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

2016 IS A BITCH.

THIS YEAR HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LOAD OF ABSOLUTE PRACTICAL JOKENESS ON MY LIFE. LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

Ah, 2016. This year was supposed to be filled with promise, new adventures, love and all round awesomeness. It was going to be amazing. We’re in November now, and I’ve never been more sure of the second coming of Christ in my life. There is NO WAY that everything will go back to normal after this – what even is normal? What even has 2016 been?

This year I have:

  • been punched (and still made to pay double) by a taxi driver
  • been robbed four times
  • gotten accepted into a bunch of Canadian universities then was forbidden to go
  • had two phones stolen from me
  • seen the south african government give zero fucks about the future of the youth and the education crisis in the country
  • had my laptop, my baby Gertrude, completely give up on me
  • gone through a messy breakup (messy as in I was a mess, I cried for three weeks straight and my mother thought I would dissolve into tears)
  • been blackout drunk at a res party and ended up crawling through the halls, earning me the reputation of “that drunk girl who was crawling at the first EOH party” according to one boy
  • seen the bankrupt guy from the apprentice be nominated as the republican candidate for the presidency
  • beaten a man up on the sidewalk in self defence
  • lost R200 in one go
  • been flat broke and had my account in overdraft enough times to almost have the bank freeze my accounts
  • had my new bank account frozen for three weeks with my allowance in it
  • been fired
  • managed to be broke 24/7 despite working three jobs
  • had three pairs of headphones
  • lost the first pair at the first uni party, the second at the first res party and somehow managed to will the third to stop working
  • had people completely cut me off without any explanation
  • tripped in heels at least six times
  • run out of a restaurant during a really awkward date by answering a fake phone call and yelling “gee i’ve got to go like right now oh man bye!”
  • broken at least four pairs of shoes
  • sliced my fingers open with knives, bottle caps, washing machines, cupboards, and tins of jam
  • facilitated nine successful hookups in a day and none of my own (call me wingman extraordinaire)
  • had the hot water in my house off for two weeks
  • had to change my holiday to lisbon three times because my sister’s exams got shifted
  • been threatened with rape by the police
  • had my godmother not respond to my emails
  • had two colleges just…not process my application (they just didn’t do it)
  • very nearly came close to being in a fight with a drug addict at pride, and
  • have no bras that fit my new and improved birth control boobs.

It sounds like a joke! How can this much absolute crap happen to one human being in ten months?  Who’s puppy’s tail did I stand on in a past life? This year has been a mess. I am currently a mess. I have work in three hours, an exam on the two days following today, and a travel agent to call. I hate phonecalls.

I have a couple of posts coming up including a l0ok back on Joburg Pride (which was a fantastic day where I’m almost 100% certain I found my pal Ash a wife), my October rewind, a lil talk about police brutality and probably more angsty rants. I am going through the MOST.

love and light,
shalom xo