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

crimbo thoughts | currently #5

currently, i am experiencing my first white christmas! i haven’t started working on the december monthly me and i’m stressed about it.

currently, i am writing. i recently undertook a writing project to write prose for an entire ep, and i am so close to finishing it that i surprised myself. i’m on break in boston for a little while before i head off, and planned to use the week to finish the project. the day i started, i’d already finished three parts out of four. a shocker, really. why on earth can’t i do this with literally any other thing that i want to write? my atlas series is still not done and i have three planets left to write. heaven knows when.

currently, i’m listening to bon iver’s 22, a million and wondering about the swollen lymph node in my neck destined to show for a throat infection that’s undoubtedly on it’s way. my wisdom teeth are doing that thing where they ache like hell but not enough for me to sit through the hassle that is getting them removed. in any case, the bottom right quarter of my face aches and that’s that.

currently, i’m thinking about all the life that’s happened this year. 2017 has been the best worst year ever. so much happened that made me want to jump but i learned so much; more than enough to make up for the badness. i met incredible people and continue to do so right into the end bits of this year, and i’m so grateful for all that i’ve learned. last christmas i was on the west coast of africa watching waves and writing about my unquiet mind, and how i wanted to be home. this christmas, i am in the home of a dear friend, thinking about my trip to portugal last year and desperately wanting a grilled cheese.

currently, for emma, forever ago is playing and i’m debating whether or not to cook. regardless of which way it goes, i am confident that i’ll be okay. this year has showed me that i can be okay, and i am.

currently, i am okay.

love and light,
shalom xo

saturn | atlas

CREDIT: NASA / NASA.GOV

atlas is a series based on the planet songs off of sleeping at last’s atlas: year one.
this is saturn: a reflection on life and infinity


I often think that if I had an understanding of things the way that you did, I would be a different person. My house would be upon a rock rather than on the sand, and I would know more – with all of me, I would know. But, how good it is to know that we will never know everything.

You taught me that knowing isn’t worth it, sometimes. That the courage of stars is maybe all that I would ever need: the audacity to exist, to shine, even after death has pronounced them dull. I wonder if I would would live more audaciously if I was a star. Will you live? Will you continue to live, now that you’re gone?

The infinite interested me too much. What less is expected from a child that wanted so much more that they too became fragmented; lost in time and space? I wanted to be everything, to feel every surge of energy that this great blue ball had to offer and still, I was stopped by myself. I am so infinitesimal, but I wished to be infinite.

I wished to exist as everything, but you reminded me I would not. You reminded me to stare blankly, to go in uninformed, to learn, to grow – to live.

Now, I live.

How rare and beautiful it is that we exist.

 

currently 2

currently…well, this seems to be a slightly better currently than the previous one.

currently, i am prepping for bedim – a blog every day in may – and i am worried that i’m going to be spread quite thin. that’s funny for me to say, because since the last currently i am still not conventionally employed. that’s a fun way to say broke ass bitch, ain’t it?

currently, i am comfortable in the little progress i am making. i’m in a strange space. does getting up before 10 even though i mostly have no reason to have something to do with it? probably.

currently, i am noticing tiny moments like when the sun is setting, and how 2012 shalom adopted almost 40% of her mannerisms from season one nick miller. (i really, really love new girl. the april monthly me explains it better.) i’ve eaten more eggs in the last two months than i ever have in my life – i think it’s maybe to make up the three years i spent not eating eggs.

currently, things are less foggy. it’s still very cloudy, but it’s easier to deal with cloudiness than unending fog. without fog, there’s room for noticing and seeing things before you trip over them (even if you trip over them anyway). i am tripping, HARD. but i’m also listening to podcasts and getting up when i feel like i can’t. i’m thinking of greenbelt fest with my pals from london in a couple of years. i’m present more than i have been in a while, and i’m tentatively relishing in it.

currently, i am getting ready to get stabbed with needles and miracles of science so that i get to move into my dorm with the most kickass italian surnamed kind spirited nursing student rutgers will ever see, and also so that i don’t get meningitis. i’m leaving everything i know soon. i’m ageing soon. many crises are presenting themselves, and i think i will get through them.

not past, but through. currently, we are going until we get there.

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

Six Things I’ve Learned Preparing For My Upcoming Trip

If you’ve been around here before, you’ll know that I’ve spent most of this year (a) going through the absolute most, and (b) saving for a trip to Portugal. If you haven’t, or didn’t know: welcome! I’ve spent most of this year saving for a trip to Portugal.

In May this year, I was watching my favourite travel vloggers and considering the novelty of travelling somewhere alone. So I used mine and every other broke traveller’s saving grace, Skyscanner, to look for a cheap flight from Johannesburg (Any) to Anywhere. I was looking for the first and cheapest thing off of the African continent, and the beautiful city of Lisbon popped up and stole my heart.  And money.

After a session or three of I-can’t-sleep-so-let-me-research-this-decision sessions, i decided to tell my sisters, brother and mom that I would be going to Portugal in November. My mom laughed, and older sister looked at me and said, “I’m coming too”. And that was that. We had six months to raise all of the money we would need, and too many problems that tried to throw us off. So. Here are some things I’ve learned:

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A VALID PASSPORT / VISA / VACCINATIONS.

This seems pretty obvious, but 2016 just so happened to be the year where both of my passports expired right before I needed to book flights. Check your passport(s). I ended up renewing both of them by myself and felt very adult-like, but I was still pressed for time for flights.

BOOK FLIGHTS EARLY!

Some tips on booking flights: most places where you buy a flight online have a booking fee, and if you’re a broke bitch like me or if you just want to save money, call into the place first – the booking fee is usually waived when you call in or go instore. Book early. That lucrative price you’re drooling over? You’re gonna keep drooling. Because it’s going up in three, two…

HOSTELS > HOTELS.

Why on earth would you stay in a hotel that you know you can’t afford if you could stay in a hostel, meet new people from all over the world who are travelling cheaply just like you, and still receive free breakfast and wifi? Y’all. Come on now. When deciding which hostel to stay in, check reviews and make sure you don’t pass over a great deal because there’s a bigger hostel overshadowing a little gem.

MONEY IS PROBLEM. KINDA.

Look, money is funny. There’s never enough of it, and just when you think you have enough, you remember that the exchange rate on Google isn’t the same rate the bank is going to give you. Walking into a forex place with a wad of cash and coming out with ten notes is a little discouraging, but you’ll survive. Have a plan. Capitalise on the free breakfast. Do your research on where to eat and how to move around cheaply. You’ll live. (I’m hoping you will. I’ll let you know if I do in about a week or so.)

LEARN A LITTLE OF THE LANGUAGE!

Even if it’s just little things like asking where the bathroom is, or how to say left and right so that you can interpret directions. Languages are amazing and impossible to avoid, so rather prepare yourself and know how to get to the airport shuttle than having a breakdown in the airport. 10/10 would recommend googling ‘(language) for tourists’.

PSYCH YOURSELF UP FOR TRAVELLING ALONE.

My sister and I are going on different dates because of exam clashes, and I’m a little scared about being alone. No, I’m not a wimp for this – I’m just scared. I’m going to travel through a country alone and make a stop in another’s airport (I see you, Angola) and it’s gonna be a little scary. But that’s okay, because I know I just have to feel the fear and to the thing anyway. I mean, I paid for it! I may as well. It may not be sunshine and rainbows from jump, so prepare yourself for the anxiety, fear, and wonder that comes with flying solo.

In three dayS, I’m going to write an exam, come home, say goodbye to my family and then hop on the train (subway? metro? gautrain.) to the airport. I’m going to leave for Portugal via Angola with nobody watching my back but myself. I’m excited beyond belief. Prepare yourself for the inevitable spam.

love and light,
shalom xo