From the Heart:
December 23

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I was 10 months out of my 8-year relationship when I met the man who I was immediately convinced would become my husband. I wasn’t looking for anyone at the time – in fact, at 30, I was enjoying being single for the first time since I was 17 years old. So naturally, there were many men in my life, and I was reveling in the pleasure of juggling them all. Luckily, most understood where I stood and equally found enjoyment in my no strings attached attitude about dating. Then, he came. And suddenly, everyone else became a shadow and it was only him who mattered. Of course, as luck might have it, he was unavailable, and so I waited patiently for his texts, calls, visits – anything and everything I could get because I loved him the way I had never loved anyone before, and at the time, sincerely felt I would never love anyone again. He was like a drug – I’d be sober for months, then I’d get my fix and it was glorious, but coming down was actually crashing down – like a bad dream when you are suddenly jolted from your sleep. According to my horoscope, Saturn, who has been causing frustration in my love life for the past two years, will move out of Scorpio and my fifth house of love this week (on December 23). I don’t even know what it really means, except that sometimes things get so bad, that you hold onto anything that makes you feel hope that something better is coming. This fall, on a Sunday in September, I said goodbye to him for the last time. A week later, also on a Sunday, I found out he asked his girlfriend to marry him. I can’t say whether there was more pain in the two years I spent loving him, unrequited, or in the two weeks after I said goodbye. When it comes to that kind of love, it becomes a blurred sort of hurt, there permanently underlying everything, except for those brief moments when there was contact, and then, even the smallest offering made me feel a happiness I never imagined existed. Something happened the Sunday after he proposed to his girlfriend. On Friday, five days after I received the devastating news, I was on a plane back from Washington DC, sunglasses on, crying hysterically while I wrote myself a letter vowing to return to goodness, promising to let go of the toxic people in my life, and reminding myself of the old Gabrielle, who believed she deserved more than how she had allowed men to treat her as of late. By the time I was done writing the letter, it felt like a huge weight had lifted and I was finally free. That weekend, I was floating, feeling hope, feeling clean, feeling good. Then on Sunday, I met someone who made me smile. I wasn’t looking for anything except to spend more time feeling light and getting back in touch with myself, falling back in love with myself, and then there he was, quite by accident I’m sure, making me smile. And it felt good and pure and just the thing I needed to start believing that I could put the broken pieces back together and I would again be someone worth loving. Everything since then has fallen apart, again, but that’s okay, because I’m learning I still have a lot of work to do. And in any event, it’s not December 23rd yet….

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From the Closet:
California Christmas

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Zara cape, One Teaspoon shorts, Manolo Costa shirt, Valentino rockstuds, Givenchy bag

Not sure where the time went, but Christmas is literally next week! This year, since half of my immediate family unilaterally decided to stop celebrating Christmas (you know who you are), I decided to adopt a family in need and bring Christmas to them. So far my efforts at shopping for complete strangers have been most interesting. The charity provided me with nothing more than their ages and sizes and their wish list. Ten-year old Heaven was easiest of all because she wanted art supplies and a jewelry maker. The others want clothes. But I don’t know enough about them to know whether they prefer Lakers gear over the Clippers, low top sneakers or high top sneakers, plaid or solids. I wish the charity understood that these details matter significantly! Joking aside, the experience so far has been nothing but rewarding and I can’t wait to fill my car up with food, essentials, and gifts and bring a little Christmas joy to a family going through a tough time. Until I deliver them, its nice to see their gifts under my little tree! Have a good week lovelies! And if you live in LA and are in the mood for a little Christmas charity, the Los Angeles Mission is collecting socks, underwear, and canned meat for the homeless population of Skid Row. If you’ve been anywhere close to Skid Row, you know there are many, many, many people in great need of our support!

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photographs by Manuel Vinicio http://www.manuelvinicio.com/

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Last week, my ex-boyfriend made a surprise appearance at my house, and during conversation, the subject of my blog came up and I asked him if he ever read it. Back when I started writing it nearly 4 years ago, he was at least one of the driving forces behind it. I was sad, but not surprised, to learn he didn’t read it – probably never had. When we used to have fights, they would always end with a long email sent from me to him, one which he always dreaded reading. In fact, I’ve met very few men who enjoy reading anything in excess of 5 sentences, so suffice it to say, my chosen method of communication when it comes to matters which are deeply felt, generally goes largely ignored or unappreciated. I’m a writer. I’ve never had problems with word or page limits. Except that I always exceed them. I don’t believe words spoken do feelings the same kind of justice as words written. The written word lasts forever – because of its permanency it has to be well-thought rather than haphazard and careless. Because writing is my preference, I’d say I’m not very verbally articulate. In an argument with one of my best friends last week, it became clear that she has never read my blog – she didn’t even know that every week, I write this series, which has little do with fashion, and everything to do with feelings, passions, emotions, love, life…. It occurred to me that the most I apparently can expect from some of the people who I care about most in the world is a “like” on Instagram or Facebook. Which mostly makes me wish I lived in a world long before blogs, where people wrote and others read and everyone had the time to consume the written word in a way that was authentic and felt. And not because I think I have anything particularly important to say, but because if you love someone, you take time to listen to their heart. It’s kind of that simple.

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From the Closet:
Blanket

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Zara scarf, Manolo Costa shirt, One Teaspoon shorts, Stuart Weitzman boots, Gucci bag, Celine sunnies,

Family members can attest to this: I had a pink plaid blanket as a child. It was my everything. I would suck my thumb while holding my blanket to my nose, sniffing it. I can’t explain it, but it was the most soothing thing in the world. The only day of the week I hated was the day my mom would confiscate my blanket from me for its weekly washing. I hated getting it back clean, because it didn’t smell the same. But also, over time, it became clear that it was also shrinking with every wash. I had it until it was just a square – about one inch by one inch. I still sucked my thumb, while holding the square up to my nose, but of course, it wasn’t the same anymore. It wasn’t bribing me with new rollerblades or putting pepper on my thumb that got me to quit sucking. It was the disintegration of my blanket. Though my blanket was a girlish pale pink, something about the print of this plaid scarf reminds me of it. And while I’m well beyond my thumb sucking years, every time I wear this scarf, I find myself holding it up to my nose the same way I did with my blanket as a child, and oddly, I also find myself experiencing the same comfort. As an adult, those moments of security are far and few between, so it feels nice.

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photographs by Manuel Vinicio http://www.manuelvinicio.com/

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From the Heart:
Miss Atomic Bomb

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Next month, it will be four years since I’ve been back in LA, and in reflecting on the past four years, its quite obvious that I’m a completely different person than I was when I packed up my life in San Diego. I was 29 then, but very much still a girl. Today, I’m a 33 year old woman. There isn’t much I haven’t experienced during this second LA “tour.” I’ve had more breaks than I probably deserve. I’ve met some incredible people. I completely abandoned the last remains of my shy exterior in a way that sometimes even surprises me. And I’ve been humbled over and over and over again. I’ve lost the hopeful innocence that made me sweet. I’ve become distrustful and suspicious. At my core, I know I’m still the same person, but I’ve been hardened. I’ve sometimes behaved badly and I’m not proud of everything I’ve done, but I’m comfortable with that now. I wouldn’t have been back then. I still am most driven by my desire for perfection, although mostly it leaves me feeling exhausted rather than fulfilled. I never miss my old life – I guess in that sense this one I’ve created for myself, by myself, is better than the one I left behind. But I do sometimes miss my old self – the one who felt special. I’ve said many things about living in LA and being single in this city and in a world that has changed drastically and is now saturated with all forms of impersonal contact. The one that has been most realized is how both can just break you down again and again until you forget what used to make you feel like a person worth knowing. Which reminds me of my former life in San Diego. Before I had made the decision to leave, there was an extended period where I kept waiting and fighting and waiting and fighting and it wasn’t until after I finally stopped that I realized that I was waiting for someone to save me, and when it soon became clear that nobody would save me, I saved myself. I feel like I’m waiting again, but for something different this time. I know better now though, which really means I know its time to stop.

 

 

 

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