FROM THE HEART

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Hey all. It’s been a while. I usually only come here when I have something to say, and lately I seem to have run out of all words except one: heartbroken. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I have a great job, amazing friends, a church I call home, a space all my own, and wake up to sunshine nearly every day. I have more than my share of blessings, and I am floored with gratitude every morning. But at the same time, the world around me is crumbling.

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The Orlando shooting that claimed 50 lives (including the shooter) coupled with the murder of Christina Grimmie – a beautiful young singer and member of my church family – brought close to home this feeling of heartbreak I’ve been struggling to keep at bay since last year. War, poverty, hunger, sex crimes, hate crimes… simply opening the news every morning is enough to bring me to my knees. We are a people driven by greed and hate and we are suffering and dying because of it.

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If I choose to shut my eyes to the things happening outside my world, the heartbreak still seeps in. Friends are being brought down by sickness, bullying bosses, inability to find work, loss of friends/family… not to mention struggling with the lies we tell ourselves: I’m not good enough, nobody wants me, I’m too fat/thin/tall/short/ugly/etc.

So what do we do? I spent a long time feeling paralyzed and helpless. But if I believe that I am too small to make any sort of lasting change, that’s no better than the rest of the lies we tell ourselves. So I start with myself, finding what greed and hatred lives in me and eradicating it piece by piece. The injustices of our world aren’t caused by an enemy we fail to understand, but by people just like us. People who were children once, with lively imaginations and hope for something better. People who experience loss and hardship and heartbreak and injustice. If I separate the “enemy” into a far-off “them”, I fail to see that the problem is us. It starts with us. So it starts with me.

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Then I pray – oh, do I pray. I cry and I scream and I ask why and why and why again, and He gently reminds me that He hears me, that He is with me, that He is with them just as He is with me (thanks to a dear friend for reminding me of this today), and that He too is heartbroken all the more – it was never meant to be this way. He calls me to be faithful, and I pray to be given all the love to be able to love other people better. And He does. So I love, in every tangible way I can.

I know I am just one person. And by myself, I can’t change the world no matter how hard I try. But I also know that God can. And He will. And if I can live every day of my life helping make that change, it would be an honor. So here I am – heart ready and hands dirty. Who’s with me?

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WATCH | daniel wellington (use code HEYBVP to get 15% off until 7/15)
SHOES | m. gemi

PHOTOGRAPHY| kassia phoy

AFFARE RISCHIOSO CON ARMADIO

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“Risky Business, with Armadio”

I’m a neutrals kind of person – the way I dress, the way I live, the way I make decisions. Aside from my career choice (admittedly not the most “color inside the lines” of professions), I tend to keep things pretty safe. I mean, when I was a kid my idea of danger was eating cereal other than Cheerios. Or like, watching a non- Disney movie. When I really wanted to cause a fuss, I would run away from home… to the tree outside my bedroom window… for ten eight minutes max. And even then, I outgrew this little thrill as soon as I realized it only resulted in me getting upset at my mom for not noticing my absence.

Victoria Park, ladies and gentlemen. True daredevil and tree-dwelling renegade of yore.

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But I’m turning 28 next week. And with that looming Three Zero only a couple years off, this seems as good a time as any to start taking some risks. In acting class, this means indulging in every wacky whim and impulse as prompted by my acting teacher, including but not limited to: developing a violent twitch, drawing on the wall a la A Beautiful Mind, rubbing a stuffed teddy bear all over my body, rolling around on the floor like a turtle trying to right itself, and chasing-slash-cornering my scene partner in order to land a kiss he would really rather not partake in. Acting, y’all. No one ever said it was normal.

In regards to my sartorial choices, this means reaching for items outside of my usual BlackWhite&Denim. Today this “risk-taking” manifested itself in jewel toned accessories. Bonus points for denim cut-offs and white button-down that unintentionally bear strong resemblance to Tom’s ‘fit in Risky Business. Coincidence? I think not.

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Let’s talk about this purse for a second. The perfect shape and size – minimalistic in both design and weight (read: actually carry-able without causing that weird, drop-shoulder, limp one gets from carrying a bag much too heavy to be practical… Anyone relate? No? Just me? Okay.) The color meets my risk requirement without being too farfetched for me to actually reach for. It’s the perfect match of Closet Staple and Fun. Not to mention, it was handcrafted in Italy by the same artisans (read: same quality and materials) that produce for Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and the like. BUT unlike the luxury brands (which are wonderful but unrealistic for one on a young artist’s budget), Armadio gets rid of the middlemen and luxury markups for a price that means I can go for that dessert-slash-glass-of-wine while keeping my wallet (if not my waistline) happy.

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So thanks to Armadio for helping make my risk-taking more enjoyable. And for those of you who think choosing a blue purse and orange shoes are HARDLY risk-taking ventures… let me just remind you that this is for a girl who once thought of Cookie Crisp as a risqué breakfast choice. Baby steps, friends. Baby steps.

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SHIRT | gap
SHORTS | vintage levi’s
HEELS | zara
PURSE | armadio
SUNNIES | quay
WATCH | marc bale
BANGLE | the peach box

PHOTOGRAPHY | Kassia Phoy

 

Armadio is a new e-comm marketplace that gives fashion lovers direct access to the workshops of the finest leather artisans in Italy and launched TODAY at www.armadiofashion.com. Bags, shoes, jackets, dresses, and accessories, handmade by the finest craftsmen in Italy are only a click away!