Monday, July 27, 2015

'Member it Monday: From Los Angeles to London

Am I allowed to do a significantly old "throwback"post? How do photos or life events get classified as throwbacks, anyway? Who made the rules? Can #'memberitmonday be a thing now...or nah?
...I digress.

July is almost over! This months marks a year from when I found out I was accepted into a few different universities here in England. When I received my first acceptance letter I was speechless. Let me set the scene for you...

I was at work (working diligently, of course). I felt compelled to take a break to check my email. Pause - rewind to the beginning of July when I first applied. I applied late not really expecting to hear back. I applied simply for the sake of applying, letting go, and letting God. Okay back to that day at work when I was working harder than ever. I skimmed through my several emails, my eyes stopping when I read a line that said "We are pleased to inform you..." I was literally speechless. My hands started shaking. I turned to my intern, Maria, and said in the faintest whisper, "Maria. Oh my God. I got accepted to a school in London..." I needed a moment, so I stepped outside for a praise break and called my family to share the news.

If you know me well, you'll know that since I was in high school it has been my dream to live in London. During my senior year at Westmont College I was blessed with the opportunity to complete a semester in the United Kingdom (spending about half of the semester in London). I left London that winter knowing I just had to return.

Fast forward. After graduating from Westmont in 2013 graduate school was always at the forefront of my mind -- I hadn't really considered was always just a dream, not really a goal. I spent the next several months blogging, working, and volunteering at various events. It was during this time that my passion for event organizing, management, and communication were ignited. I created Beneath Your Beautiful Campaign and produced my first fashion show. I had the opportunity to work with Africa Fashion Week as well as Image is Everything PR, serving at Los Angeles Fashion Week, Curly Cartel (where I served the beautiful Tracee Ellis Ross and Teyonah Parris), and with many other events supporting a variety of causes.

I soon started my own freelance PR venture, working closely with clients in the fashion industries and non profit organizations.

My life was poppin (as the youngins say). As the time grew closer for me to secure my spot at my university I grew overwhelmed. I tried to convince myself that this life was exactly what I needed it to be, and change would simply be an enemy of progress. I tried to make myself believe that I was comfortable, and it would be foolish of me to mess with the opportunities God had given me by stepping outside of my comfort zone. I was young and successful. I was 23 with a money tree. I was 23 sitting on 23 mill'. (Okay not really..). But in short, I was hip and happening...and doing so while living in sunny Los Angeles, no less. London? It was so surreal. So scary. So far. So not sunny Los Angeles. And a whole year? I was afraid that my dream was becoming a nightmare.

Check me out in these throwback photos hehe. These photos were taken during African Fashion Week LA. See how hip I look! Large & in charge! (just kidding..tehe). I just came across these photos and remembered what a magical night I had. I met amazing designers, worked with talented models, and made new friends. This was 2 weeks before my flight to London. Why leave LA, right?? Why London??

Fast forward again. Today, July 27, 2015, your girl is live and in London. I'm not done yet but so far this journey has been a life changing experience that I would not change for the world. I'm so grateful for faith. That I was able to leap out of my comfort zone and dive into the unknown. The only thing I did know however was that God's got me. No matter how unsure I was of this journey, I knew without a doubt that God will guide, lead, and protect me (and He sure has and is!). It's been difficult - adjusting to this no sunshine life & trying to balance being a full time masters student and two jobs (one of which is in PR (yay!)) is not easy ooo. Nevertheless, I'm thankful that I've had the opportunity to continue PR here in London. I've been blessed to meet many people who I can call family. Although everything did not play out as it did in my dreams, this journey has been beautiful and a vision come true.

But in all seriousness, I'm writing this post simply as a testimony. (I've had another version prepared, but felt moved to share this one haha). If you have a dream or a vision put your mind, your heart, and your faith into it. Forget about the naysayers. Ignore the that voice telling you that comfort is best. Take a step out and do what makes you happy, do what challenges you, and do what inspires you.

Me during a Beneath Your Beautiful event here in London. Still large and in charge. (JK, y'all..tehe).
Outfit details:

Look 1 -
Black Cropped Top: Charlotte Russe, $5! 
Black Skater Skirt: The Closet (Los Angeles boutique)
Coral Mary Jane Pumps: Santa Barbara boutique

Look 2:
White Pencil Dress: Miss Selfridge (Can be found here)
Baby Blue Pumps: Primark!
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