Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall Staples + Small Towns






Top: J. Crew Factory (Only $15 and comes in so many colors!), Shorts: Old Levi's - Similar here, Booties: Steve Madden (Less than $90!), Jacket: Bought off a vendor in Italy 10 years ago :) but similar here, Crossbody bag: BCBGeneration



This is a pretty basic outfit, but I had to share it because this top and these booties are must have fall staples. These tops are so soft and light - so great for transitional wear (even though it's a turtleneck and it was 90 degrees yesterday)! These booties also come in lots of other colors that I've linked at the end of the post, and I love the detail of the cut on the side even though that takes away from wearing socks. 

Anyway, this next paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with clothes, but I felt the need to share. Lately, I've really been into listening to podcasts. Kalep always listens to "The Joe Rogan Experience," so I started listening to that as well as a few others. One of my favorites that I've come across is "Truth & Iliza." I love to hear the way the conversations flow and how they can get so deep or incredibly humorous. On the way home from Lubbock, I was listening to her and she was talking to a guest who wrote an article about "Living in LA" and what that actually means. She was talking about peoples' perception of LA - the glamour, the beach, the celebrities and so on. She expressed what it meant to live there like being so close to the beach and some really incredible places like Disneyland and access to cool experiences but not really enjoying it because you're too busy waiting for the next call for a role or audition. For us, it's the opposite of LA - it's probably easier to secure a job (maybe not a movie role) here but not a lot of access to a beach or Disneyland in West Texas! ;) Of course, it's not like that for everyone and each person has their own situation. Basically though, she was just talking about loving where you live but trying to find a balance that works best for you and what's the most important for you in life. I recently was catching up with a friend who was telling me a mutual friend was so unhappy and lonely where she was because she was afraid of moving back home or close to home in fear of people thinking she failed. When I first moved back to my hometown after graduating college and up until recently, anytime someone would ask me what I was doing now or where I was, I felt the need to defend my reasoning for being here and explain my life story up until this point so they could see why I am back here in my hometown as if it is such a bad thing. In our society, it almost feels as though living in your hometown or coming back means we failed at something. While I never had intentions of moving back to my hometown, life works in a funny way and no matter how much you plan, God always writes your story according to his plan not yours.  As life would have it, Kalep and I started dating my last semester of college and he was already settled in our hometown. He had a great job that he wouldn't really be able to find in a place that I wanted to live. My desire to be with Kalep was so much greater than my desire to move somewhere far away from him for a career, so I came back. When I first moved back, I felt the way my friend does currently about coming back. Although I had a good job, I had to commute 45 min. back and forth for the first year and a half. I cried so many days to Kalep because I had majored in something that was more fitting for a bigger city and I always had plans of moving to a big city like Dallas or Austin after college, and I felt like I wasn't supposed to be here. I kept looking at the negatives rather than the positives like getting to finally be in the same town as Kalep after doing long distance for a year or having my mom's dinners anytime we wanted. Every day on my drive to work, I would take time out to pray and for God to lead me to what I was supposed to be doing in life and to lead Kalep and I where we were supposed to be in this season of life and it was here and a year later, i'm so thankful for it. After working at an advertising agency and then working in university athletics, I really felt a tug at my heart to leave that and pursue some of my own dreams that God had placed on my heart like this blog and my stationery business. While this is only the beginning of all of this and God continues to write my story, I have a new outlook on my situation because I now love living in my hometown and I love that I get to spend my days with my mom at her bakery doing sugar cookies, and have my aunt to help with my blog and knowing so many people locally to help support my small stationery business. Side note: By the same token, when you live in a town where everyone knows everybody, people also seem to know everybody's business which isn't always fun. This is just a funny story about small town livin'. I was told last week that there's a girl in town who seems to be preoccupied about my weight and whether I'm gaining or losing pounds. Geez - can't a girl just enjoy a cupcake in peace (lol)?

Anyway, I've realized that my happiness doesn't come from the location I live in. Just last night, I was complaining about how there are no pretty places to take blog pictures here but then I remember that the pretty places don't have our families or may not have the opportunities to both do what we get to do here. I'm a person full of wanderlust, so it doesn't mean that we can't still travel to those pretty places occasionally. Same for people in big cities doing incredible things, they still get to visit families in hometowns and get to do what they love in their places. I think you can make your life what you want it to be (and according to God's plan for your life) no matter where you are - big city or not, hometown or not. Sometimes the place we live isn't where we think our dreams can be accomplished or the ideal location, but God always places us exactly where we need to be throughout our lives, and I think life is way too short to spend it being unhappy somewhere - big or small - or doing something you hate just because it looks like "success." We were listening to "The Joe Rogan Experience" yesterday and they were talking about how people spend so much of their lives working and worrying about making money to afford the next house that's so much bigger, the newest car, the next job promotion, etc. because that somehow defines success and somehow we tend to think that when we reach that milestone, we'll be happier and we'll be more successful. Instead we should be content with where we are in life and taking more time to enjoy experiences with family, with friends, being around the people we love and doing things we love to do because that's what we remember and think about at the end of our lives. Of course, we all love nice houses and cars (and clothes ;) lol), I just wanted to say it's important to remember that life is so much bigger than that and I think happiness defines "success" and it doesn't come from where you live, what you own, or the title you have. You never know where life may lead you, and for me, I'm happy to call West Texas my home. It took me a while to get that and I hope it helps anyone else that's "stuck" somewhere! ;) 

Have a beautiful Thursday!

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