May 30, 2011

Water Tower

Water Tower, Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA
Seattle has *the* best lighting for photographs. 

Winter Sunset

Palo Alto Hills
Although this is a grainy picture, it is everything good in my life.
This was sunset one March evening-  the upward turn. 

California Train Station

Caltrain Station, Santa Clara, CA
I like how this bench is permanently off center.
Also, this train stop always makes me feel like I'm in the wild west.
Wait for the tumbleweeds... 

May 26, 2011

Stanford Outback

I grew up in the Los Angeles area, so when I would see images of "California" that
depicted green pastures, I thought they were crazy. Now I know what they were talking about.

Palo Alto Nature

Deer Creek Road Palo Alto, CA
This was on a late Spring walk around work. I have beautiful places to escape to when I need a break.

Parking Lot, SPRC Palo Alto, CA
We are blessed with stables behind work, adjacent to our parking lot.
These horses were just posing for me

The picture on Deer Creek was taken today, but the horses posed for me last June or so. The hills indeed are golden here in California :)

May 25, 2011

San Francisco High Rises

San Francisco
I find that San Francisco is incredibly picturesque- hills give you incredible
angles and weather is always on your side. 

Good Balance

I've posted selective pictures from the first six months of living alone and out of college. I have many more pictures that I'm proud of, but they involve family members or they depict my face- things which I don't think are appropriate for this blog.

The hardest part of the last couple of postings was choosing my aesthetic over a good picture. I've taken fortuitous pictures that have great lighting, color and balance, but don't necessarily reflect my taste in photographs. I've also taken great shots of objects that I find aesthetically pleasing, but the picture itself doesn't always come up to the highest standards.

I guess I will figure out a balance of these, but for now, I am picking pictures that reflect pivotal moments that are at times gut-wrenching to remember. Who knew this would be so emotionally draining? (in a good way, of course). 

Nob Hill

Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA
I went out for lunch in China Town and we ended up on Russian Hill.
I have an undying love for San Fran. 

Cirrus Clouds

The Dish, Stanford, CA
January clouds are incredibly impressive- they reminded me of Brazil's statue of Christ the Redeemer

Good Views- Hike

The Dish, Stanford, CA
Favorite place to unwind on weekends. Every corner is picturesque.
I will miss this place the most. 

Good Screw Up

University Ave, Palo Alto CA
I went out with high hopes and I ended up crushing them myself.
 To top it all off, it started raining on the way to my car. I got this beautiful shot, though. 
Although they illuminate the trees that line University Avenue all year round, this was actually taken during Christmas season. 

May 24, 2011

Brandon Flowers Solo

Brandon Flowers Solo Concert Orpheum Theater
Oakland, CA
Brandon Flowers' concerts always take my breath away

Brandon Flowers and Fran Healy
The best duo I never knew I wanted to see

Brandon Flowers
Radiant people in splintering light

Autumn Yellows

Adorable Autumnal Yellows Palo Alto, CA
While on a melancholic drive, these cuties crossed my path  

Sliver of a Moon

Stanford Football Field Stanford University
My first attendance to a football game as an alum. 
The moon decided to show off

Good Sneaking- Scranton Branch

"The Office" Filming Lot Van Nuys, CA
The time my best friend took me to The Office's filming spot. 
You could hear my timidity shedding that day

Keane- Tom Chaplin

Keane Concert Orpheum Theater, Oakland, CA
Life changing concert in which I danced and cried like never before

Good Views in Vegas

Enjoying Hotel Views- Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
College graduation celebrations. My favorite vacation yet

Good Wrap Ups

As I'm getting ready to leave California's glorious Bay Area, I can't help but reminisce on all of my great epiphanies.

This past year I had countless self-reflective moments....I graduated from college, started my first real job, I joined a yoga class, went to personal therapy, joined a meditation class, dance class, running club, knitting club, taught preschoolers, lived alone and single, and discovered new corners of the universe. If that doesn't get you to find yourself, I don't know what will.

So while trying to find myself, I took pictures. With only few days left of my stint here in Palo Alto, I'm ready to start saying adieu with a few gems from the past.

My next blog spots will have meaningful pictures of personal importance, but universal beauty.
This will all be in chronological order, so as to allow myself to reflect in all of this personal growth.
Here is a little teaser for what's to come ...

Giddha Dance Performance Castro Valley, CA.
My friends took me to watch a dance competition to cheer me up. It worked

May 7, 2011

Good Self-Perception

I was taught to be nice, courteous and understanding.
My upbringing, friendships and tangential relationships have all reinforced these qualities within my persona. However, I became -to say it lightly- a doormat in a previous failed relationship. In an attempt to appease the crumbling relationship, I became agreeable, nauseatingly-tolerant and steeped in so much denial, I still surprise myself thinking back on it.

The most difficult part of the situation was that no one seemed to acknowledge my attempt to improve my romantic relationship with niceties as valid or natural.

My saccharine approach to appeasing the relationship was often misdiagnosed as a side effect of low self esteem on my part and manipulation from my partner's end. However, that never sat well with me. Although we were not meant for each other, I knew he was not a person of malice and that I was not lacking in self-love.

I had an epiphany when I realized that my attempt to salvage the relationship had been an acknowledgement of the good and an effort to sustain a close friendship I had cherished and benefited so much from. But this realization came only after I read an article in Psychology Today called "Counterintuitive Secret to a Glorious Relationship."

Corny title aside, what resonated with me was the article's notion that a "good" relationship is perceived as such either by actual good chemistry and interactions or by the delusion of having these great attributes. If you have the delusion that the positive attributes of your relationship outweigh the negative, then you are more likely to become tolerant (or turn the blind eye) from the bad aspects of your relationship.

So how do we know the difference between being "tolerant" or if we're stepping into "denial" zone? It all comes down to a matter of perception and context, and Sherman sums it up best:

"[What's] the difference between being forgiving, letting stuff slide, ignoring, getting over it, being strategically gullible, insensitive, or calculatedly oblivious? Other than the positive and negative connotations, I would say, not much"

They both look delusional, don't they? 

Although others misdiagnosed my optimistic response to the crumbling relationship as a sign that I didn't value myself enough to get out of a hurtful situation, I now know that I reacted this way because of my appreciation for the good things the partnership brought me and the potential for happiness I believed it still carried.

It seems as though these days, if you are optimistic, hopeful, and motivated to maintaining a relationship, you are type-casted as pathetic and sad, especially if you're a woman. In reality, however, this unconditional love and drive is what makes women socially savvy and approachable. Who other than women would go out of  their way to optimistically downplay problems because they know there is innate goodness in the "other"?

Sherman's point about the positive and negative connotations of emotional states is going to be running through my head for a while, but I'm glad that I will no longer doubt myself and my approach to navigating the world.

Realizing that I innately seek the best in relationships- even within a faulty one- makes me feel emotionally intelligent and more well rounded than a pathetic, sad, twenty-something with low self esteem.