general, wise words

Alone in a Crowd

IMG_7823

The phrase “alone in a crowd” has some pretty sad connotations. The idea that even in a room full of people, you can still feel isolated and lonely…it’s a tragic feeling. However, recently I feel like I’ve discovered that there’s something kind of beautiful about it. Recently I had a full day of just me. A day adventure by myself in a crowded city.

I went to a lookout point with a breakfast burrito and some iced coffee (from Cofax) and was met with a few tourists. I went to The Broad museum and stood in line for about an hour with another 50 people then walked around a crowded museum with endless chatter. Then went to grab some food and went to a nearby beach where there were groups of friends, couples, and a few too many models having their photograph taken against the scenic backdrop. I was surrounded by people all day but had no one next to me.

There’s something beautiful about having no one but yourself to please. Taking the wrong turn or being stuck in traffic don’t seem so bad when you have no one there to turn to and complain to or apologize to. Having nothing but your own thoughts as you walk through a crowd is sort of liberating. It’s the realization that happiness and feeling fulfilled and grateful and content is possible amidst a busy and crowded life. There’s always going to be noise, and crowds, and opinions, and work and stress. But as long as you can come back to that place, that quiet place in your head…then you’ll always feel grounded. Realizing that the most important person to make happy is yourself feels like an obvious sentiment but it’s so easily overlooked. We can’t be good partners, good friends or good employees if we’re constantly concerned with other people’s reactions and happiness.

That’s a tough one for me, I’m constantly worried about how other people are perceiving my actions. If people think I’m being nice enough, understanding enough, “good” enough. I know I shouldn’t but it’s my anxiety ridden default. These moments when I’m by myself with my thoughts in a busy room, remind me that there is no one else’s standards that I should be trying to meet. If I love hanging with myself all day then it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks because no one knows me as well as I know me. The people that do like me, love me or tolerate me…well that’s just icing on the cake.

That sense of independence of operating alone and being to make yourself happy in the midst of traffic, and smog and noise is unbelievably liberating. The next time I’m feeling insecure, or unheard, or overwhelmed I’ll have to remember that I am in charge of what makes me happy. I have a place in my mind that I can come back to, where it’s quiet and peaceful. And that place is accessible in a crowded room or by myself.

-Sandi

Advertisements
Standard
general

For the Love of L.A.

l.a.

I grew up with L.A. as a constant, not something I repped or something I felt that needed defending. It was the backdrop for all my experiences and a supporting character in the grander story of how my parents entered this country as refugees to eventual American citizens. All of this was something I never thought about growing up. It was my home and nothing more. I took it for granted.

It wasn’t until I moved to San Francisco to go to college that I started developing a longing and love for my hometown. San Franciscans are zealous and boisterous about their love for their city. That love is palpable in the energy that keeps the city moving. San Francisco is easy to love though. It’s beautiful, filled with rolling hills and clean air and gorgeous bay views. Los Angeles is big and hard to locate, it’s dirty and often the true view is blocked by the facade of a lewd industry. There’s traffic, dirty air and lots of people who have no interest in really getting to know anyone.

San Francisco is full of people in love with San Francisco, albeit complaining about rent but that’s always followed by, “but it’s worth it to live here.” Los Angeles is full of people complaining first and then mentioning the weather second as a small silver lining. I constantly hear people that are not from the Greater L.A. area complaining and talking about my hometown like they have it figured out. I usually say nothing though, because I’ve come to realize that a love and appreciating for this town has to come from your own perspective. It’s something you have to come to on your own, and that a lot of people never do. I’ll let people have their own relationship and hope that they get to a place where they can find their love for it. I just know that my love has grown from something I took for granted to something I appreciate and am grateful for.

A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness. It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. – Raymond Chandler

Los Angeles is the place where my parents became who they are. The time I feel most connected is when I’m driving around with them and they tell me all the important, happy and sad moments that happened on L.A. streets. They can point to the first restaurant in mid-City where they had their first American meal. They can point to our tiny Hollywood apartment near a freeway where I came home to after I was born. My dad can point to the street where he had to run home because he had gotten off late and downtown was still dangerous, not yet trendy. It’s a love that can be appreciated in L.A.’s constant companion – your car.

L.A. will never be this pristine thing, it’s big and it’s dirty and it’s tough to find your place in it but I’ll always be proud. There’s lots of great pictures of L.A., bright sunny and shiny…but this is how I want to always remember L.A., nondescript and a little hazy letting you make it what you want it to be.

dtla

 

 

-Sandi

Standard
weekend warriors

Weekend Warriors: Traffic and Turkey

Weekend Recap: November 27-30, 2014


After four days off, I go back to work tomorrow (insert crying emoji here). Thanksgiving has come and gone and we’re that much closer to the end of the year (yeeks!). My turkey day was filled with lots of family time (including a wonderful visit by my future mother in law) and cousin time spent yelling at a TV playing Super Smash Brothers. I’m really straddling the line between adult and kid, but I’m OK with that.

IMG_4709

My long weekend off started hellish/in the most L.A. way possible. I encountered mind numbingly horrible traffic. The kind that makes you want to just park your car in the middle of the road and walk home. The kind where you find yourself looking at the clock then looking at the road then looking at the clock until you’re dizzy. It took me about 2 and half hours to go less than 25 miles. It was horrible, but thankfully that was the worst part of my weekend and the rest was a whole lot better.

IMG_4714

My days off were spent eating…eating…some drinking…lounging…chilling and shopping. It all felt very lazy and American. It was great!

IMG_4718

Also it finally rained on Sunday and I got to bust out my North Face jacket. It’s the little things, right?

To close off this weekend, let me just say a few cheesy things. First off, everyday I find myself more and more grateful for my parents and fiance. (I’d be lost without them). I’m thankful for my close friends (I consider them family) and for my health (can never take that for granted). But most of all, I’m just thankful for the opportunity to keep improving and growing into the kind of person that I want my loved ones to be proud of (sorry about ending on a preposition). I’m the worst right? Cheesy rant over!

Here’s to another week (the first of my birthday month!).

xoxo

Sandi

Standard
grub and drinks

Fall Checklist

IMG_4493

 

Fall is great and there are so many things to love about it. But as much as I love it the small teenage angsty part of me wants to go against popular opinion and deny it. But you know what? I’m an adult, and being an adult is admitting that something popular things are popular for a reason. Pumpkin patches, leggings and boots are great, there’s a reason we (k, mostly girls) love fall.

Here’s a few things I got on my list:

1. Go to a pumpkin patch, take some pics (you know for social media…don’t act like you wouldn’t instagram your pumpkin patch pic!) ✓

2. Drink my weight* in spiced rum and apple cider (*or you know two or three or four glasses; there’s something about any cider drink that will fool you into thinking that it’s not 85 degrees outside)

3. Catch the Andy Warhol Exhibit at the MOCA (not fall-related, but still a must do, I think)

Warhol-Shadows800

4. Learn to bake a pie (I’ve made an apple pie before but I half cheated by using pre-made dough. This shall be the year I make my own pie!)

5. Prepare a turkey ala Martha Stewart (by which I mean make something remotely tasty and somewhat edible)

final-bird-1_sq

6. Drink by a fireplace at one of these locations

7. Step up my style game (is this lame? yes probably. But I think chances of me dressing like an adult go up if layers are involved. Will this be the year i wear heels recreationally instead of a forced formal situation?! no, probably not….but a girl can dream)

Wish me luck!

xoxo

Sandi

 

Standard