Thursday, October 20, 2016


It's like the moments just before 11:11 flashes on the digital clock: how 11:10 seems to outlast all of the other minutes, stretching so as to not fall into the nothing between the time. The stretch that comes before change can seems long, exasperatingly slow, but the comforting part is that the fall never happens. The nothing never rapidly approaches your face. For as long as humanity has been on this earth, 11:11 has arrived and, sometimes with a sideways glance, so the new reality has appeared, still hazy around the edges from transformation.

I'm in a stretch right now. Maybe my life is one terraced stretch after the other, overlapping like zebras transcending the golden grasses. In an effort to make it over the threshold, I'm trying to give myself permission to linger on the small things. This is a cliche which sounds straightforward and effortless, but I've learned it's much harder than I would have initially thought when dealing with such heavy weights as 24/7 news cycles and macroeconomics midterms.

Last weekend, I drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton Ski Resort, its chairlift hanging as a spindly relic against the gold-and-mocha hills. A few miles brought me to Lake Catherine. I am blessed, blessed, blessed beyond measure to have lived where I have, and to be familiar with the immensity of the outdoors. Although I can't help but score the Wasatch mountains roughly a 4 out of 10 overall, this lake gave me something I needed. There is NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING like the silence of the backcountry. It's not a silence coming from lack-of-noise. Silence in a class or a library or a car is empty, can easily be broken by some words, improved upon. But the silence in these natural places is already full; it's its own entity that you don't want to tear a hole in.

It's that vast peace and profundity that I need to be better at letting fill my humdrum everyday life when I'm back to the places I frequent daily. I have a feeling that when I do that, my goal of fully appreciating oft-overlooked things (to let the things that would ordinarily bore me suddenly thrill me, if you will-- bonus points to me for staying on brand) will be closer. Things like the two potted plants that have now sat on my various windowsills for more than a year; the way that the crisp, cold air fills my lungs, tangible and rejuvenating; the unique shade of lavender that softly colors the mountains for no more than 10 minutes every evening; the fact that even though there's no temporal reason for it, I'm given the capacity for a perfect hope in what I pray for.

I'm learning that at least for me, peace is not something that alights gently on a fingertip as the screen fades to vignette. It's a fight. My heart aches for the things which I lack and the things I wish I could share; the bruises are ginger to the touch. It requires a concentrated effort, a winding of the clock, to maintain steady breathing and a soft brow. But I'm progressing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sophomore Year

I'm now in my third week of my sophomore (technically junior) year here at BYU. Three weeks in, and I have no missing assignments in Arabic. Three weeks in, and I have yet to unpack a few bags. Three weeks in, and today for the very first time I remembered to wear my glasses.

My schedule is so very full and hectic that it's hard to find time to step back and observe. Ironically, "the life observed" is the subject of one of my classes, and I rarely have been so removed from it. From the outside looking in, though, I realize how strange it all is. To be a university student, nearly twenty years old. I had visions and ideas about what, who, why I would be at this very point, but now it's... strange. At least thinking about it in the way I have been today. You know how you learn in science class, middle school level, about atoms? And how no matter how tightly you grasp that pencil in your hand, you're never really touching it. The space between the atoms is still there. It blows the 7th-grade mind, you feel as if touch and pressure and texture have all somehow been disproved. In a way, I guess that's how things feel now. I can touch and I can feel pressure and I can discern texture, but it's never, quite, quite, quite there.

I've found myself thinking back to my second year of high school, comparing. Did I feel the same way? About direction and involvement and velocity? I want it to be a perfect parallel, but deep down I'm worried the mountain has been summited.

Last Saturday I went up Provo Canyon with Emma (thank goodness for Emma!), just to Bridal Veil Falls, nothing exceptional. It's become obvious to me over the last few years that I breathe differently in the mountains. The air is crisp and I feel content to let it feel every pocket of my lungs, whereas in Provo I don't breathe deeply. The air isn't the same. In the quiet, with the crisp, fearless air, I sometimes ask myself, like the umbrellas or the hats of lucid aspirations, is this me? Truly? And I think, usually, yes.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


It's been two and a half years since I last posted on this blog, and much more than that since I really put any sort of time or effort into it. A few weeks ago I pulled my URL out of the recesses of my memory and looked back over my posts throughout the years, and found this one: .

I typed out those words when I was sixteen years old. Do I believe that I was unusually eloquent, open-minded, brave, ambitious? Not really. But I was me, unabashedly at that time, and now four years later I miss that girl. She was nearly four years younger than I am now with a lot of growing up to do, but I know that I've since lost some important things. Only temporarily, I hope.

The past has always been both a friend and a heartbreak to me, an ephemeral presence my fingertips can only brush against. I treasure the good times that I can never again return to, and while I'm excited, hopeful, and passionately invested in the future, there's a security and comfort that accompanies who I used to be, while my present self seldomly fits just right.

I don't regret the hours I put into the layout and posts and photos on this blog (#sparklesandsuchforever) because it is my own personal amber record, a snapshot, however incomplete, of my progression (and, sometimes, regression). Different mediums bring out, for me, different angles, and it's my hope that in the future I'll be able to use this blog not for followers or social influence, but for a personal means of introspection.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Prom- again

Surprise guys! Maybe I do have qualities which other human beings don't find repulsive! Last Thursday I came home from school to find caution tape all over my house. I had a split second of wondering if my family had been murdered in my absence before realizing- ah. Prom. The dreaded and loved season of having to keep your room clean just in case. I went inside and saw more caution tape everywhere as well as a sign with my name on it. A series of these same signs led to my bedroom and spelled out "Mandi I am dying to to to prom with you!" Then I opened the door to my room and saw Scott laying on the ground "dead". He jumped up and said "Don't let me die!" and handed me a rose. Too cute. :) I'm really excited because Scott is one of my very best friends so it'll be a blast.

Now to respond. Ideas? 

[Read about last year's prom escapades herehere, and here.]

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Zayn Malik

I think I've finally got my blog design to a point where I could potentially be happy with it for at least a month. Bad 80s color schemes are my favorite.

Over the last year my life has changed so much in that college is now a near reality. Adults have apparently lost the ability to ask about any other aspect of existence apart from my future educational goals. Yes, I have the grades and the stellar test scores to make the admittance process easy, but there's still the small matter of I have no clue where I want to go. I don't want to have to worry about debt, I don't want to have to worry about the availability of husband-options. I just want to study abroad and meet people who are the same as me and also who are completely different than me. My current plans are to major in journalism. It's not the most relevant degree with regards to being successful in the actual field, but hey. If anyone has any advice about where to go, what to consider, how to prepare, etc. It would be much appreciated.

I guess the real issue with my indecisiveness and noncommittal-ness is that while I want to learn and take classes and experience new things, I don't want to face the reality of a career and life beyond. Mainly my life goal is to travel the world with my husband. Hmm.
Rock on.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I want to know your 3am personality

I am not a person who is attracted to a great many boys. If I like you consider yourself special because you're one of very few. I also get really attached. Not necessarily emotionally or physically, but just in the way that I won't let go of wanting to know you better until I discern your tragic flaw. 

Hence here I am 4 years later, still hanging on even though everything tells me that I should move on. Silver slivers of hope trail behind you and I hold on for dear life despite what my rational self yells. 

I think the problem might be that I am a person unusually, perfectly suited for being married. I don't compete for any kind of relationship and I don't share things. Having a constant confidante and partner is something my personality desperately craves and has never experienced. Here's to the future.