of mondays and joy

experiencing fully fledged joy that isn’t mania as a depressed person is a strange experience. it’s very alien, and today has left me fulfilled yet super tentative of tomorrow, because i know something has to go wrong or back to normal, at least. it’s regression to the mean.

in the northern hemisphere (and now, all over the world too), the third monday of january is known as “blue monday” – the supposedly most depressing day of the year. it’s recognised everywhere and people really feel terrible and everything sucks, until tuesday. on tuesday, things go back to the way they were, and people no longer feel blue. for most people with depression, it doesn’t work like that. it definitely doesn’t for me.

i’m a happy person who’s depressed. i love people, and i thrive on the happiness of others. i adore belly laughs and tired sighs from days full of loving, but my brain also doesn’t make the neurotransmitters it needs to be making, so what we get from that equation is me. i rapid cycle between excessive optimism and damning despair far too much and far too fast. i’m dealing with it okay, though.

however, today has been a really great monday.  much like this one.

i didn’t get any sleep because i don’t get sleep, and had a really teary two a.m. i freaked out because i had so much to do including mailing transcripts for university admissions (keep those fingers crossed for me please!) and an interview for Lush. LUSH. The super amazing smelling, ethically brilliant and people focused brand. I was so stoked that I got an interview, but I was pretty sure it was all going to go to shit because of how my morning went. It was 21 degrees outside and I was sweating like a Christmas goat while trying to do my eyeliner because ya girl was anxious as HECK and also I was running late for a thing with a friend. It’s okay. I got there. Then the goodness began.

Jo bought me a hazelnut honey latte and I lost my mind because it tasted so good. We ran generic errands and I bumped into a storybook boy at the printing store. STORY. BOOK. As in curly hair big smile British accent story book. BOY. I sang to him about capitalism and he had a very cute laugh. I ran away because I’m an IDIOT and Jo gave him my number. He probably won’t text, but I’m glad I met him nonetheless. I have a boy to put in my stories now. I played with a Newton’s Cradle in a birthday store and got really giddy about science.

By DemonDeLuxe (Dominique Toussaint) – Image:Newtons cradle animation book.gif, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3717500

I then almost skipped out of my interview because anxiety, but went ahead and did the damn thing. I have a trial shift on Thursday! I am SO EXCITED. I then went to get some tea, paid for a short and got upgraded to a grande for free. YES. I then got free samples of cheese and of bread at Woolworths and bought a cheese and tomato baguette that surprised me with the best tasting basil & mayo I have ever had. My eyebrows also did the damn thing. I got home and napped for three hours, ate a pie for supper, found a blog that’s probably my new favourite (do check out Dora @ For The Goldfinches because wow – follow her on instagram too! She’s a joy.) and got invited over to swim with a friend tomorrow. It’s also MLK Day, so I got to smash down some microagressions regarding not being black enough, which was exhausting but necessary. I’m glad I did. Happy birthday to my biggest writing hero, Lin-Manuel Miranda, too! There’s a gif party on twitter if you wanna come. #gifTparty

I’m a bit sad that today is over, honestly. It’s been the best day that I’ve had in years. I’m grateful for it, but also hyper aware of the fact that everything has to swing back to the middle eventually. I learned about regression to the mean from Teen Wolf. I have a weird relationship with that show.

Despite how well today went, I still have the undercurrent of despair running through me, but I’m okay with it. It’s not the loudest in this moment, and every moment that my brain allows me to just be is one I am grateful for. I’m about to knock myself out with some heavy sleeping pills, and I’m really glad that I can. On Saturday, I didn’t think I’d make it to the end of the day. Thank goodness I did though. Who else would have taught that cute boy the capitalism jingle?

love and light,
shalom xo

ALEXANDER HAMILTON

This is the Hamilton post I’ve been talking about. I am far too excited to write this.

If you live in the US, you probably thought he was a president for a while. He’s the guy on your ten. You most likely had no idea where he was born, or that he was a bastard, orphan, and son of a whore. Not before Lin-Manuel Miranda & the amazing cast and crew of Hamilton The Musical shared Lin’s extensive (like, six years extensive) hard work and creative genius with the world at The Public Theatre, on Broadway, at the Grammys AND AT THE WHITE HOUSE.

(skip through to 8:50 to see the performance.)

Hamilton is a history Broadway rap musical about the life and work of founding father Alexander Hamilton. A lot of those words shouldn’t go together in a sentence. Briefly, Hamilton is the best thing to happen to the theatre business in a long time, the hardest ticket to get your hands on for the next year and a half, and also really fucking amazing.

Watch the video. For real. Just watch it.

Okay SO. When Lin-Manuel Miranda – the Tony, Grammy and Emmy award winning writer, actor, librettist and genius – thought that the first Secretary of the Treasury of the US embodied the very essence of hip-hop, a lot of people thought he was crazy. Most of those people supported him anyway, because they’re not stupid. And because they know that Lin’s a genius. I’m a big LMM fan. Can you tell?

I learned about Hamilton in November 2015, thanks to tumblr. (Thanks, tumblr.) I had heard about In The Heights (which I’m listening to as I type this), Lin’s first musical the same way. After my final drama exam in November 2015, I ran on the street yelling about my unemployment, slept over at a friend’s house, and got the cast album.

HOLY COW.

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Burr (Leslie Odom Jr) and Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda). Cosmopolitan.

Hamilton is just. UGH. I’m gaggingly awful at doing reviews of things that I love. From the first song, the musical is a fast paced whirlwind – some might even call it a Hurricane. (that’s a Hamilton pun you won’t get unless you’ve heard Hamilton.) I’m super grateful for the cast recording – the musical is sung through, so there are no scenes in between the numbers. Just…some force of crazy magic propelling the cast, chorus & Betsy Struxness (the chorus member who is just…pure…magic?). Hamilton makes the hip hop heads reconsider musical theatre, and makes musical theatre nerds start listening to rap.

 

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That guy in the purple? That’s Thomas Jefferson. (Daveed Diggs) Joan Marcus.

The founding fathers in the musical don’t look like the ones on the money. Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson has much, much better hair. With a cast of black, Latino and Asian-American founding fathers & their phenomenally strong female counterparts, Hamilton does something that seems extraordinary, but is quite simple at the core: “This is a story about America then, told by America now“.

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From left to right (and their names): Thomas Jefferson (Daveed Diggs); James Madison (Okieriete Onaodowan); George Washington (Christopher Jackson); Peggy Schuyler (Jasmine Cephas-Jones); Angelica Schuyler (Renee Elise Goldsberry); Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Phillipa Soo); Phillip Hamilton (Anthony Ramos)

Alexander Hamilton was a crazy, non-stop workaholic. Like, write 51 essays with a quill and ink in 6 months. HAMILTON WROTE THE OTHER FIFTY ONE. Lin, like Hamilton, has this awareness of mortality and the need to live, create and leave legacy now because it could all be over very, verrrrry quickly. (Click boom.)

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I think that’s why I connect with this musical so much. It’s so bizarre and insane and fun that someone would write their way to the top and then write their way write back down because they don’t know when to shut up. It’s 100% a Shalom thing to do. It’s the issue of knowing that death could be today, and what do you leave? What story do people tell? “If I throw away my shot, is this how you remember me?” Legacy has always been really important to me. I think the major difference between me and Lin & Hamilton is that my sense of time cripples me. Search ‘birthday’ on my site for references. What is a legacy if you’re too afraid of not having one to create one?

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Hamilton threw me into crisis.It’s the hardest ticket to get in the world. Sold out until 2017. I loved every second of it. I adore the idea of cabinet meetings as rap battles. I AM OBSESSED with the fastest song in musical theatre being a rap about brining Alexander Hamilton back to fight in the war. (6.3 words per second. Daveed Diggs, everybody.) When the smartest character in the show is Angelica Schuyler -the badass sister that reads Hamilton so quickly you’ll miss it if you blink, and makes sacrifices like you cannot believe- how could you not? This show is evidence of a mind at work (work).

Hamilton will turn you into a US history nerd. I already was – am?- but it just. UGH. YES. While it’s almost entirely historically accurate, it is a Broadway show. Lin takes dramatic license with a few events and characters, only making the show even more amazing.

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Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs), Hercules Mulligan (Okieriete Onaodowan), John Laurens (Anthony Ramos)

I don’t know if I connect with this show more because of its sheer brilliance, or because I, like Hamilton, am also a fast talker with a death wish. I don’t know. I DO KNOW that the Original Cast Recording is available FOR FREE on spotify, and if you’re in a part of the world without spotify, the YouTube playlist is here.

There’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait…

love and light,
shalom xo

(drop a comment if you caught the hamilpuns. seriously.)