Passion & persistence are what matter. Dreams are achievable and you can make your fantasy come true, but there are no shortcuts.
Diane von Furstenberg
This might be a fault of mine, but I have trouble empathizing with those who are displeased with their lives and yet they do not think to make any changes. It frustrates me to see my loved ones, friends or acquaintances unhappy with their circumstances. It hurts to see those ignore the fire of their passions. I love seeing people pursue their passions.
Passionate people are my favorite. I do not care what your passion is. Just have one. Live it out. I am taking an Introduction to African Civilization course this semester and I love it. My professor, is amazing. She is funny, weird and wildly passionate about Africa. It is evident that her knowledge of Africa, is quite expansive. She spits out facts and then makes a cultural observation. She has clearly spent quite some time in various cities in Africa and has used her experiences to give her a unique perspective of the continent. Listening to her lecture and learning from her is exciting. When passionate people share, they are taking you along their adventure.
Upon reflecting on the current state of my life, I am fairly pleased and extraordinarily grateful. I love the path the Lord is leading me on. I have a ball pursuing my passions. I am not interested in wasting the time I have of being a young woman. I take risks. I explore this fantastic globe. I mess up. I make amazing friends. I seek adventures daily.
I would not want my life any other way. Each and every risk has somehow benefitted me. Whether it has worked out in my favor or taught me a lesson, it has positively contributed to sharpening my character. I love taking advantage of my free time and my schedule. Filling it with laughter and adventure is something I will never regret. A fearful life is not something that interests me; a bold one, however, is appetizing.
So let’s say I could tell you to pick the next three years of your life. The first option is all excitement. It is entirely fun and good. However, you remain the same. The second option, is unexpected. Filled with plenty of joy as well as challenges. Some of the trials may be far from ideal. You leave those three years of ups, downs and in betweens, a different person. You grow. What would you choose?
My life is extraordinary. I attribute that to the assortment of blessings, adventures and relationships that surround me. I also am aware that the road I travel largely shapes my character. The past few years have been thrilling, and having recently lived in New York City for the summer, I was heavily doused in an assortment of stimulation. Upon returning to Charleston I experienced major culture shock. It took nearly a month before I felt even slightly grounded in the present. Along with coming to terms with the lifestyle of Charleston, real life repeatedly slapped me in the face. I felt like I could not keep up with it. Every inch of me wanted to crawl in a hole and give up. I desperately wanted an out from my feelings and my circumstances. Oddly enough I had expected this season of my life to be a challenge, however I did not believe I was at all equipped to handle life the way it hit me these past few months.
I am choosing a challenging road by finishing school. Call me crazy, but I actually believe by completing my degree I am following God’s plan for my life. I know that by this decision, I am choosing His plan for my life, and not Hannah’s utopia. I am completely aware that school is hard as hell for me. I am one of those problem students that needs a significant amount of attention. Those students exist in college, for sure. I want to be a good student, but I do not strive for perfection in the classroom because that is not my reality. It is not my strength and that is okay. It is okay because I am not giving up. It is okay because I am not allowing school to butcher my self-esteem. It is okay because I am refusing to allow anxiety to ruin this. I am intentionally keeping myself in an environment where I do not thrive. Yes, maybe, if I was crazy enough I could transfer (for the 3rd time) to an institution where I could study what might apply to my future career. That is not happening, I am staying at the College of Charleston and utilizing this opportunity for growth. I have the rest of my life to aspire to more, to follow my dreams and feel good at what “I do,” but for now, God is teaching me what it is like to be doing something that does not make me feel good, which is being a student.
I could not have asked for this semester to have turned out in any other manner than which it did. I have grown exponentially throughout this season of my life. I am blessed beyond measure to have the opportunity to keep learning who I am, and how God has created me. I love a good challenge, I really do. The challenges have been more than I thought I was equipped for and I could explain several situations as genuine pain throughout these past few months. Pain makes you grow. Challenge makes you grow. Excitement leads to joy. It does not mean I am a sad sack of tears. Quite the contrary, I have been overwhelmed with love and joy. God has spoke to me in the sweetest of ways, with the simplest of words. God acknowledging His plan for my life, is a dream come true. I could not ask for more right now.
Fall Break! A few days ago, I traveled to Europe to meet up with my cool mom in our sweet Budapest! I had originally planned to take a trip to the west coast, but somehow planned a trip to Hungary instead. Yolo, am I right? Budapest is dear to my heart, as crucial years of my childhood were spent there. Budapest with my mom is even better, and we were thrilled to take advantage of a few days off from school. I have been intensely missing my mom since she left the country not too long ago. The past few months have been challenging but have strengthened independence in myself as well as my mother. It is important to recognize the relationships of security in our lives, while maintaining an independent mindset. An unhealthy dependence on my mother will not help me grow, only hold me back. These times where my mom and I are living in different countries is usually hard on me, but always worth it. It is worth it because if not one but both of us are being challenged and our relationship is always revitalized in this process.
A few days before I ventured to Budapest I watched an endearing video from the Man Repeller, in which Leandra had the chance to chat with Diane Von Furstenberg. Diane shared some sweet advice about long distance relationships; she was referring to a romantic relationship but this can definitely be applied to all relationships with distance.
“Absence is to love what the wind is on the fire. It distinguishes the small one and amplifies the big one.“ -DVF
I thought about my mom and how much my love for her has grown since leaving for college. These international adventures of ours make me miss her more, and love her more. I realize the wise advice she has, the comfort of her hugs and the authenticity of her mother’s love. I am incredibly undeserving of her love but grateful.
I adore love. Everything about it warms my heart. The best part is, loving others. As much as I love, love; I have struggled with feeling and knowing that I am loved. I struggle with the idea that God loves me and have trouble believing others when they say they love me. Luckily, I have never doubted my mother’s love for me. I know without any hesitation, that the capacity she has to love me, is because she knows Christ and that intensifies her love by lightyears. It is not her love that fills me to the brim, it is God’s love; she just happens to be an incredibly lovely vessel of love.
The timing could not have been more perfect for my tattoo.
I have known for quite a few years that I am interested in tattoos. I used to fear the pain and then realized, I want one… or some. I slowly introduced the thought to my mother and she warmed up to it. She even knew the idea of this tattoo in May, but I honestly do not think she believed I could do it. I decided to surprise her in Budapest with a tattoo!
“I love you.” Written by my mother, engraved on my left wrist. Life has been testing me, and not feeling loved has taken a toll on my heart. From the moment I saw my tattoo, things have been different, my life has been full. It is weird and possibly a little crazy. When I saw it, i teared up and was overwhelmed with love. I had been praying for God to love me in whatever way He wanted to. I was frustrated with what I was turning to, so I asked Him to give me what I know He wants for me, in His way. I want to look at my wrist to be reminded of my mother’s love for me, which is only possible by Christ. I want to look at my tattoo, and strive to love others like my mom has loved me. I successfully surprised her, and she loved it. Her enthusiasm was fantastic, I love her so much.
D A Y 1 ~ A D V E N T U R E
Day 1 Travel talk: I love international flights as they are a great comfort to me. I had a cozy outfit and packed a killer carry on. My carry on advice: good book, headphones, notebook, layers of cozy (I go to the extent of packing pj’s for international flights to encourage sleep) as well as a reasonably sized soft blanket because we all can agree that airplane blankets are nasty. OH and dietary restrictions, make sure to arrange beforehand with the airline or your travel agent. I had gluten free meals for my long flights and that is VERY important. I also come prepared with well packed snacks; including yummy cookies and good tea.
Airbnb perfection!! My mom and I got a super cute apartment on the Buda side. It was a cozy studio that was the perfect combination of cute and euro randomness. Stairs were involved but it was nothing compared to my five floor walk up in New York this summer. The building was beautiful and the courtyard was especially stunning!
My first evening in Budapest was quiet as I was in a delirious lull thanks to jet lag. I took a long bath, nervously holding my arm out of the tub (tattoo) and then got nice and cozy for an evening walk. The air was bitter and it was bliss. Hungry and sleepy, I wandered until I found gluten free cereal and almond milk. Gluten free in Hungarian is gluténmentes and can also be noted as GM (otherwise GF Stateside). I hauled back to the flat and proceeded to eat my yummy cereal and rent a movie on itunes. I drifted into a happy slumber, thankful to be home in Budapest!
D A Y 2 ~ S A T U R D A Y
Began my day with a strong attempt to get over jet lag by going on a run. That was after sleeping in way too late, however the run was intensely refreshing. Jet lag was and has been hell in a handbasket! Whole Foods sells homeopathic jet lag pills and I forgot to get them before I left and seriously regret it! Lesson learned my dears.
Soon after the run, my mom arrived from Oman! Check out her sick pics HERE! It was a happy reunion and I surprised her with the tattoo. She loved it, praise tha Lawd. After a few lazy hours, we ventured out. You will quickly realize, that our days began in the afternoon like a true vacation with jet lag.
Afternoon: Déryné. I snuggled up in my poncho with my favorite tea. Fresh mint. Accompanied by a giant meringue. Few things I love more in the world than sitting by my mother at a cafe, and in Europe of course.
Evening: After our indulgent afternoon tea and snack we ubered our way to the Pest side for dinner with friends. It was a happy reunion and our dinner was delicious. We went to The Vintage Garden and they were very sweet and respectful of the whole gluten free thing. I had goat cheese stuffed chicken and potatoes that were prepared in an especially Hungarian manner.
D A Y 3 ~ S U N D A Y
Can you say Y U M?! I hope you can because you would hate to miss out on this comfort food action. Gluten free gnocchi with spinach and goat cheese. TG Italiano
How to end an already perfect Sunday? See a ballet. Swan Lake at the Hungarian Opera House. The gorgeous costumes and ornate set were sensational. We managed to snag great seats and couldn’t have had a better time. This was my first experience seeing Swan Lake and I have to say it was an intriguing interpretation that led to great post-performance conversation. I am happy I seized that opportunity to be inspired! What a day.
Will post Part 2 in a few days. Can’t wait to show you more pictures and share more adventures. I am so grateful for this trip. I am so grateful for my international adventures. Budapest is home, what a life, thank you God.
Iphone photography by myself, Davy for the tats and my mom on random occasions
Titled Fashion Week(end) because I caught the tail end of Charleston Fashion Week! The past few weeks I have been playing nonstop catch up in school, and I have been continually been getting sick. Any tips for staying clear of getting sick for a busy college student? Let me know!
Anyways, last Thursday, the third night of Charleston Fashion Week, I got dolled up for a great night!
To start: A blow out from Tease blow dry bar on upper king. My hair is perfect for a good dry bar, because it holds really well. I wanted a refreshed seventies ensemble for the night, and I knew I could not achieve the hair on my own!
The Ensemble: MANGO! My most recent jaunt to Europe included a major stop at Mango. I snagged this suede jacket and shirt amongst several bold and affordable seventies inspired pieces! Paige jeans that I found on sale last summer. Fun and rugged but fall off of me after an hour. Shimmy shimmy pull them pants up. Pumps. My Loeffler Randall babies. Classic and vamp up any look. Sunnies. Snagged by the best mom ever from Zara this early spring when she was in Budapest. Clutch. Vintage Christmas gift via @airtucker. Jewels. Pulled from Theodosia. In love with all things Theodosia. Incredibly crafted and the pieces stand out without deflecting from my ensemble.
The Show: Throughout Charleston Fashion Week, Emerging Designers compete with a runway show each night. And then the finalists compete the final night for a big win! Usually also on the runway are local boutiques and featured designers! Thursday was Belk’s Big Night and they put on in incredible show and featured Trina Turk’s collaborative collection with Belk. Spring forward and full of color!