shit is hard

i really meant to come back to writing, like, five months ago. and i didn’t because shit is hard — this shit is hard! i wanted to say so much but i couldn’t get the words to come out of my fingers in the way that i was happy to recognize as my own. idk. i’m here now and a lot of life has happened since february? january? either way, we’re here and i’d like to share, so.

mt. tammany

holy cow. so i climbed this mountain and cried twice while doing it. my boyfriend is super into hiking and camping and the outdoors, and i am more of a…how you say…stay where there’s air conditioning at all costs type of person. in general, derek takes me outside a lot more than i would ever take myself. he opens my eyes to all sorts of beautiful things and the joy he gets out of it is enough for me to do it anyway. but, back to the point – mt. tammany!

i have never gone hiking. prior to this escapade, the most green i’d ever seen was probably in a pantone color chart on tumblr in like 2013, or on a drive from maryland to pennsylvania where there were no people for miles.

when we were going up, i lamented every step. to be fair, i lamented almost every step on the way down. i was the worst. i complained about the sun, about bugs, about snakes – and all derek did was stand in awe of them. he sees the world through a lense that purely states the urgency of living. he looks at everything and thinks about how cool it is to just be there – he is present. i hope to be more present.

for weeks after the hike, i told people that it was the hardest thing i’d ever done. to be fair, i was so anxious that i thought i was going to die. i straight up made derek take my south african mother’s phone number in case anything happened. i was scared that every rock i put my foot on would slip, that the two snakes we saw would strangle me that night, that a swarm of gnats would fly into my throat – i was very stressed out. but i did it. shit was hard. but i did it.

it was beautiful, and i want to hike more. maybe next time in leggings instead of running shorts that are too small for me. maybe next time, after i’ve done a little more cardio. maybe next time, when there aren’t like a hundred people on the trail. but i always want to do it with derek. always with him.

love and light,
shalom xo

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die young

this is cross-posted from the other side of paradise, a blog i wrote for class this semester.

every night, you’re terrified of what you won’t become.

i am. i am terrified of the space that lies between could have and have done. i am terrified of the day turning into the night without having anything to show for it except a sunburn. i am terrified of the chance that i have of being here and being nothing. i am terrified of potential and how heavy it weighs, so i run. i become a professional athlete drinking in every experience like it’s about to be the last bit of water before i reach the finish line. i run from the fear of not enough, and sometimes, i run fast enough to forget why i’m running.

the goal isn’t so much to die, but rather to remove the issue of not being remembered by not being here at all. everyone wants to be something, make something, leave something – but if you die young, your obligations become zero and there’s no expectation for you to. death is an option – a seemingly beautifully freeing option – but is it the answer?

perhaps. but maybe it isn’t. maybe there is more to life than the imprint you leave. maybe there is beauty in the simplicity of being. maybe being here, and being you, is enough. maybe being you is enough.

so, do you wanna die young?

love it if we made it

it is fifty four degrees in a small city in new jersey. the weather calls for a t-shirt and a light sweater. the students call for cow onesies and rosie the riveter costumes and rick and morty cosplays. it’s halloween and the semester is still heavy with promise, but halfway through, we all know how this works.

a kid on a skateboard zooms past in yellow shoes. he moves as fast as i’d like to. we both end up at the bus stop, and i try a smile at him. he smiles back, and i smile to myself. i wonder if he was smiling at me or at how fast he was going.

at the bench i find myself at, there are people as furniture. a girl sits atop a monument, and another sits oustside the english building. it feels like they haven’t moved for ages, typing away on their laptops and tapping their feet in tune with music only i can hear.

two boys play frisbee on the lawn and the boy in the grey sweatshirt jumps higher every time it comes his way. they switch sides and he continues to jump. he yells to his friend, “i’m consistent!” and he is. he’s consistent.

all of these people are in my mind as matty healy sings, “i’d love it if we made it”. i would. i’d love it if we made it.

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me | september ’18

zoo-wee-mama. zoooooo-weeeeee-mama.

hi friends! september has come and gone and a lot has happened. school has started and i’ve been blogging weekly for class and as such have neglected to overshare with you all. now, perhaps you see that as a blessing, in which case i’d ask you to leave now. because i’m back. back, and oversharing with a bang. into september!

 

 

 

this past month i listeneed to a lot of rainbow kitten surprise. i saw car seat headrest live in concert and almost cried my eyes out. i mean, at one point my glasses fell on the ground while emily and i were moshing and it almost went so so badly.

there comes a point where i can’t even remember what’s been happenening and i have to go back into my tweets to find out what i’ve been doing for the last 30 days. it’s been a fairly wild but also relatively tame month. we begin with sylly week, which saw me going out three or four times in a week and pushing my body to the absolute extreme. a blush pink dress with a blush bottle of wine leads to shalom returning home with her hair in a state at 8 am.

i started classes which are simultaneously stimulating and stupendifyingly stressful. my linguistics classes are rightfully kicking my ass and it is one hell of an event. i am coping, but barely. however, i am not on the verge of anything. not a breakdown, not immense success – i’m chilling in the grey area for a little while longer, and that’s okay. i have been struggling with some 2014-esque disordered eating thoughts, but i’m in two kinds of therapy this semester and i’m working my butt off trying to mend my broken brain. i’m trying.

what else? i went on a lot of dates, none of them fruitful. i dealt with my coward of an ex, i tried to wean myself off of my meds (which, admittedly, i should have done with a psychiatrist), and got my nose pierced. i got a real lil crystal in my face! cool!

let’s talk about music!

do you like me? circle yes or no

serving myself

i want to romanticize my headfuck

alright! internal monologue!

  • i’d like to make my shame count for something. same.
  • what do i think the song goes?
  • i’m a sad fuck, i’d like a quick hug

cool! that was september! alright!

love and light,
shalom xo

august ’18 | monthly me

ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

okay. i am swamped. school just started up and i am beyond beyond it. there is a lot but goddamn do i want this consistency. so, my dear friends, this was august.

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august was…

learning. i learned a lot this august. i spent a lot of it waiting for school to be back in session (and now that it is, i’m drowning) and i’m so happy to be learning again. i think i actually got over the break up this month due to me finding out some…things. idk. i don’t wanna get into it the long and the short of it is that exes are that for a reason. my housemates moved in and life got a little less lonely, and my friends are all incredible people doing excellent things. i’m growing to appreciate them even more, and i’m so grateful for it.

i learned some new songs on ukulele, started wearing my nose piercing again, danced a lot, saw my family, loved hard, and lived. i came to the conclusion that i love my life, because i made it. i made it and it’s here and it is mine. i love it.

tunes

nothing is forever, but don’t let it get you down

is it a good time or is it highly inappropriate?

snippets of internal monologue

  • if you die and leave your body but then come back then what
  • is a ukulele…just a…whiny bass?
  • the underwear sock monster

thanks for comin! see u soon!

love and light,
shalom xo

young

 

at least it’s cute that i tried.

hi friends. with this message, i am scraping by. a lot has happened in the last three weeks since we talked – i was heartbroken, found out some heartbreaking shit about my heartbreak, believed i was unworthy of attaining love – but i don’t think that anymore. time is just time and all we are are brains trying to understand themselves. and i’m doing a better job of understanding mine. with this, i’m scraping by.

i met a lovely lady on the train on the way to maryland. her name was judy and she told me about her life as an air force child, as a military bride, as another bride, and as the wife she is now and all the in between men that happened in her life. she made me feel a lot better about being dumped. where i’m at right now is that i’m really happy the whole thing panned out the way it did. i don’t wish i had loved less because that’s not how i roll, but i do wish i had super powers to make everyone honest. it’s cute that i tried.

i just wanna feel alive. and i’m taking my medicine and listening to good music, and i’m getting there. things are looking up and i didn’t get the job i was hoping for – which sucked – and school is starting soon. which, yes. thank everything.

this has been this. i’m scraping by.

love, from an air conditioned panera,
shalom xo

june ’18 | monthly me

those heavy days in june

when love became an act

of defiance

june bled into july in a way that i wasn’t expecting, and that’s half the reason i’m writing this in mid july. the other half is because i’ve managed to convince myself that i’m absolute rubbish at writing and that i should definitely throw out the book idea i had. so i’ve been discouraged too. but the middle of 2018 found many of us at a point that was discouraging – not being where you thought you would be at a certain point is discouraging. realizing that you haven’t moved as fast or as far as you would have liked is discouraging. in any case, we’re all still here, and disappointing as that may be at times, at others, it must be enough. it’s enough.

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here’s a picture of my neighbor that i took on june 5th that i really love. she’s lovely.

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in june my brain took a beating. i wanted to stop taking my medicine (that didn’t go well), i wanted to drop out of uni, i wanted to walk into the ocean, i wanted to stop feeling lonely. i wanted a lot, really. nothing too extreme, but i had a lot of want. my dear friend dora went on a trip to europe and i lived vicariously through her. it looked so lovely and i’m while you can’t read about it here, you can read the rest of dora’s words. (they’re lovely.)

i guess so much time has passed since june that i don’t really know what to say about june, unless we’re talking about june by florence and the machine, off the newest album high as hope. high as hope was released at the end of june and proceeded to tell a story that i had wanted to tell for a long time. florence welch has a way with words that twists them into my chest and allows my heart to form around them, all before ripping them out along with my heart with an outrageous belt at in the middle of a song.

so, as to disappoint you further, here are my favorite lyrics from each song on the album:

june: hold on to each other

hunger: at least i understood the hunger i felt / and didn’t have to call it loneliness

south london forever: we’re just children wanting children of our own

big god: is it just part of the process / jesus christ, it hurts

sky full of song: i want you so badly but you could be anyone

grace: i don’t tell you enough, grace / you are so loved

patricia: how’s that working out for you honey? / do you feel loved?

100 years: give me arms to pray with instead of ones that hold too tightly

the end of love: i’ve always been in love with you / could you tell it from the moment that i met you?

no choir: and if tomorrow it’s all over / at least we had it for a moment

anyway, that was june. i felt a lot in the transition period between june and july. i hope to write more. hold on to each other.

love and light,
shalom xo

big magic

look, it’s a bit of a weird one.

i’m learning a lot leading up to twenty (less than two weeks now!) and a lot of it is due to me revisiting elizabeth gilbert’s big magic. big magic talks about living a life of creativity beyond fear, and about trust and divinity, and about taking chances and being realistic. but probably the most important lessons i’ve learned so far are about curiosity and the nature of inspiration.

curiosity: look, we need to stop relying on passion for everything. passion is great, but it’s really something you feel you have to do, like a blazing fire in your heart that you can’t put out. and it’s great to be passionate, but the problem is that creativity doesn’t always link up with passion. sometimes you can be passionate about something – so passionate – and never get the creative juices going for it (i’m gonna talk about that later). so instead, curiosity. curiosity doesn’t ask to be the all consuming fire that makes you want to wake up – it simply asks, “is there anything you’re interested in? anything at all?” – it demands very little but can reap big rewards. big magic at work, if you will. i think i’m trying to look at my curiosity as a gateway these days. not specifically as something i am using to get to writing, but rather something that i can consistently rely on to keep me busy. idle hands are the devils tools, and don’t even get my mom started on the dangers of an idle brain. long story short, i’m asking myself, “is there anything you’re interested in?” and then pursuing that thing, or those things. i’m doing it, and if they bring me back to writing, so be it. i know something will always bring me back to writing.

inspiration: well. inspiration is always looking for a home. be open. be ready. how do you do that? keep working on something, anything – even if you’re just curious about it. inspiration is always looking for someone to grab onto it and say, “yes! i knew you’d come around!” so be that person. open your heart. trust yourself and your creativity. trust enough to put your work out. trust enough to work at something.

these words all sound a bit fuddy duddy coming from me, who hasn’t done anything creative in weeks. they matter though, because i’m currently curious. i’m still doing stuff. and that stuff will bring me back here, because it always does. that’s big magic.

love and light,
shalom xo

day by day

sometimes, taking things day by day just doesn’t do the trick.

it especially doesn’t if you’re in a season where every day, even when you’re just trying to make it to the next morning, a new challenge comes like a flood.

in my case, i am in the flood. i am very nearly drowning. things are very tough.

however, i am also the flood. i cannot escape from myself, i have to be with me through it all, i have to carry myself the way water does.

i have to carry myself the way water does. and if that means i choke a little, it means i choke a little. and if that means i learn a new stroke, it means i learn a new stroke. and if that means i find ways to fit into places nobody thought i ever could, then that’s what it means.

i am taking things day by day, and they are hard, but i am still here. still open. still learning. still loving.

love and light,
shalom xo

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monthly me | may ’18

yo, this year is flying by and i don’t know what to do about it.

 

 

so what did i do this month? it’s gone from really tough to really relaxed to really, really tough. things are hard as hell right now. i’m taking summer classes and i’ve never had to work so fast in my life; i hate it. i still have two years of this degree; i hate it. i really miss my family, especially my siblings; i hate it. i hate a lot of things, but i love my boyfriend. he’s the best thing in my world at the moment. i don’t have much to say today but for my complaining, and i’m trying to do less of that. so. let’s all move along and talk about some happenings this month!

  1. moved into new apartment – you wouldn’t know this because it happened oh so quickly, but i’ve moved out of halls! i now live seven minutes away from uni and while the apartment isn’t the best, my room is cute and the rent is okay so i’m fine. i’m fine with being here for the next year. my housemates are all great girls, and i’m looking forward to absolutely no roommate drama, thank heavens. what else? i keep making too much pasta when i’m cooking for myself, but nevertheless, i’ve got pots and pans which make me feel supes adulty. i also have utilities to pay for now, which freaks me out a lot! but it’s ok! we’re here! it’s ok! 

  2. started summer school – i am crying. it’s six credits in six weeks and i am crying. i have to do two whole research papers and i don’t even know enough about interpersonal communication to start. currently, i’m writing this post while avoiding my prospectus paper on the maintenance of long distance interpersonal relationships because i have no idea where to begin. there are 10 marks awarded for the title. t e n. how do i make a ten-point title?img_20180531_155821_528
  3. two months with my baby – guys, i know i talk about him a latte but he’s the best damn thing, really. holding his hand? the best thing. i described it to dora like this one time  – “we held each other in a way that was like my body had already memorized the ‘don’t let go’ of his touch” – and while that’s literally gut-wrenchingly sappy and disgusting, i don’t care much. he’s the best and we’re cooking together this weekend if i can finish this god forsaken paper, but i love him and that makes me believe that things will be alright.
  4. no…birthday anxiety? – my friends, for the first time in ten years, i am not afraid to age. it’s crazy to think about because my birthday existential crisis has been a part of me for as long as my boobs have, but i know there are some reasons (see point 3) that i’m excited for the future instead of petrified of it. it usually shows up by april, and now it’s basically june, so let’s hope for no nasty surprises before july.

i guess i just want to get this hell month out of the way so i can enjoy the summer. i want to swim, to see the sea, to dance, to love, to kiss – i want to take all of these verbs and make them irreversibly, unequivocally mine. i don’t really know how to do that, but i wish i did. i know i’m going to learn, though. i will learn; i am always learning.

tunes

and i was twenty five and afraid to go outside; a millennial that baby boomers like

the boys are back and so i have to include them. matty looks like a budget hayley williams and it’s excellent. he also looks, like, free. also such a great message man give urself a fkn try

maybe i was moving too fast for you – i’m sorry but i can’t see you

i spend a lot of time on trains (my boyfriend is two train stops over) and i listened to this all day one day, and when i was on the train i realized how this song can be played in any weather. listen to it and see snowy winters, sunny springs, scenic summers and nostalgic autumns. i love it a lot. thanks ed the dog.

from what i’ve seen so far, the good ones always seem to break

what a return. what a wonder. i missed this voice holy heck. in an interview, florence welch said, “i am very in love with the world and quite afraid of it as well; my feelings come on really strong.” and all i can say is my relatable songwriting queen has returned and i am so glad. i thought i was flying but maybe i’m dying tonight

snippets of internal monologue

  • i’ll never be able to hold a job down. i can never do it.
  • what kind of writer can’t write?
  • perhaps i should become amanda torroni. just swoop n swop

right. that’s it! that was may. so so different from the last two mays on this blog. life really changes in such a crazy way without asking you permission.

love and light,
shalom xo