it’s kind of a funny story

hi friends! it’s national teen suicide prevention week! a lil warning: there are a good bunch of triggering mentions of death n suicide ahead. so, if you’re not up for this, visit the lovely dora @ for the goldfinches or this post from matt @ the lil engine that couldn’t that always makes me cringe laugh in support.

In 2014, I did the best school project I ever have done – I got to create an anthology on whatever I wanted for English. I could talk about anything. I had to write a really big essay as the preface and talk about all of the pieces I’d be using, and I could write about anything. It’s still the most I’ve ever enjoyed an academic project.

The title of my anthology was “life, interrupted” and IT focused on mental illness in young people. It was a crazy experience because most all of the works I included came down to choices rather than first time reading. There’re only so many books, in my experience, that captured what I felt to a point where I could rest in the fact that I wasn’t alone if someone could write about it. I chose Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted and Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Today, I’d like to talk about the latter, and it’s author.

IKOAFS is the kind of book that I had to stop reading after the first three chapters because it was too personal. It was too real, and too accurate, and Ned Vizzini was looking into my head and would tell people how messed up I was because they would know exactly what and how I was thinking. Because I was Craig, and I was Craig right down to the standing on the bridge and feeling free and wanting to jump a year later.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is about Craig, a smart kid with some douchey friends (some (one) of which are okay) who finds himself depressed, and then suicidal. He checks himself into a psychiatric hospital because he wants to get better. He learns a lot & works through a lot. He realises he’s not into the girl he thought he was into. He meets people who help him to work it out. He starts taking his medication again. He chooses to live.

Ski. Sled. Play basketball. Jog. Run. Run. Run. Run home. Run home and enjoy. Enjoy. Take these verbs and enjoy them. They’re yours, Craig. You deserve them because you chose them. You could have left them all behind but you chose to stay here. So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live.
Live.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini

This story is hard. It’s hard because it fits, because it’s mine, because it’s Ned Vizzini’s, and because Ned Vizzini didn’t live.

I’ve always hated the phrase, “commit suicide”. Since I was nine, I’ve hated it. If you commit something, it’s a sin. If you end your life, if you commit suicide, are you a sinner? Are you a sinner for feeling too much? Are you a sinner because it is unbearable to hold up a universe of suffering on a daily basis?  Are you a sinner for wanting it to stop? Am I a sinner because I wanted to?

(The answer is no. This is a topic for another day.)

Ned Vizzini died by suicide on December 19th, 2013. He lived, he inspired, he loved, he wrote, he tried,  he won, he became a beacon for depressed teenagers, he pulled me from the edge, and he died. It was said best here: “the great, unspeakable tragedy of The Bell Jar is now the tragedy of Funny Story.”

Everybody dies. The personalities of Ned Vizzini & Craig, the protagonist, line up really nicely. He captured Craig’s spirit because it was his own and showed Craig’s victory because it was his own. The whole book is based on wanting to kill yourself, and then not. Craig & Ned didn’t line up there.

It’s not as though it’s as simple as stating that Craig lived on and Ned didn’t. Ned could have ended things when he was 23, before he admitted himself to that psychiatric hospital. He didn’t. He could have not written IKOAFS. He did. He could have been so brilliant by doing so much less, but he did more and more and more than enough people will ever be able to thank him to. Ned was strong, and brave, and honest. He was talented. He was – he is – life changing and influential.

Life can be a lot sometimes.

This is Ned’s legacy: he tossed a bright, orange-and-white ring to us drowning kids and pleaded with us to stay afloat. And we read his words, and we understood, and we eventually made our way to shore.

If there’s something to take from this, from Funny Story, it’s what’s kept me around. It’s what keeps me around.  If you feel like you’re going to kill yourself, or if you feel like you want to, it’s a medical emergency. Call a hotline. Walk into a hospital. Call a friend who can look after you, if you have one. Don’t wait until you think you’re bad enough to be hospitalised. Suicidal ideation is a medical emergency.

Nothing would be better off if you weren’t around. I say that to myself every day. I have to do my best to believe it. I think you should, too.

South African National Teen Suicide Prevention Week runs from the 18th of Feb til the 24th. Take care of yourselves, and of your friends.

Live. Live. Live. Live.
Live.

love & 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

monthly me | october 2016

I’m a little shocked that it’s already November, but mostly relieved that this hellhole of a year is coming to a close. October was treacherous, and filled with work and being broke and protests and stress and anticipation and love and sadness and pride. Also, my laptop broke, and I haven’t managed to have her fixed. So. October.

from the camera roll

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walk home from the bus ft. sunset. #blessed

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bless you, picnics and popsicles

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joburg pride ’16

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picnic with high school friends and new friends and a massive afternoon of love.

october

I spent most of October trying to find out what I mean to the people who mean the world to me. I took myself out a couple of times and paid up my outstanding amount on my flight to Lisbon! I’ve been preoccupied with the Portuguese city because I’m headed there in TWO WEEKS and cannot wait. Joburg Pride was amazing, and the solidarity was ridiculously awesome. There was so much love in the sapce. I also considered whether I was falling in love or whether I just wanted to squeeze my friends really tight and tell them I adore them – the latter was correct. October also saw me being faced with literally life-changing decisions with regards to my moving from South Africa, and making split second choices over coffee. I think I’ve made the right one.

obsessions

Not to Disappear is one of the best albums of 2016 – I got it the day of release, and I’m still listening to it. This song, and Made of Stone have been on repeat this month (along with the entire album). Fave lyrics: I don’t know you now but I’m lying here somehow; I feel sick (Fossa); You’ll find love, kid; it exists (Made of Stone).

still i pledge allegiance to these UNITED DIVIDED STATES
things that make me patriotic: voting in this election and leslie odom jr and sara bareilles and broadway and theatre and talent and barack obama

snippets of internal monologue

  • I really don’t think I can do this job anymore. I might yell at this kid. LORD. PATIENCE PLEASE.
  • I am SO buying that underwear. Trap liiiiife!
  • Wait, does that mean I have to organise a farewell party? Oh man oh man oh
  • If I fail intro to law can I put an end to this intro to suffering?
  • SHALOM. YOU DON’T HAVE MONEY. HOE DON’T DO IT. HOE, DON’T YOU DO IT. OH MY GOD YOU’RE DOING IT?

November hasn’t started off on the best note – I was robbed for the 5th time this year on the 3rd, and I’m currently a panicky mess about my exams and my travel plans and my future. It’s not all bad though – breathing hasn’t become any more difficult or easy. That, I can deal with.

love and light,
shalom xo

Guess Who’s Back

How does one start these things? Yeesh. A month is a long time to be away from blogging.

Hello, readers! If you’re returning, get comfortable – your seat has been waiting & warmed. If you’re new, the new passengers’ seating is located by clicking the ‘follow’ button on your right. (Just kidding. You’re welcome, follower or not.)

Since December 2015, a lot has changed. Welcome to 2016! Congrats on making it this far. Here’s a list of things you should have left & brought with you, courtesy of Nathan Zed – one of my top five favourite youtubers at the moment, and also the funniest. And smartest. And one with the best hairline. (I like him a lot.)

Quick recap of January:

  • Matric results (Confused? Look here and here.)
  • Finished uni applications!
  • DRAMA. Family, friend, internet – you name it. All of it.
  • Said goodbye to so many of my friends who started new adventures in Cape Town, the UK, Stellenbosch, Rhodes, Mafikeng, Pennsylvania, Any Other Place That Does Not Permit Me To Get To Them In Under Three Hours…
  • Got dreadlocks? Hopefully, one day they look like Tiffany Ima’s – style icon and ULTIMATE EVERYTHING. That’s her in the featured image.
  • Started uni in SA in the hopes developing my brain before the HOPEFUL OVERSEAS ADMISSIONS LETTERS COME
  • Bank card. Bank fees. Bank. Gross.
  • DID NOT BUY DOMAIN BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE $18.
  • Lived in filth, i.e. my bedroom & the couch in the lounge that I inhabited (and have since been chased away from).
  • The theme has changed! The About & Welcome pages will be changing, too, soon enough.

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My life currently consists of cards, cords, and contact lens solution.

The heatwave and drought South Africa is experiencing right now makes just about zero things easier. I’m melting, my eyeliner is melting, my ice-cream is melting, my patience is melting…things are a little crazy up in here.

Despite it all, I’m making it. My future is still a little (read: EXTREMELY) uncertain, and I’m not sure what’ll happen in the next six months. Hopefully, it involves a scholarship or two, and a flight to a colder part of the world.

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David and I have similar to-d0 lists. I, however, am without a single Apple device.

I’ll be posting on Tuesdays and Saturdays this year, and maybe a little more frequently when (a) important things are happening, or (b) a mosquito has bitten my finger and I need to move it. Both situations are applicable today.

Thanks for sticking with me, team internet! I know a handful of you personally, but the majority of you all think that I’m interesting enough to read what I have to say. I appreciate you all, and I hope that 2016 is a heck of a wave that we can all ride together. On separate boards. Mostly because I have no idea how to surf and wouldn’t want to drown you all.

love and light,
shalom

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photos from death to the stock photo here, and first covers here.

FRICKEN FESTIVE | Blogmas Day 10!

JINGLE EVERY FRICKEN’ BELL BECAUSE I AM IN FULL FESTIVE MODE.

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I went Christmas shopping today! Admittedly, I only came back with one gift, but I got so festive I feared that I would turn into a candy cane. The mall displays are in full swing, and despite my hatred for shopping, if I have the original Jingle Bell Rock playing in my ears, I think I’ll be okay.

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I ended up going to an all-you-can-eat pizza dinner with my little sister and 10-ish of her friends. For future reference, Shalom: ALL YOU CAN EAT DOES NOT MEAN EAT ALL YOU CAN. YOU WILL FEEL SICK. LIKE YOU DO RIGHT NOW. I got the pleasure of having some youngins ask me how I got my eyeliner to work (believe me, it was the only thing that did) and my reply was always, “I have no idea. I’m just part of the left wing struggle.” It was supposed to be witty, but I don’t think they got it.

Apart from the Uber troubles on the way home and the crazy contact lens struggle beforehand, I’m quite satisfied with the way today turned out. We may have lost the house keys, but WE LOST NOTHING ELSE. Apart from the little bit of dignity that ran away when we started the Harry Potter in 99 Seconds singing contest. (I won.)

Tomorrow is a job interview and possibly a day that I will vlog fully? Who knows? I got a lot done today in the way of applications, referral letters and SEEING OLD TEACHERS AT THE PIZZA PLACE. It was terrifying.

Because I’m absolute Christmas trash, I’ve decided to end all my future Blogmas posts with a  sickenigly Christmassy tune. But not Michael Buble because I’m annoyed at Santa Buddy.

MERRY 15 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!

Love and light,
Shalom

Tinsel Town | Blogmas Day 4

I woke up unbelievably sick today – stuffy nose, crusty eyes and more snotty tissues than I’d seen in a long, long time. In any case, I made some miracle tea out of cinnamon, honey, lemon, ginger and rooibos, and saw myself ready to go in less time than I had expected.

Tonight I went out for sushi with two of my lovely friends. While eating the sushi, my bad blogger skills showed up and the photos that were supposed to be taken, were not. I did get emergency snaps of the mall, though! After yelling, “BLOGMAS! PHOTOS FOR BLOGMAS! CHRISTMAS!” these happened:

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I did, however, get pictures of ice cream. Because — ice cream.

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There’s always time for chocolate, though, and sleepover culture dictates  that there needs to be some crying over  expensive chocolate. Obviously.

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Today was a success, overall. I’m exhausted, re. going out while SICK AF, but I’m glad I got to see the Christmas decor. The logical thing to do would be to sleep, but Zoella’s Vlogmas Day 3 video is calling my name far too loudly.

Love and light,
Shalom

I’m angry and armed with a blog.

this post has too many memes

  • me @ myself:get it together…..

  • also me @ myself:ur literally going through a lot rn? cut yourself some slack?

  • also also me @ myself:…anyway….i hate my entire self


pepe

Greetings, loved ones.

That was terrible. I said that in a Snoop Dogg voice and I’m haunting myself and I NEED TO STOP.

Basically, this is a post about all the reasons I’m angry. You don’t know this, but for the last three weeks, I’ve been complaining and not making intelligible conversation because as of September 5th, I grunt and make guttural noises and hope to be understood. Yugh. Today is also my 2 year anniversary with scooton.wordpress.com! It’s weird that I’ve been writing incoherent ramblings on here for as long as some people have been alive, and probably stranger that you’ve been reading them. Anyway. Onto the post. Looking back on this post, this is a suitable time for a profanity warning. You’ve been warned.

  1. WHY AM I STILL AT SCHOOL?
  2. All the matrics (seniors, final year of high school, whatever it is for all you international followers) in my schooling district have FINISHED THEIR SYLLABUSES  and don’t have to come to school anymore but I WILL BE LEARNING UNTIL OCTOBER 16 WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY
  3. I swear IF I GET CATCALLED ONE MORE FUCKING TIME basbs
  4. Seriously. I got catcalled on the way to an extra lesson nine times today. NINE FUCKING TIMES and I hate it so much. Like????? Don’t whistle at me!!! Don’t call me “baby”!!! Don’t TOUCH me!!!
  5. Troye Sivan has not yet released the Blue Neighbourhood part 3 video and I don’t like it

  6. I fuckin’ hate electrostatics.
  7. EVERY GODDAMN PHYSICS EXAM I ALWAYS DO SO SHITTILY IN ELECTROSTATICS AND ELECTRIC CIRCUITS AND I HATE ITbad
  8. Things are so expensive omg
  9. Things that cost more than two dollars are not illegal EVEN THOUGH THEY SHOULD BE
  10. I have to do really well in my finals and I am high-key freaking out about them like ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  11. COULD EVERYONE ASKING ME ABOUT MY FUTURE JUST CALM THE FUCK DOWN I PROMISE YOU WILL KNOW AS SOON AS I KNOW BUT FOR NOW GO THE HECK AWAY
  12. This also doesn’t make me mad but I’m gonna swear in ice-cream flavours from now on
  13. Who the rocky road decided that seven thirty was a good time for school to start?????
  14. I HATE BEING TOLD WHAT TO SO MUCH COOKIES AND CREAM I HATE IT SO MUCH
  15. I. Am still. ANGRY.

That’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by! Apologies for the assault on your eyes and potentially your soul that just occurred. I’m really tired. I’m going to study for chemistry. Or something.

love and light
shalom

Choose- A piece about an angsty teenager and luuurve

Hello friends! So while I figured out why I was feeling all sap saps this week, I started my channel! Also, I wanted to write some angst about how I don’t have a Jackson Harries to fly halfway across the world to see me. Watch that video here, it’s great. In any case, here is the angst romance shmance pants!


 

I miss you.

I miss the stupid way I used to feel when we went out, the way it seemed like I was on drugs a little bit whenever I was with you. The way you used to – do you still? – bite on the corner of your top lip when you concentrate too hard. The way you used to know so little about so much.

I remember the way one day played out: when we walked for a long time, and I got tired, so we stopped. You sat and I sat after you and we made shapes with the clouds. You asked I was okay and I asked if you were happy, and you said, ‘yes, kind of’ and I said ‘yes’. I remember you leaning on my shoulder and asking why I was so tired and I told you that I was having a regular day. I told you that I was confused about choices and that I hated losing and that the world is a big place.

You asked what my choices were and I said, ‘a couple here and there’, and you asked what I wanted you to say. I didn’t know. I was quiet and then you were quiet and then we held hands. I keep drawing hands because I miss holding yours.

I remember you looking at me and touching my nose, watching my face scrunch up and the tension in my body disappear. I remember when you turned and propped me up onto my knees while you were on yours and you held me tightly. I remember you squeezing tight and asking if I was crying. I was crying.

You held my one hand, with the other still around my back. You looked at me, and said, ‘I choose you. I’ll always choose you,’.

It’s December, darling. You didn’t. I miss you.

Qui dit que tu m’amais? // Who said you loved me?

 


THUS ENDETH THE ANGST! I’m feeling a lot less teenagey-hormoney now, so I’ll probably be back to my usual crap talking…whenever I …ah, I can’t even keep my train of thought from being derailed.

Soonest,

Scoot X

Scoot on ~ this jealousy, man.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why I feel the way I do, and how ridiculous some of the reasons are.Today, a friend of mine finally asked out a girl. They were both really happy, and everyone who was nearby was also really happy, and I was really happy for them both, and I stayed behind with her so she could fawn over teenage girl things with me, and it was lovely. I was really glad to know that she was glad.

Problem? No problem!

Except this conclusion that I’ve come to: I’m jealous of everything.

You have a cat? I’m jealous.

You get a good math grade? I’m jealous.

You find a good study system? Still jealous.

You in love with a boy? Very jealous.

It is said that jealousy is the human condition, and more so that of the teenager.

“If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe under water and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.”

Am I trying to sabotage everyone with a cute cat and a brilliant math grade? No. Am I trying to kill/injure/ruin/negatively influence the boy you’re in love with? No. I suppose it’s more of a longing than jealousy, because heaven knows I’M LONGING FOR A GOOD STUDY SYSTEM.

I don’t know, I’m trying to stay felony free and not do anything illegal because of longing. Am I Miss-Steal-Your-Boy? Maybe. (NO I’M NOT)

Remain sane,

-Scoot xx


ALMOST A YEAR. HELP.

Blue Monday? FOR WHO

Hi everybody! Okay, I have some confessions and excuses to make:

  1. I’m very lazy
  2. My internet has been really slow
  3. School has been ridiculous
  4. Transcribing interviews is hard
  5. I’m lazy

Now that I’ve declared my reasons for not posting ANYTHING in almost EVER, we can move forward!

I’m not a person who achieves much on regular standards. This, in turn, leaves me a lot to struggle with and little to be proud of – I mean, who am I, finally taking a shower, in comparison to someone in my grade who already has university acceptance? I don’t do much. I have a friend who thinks I do everything (that’s you, Jess), but I really don’t. Even if I do more than the average teenager does, I’m not on par with everyone or anyone. It’s as if I was born with BELOW AVERAGE stamped on my right wrist.

Today is Monday. I’ve had a good Monday! For those of you who are new subscribers (is that the WordPress word?), I have some bad days. Seriously. I know that some of you are probably SO ANNOYED by my extremely depressing rants and seemingly ridiculous panic attacks, but writing is the only way I know how to deal with them. So…yeah.

About today! I took a magnesium supplement (because I couldn’t get my real drugs *insert drugs face here* ) and had some coffee before I got to school this morning. I was late for school. My hair wasn’t tied up correctly and I felt like I was walking around with a sign with the words: “DETENTION, PLEASE” on it.

I didn’t get detention.

And so begins my list. I’ve had a good day, and I think that too often we take good days for granted. Maybe *teen girl philosophy alert* we are too comfortable and simply expect another day. Maybe it’s because we haven’t all experienced days when it really seems like the only way to make the day better is by stopping it, and ourselves completely. Maybe we just don’t give a damn.

Whatever your reasons are for or for not appreciating the good days, they’re probably valid in some sense or another.I just think that it’s really important that we remember what we have, or how great we are, or how much it takes to get up (high-five to you for getting up!). So, without further ado, here is my list of things I’m proud of/ happy about/ grateful for:

  • My anthology mark – huge English project (read here) that I got 94% FOR! (In South Africa, that’s an A+.) YASSSS
  • My friend who recently survived a suicide attempt
  • Same friend who is currently KICKING HER EATING DISORDER’S BUTT
  • Myself for having great posture all day
  • My Pinterest board called ‘Surviving High School’
  • My sisters
  • A girl I met today named Alexa
  • YouTube
  • Jessica Craven
  • Magnesium supplements
  • Cleaning my room (YAASSSSSSS)

Add some more stuff, and there you have it. I’m glad to be alive today, guys. In the words of my English teacher,

“Keep the hope alive.”

All my love,

-Scoot xx


IT’S ALMOST BEEN A YEAR