Monday, October 31, 2011

well, you dared me.

remember that time there was a cute boy in my class & you dared me to sit by him?
well, i did.
we're friends now and he invited me over to listen to music at his house last night.
it also was great that the last song played was re: stacks. i don't know if you've noticed, but that song is a big part of my life.

also, that is the crew on halloween, mostly. mallory dressed up nice don't you think?
i sported a nice boy-scout-meets-britney outfit.

go make things happen.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I can't remember why I said what I said but I said it.

And when you grow up, you learn to never take back the things that you say.

Even if you realize that you didn't mean what you said.

You still hold to it.

And that's what I did.

I said it.
And I pretended to mean it.
Even though I didn't mean it.

I feel like my life consists of the same story over and over again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

take care of that soul in there, too.

it's the only thing that'll live forever.
take care of your body; that is wonderful.
learn hard to work hard to pay for life.
but don't forget that life doesn't last very long. remember the life of your soul.
give your soul something to smile about.
go paint,
go take photos,
go dance in the kitchen,
go make a new friend.
spend your time letting people know you love them.
souls are a precious thing. remember that not only does yours live forever, but everyone else's does, too.
even that girl you made fun of yesterday.
even that friend you've been meaning to call.

"speak your love and then speak it again."
-howard w. hunter

note to self.

photo taken on bainbridge island, seattle.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Those boys...

The one with the weird sense of humor and the glasses and the sixth grade crush.

The one with the dark hair and the best friends since fourth grade and the "I'll never let you fall."

The one with the "I'm about to hold your hand" and the confusion and the spying from across the street.

The one with the voice and the eyes and the smell and the late summer nights in the bed of that truck.

The one with the curls and the cigarette smoke and the snowy walk around the city all night long.

The one with the goodbye and the 6'4" and the complicated and the "Someday" by John Legend.

The one with the freckles and the v-neck and the stories and the Radiohead fogging the windows.

The one with the secrets and the plaid and the Skinny Love and the "you're still a good person."

The one with the Beatles and the bridge and the potential love and the let down.

The one with the park and the best kind of kissing and the "babe" and the tears.

Those are my ten. My favorite ten. My top ten.
The best ten.

Ten of my favorite stories.

Ten bridges I burned.
Ten bridges I wish I could rebuild.

Ten boys men that put me one step closer to figuring myself out.

And even though I've disliked each of them at one point or another,
and even though some of them seemed to have done unforgivable things,
I love them. Really and truly, I love them all.
Some, like a brother. Some, like a best friend. Some, like a significant other. Some, like a memory.
And some, like a complete stranger.

Ten different kinds of love. Ten strong kinds of love. Ten important kinds of love.

I sometimes wish I could hate some of them.
Because, thinking back, maybe some of them deserve to be hated by me.
But then I remember that if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be me.
I wouldn't have learned something extremely important.
So I have no choice but to love them.

Ten lessons.
Ten opportunities.
Ten thousand laughs.
Ten reminiscent smiles.

And ten cheers.

For having made it this far.

I feel like writing ten thank-you cards.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

always an evolution.

i think it can be a little surprising sometimes when our identities shift.
i'm changing into a better girl, and she's turning out different than i expected.
i thought i was one thing, but i've found out i'm even more.
i thought i had myself figured out, but i don't think i ever will.

the core of me is still the same, yes.
but i'm finding that i'd rather wear a windbreaker and boots than a dress and red lipstick.
i don't care about finding new music. i find myself listening to rihanna and the beibs lately (although that's mostly a result of my roommates)
my roommates are becoming my sisters.
plants are making me smile like cloud nine.
i want to raise chickens when i have a home.
i want to be camping in the woods more than i want to be in a big city.
and i eat pomegranate seeds for a snack more than bagels.
i'm not afraid of being alone.
my plants class friends and my fhe brothers and my roommate's boyfriend are literally the only boys i talk to. ever.
and if i could pick my words, they'd be calm, low-maintenance, love, peace, and learning.

it's different, and i like it.
i always forget that i keep changing.
my self-confidence has to keep renewing as a result of that. i loved who i was but i'm not exactly that anymore. now i'm different and i love who i am, and that took a little adjustment.

welcome to the world, new han. it's still just as beautiful, just a slightly different perspective.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eleanor Rigby.

I love looking at people.

People-watching is different from people-looking.

I find myself people-looking more often than people-watching.

To people-watch is to closely observe.
To people-look is to merely glance, take note, and relate.
I find it to be much less invasive and much more eye-opening.
You see, I find that people-watching has much more to do with others and nearly nothing to do with myself. But people-looking seems to be more about me.
I don't mean to be selfish, but sometimes it's best to worry about one's self before worrying about others.

It's a cycle. We should all be selfish before we are selfless. If we don't take care of ourselves first, then someone else will have to and then everyone is just looking after someone else, so we're all being looked after as well as looking after, and that puts a burden on others, don't you think? If we would have just worried about ourselves first, then others wouldn't have had to worry about us. 
So being selfish is almost selfless.
Kind of.

When I people-look, I look at faces.
I look at the face that is covering up a broken inside.

Every person is broken.

And that gives me something to reflect on.

All the lonely people. Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people. Where do they all belong?

I don't mean to relate everything to The Beatles, but they are all too inspiring.
All of these lonely, broken people. Growing up, doing the best they can, working hard to graduate high school to get into a university to get a good job to make money to provide for a family that will start the same cycle that they went through and then they die.
Why does it all happen? Why are we all working for the same goal?
We all work hard to get to a place where we will simply have to work harder. And then we die.
Who/what are we doing it for? Why are we doing it at all?

I'm not trying to be pessimistic.
Because life is so beautiful, and there is no way around that astounding beauty.
But it isn't always easy to see that beauty.
We're often blinded by questions and doubt and misunderstanding.
But there is always a silver lining. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

That's what I learn from people-looking:
That hard work means more hard work. And accomplishment means hard work. And forgiveness means hard work. And love means hard work. And broken hearts mean new opportunities to love which means hard work. And marriage means hard work. And kids mean hard work. And the hard work never ends.

But I also learn that failure means success. And losing means winning. And working means earning.
And maybe life means hard work. But life also means accomplishment.

Life means glory.
Life is glorious.


Thursday, October 20, 2011


It is one thing to be alive.
But it is something different to feel alive.

This morning, I woke up more tired than I was when I had fallen asleep.
My eyes were empty and weary. My legs were sore from my late night work out. My neck was stiff.

I rolled out of bed. And I smiled.

The night's dreams were terrible and reminded me of a cold past I had worked hard to forget.
But I smiled anyway. Because it was morning. It was a new day. And I was a new me.
And it was the beginning of the rest of my life.

I took a shower and let my hair dry to its regular curly state.
I put on my coral sweater and thought to myself, "It's going to be a very good day."

I feel alive today.
I can't describe it.
But I feel more human than ever, and it's so wonderfully refreshing.

Things are so simple. Life is so simple. I feel so simple.

And within that simplicity lies the beauty that I possess because I am alive.
I am living.
And, oh, how wonderful that is.

I want to stand on a mountain and raise my arms and shout to the world.
And I want the whole world to hear me. Every living thing.
I want the earth to know I'm alive.

Because I am.

And in the still of the empty silence, I can feel my heart beat.
I close my eyes and think, "I'm alive."
And that is enough for me.

As long as my heart beats and my mind wonders and my lungs accept the oxygen I feed them,
I am perfect.

I am living. I am free.
And I am the only one who has control over me.

It is a great gift to be alive.
And it's even greater to feel it.

Photo credit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


lately i've been learning the difference between forced growth and chosen growth.
both are a lot of hard work. they feel very different, though. but in the end, either way, i'm growing closer to the light.

maybe that's why i relate to plants so much.
there's a lot of plant analogies i could give you right now about growing. but i don't want you to know how nerdy i am becoming. 
laura found me a heart-shaped leaf.
& my mom and neal told me i can have free reign of the greenhouse.

i think maybe, these days, my favorite color is green.
it's the color of life.

taken at the montreal market.

Monday, October 17, 2011

those days.

those days when you're not smiling, and nothing in particular went wrong.
it happens to the best of us.

did you know bamboo can grow up to 47 inches a day?
did you know bears and pumas don't have hairballs because all the grass they eat does something to the way they digest?
did you know one in every 30 million lobsters is born yellow?

bon iver is quickly becoming the only thing i want to listen to.

i ain't living in the dark no more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Three words:

My heart. My soul.
My everything.

And, just so you know, I cry every time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I have this issue.

With stairs.

I have a lot of issues with stairs.

They create a lot of internal angst and discomfort for me.
And I never know how to explain to people that the stairs and I are not friends.

One issue with stairs that I have is falling.
I fall down the stairs.
I fall down the stairs often.

In fact, I currently have a bruise on my back side that looks like this:
Please note that I drew this picture up to scale. There was no exaggeration done in the creation of this drawing.

Yes. That bruise is on my back left side. It has been there for almost two weeks now.
And this, my friends, is due to a nice little spill down a lovely wooden staircase.

I will have you all know that I am NOT a clumsy clumsicle.
I am VERY poised.
It's just that...
Those stupid stairs are out to get me! I know it!

And then, all of the sudden, 

It's terrible. Really. I don't know what I ever did to those stairs, but they are SO MEAN TO ME.

Another issue I have with stairs it that I can't walk up them in front of anyone.
And it's all my mother's fault.
You see, when I was a child, my mother would chase me up the stairs and pinch my bottom.
And I hated it.
And as fun as I'm sure it was for her, it has ruined me.

Now, no matter where I am, or what staircase I am climbing, I have to be last.
Sometimes, when needing to climb a public staircase, I have to wait for several minutes for people to stop arriving so that I can walk up those stairs in peace.
I have been late to so many important things because of STAIRS.
Yes. I am just that broken.
It makes for an awkward situation sometimes.
Or.. all the time.

Let me give you one of many scenarios in which I cause an awkward scene due to public stairs.
I go to a public staircase and wait for several people to go up so that I can take my turn. 
Just when I think the coast is clear, I begin my ascent to the top.

A few steps into my climb, I notice someone approaching the staircase below me.
So, out of sheer terror, I begin sprinting up the staircase.
The people in front of me notice me sprinting, and, out of sheer terror, they begin sprinting, too.

And it's all just really awkward.
I just dread staircases.

The other problem with my life is that I also hate elevators. 
Because I feel like I'm going to suffocate 100% of the time.
And because I had a bad experience on the Tower of Terror at Disneyland.

I am broken.
So very broken.
And I'm waiting for the day where I wake up with wings so that getting around isn't so dreadful.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Old beginnings. New endings.

The beginning: October, 2008
"Hey, Mallory."
I whipped around at the commanding voice beckoning me across the noisy room with wide, questioning eyes. There he was, in all his glory.
"I like your shirt," he said with an upward nod, arms crossed over his chest. He was sitting there, behind the large desk that was not his. He was shining with confidence, as he always does.
I had no idea he even knew my name.
"Oh. Um. Thanks," I awkwardly responded, smiling half way.
"Yeah," he said, with a warm smile. "Where'd you get it?" he asked.
"Oh. I made it. Well, I just painted on the front." I brushed up the front of my body over the painted feather on my shirt and broke eye contact with him.
"Oh,wow. So... Are you an artist? Is art, like, your thing?" He scrunched his eyebrows as if he was really interested in my answer.
"No. Not really at all, actually." I felt dumb with my answer. Deep down, I wanted to impress him, but I knew I couldn't lie. I was not, nor am I now, an artist.
"Well your shirt says otherwise. You should make me one of those."
I did not know how to respond. So I just laughed awkwardly and shifted my eyes.
Then, without thinking, I said, "Okay. I will."
And then I smiled at him. And he smiled back. And it was genuine. We locked smiling eyes for a few seconds, and then someone else came up to talk to him and that was the end of it.

That was it.
The first encounter.
The peacock feather shirt is what started it all.

I fell for him on day one.

And we wrote a story together.

We exchanged words of love.
We exchanged words of hate.

There was laughing.
There was fighting.

We kissed each other.
We punched each other.

There was passion.
There was anger.

We sang.
We cried.

There were good times.
There were awful times.

We ran together.
We stood still together.

It was a bumpy road.
It was on and off.
I gave it all.
He took it all.

And it was wonderful.
But it was so terrible.

But, no matter, it's a good story that we wrote. 
A long and complicated story, but a good one, none the less.
They'll make a movie of us. Or a statue. Or a monument. 
Or something.

The ending: August, 2011
We spent the day together. It was normal. Driving around, windows down, holding hands, singing loudly.
It was the end but neither of us could face it or even say it.
"Yes, babe," he said. "I'll still love you even though we'll be far apart."
It was a lie. 
And I knew it. 
But I made myself believe it because that was the only way I wouldn't feel broken.
He dropped me off. I lingered. I didn't want to face that this was really the end. He was really leaving this time. But I didn't cry. I didn't even look sad. And I confidently left him behind after the perfect final kiss and an "I'll see you soon."

But I didn't see him soon.
And I did feel broken.

But after it all, I am a better person.
I am exactly who I am supposed to be.
Thanks to him.
And thanks to myself.
For letting it go.

I'm sorry. But I also forgive you.

"And I love to forgive and forget, so I'll try to put all this behind us.
Just know that my arms are wide open.
The older I get, the more that I know
it's time to let this go."

-James Morrison

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

have you noticed?

we went to the greenhouse in living with plants today.
we looked at cacti and costa rican plants. outside it was cloudy, and the rain began to pour when we got inside.
the rain hit the glass. it smelled like geraniums.
i walked around, i touched fuzzy thick leaves and thin waxy ones.
we came outside; it was still raining.
i had to walk all the way across campus. it didn't seem too fun.
the people around me put on their hoods, they put their heads down, they folded their arms.
so did i.
and then i looked up, and i saw the mountain. it was red and green and misty, and there was a cloud almost as big as it right there next to it. i smiled.
i kept my head up. i opened my palms.
and i decided it was fun. it was very fun, actually.
i smiled and i looked at all those heads bent down. i looked at the droplets falling off trees.
have you noticed them?
have you noticed how much prettier those red rocks next to the sidewalk look in the rain?
have you ever wanted to pick one up and take it home?
i couldn't go to class now. it was far too beautiful to spend the next hour in a basement, even if it was the basement of the art museum.
i wanted to tell everyone to put down their umbrellas. i wanted them to see it, too.
come on skinny love, just last the year.
those sister missionaries passed me. i loved them.
i crossed the street, i got sprayed by passing cars.
and i told you to be balanced, and i told you to be kind.
these trees here, the rain was falling off of them more quickly than any other tree. i wondered why.
i looked down, and there was a boy.
and i'll be holding all the tickets, and you'll be owning all the fines.
he had blonde hair and a flannel shirt on, brown eyes. he was tall.
he was watching me, i smiled back.
who will love you? who will fight?
so i came home the long way.
i brought the comfy chair from the lobby to this balcony,
and i'm sitting here in an orange blanket.
i'm eating wheat thins and pepper jack cheese.
and the ward pianist just copied my idea.
and have you noticed that all the berries on trees grow thickly on the top?
have you noticed?

and i feel beautiful.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

beauty in every inch.

growing up is a lot of hard work & it's necessary to see the beauty in every step, or things get monotonous.
i'm grateful for the way black words on white scripture pages become pathways when you take the time to ponder them.
i'm grateful for those pretty gold edges of the scripture pages.
i'm grateful for the glow of mine & mikelle's lamps. they bring a soft yellow light into our room in the wee hours of the morning (okay, more like at 11, we go to bed early around here) and they actually keep me awake better than that nasty fluorescent thing above me.
i'm grateful for penciled cursive words spelling out love. i'm grateful for those beautiful love letters.
i'm grateful for all the french words always running through my mind.
i'm grateful for the trees and their falling leaves. i'm grateful for the hedge maple and the lily magnolia.
i'm grateful for prayer and that desire to tell my Father all about my day.
i'm grateful for allie's laugh because it brightens my days.
i'm grateful for the russian's hair and the eye candy it provides me. also for the fact that he's not russian, and he grew up down the street from my roommate. 
i'm grateful for packages in the mail and movie quotes that set me straight. (thanks kari)
i'm grateful for weekends because weekends often mean home. i'm grateful for the way i feel at home.
i'm also grateful for the people who are home. for those ones i know were also mine in heaven, for the way we can understand without words. i'm grateful for understanding through spirit.
i'm grateful for the feeling of accomplishment and the wise use of time.
i'm grateful for the way my life looks in photos strung across my wall. my beautiful life sometimes distracts me.
i'm grateful for those donut eyes that me and jacob sport. i'm grateful for the bench. for that 4th of july. for the eiffel tower and the photobooth.
i'm grateful for my guidance and my ideas. for new songs and old ones.
for drops of jupiter. for the sound of what i'll be one day, for someone.
i'm grateful for the strain of my spirit as it undergoes the necessary growing pains. i'm grateful for my destination.
i'm also very grateful for that birthday cheesecake in my fridge.

i'm grateful.

life is hard, but life is beautiful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

And then, suddenly,

it all comes together.

And you get over the mountain you have been trying to conquer for years.

And you don't hurt anymore.

And you're better than you ever have been.

And you look at yourself in the mirror, after all you've been through, and say,
with happy tears streaming,

"I'm beautiful."

And you really are beautiful. You're beautiful because you've made it this far.
And that really is an accomplishment.

"There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears."


Image via.
Lyrics by Mumford & Sons

Saturday, October 1, 2011

live & learn. it's always time for a good cliche.

everyday i am learning.
i'm learning about the renaissance and progressives and du bellay's sonnets and cellular respiration but i'm also learning so much about myself.
i spend so much time with myself and my mind. and most of it isn't quality time with myself--i'm still just busy writing papers and reading pages. but i've learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and i already feel like my mind has opened exponentially since the day i got here.
i've realized again just how prideful and selfish i can be. the people that i just automatically love here are the humble ones and the ones i can't stand are the superficial ones. i realize that most of the time i'm not even the kind of person i'd want to be friends with.
my patience has been stretched, and my patience is a gift. i am able to be patient when most people can't. for that, i'm extremely grateful. but there are things that stretch  my nerves everyday. not things that i am annoyed with. it's more that i have one thousand things on a list, and not enough time. and i'm impatient with how long it takes me to do things that i don't feel anything for (like reading labor law cases) and having no time at all to do the things i feel are beneficial to my soul and it's ability to function (like sleep, which i do in history class instead of learning about those labor law cases. also, writing letters. we know it's a problem when i don't have time to write a letter. that's #1 priority up in here.)
there's so many lessons i've learned that i could share with you, and i'm sure i will at some point. but the one that sticks out in my mind is to act.
i have a book of mormon class with tyler griffin. please, if you have the chance, take his class. every week, the 100 minutes i spend in that class are the most peaceful i have. we're in second nephi, and this week we read chapter 2. it's all about agency. and it says to act, and not be acted upon. i'd heard this principle so many times before but i have never really thought to apply it. which is so dumb, because i essentially just ignored what i was learning every time that happened.
but this time i read it, and it gave me the answer to all of my problems. i want so many things. i want to make new friends, i want to keep my old ones, i want to go on humanitarian trips, i want to get good grades, and most of all i want to come closer to Christ. sometimes i feel like i deserve blessings. hey, i'm doing well. i'm going to church and saying my prayers, i'm being honest and loving others, could you do me a solid and help me out here? and i don't know what i'm expecting Him to do. like money and cute boys are going to come tumbling out of the sky? how ignorant can i be?
i forget that He's just waiting for me to make it happen myself. He wants, so badly, for me to be happy and to choose action. i have the power in my hands to get everything that i want. i have to take the steps to get it. i have to talk to people to make new friends, i can't just wait for them to talk to me. i have to do the same to maintain my cherished relationships with others. i have to save money if i want to go on a trip, i have to work to get good grades, and i have to study and ponder and act again on the things i learn to come closer to Christ.
it's all up to me and i feel much more empowered.
that said, i know i can't do it all on my own. nobody can. but as long as i am trying, His grace will fill in all the gaps that my little human self can't take care of.

and that's just one of the lessons i've learned in my 32 days at college.

growing up is sure a lot of work.