building this life

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Happiness…goodness that’s a bit of a deep topic. I’ve had a whirlwind of thoughts up in my head lately about happiness, and just last night they seemed to be actually making some progress in a definite direction, so I thought I’d maybe take the time this lovely, rainy, Sunday morning to try to make sense of them all.

I am the owner of a little yellow, square magnet that was given to me as part of a graduation gift. In the absence of a magnet board in my current room, the little square sits propped up against a jewelry box on my headboard. On that little square is a quote that always seems to be relevant to whatever life-season I’m in: “You do not find the happy life. You make it.” -Camilla Eyring Kimball

I feel like at this point in time in my life, I am so crazy happy. Everything seems just about perfect, and I’m sort of sitting at the edge of my seat, almost unsure if I’m okay to settle in or not, almost wondering if it is too good to be true. I’m significantly optimistic about life, so I’m not really doubting the substance of the happiness, but it’s more of a “Holy cow, is this real? Everything is so amazing! What happened?” In some ways, I feel as if I’ve just randomly found the happy life. I’ve stumbled onto it through what seems to have been a not-quite-blind, mostly faith-filled search for light. And that search has brought me here. And I love it. 

But then on the other hand, a person can’t just blindly stumble around and expect to find happiness. Like I just said about two sentences ago, it’s a search – a conscious, calculated, guided search at that. As I look back on the past few years, it’s crazy to see how every tiny little thing has added up. I can say that I’m just living my life, but then when I think about it, that almost suggests a passive motion through this existence. It almost seems more accurate to say that I’m building this life. I’ve built this life. Am I allowed to say that I am proud of it? I look around me every day and try to take stock of my blessings and I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that somewhere along the line I must’ve gotten something right. That sense of gratitude is coupled with a huge appreciation for all of the amazing people I’ve been blessed to know and learn from as I’ve grown up and found my way. And there’s no way I could leave Heavenly Father out of the picture – I’m beyond humbled that I am able to be so blessed. I know for a fact that I have been guided by Him, and He is the real builder behind the scenes.

I’m no expert on happiness, but I would venture to say that it’s a gradual journey. And it will always be a struggle of choice. You choose happiness, whether directly choosing to be in a happy mindset, or by making small choices taking you in what seems to be the overall right direction. Happiness doesn’t just happen randomly. The happy life is a calculated one. Happiness is a choice.

And then there’s the question, “What is happiness, even?” Sometimes I wonder that to myself – I guess I’m happy, right? This is happiness, right? This happiness thing has become much more real to me over the past few weeks. It’s probably different for everyone, and it’s far from being a concrete concept, but here’s what it is to me. Happiness is peace, and calm. It’s a pervading sense of light throughout every day – a sense of light that cuts through occasional negative thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. Happiness is assurance – assurance of the present and the future – that although they won’t always be perfectly perfect, there will be joy in the midst of the occasional clouds. And for me, happiness is the gospel of Christ. Everything that the gospel stands for and speaks of and promises is happiness. The gospel is my ultimate source of light. There is no way in the entire universe that I would be where I am today, sitting in my little apartment, typing some random words and grasping at the meaning of happiness if I didn’t have the gospel. One of the many, many things that I love about BYU is that here everything is taught with a purpose, and that the role of God’s power is able to be discussed in every class, no matter the subject.The hand of the Lord is everywhere. Nothing just happens randomly.

Knowing that every single one of my blessings – every single amazingly delightful thing – came from Heavenly Father fills me with gratitude. I think that the knowledge that you aren’t alone, and that there’s an omnipotent, loving being out there that wants to bless you as much as He possibly can, brings happiness. It wouldn’t be quite the same if you had to do it all alone – if everything you’ve earned in this life was just from your own power. How unsatisfying would that be?

So today I’m full of gratitude. I’m so grateful to my Father in Heaven, first and foremost. Everything that I have stems from Him. He keeps his promises. I’m beyond grateful for Christ, and for all that He did for me. I’m grateful to those that have gone before me that have made it possible for me to be where I am today. I’m grateful for my parents, and my church leaders, and my friends, and for the scriptures, and for music. Slowly, with help from so many sources, I’m beginning to think that I have made the happy life. Or, more correctly, I’m making it – I’m not done yet I know that there are blessings in obedience. Obedience brings happiness, as does reliance on Heavenly Father. And ultimately, the gospel is the place to make the happy life.

I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!

——————————————————————————————————————————————–

other places to find me (because making friends is fun, right?!):

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

Advertisements

the excitement in a “now what?” phase

Have you ever found yourself in a “Now what?” phase? Where you’ve been anticipating something for so long, and moving toward something for so long, and then you get there, and then you’re just standing around in bewilderment. Okay, I take that back. Not bewilderment. You’re just having a moment where you’re not quite sure what’s next. And you’re plenty, plenty happy – that’s not the issue here – but you just feel like there should be something else large and important to be working toward. There should be something, right? Goals and all that fancy stuff are important in life, right? So I guess I’m on the hunt for a new goal, and I’m trying to do it in such a way that my will is aligned with Heavenly Father’s as well. I guess training for another half marathon is a decent thing to be working on, right? We’ll see how that goes! But even after that, I still feel like there should be something more. And there are huge, enormous life-goals, like marriage (go ahead, roll your eyes) and kids and all that stuff, but I can’t quite do much about that right now, now can I? I’m pretty sure you have to go on dates to get married (*cough cough hear that attractive BYU gentlemen???*). But anyway, we are NOT jumping to the marriage track just yet! Nope, nope, nope!

I just don’t quite like the feeling of sitting here, with not much anticipation for anything in the tangible future. At least the future that I have control over. So I’m just rambling ridiculously here, but I feel like I have to get up and go start doing something! New York sounds like a good idea, right? Although I kinda need a job for that to happen. Ha, maybe that’s what I should be anticipating! That’s the operation of the moment, because money is a good thing to have!

So that’s life! Thanks for humoring me and listening to my crazy thought-train. Maybe I’ll plan a trip to Europe for the summer or something fantastic like that. {And to my family reading this, which pretty much accounts for mostly everyone reading this, I pinkey promise I’m absolutely fine! Life is really quite fantastic! :)}

other places to find me:

instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

when the gears fit together

Life is quite wonderful, at the moment. It’s unbelievable the sense of peace that comes when you know for certain that you are in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing, heading in exactly the right direction for you and your stage of life. It’s a bit of a tricky feeling to describe, but it feels as if the world and everything in it is set perfectly in place, with nothing at all out of line – as if the gears clicked perfectly into their spots and now they’re turning around and around as smooth as could be. It’s wonderful.

I moved into my little BYU apartment last Thursday, and ever since then everything has just felt fantastically right. After what seemed to be an undue amount of difficulties getting to where I am, everything has fallen into its right form and it feels amazing. A couple days ago I found myself alone, walking around in the gradually fading evening light, when campus was relatively free of people, and I just felt so unbelievably grateful to be where I am, and so unbelievably grateful for the sense of rightness that’s been prevalent in my mind the past five days or so. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that are before me, and also for the experiences that I’ve had to lead me up to this point. It’s crazy how things lead into each other, and I know for a fact that there is the chance for growth in everything. I’m a huge believer in everything happening for a reason, and it blows my mind to see little bits and pieces lining up and playing into each other.

It’s a good life. I say that all the time, but it’s really so true. And I hope that anyone who finds themself reading this is able to experience at some point {hopefully at multiple points} the feeling of everything being right in the world. It’s quite the feeling, indeed.

other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler