ch-ch-ch-changes

Hi friends, transgressors, first-time readers & droids! Hello, to you too, if you don’t fall in one of the mentioned categories.

In December 2015, before I went on a blog-free January journey, I talked about some changes that were coming to this blog in terms of content & looks and all that fun stuff. Well, because things cost more money than I have, and because I’ve never managed to fit neatly into the boxes of beauty blogger or lifestyle blogger or book blogger or – you see where this is going? – I just did some of the things, and today I get to share them with you!

First off, we are now okayshalom.comThis is the most exciting part for me. I bought my domain, and I’m super happy about the way it rhymes and that it matches my header title. I got it on a day when the exchange rate was cooperating, so I feel as lucky as the Britney Spears song.

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Next off, I was reminded how #blessed I am to know the amazingly talented people that I do. My lovely friend Jéad sacrificed a crap early morning to make a miracle out of my crazily unphotogenic self & conduct one hell of a shoot in the inner city of Johannesburg. Jéad is phenomenally kind, brilliant, selfless and talented. I am better for knowing her. You can have a look at her portfolio here and contact her for bookings in South Africa at jeadstehr@gmail.com. 10/10 would recommend. Thank you, Jead!

Finally, I did one of my first paid-for pieces of writing! Not on here, but for someone who needed a ghostwriter. I was terribly excited and am positively thrilled to do more. Thanks to everyone who believed in my writing enough to still read the often rubbish I put on this corner of the internet.

I’m finally making use of the scheduling tool, so I have three posts coming your way this week! Prepare yourself for the influx, as well as the possible theme & image changes on the site.

Welcome to okayshalom.com!

love & light
shalom x

 

the kids aren’t alright

i’m feeling lowercase today, i think.

i haven’t been around here much lately. i actually turned my computer on for the fist time in about three weeks today. i’d love to tell you that i’ve been away planning things and now i’m back with an exciting series and that i have another posting schedule i won’t keep to, but that’s not so.

stuck in the jet wash
bad trip i couldn’t get off
and maybe i bit off more than i could chew
and overhead of the aqua blue

i’ve been going through some stuff in my head. i honestly don’t know how to say this to anyone without sounding absolutely mad but i haven’t felt like a whole person for the last month or so. it’s as if i’m  a plane on autopilot – only i’m also a passenger who’s been informed that i am, and i’m freaking out about it because somebody should be captaining this ship, but there’s nothing that i can do because i’m a bit of a helpless passenger.

i don’t know if i’m presenting myself very well.

i’ve had a lot that i’ve wanted to write about, but i’ve had the great misfortune of not being able to do almost anything. my body is fidgety while my mind is tired, or my mind is racing while my body is exhausted, so i’ve slept a maximum of four hours a night for the last month or so. it’s hard to be a person when you don’t feel like one, and when you feel like someone other than yourself when you do.

fall to your knees, bring on the rapture
blessed be the boys time can’t capture
on film or between the sheets
i always fall from your window to the pitch black streets

i feel very spacey. i’m still going to school and i’m taking notes in lectures and going to rehearsals and caring for all my friends, but it’s very alien. something is very off, and i know it, but nothing is fixing itself.

my friends are lovely. they’re full of advice and ‘alternative methods’ to help me sleep (i see you and i love you, xabs) and they remind me that i’m not eating when i should be. they ask about my medication and when i tell them that i feel like i’ve lost it, they listen. usually, they think i’ve lost it too, but they listen, and i love them for it. i overwhelm them a lot; i mother them. it’s a habit of mine – a selfish one, to some extent. i like to know that people are alright. it makes me feel like i, then, have the right to be fine, too. this is flawed in many ways, but they let me fuss over them, and for that, i’m ever grateful.

and in the end
i’d do it all again
i think you’re my best friend
don’t you know that the kids aren’t al-, kids aren’t alright

i talked to my sister about how i’ve been feeling earlier today. she asked what my plan was for the next couple of months, or at least before i go back to the doctor. well, i’ve thought of something of a plan while i’ve been writing this, and here it is:

my strength comes from loving. i will continue loving people as hard as i usually do. i’m going to try to keep doing the things that i always do, like work and school. i’m going to try to remember to eat, and i’ll try my best to sleep more. i’m not going to ignore the way i’ve been feeling, but i’m going to try and push on through it, rather than go around it.

this kid’s not alright, but she’ll pull it together somehow. it’s not all bad. i made two new friends today. i’m doing fine-ish.

when it rains it pours
stay thirsty like before
don’t you know that the kids aren’t al-, kids aren’t alright

love and light
shalom xo


featured image from risenmags.com

[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.

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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.

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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.

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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

YEAH, I KNOW. [Alternatively: Feb Faves & a Monthly Roundup]

So, my good friend Engie made a post about the things that were making her mad and stressing her out, and a lot of them revolved around college, being a blogger in college…you get where I’m going with this? I’ve been away for two odd weeks. I make these posts all the time (see…all my past posts for reference) but this time, I have actual things to say. Yay for planned rambles!

1. RE: UNIVERSITY.

This thing just does not let up. I’m a law student and I’m taking courses in philosophy, media studies and english as well. I had no idea just how far behind one could fall in three weeks. It’s safe to say that I’ve found out. Blogging has become la absolute SAFEHAVEN. I think I’m going to force myself to incorporate it into my failure of a schedule – like mandatory me-time? (I hate the phrase me-time. Ugh.)Some advice to all the hatchlings who will soon be embarking on the Great College Adventure TM: Come in armed. It’ll eat you alive if you don’t. Always have an umbrella, a charger, cash, and painkillers. Also a pen.

2. Favourites!

I haven’t done much in the way of the fun things, but I have, as usual, made my home in the Internet. Here are some things (most Internet, some not.) that I loved this month:

Alt-Indie Music Videos

Troye Sivan, Halsey and THE 1975 all released music videos for such AMAZING tunes off of their respective latest albums. Troye’s video for YOUTH blew me away for several reasons: (1) SO MUCH PURPLE PASTEL INDIE TUMBLR TEEN. (2) HAPPY FUNCTIONAL PARTY TEENAGERS. (actually, Troye is 20 (21 in June!) but he still counts. For reasons. Halsey’s video for Colors (the South African in me is mega cringing at that spelling) is just…let me tell you, (#nospoilers), it’s not what you expect. The music video for THE 1975’s The Sound is really the BEST THING I  SAW THE ENTIRE MONTH. It’s a massive ‘up yours’ to all of the critics who “only heard chocolate once and hated it”. Watch it. WATCH THEM ALL.

 

Blogger: Maxine Zhao

Alright, so I feel super honoured to say that Max once told me that I served as inspiration for her starting her blog. And man, do you need to see it. Maxine is what I’d call an up-and-coming fashion and lifestyle blogger with INSANE talent regarding taking timed tripod self shots. She’s also an absolute doll with a tiny little car named Kevin. Did you need any further justification? Check her out here.

Beauty

I’m not even going to pretend to know a lot about beauty. At all. Because I don’t. But I’ve been using mostly Nivea products as of late, just because they happen to work the best with my skin. For now. Stress breakouts are a real thing  and a good skincare regime is legitimately another university must have. Here are some of the things that I’ve been putting on my largest organ! (Skin. I’m talking about my skin.)

I have combination to oily skin, and this shine control face wash from Nivea is just YES. It’s super soothing on the skin, first and foremost, and it also works really well? It feels a lot like a continuous sea breeze while you’re washing your face. (10 points if you can think of a worse sounding line.) In the way of makeup, I don’t wear much because I can’t afford much (lol) but I DO love the LA Girl Perfecting Liquid Makeup foundation in Mahogany. I adore this foundation. It feels really light on the skin, and doesn’t wear off at all – I generally don’t need to reapply it during the day. I should really invest in a BB cream for the days that I don’t feel up to the industrial task of putting on a bit of paint. Hmm. Money.

Winning!

This month, writer and illustrator Dallas Clayton announced a competition on Instagram. He made six journals, and asked for cities from every continent to send them to. He’s still looking for some participants from Antarctica. Long story short, he chose Johannesburg! It’s all very exciting. I’m excited.

3. February.

February has been orange. It’s been the sheer intensity of my media studies course pack readings, the only pen I could find for two weeks, my flats that the 10 minute walk between buildings on campus ruined, and the 36 C days. I have learned how to hold my breath for as long as possible when being utterly submerged by the ocean that is “adulthood”. I’m not really an adult. Not even legally – I’m still 17. It does, however, seem that I am in the bracket where ‘act like an adult’ is applicable. I’m acting, alright.

For the first time this month, I was paid an allowance (!) which may not seem like much, but you need to realise that I’d never recieved an allowance before. Oh, Shalom, how did you go out to concerts and movies and the things you loved with your mostly make-believe friends through out high school? I didn’t. It was really cool – until I ran out of money. And had no way to get home from school because I couldn’t pay for public transport. Or food on campus. I’ve learned a lot since then. (Bye, morning cappuccinos.)

I’m really stressed out about what March will bring. March sees my FAFSA deadline (thank you uncooperative parent for STILL not having provided me with your tax information 🙂 ), my first official written tests, learning how to write an abstract & a research paper, more poetry analysis than I thought possible, and probably more tears than I am hydrated for. It’s surreal to think that we’re already almost in the third month of 2016, but I’m glad we’re all here.

This was lovely to write and compile and all the rest. Thank you all for sticking around! I think you are all very kind. I also think I want to make videos? Because I keep wanting to say things – in my actual voice, that people can hear – but then I remember that I’m typing. Hm. A thing to consider.

Love and light,
shalom


photos: maxine zhao’s blog, death to stock, nivea south africa, thestyleandbeautydoctor.com (swatches), dallas clayton’s instagram