it’s so fun picking out just the right gift for that special guy in your life! Lo put together a list of gifts ideas that she is considering for Jason (hope he is not reading this!!) and is sharing it with you today. Scroll down for the deets-
hi friends! we are so excited to kick-off gift guide season with a list of gift ideas for that fashion girl in your life. whether it is your friend or sister or anyone else, these gifts will make that stylish lady smile this holiday season. xx images by felicia lasala
I am nearly two months into my move to London- a move that has been altogether undeniably frustrating, completely shocking, pleasantly surprising, and has affirmed my belief that I am truly meant to be here. I have had good days equally dispersed with bad ones. I am missing my family, the many comforts of my home and culture in Southern California, and the general normalcies of America as I begin, and still try to, settle into my new life in London. And while I look forward to this incredible year of opportunity, I have been reminding myself that it is okay to feel out of place.
Something that peaked my level of unsettledness came after a day when everything was going right. I was having a good hair day, I found my way easily to my university, conquering the tube like a professional Londoner. I was falling in love with my Master’s program, enjoying all the friendships I was making across my department, I was enthralled with my classes and eager to begin to learn again about the world around me in an academic setting. I met people who again inspired the passion I had ignited for the study of journalism and the pursuit of a journalistic career. I had met with my program director who affirmed in the topic of my dissertation which I excitedly began to research. And at the end of the day, although I found myself on cloud nine, I could not shake this ominous feeling that this high, this deep level of satisfaction, this unshakable contentment would, in fact, be shaken. Before the happiness even wore off, I was reluctantly waiting for something to affect it.
Almost as predicted, the next day did not nearly measure up to the previous one. Although little frustrations mounted throughout the day, it was an observed event at the end of the day that hurt my heart and took a blow to my ideality. As I sat in a convenient coffee shop down the street from my flat, I saw a woman begging for money outside the window. Over the course of the few weeks that I had been here, I noticed people approach the windows to restaurants and cafes as the begged for any spare change. While this woman approached the window, she was speaking to two men at a table inside and, unnoticeable to her, she was being mocked by the two men sitting on the other side of the glass. As she shook the change in her hand, with a countenance of desperation and plea, the men were leading her to believe that they would give her change. But, what she did not hear on my side of the glass were the two men laughing. What I knew, that perhaps she did not, was that they never intended to give her any change. And as they laughed and continued to mock her, my heart sank into the pit of my stomach.
“Where am I?”
A question I found myself asking more than once throughout the course of my international move, but a question that became more prominent than ever in the moments of that interaction. I watched these men treat this woman in a way that I would never wish to see a woman being treated. I was appalled that, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, one human being could treat another with such haughtiness, disrespect, and neglect. But, as I processed what I had just witnessed, I was humbled. I was reminded that I am here for a purpose. I was gently reminded that by the grace of what I have been taught in my interactions with people different than myself, the world still has a lot more to learn about accepting, loving, and showing grace and compassion to people in wherever contexts they may find themselves. I hated what I saw, but I am grateful for open eyes to see the brokenness and the prejudice in that interaction through the window glass. I am grateful to be where I am, learning what I am learning, and fully immersed in an unfair and unjust world so that my compassion can continue to extend further, so that my love can reach deeper, and so that the understanding of the grace and love that I have received in my life can have a greater and more raw impact on the world around me.
So, I find it okay to be unsettled, upset, or uncomfortable, for I know that these temporary feelings play a more prominent role in a much bigger picture. Alternatively, and somewhat unexpectedly, I find myself grateful for these unexpected and utterly frustrating moments for they are the necessary and foundational moments that altogether add to the depth of my experience here in London. I am grateful for each and every moment here- moments that make me mad, uncertainties that make me miss home, and equally those inspiring events of affirmation, for each of these, distinct from one another and equally important, give life to my purpose in this year abroad. So, while I allow myself to remain in a certain space of irregularity or frustration, I do not allow myself to wallow in it. But equally, I remind myself not to constantly look ahead, not to be in expectancy of what I hope is to come, but to allow myself to rest in the ‘now’. Since my move here, I have been compellingly, humbly, and gently reminded to be present in the present. For it is the present, the unexpected, and all the unpredictably frustrating, unsettling, amazing and invigorating moments that allow me to make the endless process of settling into a new home that much sweeter.