laugh until our ribs get tired

spotify recently told me all of the music i’ve been listening to since i got it – so since august. ribs, by lorde, is up there in the top 20 and it baffled me to see it there considering the fact that i don’t remember listening to it any time after 2015. it did make me think about the fact that it is no longer 2015 – nearly no longer 2017 – and i still get that same rush i did when i listen to it.

it’s not enough to feel the lack, so here’s a snapshot of 2014 and ribs.

2014 through 2017 is a bob ross painting, except all the paintbrushes are rock solid and the end result is a bit of a mess – but bob ross made it, so it’s worth it. 2014 was dancing behind “do not enter” signs and making enough mistakes to only make them four or five times over. i learned and loved and felt, and all in a spectacular sixteen year old way. it’s crazy to think that i’m not 15 any longer, because i can still remember that year like it happened in last night’s lucid dream.

2015 was spinning until i was dizzy in every aspect of my life and being very proud of myself for not throwing up despite it all. goodness, do you remember your last year of high school? two years later and i can still tell you about change room discussions and story exchanges and eating chips in a theatre costume room instead of being in maths. high school ends, and so does 17.

seventeen ended and i was heartbroken and devastated in such a way that i still don’t understand it. i’m so grateful for first loves and what they teach us, but more importantly, i’m grateful for first heartbreaks and how surviving them is the bravest thing you could ever do at one point. boys and girls and non binary pals will break your hearts and i don’t know about you, but i’ve always liked puzzles and putting things back together.

i wish i could tell you what 18 was, but that was a year and a half ago and now i’m closer than ever to two decades of whatever it is i’m doing here. i’m finally learning the joy of being a carbon based lifeform – how lucky we are to never struggle with a logical notion of forever.

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anyway, i took a bunch of photos with my roommate today and they reminded me of ribs and they reminded me of how i wished i’d feel when i reminisced.

high school ends. it ends.
thank god.

happy last day of school, south african students!

love and light,
shalom xo

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

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

On Faltering Hopes and Broken Promises

People with money who pay for all your things while you’re a minor. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without them. Unfortunately.

Whether your parent(s), your siblings, or whoever your caretaker is, someone always seems to let you down. Some more than others. Some promise you a trip to the mall and don’t let you know that they’re broke so you cant actually get anything. Some cancel said trip without letting you know. Some encourage you to get scholarships for high school and university options, and then flat out refuse to send you. Some encourage you to work really really hard at school, and take external tests and apply for all the universities that you want to…and then refuse to answer you when you ask about fees. Et cetera. I am angry. Et cetera.

My father is an important man. He’s influential and intelligent. People think he’s a good father too. (False.) But him -he source of 89% of my anger, sadness and frustration- aside, I’ve been trying to figure out how this life thing is going to work if people who hold such weighty claims over my life keep not coming through. As in, they just continue to leave promises unfulfilled and  leave me unable to plan any further than two months into the future. As in, I’m finishing high school in 10 weeks or so, and I have no idea if what I want is possible, or even plausible because my future doesn’t merit that kind of discussion, “it’s not [my] problem”, and because I should expect magic to happen and for my life to fall into a place along with fifty thousand dollars. Obviously.

College is expensive. This is a fact. Uni in South Africa is great, and the standards are great, and it’s all wonderful and cheaper but it’s not what I’ve been working towards since 2012. I was told then that if I worked hard and did well in my SATs, I could go back to the US for college. I got keen. I got down to business to defeat the huns. (Sneaky Mulan ref.) I fell in love with cities (hello, Iowa City) and universities all over the world (Buckinghamshire New University, I see you). I threw myself at schools (Hi, Bethel College!) and settled on a place that was more academically sound and in a super diverse city (Montreal. Hi. Yes.). And then, like everything else I’ve ever been invested in, it got snatched away because someone changed his mind.

Not this time.

There’s a lot I can take, but playing around with my future to this extent is a no-no. Closer to a hell no, no way on heaven or earth or in hell or in a parallel universe, but it’s a no.

Same, Simon. It's a no from me, too.

Same, Simon. It’s a no from me, too.

So, student loans are happening. Jobs are happening. Savings are happening. Selling shit is happening. Because I’m getting out of here next year, and I’m going to Canada with someone I love, and I’m making this happen. Whether the money giver gives or not, it’s happening.

I’m ferociously bitter. Also, my mom told me not to put my feelings on the internet. (Sorry mom.)

Love and light
Shalom