OPEN THREAD: On Sparkle Moments And The Time(s) You Felt The Most Beautiful

And also the reason I'm OK with getting older.
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And also the reason I'm OK with getting older.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suppose that you, like me, have had certain moments in your life when you felt extremely, inordinately beautiful. 

These are called sparkle moments.

Sparkle in full effect: Lago di Como, 2006. 

Sparkle in full effect: Lago di Como, 2006. 

I got to thinking about sparkle moments while I was binge-reminiscing on Facebook, MySpace, and other forgotten Internet annals. (Sidebar: I turned 34 this week, and I feel great, if a little nostalgic.) My face lit up when I came to my 2006 Italian study abroad photos. 

I was the last to arrive at the one-bedroom apartment that I would be sharing with two other girls. I got the cot. My spine has never been the same. 

I was the last to arrive at the one-bedroom apartment that I would be sharing with two other girls. I got the cot. My spine has never been the same. 

It was such a magical time in my life. I was approaching my last semester of college, I had amassed a "one last hurrah before moving to NYC" bankroll to blow on wine and jewelry and antipasti and cheap hostels, and I was with a kick-ass group of intelligent, funny girls who knew how to party but always made sure each other got home safe and to class on time(ish) the next morning.   

Two apartments, seven girls, many hijinks.  

Two apartments, seven girls, many hijinks.  

However, I'm not going to lie: my beauty situation was a bit of a wreck while I was abroad. I was growing out some unfortunate bangs, I was not being kind to my brows (over-plucking was all the rage back then; I've since seen the light), and the July heat kept my face in a state of permanent perspiration. 

Italy won the World Cup on this night so I decided to unleash my terrible boy bangs from their usual bobby pin restraints. 

Italy won the World Cup on this night so I decided to unleash my terrible boy bangs from their usual bobby pin restraints. 

But in the sweet Italian air (no lie: the air in the north is literally delicious) I felt like a goddess. There's also something about the way the sun hangs over Italy; it makes your hair shinier, your skin more luminous, and your step a little lighter. 

It was almost like I was a different me. Italy me. It was priceless and fleeting and, as I get older, its sparkle will only get brighter. And that's part of the reason why I'm OK with getting older. If life's about the chase, I'm after the sparkle moments. 

Open thread time...

  • Can you pinpoint a time in your life when you felt the most beautiful? 
  • Do you enjoy looking back at old pictures of yourself? I used to hate it but now I love it.  
  • What are you looking forward to in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond? 
  • PLEASE BOMB THE COMMENTS WITH YOUR SPARKLY TRAVEL PHOTOS! You might inspire someone else's next trip/sparkle moment.