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

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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

waltz for pony

tumblr_oiresb4Woz1ugp61po1_1280time is such a hungry beast / it swallows all my memories

twenty years on a planet is a short long time. so is twenty-two, and twenty-three, and all the other twenties that come with a second decade on this spinny ball. this isn’t the point. the point i’m trying to make is that no matter how much time you spend here, time always wins by stealing some of the things you hold dearest. memories, people, places – time is hungry and swallows them all.

you are my wildest witch come true / i love the way you love and move me

if you’re lucky, maybe two or three times in a lifetime, you get to experience an all encompassing type of love that shocks you more than the last one did. while i’ve been all sorts of unbearable on all the other parts of the internet, i’d like tot take this friday afternoon to be unbearable here. i am in the midst of the most splendid of loves, and i’d like to write about it because there’s nothing i do like write about my feelings.

my love is a wonder in himself; he is brave and caring, kind and understanding, and smart and free flowing. he believes in time and patience, and believes in love. he believes in love and believes in me, and friends, what a joy it is to have love itself believe in loving you.

he is the closest thing to purity that i’ve ever had the good fortune of coming across. see, purity as a blank slate is overrated. a purity born from experiences and mistakes, from a flawed person keen on a self understanding – this is the purity i’m interested in. i love him for his multitude of selves, for the ones he’s come to resent and the ones he wishes he could have back. i love him because he is purely himself, and because he is always changing to be better.

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like anyone, i love being loved. i crave the close touch of another, the tenderness that comes with the touch of pinkies. i would trade very little for the two a.m whisper of “i love you,” and even less for reruns of that 70s show with him. with him is my favorite place to be, which is a lot to say for a girl who makes a drastic move every two years (check my record). i love the soft sound that tells me that i’m beautiful, not because i don’t believe it otherwise but because i love the goosebumps i get from believing it. i love how my whole body reacts to words coming out of my favorite person. i love him.

it’s not just two of us, we’re three / you, the hungry beast and me

in this vingette of my life, it is me, my love, and time. and for the first time, i am not afraid of its passing. for the first time, i am excited to grow older. for the first time, i am excited to be here for longer. this time, the time is ours, and i love it. i love him.

love and light,
shalom xo

finals szn

alternatively titled: finals szn is almost finally over
alternatively, alternatively titled: shalom is going to tank her comm final

i just gave my schedule a good reshuffling, and am now taking three on site and three online classes next semester. why? well, i’d really like to have professor stewart for comm theory but i can’t because it clashes with syntax, and if i take comm research over the summer instead it’s only two months of summer school instead of all four.

in brief, i’m avoiding studying for the final that i have in two and a half hours because i am anxious. it’s my last final and i need to get a B in it to keep my gpa where it’s at, but i also probably won’t because i won’t. that’s the way it’s going to go. probably.

i mean, i’m not opposed to it going splendidly. if it so happened that the only thing on the final was relationships then i’d be very pleased and could finaggle an A. but alas, that will not be the case, and as such my future is up in arms. i’m starting to panic about whether or not i actually want to be a linguistics student (the answer is yes, shalom, it’s yes – you can’t change your life path every time you have a dream that sends you into a panic attack) and about whether or not i can deal with three online classes (hopefully i’ll use my time wisely seeing that i’ll only have one physical class a day) BUT I SHOULDN’T BE. i should be out of bed and brushing my teeth and reviewing for my exam in an an two hours and twenty minutes.

my boyfriend is helping me move a desk and an ac unit tomorrow. i’m anxious about being the owner of an ac unit. my brain is so frazzled and i know very little about family communication. i’m also buying a bicycle soon. from what it looks like, it should be a very nice bicycle. remember when i would write for money almost consistently? i would love to be doing that again; then i could afford said bicycle. maybe i don’t need a bike. i just donated half of my clothes the other day, and i still have too much stuff.

it just dawned on me that i haven’t been taking my medication for the last couple of days. oh, brains are a funny thing. i’m off to put some wellbutrin in my body so my mind can stop running at one hundred. sorry for this mess.

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me | april ’18

well, let it pass, he thought; april is over, april is over. there are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice.

– f scott fitzgerald, the sensible thing

it’s the same every april, my friends. except, this april, this quote means something different to me. april is over and i have experienced a new kind of love, one that has me believing that there really are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice. this is april.

april showers…

it rained a lot this month. we also, however, had many more brighter days which happily coincided with my desperate need for them. my mood’s been a lot better, i’m taking my medicine, my brain is behaving – i’m okay. this month was a bit of a shit show in terms of school, but i’ve made it to the end of it and i am so so glad to be able to say i survived it. this month i also did a very adult thing and went apartment hunting! i’m happy to say i’ll be signing for it in a little bit and that i’ll be leaving dorm life in a neat little chapter titled “sophomore year in america and all the nice and shit things that came with it”.

this past month i got a new journal, painted hydrangeas while drinking summer sangria, damn near cried over linguistics, found 3 random housemates, broke my headphones, worked out exactly 1 (one) time, suffered through the pain of my wisdom teeth coming in, stressed about the dental appointment i am yet to make to have them removed, made countless flashcards, decided to write again, and ate 3 (three) burgers. the second was the better burger.

april was not terrible. i spent all of it wrapped in a very tender sort of love that i hadn’t experienced before, and i hope to experience it for a long time. love is rad as hell. still don’t appreciate the “you’ll find somebody” speech that people would give me. all that aside, my love takes up mega heart and brain real estate, and i’ve found myself in a very happy place since adding him to my world. (thanks baby. i love you.)

good. that was april.

tunes

come over tomorrow, it’s that kind of evening
we’ll get mixed up on both sides of the ceiling

impatiently, as i wait for you

(this is a beauuuuutiful tune. it reminds me of drives (from the passenger seat) and a steady hand on my leg.)

count the headlights on the highway

(oh my soul, was this killer. it’s tiny dancer by florence and the machine, and it is a wonderfully crafted masterpiece.)

snippets of internal monologue

  • i would give anything to be in florida for a bachelor party right now.
  • just be cool just be cool just be — ah fuck.
  • but self neglect is just so much easier!
  • quit. quit like the lany song.

this has been april and it is up on time because the bitch is back. it feels good. however your month was, let it pass. open yourself to some of that new love, my friends.

love and light,
shalom xo

revolution

the movement of an object in a circular or elliptical course around another or about an axis or center.

my friends, i think i’ve completed a revolution around my old, faithful center: writing.

here’s the thing: i love writing, but i haven’t been able to. this isn’t a new problem, and i’ve rambled about it here before but i really would love to be a writer. i would love for this to be my job. i would love to share my thoughts until they didn’t scream about in my head all day, but writing takes time, and love, and energy. and recently, i’ve only had love. sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough, i don’t know why.

yes, that’s a lana lyric.

in the spirit of coming full circle, a return to center if you will, i had a big cry today. i called my mom when it was midnight in her time zone and sobbed about how i didn’t feel myself. i cried about how stressful the last month has been and about how i wish more was happening because of the effort i was putting in. i cried about missed opportunities and about taking ones that weren’t right for me. i cried a ton, my friends. in short, i cried enough that i couldn’t cry anymore, and then it was done.

a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.

not-crying shalom revolted against all the things that made crying-shalom, crying-shalom. i made some hard decisions, i apologized to my boyfriend for being a total ass while upset, i played some ukulele, and i decided to write. here’s why:

if there’s anything i know how to do, it’s write. if this is my art, then i have to protect it. if protecting it means seeing a revolution in myself, then so be it.

i’m writing again, even if it’s just like this. i have to protect my art.

[to my boy; thank you for bringing reason to my vulnerability. i love you.]

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me | march ’18

in march, i got pretty low and then pretty high. i did some travelling, went out of my way to meet new people, fell in love, and tried to cry less. i cried a lot, but i definitely cried less than i could have. march madness is over, and here’s what’s left. welcome to what was, my friends!

so, march. march houses three birthdays in my family – please note that i’m avoiding a paper by writing this instead – and i missed them all thanks to a lovely little thing called the ocean. it was hard not being around for my mom’s 50th, but it was lovely to have been called in during the party. what else happened in march? jeez, the year is flying. there is a boy who i hope will be around for the longest of times. i do love him so. what else? march was the first month i ended without a roommate, and that was okay. the isolation that comes with being called crazy, not so much. i got pretty low, but lord knows that all it takes sometimes is a little chemistry play and an updose to fix a little dark patch. forever grateful to abilify and the work it does on my brain.

quick talk about how open i am about my brain: there is nothing to hide. i am still somewhat ashamed of how mental illness affects me – which is uh. a lot. it affects me a lot. – but i am trying not to be because…bitch, it’s literally not my fault. there is nothing i can do about it but continue to do all i am doing. i am doing my best and it has to be enough. sharing my mental health journey seems to come naturally to me because i’m a talker, and if i don’t talk about the big things in my life, well. well. anyway, i do. so. i’m gonna. that’s all.

music madness

i tried living without you but you’re my vice

hey, guys, i’ve got something on my mind
tick tock, can you take it for a while?

until love came in on time

snippets of internal monologue

  • wow i’m really just not going to graduate. wow. okay.
  • hey buddy, everything is on fire
  • mmmmmm, baby, isolate me harder
  • how do you say “crystal ball frapp = gross peach milk” without saying that?
  • californiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

my friends, march is over and somehow the year is flying by in a way i didn’t expect it to. i can’t tell you why i didn’t think it would. i’m trying to save the semester at the moment and oh, oh. the toll it is taking is huge.

in any case, i’m still here. another month, another march.

love and light,
shalom xo

open hearts club

alternatively titled, where the hell is spring?

friends, i’ve been on a mission as of late to keep my heart open despite all the very obvious reasons i should have closed it off…until i realized what a boring phase of my life i was setting myself up for. now, i’m not saying that you need gut wrenching heartbreak for life to be exciting, but i am saying that closing yourself off to experiences because of fear of said heartbreak will probably leave you bored.

it’s been a weird mix of weather recently, but i am doing fine. i have been doing a lot of things wrong recently – overwhelming myself, slacking on my medication, not appreciating my desk in front of a window – but i’ve been trying to keep my heart open. i think i’ve found that despite how icy out it my be, an open heart is always warm. i think the snow storms are over, my friends.

spring is making a very slow, but very anticipated appearance. the other day it was 7C (which is like…40?F?) and i was thriving in a tshirt dress, petting dogs and going to class, experiencing love in its fullness. i am ready for more days like that.

i am learning how to be the best kind of human, and i don’t know much about it yet. but my heart is open, and heaven knows that if there’s one thing i’m good at, it’s learning.

love and light,
shalom xo