Friday, April 13, 2012

Question Of the Day [QOTD]: Why Did I Start My Blog?

Picture taken from Empire State Building
Spring 2010
New York, NY

I started my blog in 2009 when I had recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia during my 5th year of college in San Luis Obispo. Alexandria, known as The WAAC (Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center/Consortium), is an off-campus program that is an extension of Virginia Tech's Architecture program, where a handful of faculty and students from all over the world come together and pretend like they are teaching and learning, respectively (more on this in a later post).

Back to why I started my blog: My classmate introduced me to Blogger. He described it as an "online journal" where he wrote his project statements (these are a crucial thing for architects, which I will explain later), or simply wrote down his thoughts. "You can opt to publish it, or keep it private," he said about each post (and I'm paraphrasing). It sounded like a great tool to keep your thoughts in order without the fear of losing them - it almost replaced the need for a sketchbook - almost. So there I was in a strange, new city, on the other side of the country, for the first time in my life, and the idea of keeping an online journal with my thoughts and projects sounded phenomenal. So what was I gonna call it? It didn't take me long for "On Life and Architecture" to pop into my head. For obvious reasons "Architecture" is in the title. I was, after all, an Architecture Student, participating in the most looked-forward-to event of my Architectural studies: your year "Abroad." So, Life. Why Life? Well, that seemed obvious to me as well. Life Happens. It always does - the one thing you cannot control is Life. "The only constant is change," blah, blah, so on and so forth. I just put two and two together and left it at that, without thinking much of it. Little did I know how that year in Alexandria would prove to me how much life just happens. It solidified my relationship with my blog, but I didn't know it yet.

I may have started my blog in 2009, and by that I mean I posted a few "thoughts" and gave it its title. I also posted two of my projects that I worked on while studying at The WAAC. But that was it. It was left mostly neglected even until recently. I haven't shown much TLC to my "Bloggerino" (as Kandee Johnson says. She is a makeup artist with her own blog and you can find her at Kandeej.com) - until today! This marks the day - and post - of my soon-to-be-remodeled blog!

In short, after getting through The WAAC program, making it back home to California, starting my 6th - and final - year in Architecture school, finishing my thesis project, moving to Santa Monica, CA, and after almost a year since graduating with my BARCH, still remaining JOBLESS, I got some questions on my mind. There are numerous things I want to explore, questions I want to ask and attempt to answer, both to help find closure, as well as to grow as an individual and as a Designer and Artist. This will be my space to explore and take a hard look in that mirror. But I also want this to be a place of creativity. I want to talk about what inspires me, I want to discuss Theories, Philosophies, Design, Art, Architecture, Fashion, Cities, Society and Life. I believe Architecture encompasses all things and Life is what fuels it all. So here is: to Life and Architecture! Cheers!

-Perla

Picture courtesy of the Internet

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Thoughts

This is an oldie, but a goodie that I wrote a little over two years ago...

I'm beginning to think that we just go through life trying to understand it, trying to dissect it and make sense of what has happened to us and how we have been shaped by our experiences. I believe that this life of ours is something we cannot control but want to believe that we can, we want to think that we make our own choices and that we have a say in the way our life turns out, and while we may have some control, there is always something unpredictable about every action we take. Every decision we make has a myriad of potential outcomes and sometimes all we can do is wait for that outcome and react accordingly.

We try to understand our lives, the way they turned out, what we chose to do, how we acted, how certain situations played out. Sometimes the best we can do is look back and simply try to reason the past, or understand it and give it a definition. Or there are those times we try to come up with the way we would have wished things to happen. We fantasize about how our personal, little novel of our lives could have, should have played out. Many times we cannot let go of the past and wonder why the rest of our life has moved on when we clearly could not.

And love, let's not even get started on love because of all the feelings in life, of all the things we wish to change, wish to relive, wish to forget, well, they almost always have to do with love. It's the most complicated feeling a human being can experience. it's the feeling that is the most powerful. It can cause unbelievable pain and agony, and this same feeling can also cause the most happiness, the most blissfulness. it can be full of youthful innocence, as well as wear a mask of corruption that taints all that it touches.

life and all of its vicissitudes can be unpleasant. Life, as we know it, can turn into hell, there may be so much we cannot change and so much we cannot control, but i like to think that it is a bit of a give and take. That although we cannot control everything about our actions and their reactions, we may still have the opportunity to guide our lives. And that guidance, as minimal as it may seem, can be a powerful thing, because, if you think about it, total control of your life is a potential for disaster. As my father always says, "you have to find a median in everything." Have a little bit of "control" but also allow life to throw shit at you, and deal with it to the best of your abilities.

-Perla

You Can Never Run Away From Life...

One of the best feelings in the world is that of starting afresh. That cleansing feeling when a new chapter is about to open and all that can be done is look forward to what life will bring, while recognizing and accepting the mistakes of the past. Closure was the final chapter. And now a clean slate, a blank canvas waiting to be painted on with new emotions, new knowledge, new adventures. The feeling of invincibility....

And yet, the vicissitudes of life never fail to make themselves present. Another city, another country, new friends and acquaintances, a new job. None of these will stop life's course. And worst of all, the mistakes of the past - those whose lessons were supposed to be learned - come back. Maybe in a different form, maybe in a different time, but in essence, exactly the same.

Therein lies the challenge of life. Ask: "What do I want from life?" and follow it, fight for it without end until its achievement. Seek truth, above all else. Neither Fear nor guilt should stand in the way. Relearn those lessons if need be, but there is no stopping, no giving up, no cowardice, no insecurities, just honesty, truth, and an insurmountable feeling of certainty.

And with that, my next chapter begins....

Reminiscing With My Psyche

I am so much, yet I am nothing.... I have learned many lessons, yet I have an insurmountable amount of knowledge to attain... I believe in many things, yet I leave some of those beliefs behind and discover new ones to take their place..... As my vocabulary increases, I take the simple words for granted and yet my thoughts become even more impossible to articulate.... I gain strength, courage, and confidence, yet as my outer shell becomes harder, my inner self is more often lost and vulnerable.... My path through life that I so clearly saw and followed years before becomes blurred and strange; I often wonder if it was ever mine to begin with, but I continue to follow it in search of a sign, of proof that it, in fact, will lead me to truth, to happiness.... I question many issues and injustices in my life, in this World, yet I allow myself to be ignorant to many others.... I am kind, sensitive, and generous, but also vain, selfish, and indifferent.... I want, take, and give... I live, hurt, and love...I am so much, yet I am nothing...

-Perla.

I wrote this about two and a half years ago and it was just as true then as it is now. I know I have grown, a part of me has changed, yet my inner self is so much the same as it was two years ago, maybe even the same as it was in High School. I believe that as much as we grow up and face the world - learn from it, there is still some innocence inside us all - for we don't know everything. Our experiences change us, though pain and joy, though sorrow and ecstasy. They say wisdom comes with age. All we need is to carry ourselves with conviction, the rest will follow.