Thursday, May 28, 2015

Florence Holiday

Dress:  Gap ~ Shoes:  Hand Made in Florence 

When I think back on how scared I was to leave for this trip, I laugh to myself a little.  What if I had actually never gone through with it?  It's actually a very humorous thought.  I was right before when I said some of the scariest and biggest moments of faith turn into incredible periods of growth.  From wine tasting in Tuscany to climbing big rocks in Cinque Terre, this trip has already been life changing.  I have 100% been out of my comfort zone and I am better for that.  There are still so many adventures ahead, but also so much to enjoy right now. I've developed a bit of a daily routine, and it is crazy how casual a day can feel here.   Sometimes I have to remind myself,"Hey you are in Florence,  do you realize that?".  From my incredible classes to exploring new parts of Florence, everyday is an adventure.  

This shoot was actually taken right outside of my apartment.  My roommate (photo creds go to Kelsey) and I were leaving one day and found this adorable yellow Fiat parked right out front.  It just felt so Italian I couldn't resist having her snap a few photos of me.  When I wear this dress I feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, except the whole runaway princess thing.  It is so classic, and these sandals I bought (handmade in Florence) really add to the effect.  Check back each week to read more about my Italian adventure!

Mollie Anna

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Firenze Way

Top:  J.Crew ~ Shorts:  J.Crew Factory ~ Shoes:  American Eagle ~ Tote:  J.Crew ~ Sunnies:  Old Navy ~ Necklace:  Tiffany's ~ Ring:  David Yurman

I have officially been in this incredible country for a week now, and I have to admit it feels like longer.  I was honestly surprised how easy it was for me to adapt, and after a few times getting lost, I'm starting to know my way around.  The first few days were spent exploring the beautiful city of Florence and on Tuesday we started classes.  I am already so obsessed with my fashion marketing class.  My professor is the head of this awesome Italian fashion company called Nannini.  She's already taught me so much about the industry, and I am excited to learn more this semester.

This shoot was actually taken in my backyard.  We have a huge garden and this incredible orange tree smack dab in the middle.  This look was put together previous to my arrival, and although it reflects my style, it doesn't really reflect Italian style.  Despite the heat I haven't seen too many shorts or exposed shoulders.  It is a very modest country and their take on summer apparel is fascinating to me.  We've been learning in my class how the Italian culture has an outfit for every occasion.  For example it has a city wardrobe and a sea wardrobe.  We are taking a trip to the coast this weekend to observe the differences between the two.  Italy is so beautiful and there is so much to explore.  Be sure to follow along each week as I catalog all of my adventures!

Mollie Anna

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bumpy Ride

Three flights, two buses, and one ride later I have finally made it to Italy!  The journey here was defiantly an interesting one, 23 total hours of travel.  My day began with my flight getting mixed up at the Nashville airport, which resulted in me dead sprinting through the airport only to arrive at the very last second.  My flight from Nashville landed me in Newark, NJ and I managed to take two buses into manhattan to connect to my next flight at JFK.  In the process I sat through way too much traffic, saw a man having CPR preformed on him in the street, and became best friends with a sixty five year old Hungarian woman.  All of this occurred well before noon. 

Once in JFK, I began preparing myself for the seven hour flight.  I was trying to decide between watching Night Crawler or The Theory of Everything, for my first movie, when my seat mate sat down.  I kid you not it was my reward for all of the chaos I had endured that morning.  Every quality about this guy screamed my high school “perfect man”.  Tall, well dressed, strawberry blonde hair, just a few dreamy qualities to name.  I mustered up the courage to talk to him with a friendly,”where are you headed?”,  and he answered, “Liverpool”.  British.  My inner seventeen year old melted right there between 30G and 30H.  Once I got over my self I ended up watching both movies and shared a few conversations with my new friend.  

The rest of the day was just one giant blur of waiting, meeting new faces, and exploring Rome.  After a very long day I’ve managed to find some solitude on our terrace, where I began writing this post.  Something about the sounds of the city and a group of Italian men humming in the distance, seemed to finally make me realize I am here.  I get to live in this incredible country for the next six weeks, and I say let the adventure begin. 

Mollie Anna

Friday, May 1, 2015

Leap of Faith

12 days until I embark on the adventure of a lifetime.  My tickets have been purchased and my bags are starting to be packed.  This is the point where it all starts to set in.  I should be counting the days in excited anticipation of new adventures, people, and places.  I should be giddily packing my bags and tying up loose ends here in Chattanooga.  If I'm being honest, excitement and giddiness are the last emotions I feel.  Terrified and anxious are more appropriate.

I keep waiting for the fear to disappear but as the day gets closer my fear grows stronger.  I have been struggling with the question,"why are you so stinking scared?", day after day and I can't come up with a perfect answer.  The reason is, there is no one reason to be scared.  There are a thousand reasons why I should be scared to leave, and I've learned it's completely okay!  We live in a world where wanderlust is put upon a pedestal.  The idea of selling everything you own and moving to a place unknown is, in a way magical, but would I actually do that?  The answer, HECK NO.  Wanderlust is a desire, but to actually commit is a whole different story.  It is easy to scroll through images of foreign countries during class and imagine yourself to be anywhere but there, but in reality it is so much more than that.  I am leaving my family, my life, my job, and everything that is comfortable, to live in a country where I don't know a single soul.  I have always been an extremely independent person, but this is stretching even my limits.  That is when I realized how necessary this trip is for me.

Life is full of cross roads.  The old poem goes,"two roads diverged and I took the one less traveled", as cliché as that poem is, it has incredible meaning.  Crossroads are learning and growing points in our lives.  They aren't easy, but they are necessary leaps of faith.  If we don't step outside our comfort zone every once and a while, we will never grow into the people we were designed to be.  God has a plan for my life, and trusting in that is incredibly difficult for me sometimes.  When it came time for me to decide where to go to college, God made it very clear UTC was where I belonged.  I hated everything about the decision, but here I am two years later, heart broken to leave.  I found a passage I wrote in one of my journals that came from a time of cross roads.  It began with Jeremiah 29:11 and followed with my response to the verse,"Lord show me those plans.  If you want me to go to Samford provide the money.  If you want me at UTC give me peace.  If you want me to do something even I haven't thought of, like move to Italy, show me the way.  I pray with all my heart for you to show me the way."  I wrote that passage my senior year of high school having no idea I would ever be in a position to move to Italy, and yet here I am.  It absolutely blows my mind how God works in our lives.  It is up to us to open up our hearts and give our faith and trust to him.  Going to Italy for six weeks is a huge leap of faith for me, but I am ready to see how this adventure changes my life.  This is another necessary crossroad, and I choose to take the road less traveled.

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God will be with you where ever you may go."  Joshua 1:9

01 09 10