”

– Michelle K., It Has Been One Hell of a Year.

despite this all, hope has prevailed in the strangest way. i wouldn’t say that 2016 was a fiery beacon of hope that restored all of us, but i think it ,forced us to hope simply because of how dark it became. 2016 was an incredible year for music, and an amazingly powerful year for the arts. (suicide squad was trash. don’t @ me.)

in 2016, i must have tumbled out of a plane, because i freefell all year (walk the moon, quesadilla). i went on some pretty cool dates. starbucks came to south africa! i went to university in a weird fluke of events and met incredible people who turned my world upside down every which way (thanks ashvini). i had a lot of arguments that tested my character & my faith, learned from the coolest philosophy lecturers to ever exist (shout out to shaun stanley & philosophy of religion [but no shout outs to st. anselm who confused the hell (heaven?) out of me]), hosted students who changed my life (bekah, cid & laura – thank you so much for everything), got into trouble for standing my ground on some ‘controversial’ issues (they’re not controversial so much as they are issues of human rights but anyway) and felt so proud of myself for not betraying my heart.

i introduced SO MANY people to Hamilton: An American Musical (maybe the best thing since november 2015), bought okayshalom.com, ran from police officers & rubber bullets, took being party mom to a new level by ubering people everywhere on my own account, realised when i’m being manipulated  (and as such, no longer uber people everywhere), i touched the atlantic ocean,  i told people i loved them, I got a new nickname (it’s panda, thanks phil), and i loved. this year, i loved so much.

i spent 2016 mostly crying over the astounding amount of hurt that there is in the world – over hate crimes and a lack of humanity, the cruelty of death and heartbreak and the terror of tomorrow.

reasonably speaking, 2017 won’t change much. the world will not stop freaking out because we changed the last digit of the year. bad people will not all stop being bad. those who crush hearts without remorse will continue to have stained hands. it’s a pity that a new year doesn’t provide a fix, but it is a joy that our being part of it does provide love.

over and above anything, commit to love. do not betray your heart. keep your word. believe in people.

believing in people has an unprecedented power. love is out there, somewhere, and joy comes in the morning. search for it. if you can’t find it, make it. celebrate every tiny victory. every one.

i hope the holidays have been peaceful for you. i hope that if you’re waiting for admissions decisions, like me, you’re a little bit calmer than i am. i hope you believe in people, in yourself, in hope, dreams, and love. keep your head up & your heart strong.

thanks for coming along with me this year. let’s grow.

love and light,
shalom xo

a note to student (employees)

listen to this while you read this:

 

Hi, fellow student.

I know, depending on your hemisphere, you’ve just started the new school year, or that you’re trying to crawl through the last three months of the university term. I know you’re busy, and I know you’re tired. I work a lot too – both in and out of school. My desk looks like that of the normal college student: messy, covered in loose sheets of paper and sticky notes and matches and medication. Under my ridiculously expensive textbooks, I have other textbooks, from 5th up until 12th grade. I’m a tutor, and I am a red-pen-stained-worksheet-making mess.

I work an easy 10 hours a week. Officially. Ten hours doesn’t seem like a lot, and it isn’t really. It’s doable. If I only worked those 10 hours, I’d be okay, but tutoring, like almost every other job, demands that it must eat into any and all time I thought I could mark as free time. I’m sure you can empathise. I know some of you work up to 25 hours a week, and I know that I can never feel the tired you feel, but I can feel proud of you – and I do.

I don’t think anyone’s better than anyone, but I do think that students who work while they study are extremely resilient. Yes, that’s most of us, but most of us are resilient. I think that the six hours you put in on a Saturday because you’re helping your parents pay your tuition, or because you’re paying your tuition yourself, or because you’re saving for a trip or a car, or because you just want some money, are six hours of phenomenal work. I think that you’re brave and powerful and strong. I think that you’re doing a great job.

Regardless of whether you work or not, drink a tall glass of water. Take three deep breaths, and remember that you’re doing okay. Don’t let the university monster eat you alive. I’m proud of you, and you’re doing great.

This is your reminder.

love and light,
shalom xo