love it if we made it

it is fifty four degrees in a small city in new jersey. the weather calls for a t-shirt and a light sweater. the students call for cow onesies and rosie the riveter costumes and rick and morty cosplays. it’s halloween and the semester is still heavy with promise, but halfway through, we all know how this works.

a kid on a skateboard zooms past in yellow shoes. he moves as fast as i’d like to. we both end up at the bus stop, and i try a smile at him. he smiles back, and i smile to myself. i wonder if he was smiling at me or at how fast he was going.

at the bench i find myself at, there are people as furniture. a girl sits atop a monument, and another sits oustside the english building. it feels like they haven’t moved for ages, typing away on their laptops and tapping their feet in tune with music only i can hear.

two boys play frisbee on the lawn and the boy in the grey sweatshirt jumps higher every time it comes his way. they switch sides and he continues to jump. he yells to his friend, “i’m consistent!” and he is. he’s consistent.

all of these people are in my mind as matty healy sings, “i’d love it if we made it”. i would. i’d love it if we made it.

love and light,
shalom xo

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eyes wide open

do you ever feel like you can’t fully take in what’s happening around you? like your eyes are open, but can never open wide enough? i feel like that all the time and i always wonder if i actually am missing out on life, or if i’m tricking myself. either way, tonight i opened my eyes wide enough and i’m still riding that wave so i’d like to tell you about it. thanks for hanging.

we pull out of the quickchek yelling yer killing me and my head swoops with the milkshake in my hand. enough yelling – emily asks me if i’m ready as she rolls the windows down. i’m not ready. never ready. always almost, but never ever. it’s 8:30 pm in north jersey just before christmas, and when the breeze slaps me in the face, i think i’m ready.

she puts on sex, and i almost start crying. i yell and we yell – this album is so well produced! it is. after we’ve got one thing in common, it’s this tongue of mine i start looking out of the window. milkshake on lap and doritos in hand, i realize just how much life is out there on a friday night. christmas lights choke trees and houses and they stand quietly in submission. there’s a big curve on a major intersection and emily is harmonizing with matty healy, and i see it. i see it all because my eyes are so open they may fall out.

down the street, past the house with a million trees, they’ve all got boyfriends anyway brings me back down and i can’t explain what’s happened. the song changes but i am still awed – everything is bright at one time or another if you can see enough. my eyes are open and my hands are cold from sticking them out of the window and floating with the wind that carried them there, but my eyes are open.

my eyes are open wide enough. and this is how it starts.

love and light,
shalom xo

// l o v i n g s o m e o n e //

ohhhhh we’re back with those the 1975 song posts aren’t we just! well, i’ve had this one in my drafts since june and i just got a moment to get this out of my head. so, here we are. loving someone. also, i’m trying to write something every day this month. bedid?

you should be loving someone, shouldn’t you? i like to think that despite what we may have conditioned ourselves to do, we all are loving someone at any given point. despite being what i believe is the base human emotion, loving is difficult in every way it is simple. loving freely can be illegal, loving wholly can be all consuming, loving at all can bear a kind of hatred that burns with the passion of a was-love – loving is complex. but i think, you should be loving someone.

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as easy as it is to see love and chalk it up to romance or familial duty, i like to think the joy lies in the choice. you should be loving someone, if you choose to. you should embrace the freefall of romance, if you choose to. you should throw caution and advice out for the end goal of more than you could give your heart yourself, if you choose to. if you choose to, you should be loving someone with your heart out.

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i think for the most part, all actions are based in love. i think that the default human emotions are love and apathy. the opposite of love is apathy. in any case, the two motivate everything that anyone’s ever done, as far as i know – be it a love for control, or apathy towards the plight of others. regardless of which is at work in any given situation, there are people. people with hearts for others and desires to live, people with nothing to live for and nothing to die for and yet, here we are. loving what and who we love without ever fully understanding why. i think that’s a part of the human condition – not fully knowing. what a shame it would be to know everything at all.

amy winehouse sang that love is a losing game, and i sometimes i wonder if she was right. if we’re all human and we’re just loving to be more whole, then it really is a losing game. love isn’t the cure for brokenness, and i think that using it as spackle really gives way for further destruction. loving as we may be, the human condition is a fragmented one – the quest may not stop but neither will the cracks that appear in us all. love can’t fix that. i don’t think it can – not when loving someone holds the power to jam a crowbar into those cracks. maybe i’m naive. sometimes i hope so.

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i am forever in alongside the boys in jumpers
on bikes from schools and cars
with autumn leaves fallen sparse across mid-afternoon
she blazed about how
cultural language is an operating system
a simple interface rendered feeble and listless
when tested with a divinity or a true understanding
of the human condition
i never did understand – the duality of art and reality
living life and treating it as such but with a certain disconnect
to touch that cajoles at the artist with comfort and abandon
and between the spires and rolling roofs of the white city
that orange, english light cast only one, singular shadow
for you are not beside but within me

you should be loving someone.

love and light,
shalom xo

// h e a r t o u t //

it’s just (3,752 of) you and i tonight; why don’t you figure my heart out?

physical heart: anatomically correct (i’d hope). doing fine, bit stressed out by the amount of pizza i’ve eaten in the last three weeks and the fact that i don’t do enough cardio at all.

metaphorical brain heart: fervently passionate about the renewal of vows that i’ve had with the 1975 – we are an even happier couple now and i can’t go a day without them, it appears. also wants to write about heart out.

i like heart out for more reasons than i thought i would. in my re-listen of their first album, i wtried to figure out why i like the 1975 at all. i tried to find my favourite songs off the album, i tried to see if i liked the song more if i liked the video, and i watched so many sets of live shows to see whether i still liked the song when it’s performed live.

i like heart out for all of these reasons and obviously because i’m a gratuitous oversharer, i’m going to put more of my heart out here. if that’s even possible. if you ever need to piece me back together, i share my innermost secrets and emotions with thousands of strangers on the internet – you’ll find me there. i’m a very private person, see. can’t just be telling people you know these things.

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well, first: i love heart out now, more than i did in 2012. maybe it’s because i’ve learned how to properly listen through matty’s manchester accent, or because i really enjoy the way the video was directed and understand it  now (thanks drama directing prac). i guess because i’m older there are people who i can sing this song to and have almost every word relate to them. i’m not 14 anymore, and there are people that i  found when we were both younger much younger; people that i liked no matter what i found out about them. and now…now i sit with them after three or five or ten years of knowing them, trying to know them. still.

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the second verse always makes me laugh – it’s so very high school. it’s girls twirling their hair far too much until it tangles while talking to boys, and seeing three people in your year actively trying to mirror a girl in the year above, and that small circle of rich kids with drug problems and too much money. a reflection on their mental health? certainly.

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while i’ve (thankfully) never been addicted to cocaine and heroin, or sex, i wonder what my rocks and brown would be. what’s something i was, or am, obsessed with that most adequately reflected my mental health? perhaps how addictive my personality is to begin with and that moderation isn’t a word i can get my brain and body to understand. maybe how much i liked skins when i was 13. (that was stupid. who lets a 13 year old  with a new depression diagnosis watch skins? the internet. that’s who.) maybe my knack for self destruction by bringing other people up and quashing my need for self care? i guess i’m figuring my heart out, and figuring out what my heroin is. it makes for interesting self to self conversation.

i’ve always been good at one thing though, and that’s a lotttttta feelings. yes ma’am, that’s me, center of the feelingsverse, feels HQ – “haver of every and any feeling” is my official title. how very cancerian of me. if you’ve been around here a while, or even if this is the first post you’ve finished, i’m almost certain you can tell. i still do live in my head a massive amount. i guess…i am the adolescent on the phone; speaking like i’m bigger than my body.

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my birthday is on tuesday and i’m trying not to be scared about it but all the trying is tiring. but i don’t want to be afraid. my impulse control is non existent. i really want to take my meds every day this week but a morning dose is hard if i only muster the strength to get out of bed after noon. my room is mostly clothes and i’m tired of going shopping for my move. i hate seeing attractive boys with kind eyes because i do stupid things like repeat myself to my friends 100 times. i’m still scared that everyone who’s ever said they like me don’t, and that i’m not actually a likeable person. i think that maybe my idea that i’m good is wrong, because am i? could i really be? i have worse posture than people think – i just stand up really straight in public because it’s part of the things that i do in public. i’m so bad with money.

there it is.

/ / H E A R T   O U T / /

love and light,
shalom xo

monthly me | june ’17

Alright. OKAY. We are in the seventh month of the year, I have a migraine, and I think I’m almost out of applesauce – this was June!

from the camera roll

 

june.

June was a weird one, I gotta say. I spent most of June falling desperately deep into a low that I’m yet to come out of, and the rest of it in bed trying to come out of it. I learned that I can squat 50 kg and that I hate spin classes, and I also dropped my phone in the toilet. Incredible. Incredible is a word I use most often these days, and I’ve found myself shortening it to “incred” – it freaks me out a tad and I don’t know why. June. Lots of “feels bad man” eating disorder mentality moments. Overly excited to see Matt’s new post! June? In June I went to Collision Conference which was full of really fancy lights and really good thoughts to go home with and also Rich Wilkerson, Jr – the guy who married Kim Kardashian and Kanye West? I didn’t know that about him. In any case, he’s rad af, and Collision was a soul stunner. I appreciated every second apart from the baptism of my phone.

This month also saw me being…uh…financially reckless, to say the least. My check (?) for the articles I wrote in May & June hasn’t been delivered and my savings account took a beating because ya girl was (read: is perpetuallybroke. Processing financial aid without a US address is…a mess, to say the least. I’m dealing with the fact that my birthday is no longer sneaking up on me but is instead ramming me in the face with anxiety, and that I’m leaving the country in a month, by reading copious amounts of Supernatural fanfiction. Unashamed. 4 weeks. Yikes.

June brought about pride and the one year anniversary of the Pulse Orlando shooting. My heart is heavy.

 

tunes + vidzzz

with my feelings on fire / guess i’m a bad liar
(heaven knows why i listened to this for two days straight)

This month has been re-falling in love withe the 1975 the same way i did in 2012 – oh BOY. i’ve listened to (long title) i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it almost every day, and it’s not an album i’ve ever wanted to cherry pick off of. Initially, I loved The Sound and UGH! more than everything else on the record, but y’all, it is one hell of a record. I listen to it from track one to track 17 the whole way through, and while it’s long as hell, it’s uh…incred. I’ve also been listening to everything off of their first record again, and it’s funny how music feels same same but different after 5 years.

a Very Good piece of Art

i’m too busy to finish —

snippets of internal monologue

  • never. EVER. ever. touching whiskey again. NEVER.
  • if i can’t get out of bed because i didn’t take my meds because i can’t get out of bed, is the root of the problem more like a leaf? or a stem?
  • Shalom, exactly what do you think you’re taking to the US? What actually. What are you doing. WHAT ARE WE DOING
  • “maybe i’m just trying to distract myself from my mortality” – sounds about VERY RIGHT

July is happening and 19 is happening and I still have a migraine. I’m trying to do more. Write every day, go outside every day, take my meds every day, eat every day – I’m trying. This was a weak as hell outro.

love and light,
shalom xo

YEAH, I KNOW. [Alternatively: Feb Faves & a Monthly Roundup]

So, my good friend Engie made a post about the things that were making her mad and stressing her out, and a lot of them revolved around college, being a blogger in college…you get where I’m going with this? I’ve been away for two odd weeks. I make these posts all the time (see…all my past posts for reference) but this time, I have actual things to say. Yay for planned rambles!

1. RE: UNIVERSITY.

This thing just does not let up. I’m a law student and I’m taking courses in philosophy, media studies and english as well. I had no idea just how far behind one could fall in three weeks. It’s safe to say that I’ve found out. Blogging has become la absolute SAFEHAVEN. I think I’m going to force myself to incorporate it into my failure of a schedule – like mandatory me-time? (I hate the phrase me-time. Ugh.)Some advice to all the hatchlings who will soon be embarking on the Great College Adventure TM: Come in armed. It’ll eat you alive if you don’t. Always have an umbrella, a charger, cash, and painkillers. Also a pen.

2. Favourites!

I haven’t done much in the way of the fun things, but I have, as usual, made my home in the Internet. Here are some things (most Internet, some not.) that I loved this month:

Alt-Indie Music Videos

Troye Sivan, Halsey and THE 1975 all released music videos for such AMAZING tunes off of their respective latest albums. Troye’s video for YOUTH blew me away for several reasons: (1) SO MUCH PURPLE PASTEL INDIE TUMBLR TEEN. (2) HAPPY FUNCTIONAL PARTY TEENAGERS. (actually, Troye is 20 (21 in June!) but he still counts. For reasons. Halsey’s video for Colors (the South African in me is mega cringing at that spelling) is just…let me tell you, (#nospoilers), it’s not what you expect. The music video for THE 1975’s The Sound is really the BEST THING I  SAW THE ENTIRE MONTH. It’s a massive ‘up yours’ to all of the critics who “only heard chocolate once and hated it”. Watch it. WATCH THEM ALL.

 

Blogger: Maxine Zhao

Alright, so I feel super honoured to say that Max once told me that I served as inspiration for her starting her blog. And man, do you need to see it. Maxine is what I’d call an up-and-coming fashion and lifestyle blogger with INSANE talent regarding taking timed tripod self shots. She’s also an absolute doll with a tiny little car named Kevin. Did you need any further justification? Check her out here.

Beauty

I’m not even going to pretend to know a lot about beauty. At all. Because I don’t. But I’ve been using mostly Nivea products as of late, just because they happen to work the best with my skin. For now. Stress breakouts are a real thing  and a good skincare regime is legitimately another university must have. Here are some of the things that I’ve been putting on my largest organ! (Skin. I’m talking about my skin.)

I have combination to oily skin, and this shine control face wash from Nivea is just YES. It’s super soothing on the skin, first and foremost, and it also works really well? It feels a lot like a continuous sea breeze while you’re washing your face. (10 points if you can think of a worse sounding line.) In the way of makeup, I don’t wear much because I can’t afford much (lol) but I DO love the LA Girl Perfecting Liquid Makeup foundation in Mahogany. I adore this foundation. It feels really light on the skin, and doesn’t wear off at all – I generally don’t need to reapply it during the day. I should really invest in a BB cream for the days that I don’t feel up to the industrial task of putting on a bit of paint. Hmm. Money.

Winning!

This month, writer and illustrator Dallas Clayton announced a competition on Instagram. He made six journals, and asked for cities from every continent to send them to. He’s still looking for some participants from Antarctica. Long story short, he chose Johannesburg! It’s all very exciting. I’m excited.

3. February.

February has been orange. It’s been the sheer intensity of my media studies course pack readings, the only pen I could find for two weeks, my flats that the 10 minute walk between buildings on campus ruined, and the 36 C days. I have learned how to hold my breath for as long as possible when being utterly submerged by the ocean that is “adulthood”. I’m not really an adult. Not even legally – I’m still 17. It does, however, seem that I am in the bracket where ‘act like an adult’ is applicable. I’m acting, alright.

For the first time this month, I was paid an allowance (!) which may not seem like much, but you need to realise that I’d never recieved an allowance before. Oh, Shalom, how did you go out to concerts and movies and the things you loved with your mostly make-believe friends through out high school? I didn’t. It was really cool – until I ran out of money. And had no way to get home from school because I couldn’t pay for public transport. Or food on campus. I’ve learned a lot since then. (Bye, morning cappuccinos.)

I’m really stressed out about what March will bring. March sees my FAFSA deadline (thank you uncooperative parent for STILL not having provided me with your tax information 🙂 ), my first official written tests, learning how to write an abstract & a research paper, more poetry analysis than I thought possible, and probably more tears than I am hydrated for. It’s surreal to think that we’re already almost in the third month of 2016, but I’m glad we’re all here.

This was lovely to write and compile and all the rest. Thank you all for sticking around! I think you are all very kind. I also think I want to make videos? Because I keep wanting to say things – in my actual voice, that people can hear – but then I remember that I’m typing. Hm. A thing to consider.

Love and light,
shalom


photos: maxine zhao’s blog, death to stock, nivea south africa, thestyleandbeautydoctor.com (swatches), dallas clayton’s instagram