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

On St. Jude

<<please note that the teenager that wrote this is not very sure what’s been happening in her head, and she just wanted to share this with some people. she’s having a nasty existential crisis. n-a-s-t-y.>>

the patron saint of the lost causes

Aloha amigos! I’ve been missing for a while, in and out of rooms I shouldn’t have been in, discovered a hatred for eating yoghurt at school, I’ve been crying a lot and crawling through the last two weeks of the first quarter of matric (IT’S ALMOST OVER) – I’ve been being extremely regular and there is no problem with that.

(pah. that was a lie. i have been very not regular.)

In any case, several things have happened since I last posted something.I don’t even know what that was. What I’m saying is that I have something new to say.

I’ve felt very lost recently. It could be because I’ve been reading too much Sartre and not moving enough, but it could also be because I really am lost. South African universities opened applications for 2016 weeks ago, and I’m yet to take action. I’m too scared. Yes, I know I’m a wimp, that’s why I admitted it, but what I’, saying is that I’ve been crawling and crying and breaking things because I feel like a lost cause.

This brings me to beautiful things that assist on not so beautiful days. Florence and the Machine recently released two of the videos and singles from the upcoming album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (available for pre order here). What Kind of Man is brilliant, but at this time, I’d like to bring your attention to another song: St Jude.

Some of these lyrics have hit me quite hard. I was crying again a couple of minutes ago.

And I’m learning, so I’m leaving
And even though I’m grieving
I’m trying to find the meaning
Letting loss reveal it
Letting loss reveal it

“Yes, but WHAT are you getting so emotional about?”

St. Jude, the patron saint of the lost causes
St. Jude, we were lost before she started
St. Jude, we lay in bed as she whipped around us
St. Jude, maybe I’ve always been more comfortable in chaos

St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Hope and impossible causes. I feel like I am the conversation without a destination, I am another lost battle, I am both sides that are losing, and that’s why nobody cares who fired the gun. I am…what am I?

A lost, impossible cause. I don’t know what it is that I’m grieving for, but I feel as if I’m in mourning, and perhaps, as Lady Welch says, loss will reveal meaning.

And there’s this big storm that surrounds us and we’re in the middle of it
It’s calm but I can feel it, like it’s everywhere.

love and light,
?