Mandy Boyle

NEPA-er with Moxie. Writer. Sometimes Actor. Nerdy Girl.

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screaming woman

This isn't a picture of me. But this is how I felt.

On Monday night, I had a meltdown. The kind with tears and incoherent speech. Yes. I had reached the tipping point. The stress of everything bore down on me and to top it off – I was more aware than ever that I was going to be graduating. The truth is – I’m scared. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen. For the past four years, I knew my direction. I knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing, and next year, that’ll be no different. I’ll be finishing my master’s degree. But what then? What’s the next step? Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do? Like all people my age, I think about these things, and from time to time, they really get to me. Sure, most people see me as level headed and in control – but that’s not always the case. I have limits, just like everyone else. Which brings me to what I  decided to write about: challenges.

Whether you like it or not, you’ll be faced with challenges. You’ll encounter times when you’re scared out of your mind and have no idea what to do. You’ll be faced with unrealistic expectations that you’re expected to deliver on. You’ll be faced with changing jobs and career paths and relationships. You’ll be faced with a whole lot of change in your life – it’s just inevitable. What matters though is what you do with those changes.

If you choose to try to fight it, you’ll get nowhere. If you let yourself be dominated by the change, you’ll also get nowhere. The oh-so-delicate balance of resisting and going along with change is difficult to manage, but when done well, you create the changes. You create the possibilities. You give yourself a chance to just be and adapt and move forward. This isn’t always easy. Usually, there’s a process to it. You start out in shock. Then you resist. Then you bargain with yourself or reason. Then you start to muster up courage. Then you do it. And it’s done. And now it’s time to see the effects of your decision. Sometimes you make the right ones. Other times, you don’t. But either way, you have to recognize that you had the strength and the courage to make that decision and you did it because you thought it was right.

Now to make myself practice what I preach…


A little while back, I wrote about committing to being better.

I started out with five things on my list. Let’s see how I’m doing:

1. Eating healthier

Check. I’ve changed up my eating habits and I’ve lost some of the weight that I put on from last year. I’m not a dieter and I love food, so obviously it wasn’t easy. But I do feel better for it. I have made and succeeded in steps toward eating better. :)

2. Getting more/better sleep

Sort of. I have been more conscious of my sleeping habits, however, the past few weeks have been rough on it. Instead of what I should be getting, I’ve been skipping out in favor of getting more work done. We’ll leave this one as still trying.

3. Exercising more often

Mostly. I’m doing a lot more walking and I make an effort to park farther away from where I need to be or across campus so I’m forced to walk more. Plus, Brent and I have done a lot more hardcore hiking. Though our original plan of swimming regularly was foiled. Marywood’s pool policy won’t let Brent swim without paying an obscene amount of money every time he comes to use the pool. Currently, we’re investigating the possibility of joining a gym with a pool. Also, I’m hoping to take Swimnastics next semester :)

4. Reducing my stress level

Not as well as I had hoped. While I’ve dealt with stressful situations well, I’m still piling on more opportunities for stress to occur in general. I need to continue to work on this. It’s a process.

5. Making time for me and for the things that I enjoy

Kind of. Maybe. Brent and I have started to make the most of our time together by doing things we both enjoy. We’ve gone on day trips and have spent time with our families. We’ve started to watch our favorite TV shows together. We’ve been watching more movies together and making more time to actually relax. Sometimes that time that we set aside gets compromised because of crazy work schedules and such. The point is that I’m working on it and making an effort. It’ll take time, but I know things will get easier.


Hmm…not bad. What do you think? What are some ways that I can reach these goals? I’m open to suggestion :)



I'm Full of Glee.

When I was in high school, I was a chorus hall kid. Yes, the kind that hung out during study halls in the chorus room or in the auditorium  to practice with friends just as obsessed with Josh Groban’s new CD. I sang “Hail to Thee Blithe Spirit” and recited lines from “The Music Man” and felt so full.

When I went to college and saw my first Marywood production, “Quilters”, I felt that pang of sadness that it was a show that I wasn’t part of. At that moment, for the first time in four years, I wasn’t part of the inside jokes and the rehearsals followed by sleepless nights because there was homework still to do. I missed being part of theatre so badly – badly enough that I conjured up some courage to audition for Moliere’s “The Affected Damsels.” I got in – with a lead. I nearly burst into tears when I saw my name on the call board. I was in. I was part of it. The experience of being in that production was one of the happiest and most memorable of my life. But I still remember the thrill – and drama – of high school chorus and theatre.

I remember skipping track practice to go to rehearsals where I felt like I was a part of something so much bigger than myself. I liked it. I liked trying hard to get the notes right when everyone else sounded off key. I loved the backstage antics that left me laughing till my sides hurt. Best of all, I loved the people I spent time with on those stages and in those practice rooms.

When I heard about Glee, I was a little skeptical – and worried. At first I didn’t watch because I thought it would be another “High School Musical” (ICK). Luckily, after some cajoling by Amanda, I spent an evening in the computer lab before PRSSA watching the first two episodes of “Glee”. I was in love. The song choices were great, the vocalists awesome, and best of all, the drama and the story lines preserved. The kids in “Glee” aren’t singing  to advance the story line. They’re singing because it’s what they love. It’s what I loved when I was in high school. For once, they got it right. Now, I’m a full-fledged “gleek” again – and I have to say, I missed it. :)


Why I Haven't Written in Awhile

Things happen. We all know this, but sometimes, we forget.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been stretched pretty thin. It was midterm season – not my favorite time of year – and I found myself clinging to what little sanity I had left by reading instead of writing. This morning, I finished Love, Again by Doris Lessing. It was interesting and I found a few themes that she also shares in Briefing for a Descent into Hell. It was a nice change. Normally, I go straight to the keyboard when I’m about to lose it, but this time I just couldn’t. I had spent several weeks just writing, writing, writing, editing, and more writing. I became taxed. I started to feel like writing was work. Things didn’t flow naturally. It was if I was a walking shade of myself.

Have you ever felt like the thing you loved most was taking over your life and causing you to feel like it was work? That’s exactly what happened last week. I had to take a step back. I had to walk away from the writing and just breathe. I realized that if I kept writing, I would end up hating it, and that’s something that I don’t want to do. I don’t want to ever come close to hating this. Sometimes, I feel like it’s the most important thing I have. My words. Voice. The chance to say something and have people be touched by it.

I don’t know if this blog touches you, or if you even like reading it. You may only check in from time to time just to see what I’m up to because you know me outside of this web address. Or maybe, and I really hope that you do, you enjoy reading my aimless rantings and self-reflections. Either way, thanks for coming – even when I wasn’t around.

Let’s hope I won’t stay too far away. :)


Yes. We all have them.
Right now, I’m having some delays in posting, mostly due to midterm season.

Expect my return shortly :)

Thanks everyone!

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