don’t worry baby

hi friends! today’s the last day of teen suicide prevention week in south africa. i’ve already written about this but i was going through some of my stuff the other day  and found something weirdly specific that i’d like to share with you. is it a bit personal? yes. is it overly personal? yes. am i a chronic oversharer? also yes.

today i’d like to share a suicide note that ended up not being a suicide note from 2015. yikes. it’s a weird thing to share & put on the internet, but this week is important and this is important and i’m doing this. in june 2015 i wrote a note in my journal (named janine). this is it:


i am so tired. i’m just so tired of being tired and then not being allowed to be tired. i can’t do this. i wish it was different but i can’t do this every day. i can’t do this. i’m not even seventeen and i feel like i have forty lifetimes lived out inside me, each with a dreadfully unhappy ending. i can’t do this. i can’t just go to school and exist and come home and exist and get up and exist if existing is the problem. i can’t do this anymore.

i want to be sorry and i want to feel and i want hope that it’ll be better but i can’t do this. i can’t cry for help because nobody is out there and i can’t even cry these days because it takes too much to cry. i can’t do this. i wish i could tell you to show this to people after but you can’t because you’re a journal and nobody even i can’t fucking do this. i can’t do this.

okay, if someone finds this, and i half hope nobody does, i want you to know some things. i’m sixteen and i’m in my final year of high school and i want to stand in front of a fast moving vehicle twice and make sure there’s nothing after. i know it’s pretty disturbing because sixteen year olds are supposed to be living out the hype of grade ten and being a senior and kissing boys and drinking alcohol you shouldn’t but i…i am not them. i am sixteen and tired and the more i sleep the more tired i get. i have some friends at school but they’re not really my friends. they like doing stuff and leaving me out of them and then telling me that i’m not part of that part of the group. and i have some friends from my old high school but most of them are too busy living out their final year of high school to be bothered and…i can’t be bothered anymore. i’m too tired to do this.

i’ve written notes like this before but they used to be dedicated to whole people and how i wished i could have done more for them because any semblance of sanity or functionality disappeared once i let them down. i hope i haven’t made any promises to you. i’m sorry that i can’t live them out. i can’t live anything out anymore. i’m so tired, reader. i’m so tired and i can’t do this and i can’t feel so much and nothing at the same time anymore and i can’t long for life and love and normalcy when i look the way i do and am the way i am and i am so sorry.

i love you so much. i wish i was okay, i wish i could show you how much i love you. i love you, and i know you might not know me but i love you. i want you to know that you’re so strong and brilliant and i’m so proud of you for having made it so far. your story is so far from over and i am so excited for what you will become and what you are. i’m sorry i won’t be around to see it but it doesn’t matter because you will be and it will be brilliant. i know it’s a lot of pressure because this strange girl with nothing to show for herself is leaving you a message to continue when she’s quitting, but it’s all true. i believe in you. now and later and always.

if you meet someone who feels like me one day and you don’t know what to say to them, tell them…tell them that they’re enough. tell them that even though they are done, the world isn’t done with them and that there is so much left for them to do, see, live, love and be before they go. tell them that they aren’t cowardly or craven for wanting things to stop hurting. tell them that you care for them and mean it. tell them that one day they’ll find people who care about them as much as they care for everyone else. tell them that their capacity for love is endless and that everything that hurts sucks but that they can make things with it. tell them to talk to someone and if that person won’t listen, tell them to talk to someone else. to a billion other people who will. tell them that even though the world acts as though there is no room for them, that your world has room for them. tell them that they are brave and honest and raw and valued and important. tell them that they are important and that the world needs them. call them friend, and mean it.

i feel so at odds with myself. i wish someone would have told me the things i would have said. i’m so sorry. i’m so tired. i can’t do this.

tell them that it’s gonna be okay if they keep moving. tell them to get out of bed at least once a day. tell them that loving everyone is enough and that while nobody tells them that they are in love with them, that they are loved. tell them that their love is strong and bigger than their tired. tell them that the biggest thing they can do is try their best not to get lost in the nothingness that comes with tired and lonely and i want to die. take them outside. tell them to breathe and to touch and to do their best to feel. tell them to keep on. learn to live with them. learn from them and with them. live.

don’t tell them a sixteen year old told you this.they probably won’t take you seriously. (take them seriously.)

i love you, dear reader. i love you and my mom and my siblings and my friends and my “friends” and the kid who stole my shoes in first grade and the teacher who humiliated me in grade five and everyone else. i love you and it’s so not your fault and i’m sorry and i love you. you are so loved. i want this to be different. i want…i want to live too. i want to love too. i want to keep loving. i’m just so tired.


i didn’t kill myself that night. i read the letter again and again and again and felt too much like a fake to give all of that advice and then disappear. i’m still around, and every day is a struggle. i have a bunch of these letters and most of them don’t end with a realisation that i wanted to live. this one did, though. i’m grateful to my past self. i called SADAG and went to school, told my teacher i needed to be in therapy because i wanted to die, and walked out of class when she told me i was being dramatic. suicide is dramatic. it’s a matter of life and death. take it seriously.

do what you need to do to stay alive. the sun will rise and we will try again. don’t worry, baby.

love and light,
shalom xo

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a letter to my thighs | honest letters #2

Dear left thigh and right thigh,

You two have been kept apart for so long, and I know that now that you spend every waking (and sleeping) hour touching each other, you’re a little uncomfortable. Let me tell you, I’m pretty bloody uncomfortable myself.

I know you resent the lack of the comfy distance between you two. That elusive thigh gap that made you two stay away from each other and made me “skinny” is gone, and my two hands can no longer perfectly fit around one of you. I know that it sucks and I know that it’s partially my fault for spending 30% of my allowance on food before the month even starts. I get it! But I’m not sorry. I’ve been working out, like, loads. Okay. Not loads. Enough. I go to Wits! Everything is a fricken 15 minute walk from everything. I literally make sure that you get exercise every day because we all walk home together. See?

I know that this isn’t satisfying, and that you’d still like to know why you’re stuck together, and the reason is this: estrogen.

Niiiice, Shalom, blame it on the hormones blah blah blah. I am blaming it on the hormones! It’s their fault! I’m sorry for not consulting with you before I started this birth control, but it was a bit of a split-second-try-to-save-yourself-from-your-body-that-may-be-trying-to-kill-you decision. Hormone regulation isn’t fun. Trust me, I didn’t sacrifice your personal space because hoe is life. Though, if I did, you’d have to shut up and deal. I appreciate that.

I know that you hate the fact that I have to have to unstick you guys and that all the god forsaken chafing is driving you up the wall, but I want you to know that I love you. I mean, maybe I don’t yet, but I’m really trying to.

We’ve been through a lot together. You’ve literally held me up for eighteen and a half years and I’m really grateful for you leg-parts. We’ve made it through ballet and eating disorders and sports politics and running from robbers with guns and dancing on people at parties. This is a change, and maybe you’re making me buy new pants for the first time in six years, but I’m gonna stick this out with you.

Thanks for being part of me.

love and light,
shalom xo

Once again, #FeesMustFall

This isn’t Fees Must Fall Reloaded, like Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad with three new tracks. This is a new year, and a new look at the struggle for affordable if not free education that started long before last year. Let’s talk about the fees, again.

I got exhausted writing this and made this video instead, so watch this, and read my last year’s #feesmustfall post. Fighting is tiring.

I’m so tired. I can’t imagine how my fellow students who have been wrongfully beaten and teargassed and arrested by police must be feeling. Kubi.

Love and light,

shalom xo

monthly me | august 2016

Here’s me, adopting a feature from one of my favourite bloggers & people on the internet: Michelle from Piece of Caustic. It’s a monthly round-up that she’s been doing for as long as I’ve been following her, and I figured it’d be nice to be able to look back at a month after I had immortalised it on the internet. Here we go!

august

August was deadlines and skipping class and chronic headaches and meeting people. I spent most of the academic term in bed, and averaged four hours of sleep because everything was due on August 26th. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who my friends are and why, and rued the day I decided that spending all of my money in a solid two hours was a good idea.

from my camera roll

general life updates

  • I got two more clients through a different tutoring company (!) after I was fired from my long term gig because the student told her mom that I didn’t explain well even though I always asked her if she understood, or if I needed to explain further.
  • I hit my savings goal for my trip to Portugal for the end of the year!
  • Renewed my passport alone, all adult-like and everything
  • Finished my first non-school theatre production AND signed a program for someone

obsessions

  • printing song lyrics in courier sans
  • knee socks, patterned stockings, and short skirts
  • Dr Ze’toile Imma, my African-American poetry guest lecturer (I ADORE HER)
  • venti mocha frappucinos from Starbucks

music

OH GOODNESS I GOT SO MANY ALBUMS IN AUGUST.

boy-mutual-friendsMutual Friends by BOY is such a gem. Every song  made sense and made my heart ache a little bit and I felt scared and safe and warm all at once. I listened to it from start to finish
over and over again.

Favourite tracks include but are not limited to: This is The Beginning, July, Boris, and Little Numbers. The acoustic version of Skin is also phenomenal.

 

When my time comes around, lay me gently in the cold dark earth
And no grave can hold my body down, I’ll crawl home to her

I’M SO BUSY

snippets of internal monologue

  • SHaLOm it is not your fault if they miss the tut because they are high! It isn’t your..it’s not…maybe you should go and get them & look after them anyway.
  • If this boy keeps talking I’m going to put my knees through my eye sockets.
  • If I do get arrested by the CIA, does that mean I get an extention on my law assignment?
  • Is it an incidental finding that I lose followers whenever I post selfies?
  • BLOCK THIS BOY ON ALL PLATFORMS HE IS SCARY BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK BL

I’m happy that September is upon us. I’m almost finished with my first year of university whaaaaat! I’m going to go drink some water and make my bed. Stay well.

love and light,
shalom xo

 

a note to student (employees)

listen to this while you read this:

 

Hi, fellow student.

I know, depending on your hemisphere, you’ve just started the new school year, or that you’re trying to crawl through the last three months of the university term. I know you’re busy, and I know you’re tired. I work a lot too – both in and out of school. My desk looks like that of the normal college student: messy, covered in loose sheets of paper and sticky notes and matches and medication. Under my ridiculously expensive textbooks, I have other textbooks, from 5th up until 12th grade. I’m a tutor, and I am a red-pen-stained-worksheet-making mess.

I work an easy 10 hours a week. Officially. Ten hours doesn’t seem like a lot, and it isn’t really. It’s doable. If I only worked those 10 hours, I’d be okay, but tutoring, like almost every other job, demands that it must eat into any and all time I thought I could mark as free time. I’m sure you can empathise. I know some of you work up to 25 hours a week, and I know that I can never feel the tired you feel, but I can feel proud of you – and I do.

I don’t think anyone’s better than anyone, but I do think that students who work while they study are extremely resilient. Yes, that’s most of us, but most of us are resilient. I think that the six hours you put in on a Saturday because you’re helping your parents pay your tuition, or because you’re paying your tuition yourself, or because you’re saving for a trip or a car, or because you just want some money, are six hours of phenomenal work. I think that you’re brave and powerful and strong. I think that you’re doing a great job.

Regardless of whether you work or not, drink a tall glass of water. Take three deep breaths, and remember that you’re doing okay. Don’t let the university monster eat you alive. I’m proud of you, and you’re doing great.

This is your reminder.

love and light,
shalom xo

UniversiTERRIFYINGLY STRESSFUL.

Today, I come to you as more than just a regularly exhausted-by-life Shalom. I come now, as a bone tired university student that has consumed about six pancakes too many.

Happy Shrove Tuesday! In honour of pancake Tuesday, here’s a video from SoulPancake and my pal Kid President. You should watch it. It’s important. (It’ll probably make you a little smilier.) We all need a pep talk.

In any case, I started formal classes yesterday! Monday was pretty relaxed, and my only lecture was Global Literature and Film. It was awesome. Today? Eh, could have been better. I met my philosophy lecturer and the venue that it takes place in, and man oh man did a girl crave some sleep. It is so dark! And perfect for sleep! But I love philosophy and I honestly care about critical thinking and metaphysics. Honestly. I’m just such a sleepy kitten. I’m lying. Kittens can’t go to college, unfortunately. The do go to high school, though! My old school literally bred crazy cat ladies. We were an all girls’ school with strange cats roaming the grounds.What a time to be alive.

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Actual footage of Shalom in a box. #naturalstate

My Media and Society lecture is really cool, and I’m looking forward to seeing the psychology behind the way that media and society interlink. I’m not excited about the readings. My course pack is thicker than my arm. (I do not have very thin arms at all.)

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I think that real love is when the Prof says “there is no required textbook for this course”. I almost cried with joy when I found out that two out of four of my classes this semester are textbook free. PRAISE THE LORD. AMEN. (I’m not outright asking, but if anyone does want to buy my ridiculously expensive intro to law books for me…)

I am unfortunately still without job, and still waiting to hear back from UBC (scholarship offers) and McGill (ANYTHING offers). I am capital v capital tired. V TIRED.

(I just got very distracted by the internet and free vouchers and questionable fanfiction.)

(Un)surprisingly, I have made zero new friends? Maybe it’s because I slouch. It’s not that I haven’t met new people – there are almost 7000 first years this year. I just haven’t had any conversations beyond, “Where is the politics department? Thanks!” and “How to I get to the 3rd floor of Senate House?”. It’s a little bit shitty, to be honest. I’m hoping that tomorrow will be better than today. I hate falling asleep in class.

It’s also Valentines day soon. I remember, in 8th grade, when some of the larny private schools would get the day off as a holiday, and the rest of us would all be at school pretending not to care.

SO MUCH IS HAPPENING AND I ALREADY HAVE ESSAYS DUE AND ONLINE QUIZZES AND NOTES TO TYPE OUT AND OMG????? THINGS ARE STRESS???? HOW TO UNIVERSITY???

love and light,
shalom xo

Smooth Criminals & Straight Boys

Ah, yes. Shalom was about to ruin her schedule, during the first week of her schedule. Excellent.

Greetings! I have survived orientation week and not one, but two  ridiculous college parties. I love water, and also green juices the morning after. I do not love getting my things stolen.

At yesterday night’s Fresher’s Party -which was CRAZY GOOD until the incident -I had 8k worth of stuff stolen from me. My new phone, my headphones, and my makeup bag (????) were all taken from my bag, which was on my person and zipped closed, by some slick af thieves. Kinda like in that movie, Focus, when they pickpocket the people at that street market without anyone knowing. No? It’s this first scene. Watch this.

Yeah. Exactly like that.

In any case,  I’m without phone and without my people avoiding headphones. My phone has since been blacklisted and my Uber account disabled (see mom? I told you that we could). I’m very tired, and all round very sad.

I have also since lost all of my pictures of the parties. While the strain in my legs will remind me of the insane amount of dancing that occurred, I’ve got zero pictures of me & the people I love, having a great time.

Also, for the record: STRAIGHT BOYS GET OUT.

  • You have no permission to fetishize queer girls at all
  • You have no permission to touch queer girls at all
  • Queer girls owe you nothing
  • Do not ask queer girls with other girls if they are interested in you
  • THEY ARE NOT
  • Leave them alone
  • Stop trying to convert (??????!!!??!) queer girls
  • Seriously??
  • Screw you
  • You know who you are

Ah. Now that that’s all been said, I’m almost ready to start being extremely sad about starting the first week of lectures without headphones. Or a cellphone. I’m down in every phone department. And also in the liquid eyeliner and brow kit department.

Things are very gross right now. I’m at the mercy of two Canadian schools in terms of scholarships, I’m really worried about losing my relationships because of LIFE, I’m being very ill-disciplined when it comes to taking my meds, and I’m scared to start my English course. Ugh.

Also, tonight was Lennox’s birthday party & I couldn’t go re: rain, INTENSE SAD, car troubles, 8000 bucks more broke…

All round, it’s been shit. But I’ve been listening to Years Years Bears by Dodie Clark and Tom Rosenthal a lot & still don’t get it 100%, but now that my phone and my DELUXE COPY OF BADLANDS is gone, I’m finding myself with more time to listen to some of my youtube faves again.

be a better human if you can.

love and light,
shalom

featured image from flickr here.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Deadlines | Re: College Apps

My final exams are on their last legs. I have three more papers, two of which are on the same day (yes, it’s alright History & Drama, you can kill me, I don’t mind), and I’m very, very excited to have it all over with.

Mostly because I need more time. For school.

I’m applying to several universities (colleges?) in both the USA and Canada, and most of my deadlines are disturbingly close to December 10th – the day one of my girls (who are we kidding) leaves for Viet-fricken-nam. There is a lot to be done in the way of essays, “why and how would your admission to XYZ University benefit the University and the world?” type questions, paying CRAZY fees just to send through a form, and hoping to all that is holy that I didn’t screw up too badly in these finals so that I can at least  have some sort of shot.

In other December news: It’s almost Christmas?

I was talking to my mom about how this year, Christmas doesn’t feel anything like it. The supermarkets started decorating late, no Christmas craft pop-up stores have opened up as of yet, and honestly, nobody is excited. My mom gave me a simple answer: “it’s because there’s no money this year.”Makes sense.

In any case, the Christmas feeling is near non-existent; the pressure of deadlines is mounting, and I think I’m going to an 18th birthday party tonight. Maybe. (Update: I’m going.)

To all of the kids completing college apps as well, good luck. May we all finish in time, write bomb ass essays, and be accepted to our RD schools with promising financial aid packages. May we not break out into hives every time we think about out upcoming student loans and the fact that we’ll all be broke until we’re 35.

love and light,
shalom


Also; thanks for the new update, WordPress! I love it.

this is what days off look like

I’m feeling very lowercase today. I’m probably going to change my theme. Again.

I’m currently writing my matric final exams (similar grading system as the IB, if that helps?) and tomorrow is one of my demons: maths. Mathematics. Why is it even a thing? As if a day could be more anxiety ridden. (Ask me again the day before maths paper 2, physics, chemistry, results day..) I feel strange, and I did when I woke up this morning, so this post is just snippets from my day of never-ending stress, in short sentences. That’s all.

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I enjoy philosophy.

And yet you are all that you have, so you must be enough. There is no other way.
Maya Hornbacher

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After tomorrow’s exam, I will have a massive blister on this finger.

You’re growing, but you’re raising yourself.

time-overwhelmed

I’m quite overwhelmed.

If you need to get over yourself, you’ll know. Get over yourself.

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I loved taking this picture.

Things are possible.

wowlovely

Things are currently not.

love and light,
shalom

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: 3 DAYS LEFT

I’m exhausted today.

I’m almost as exhausted as I was in the second week of this school year. I remember working so hard and SO INTENSELY that at one stage, my body was like, “Bro. Bro.  Are you serious? You really gonna do me like that?” It only lasted three months though, the hard work. I’m still exhausted.

So. Yes.

In any case, and because I am Buzzfeed TRASH, here’s a better written post than this will be: A Hundred Wise Words For Seniors Leaving For College. If you’re in matric and you read that sentence, it’s you. YOU are leaving for university soon.  As if you had to be reminded. As if the impending disaster that will be finals is not enough.

That’s it. That’s all I have today. I have tips for tertiary education and maths problems to cry about. You know which ones. The circle geometry ones. You know which ones.

Love and light
shalom x