just over here trying to avoid cognitive dissonance…

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I just spent some time scrolling through my September New York City trip post (ha, the one that I posted back in February…about my trip that was in September…).

The thing that makes me really sad about not moving to NYC is that New York City is most definitely, perfectly and decidedly me. I look at the picture of myself with Fearless Girl and the couple of me in Central Park, and that’s me. And looking at my photos from the High Line, and of the skyline, and at the Yankees game and they all make me feel freaking alive because I know that NYC is my place. It’s a physical embodiment of my determination and my love of humanity and so many other things that are just me.

And I don’t know this for sure—maybe I’ll prove myself wrong—but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to walk around downtown Kansas City and feel that. At least not for a long time. I think Kansas City is going to be an incredible place to live and explore in, but I don’t know if it is decidedly me. (Insert frantic 3am nightmares of being stuck in Kansas City* for eternity with a fragmented identity…it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m waiting for the day hahaha.)

I look at that girl in those September New York pictures and remember how right it felt to be there. Recently I feel like I keep having consecutive identity crises. Well, okay, back up. I know who I am right now more than I have at any other time in my life. I’m so, so grateful for that. But I think the emotional me has grown at a different pace than the social me. Lately I keep feeling this need to be all of the full, daring, strong person that I’ve grown into with everyone that I interact with, but then I hit a wall and something says to me, You’ve never been that person. You don’t know how to be that person—not in any place outside of your head. Which of course is crazy negative self-talk, but sometimes it happens and what do you do?

The Tess in those NYC pictures is the Tess at the beginning of a crazy and rewarding journey of finding myself that’s taken place over the past 7 months. It’s been 7 months of showing myself what I want out of life, and showing myself that I am capable, and focusing myself on the things and people that bring the most meaning to my life.

The possibility of living in NYC felt like it could have been the beginning of the process of leveling out the emotional growth and the social growth, since I would have been living in a physical environment that so clearly matched that emotional growth. I feel like changing my environment in that way (going from Provo to NYC) would have been the perfect jumpstart to figuring out a way around that wall that keeps coming up so often these days.

I think I can do it in KC too, but it’s weird to me to not have any idea of what life is going to feel like there. I know what Provo life feels like. I know what NYC life would probably feel like. But I have zero idea of what KC life will feel like—and that’s freaking me out a little. I’m terrified of stagnation and of not finding the courage to be my authentic self.

I feel like I’ve hit on seven different topics in this post haha, but it’s chill. Basically, the process of finding yourself is hard, but the process of learning to actually live that person and to live unapologetically is even harder.

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*side-note: I am VERY VERY VERY excited to move to Kansas City, and to be working at VML. I am so grateful to be starting my career at such an incredible agency, and Kansas City does seem like a killer place. It was so clear to me that this opportunity was the one that I needed to take, so no regrets here! :)

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full of thoughts

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Not a picture from today, but this sky seems to capture my mood at present.

It’s been one of those thoughtful days. Full of inspiration, and words to ponder, and lots and lots of thoughts.

It’s one of those nights where I want to listen to soft, slow music all night, and Pandora is once again performing beautifully as my best friend.

I felt very much myself today. I hadn’t even recognized an absence of feeling like myself, so maybe there wasn’t even an absence. But just now, as I’m typing this, full of thoughts, and searching for solid words to make into sentences, it has occurred to me just how very much I felt like myself today. Maybe it was the volume-filled updo I managed to craft with my almost shoulder-length hair this morning – a feat that has been near impossible ever since August when my days as a long-haired romantic ended. I’ve been slowly creeping closer to my good old twisted bun days, and today was just prime.

Maybe it was the maxi skirt, and the simple, small, elegant earrings. Maybe it was just the general feel of today – a day full of unplanned time and lots of edification as a result. At any rate, today just suited me. I have my fair amount of sweatshirt-and-sweats days as well, but dressed-up-with-a-bun-in-my-hair-for-a-day-spent-at-home is so me it’s not even funny.

It felt good to feel like myself today.

But back to thoughts.

I love the feeling of being filled up, almost to the brim, with words and ponderings and soft feelings that swirl around and around and make my brain work. Not in a calculus kind of a way, but in a holy-cow-this-world-is-so-beautiful-and-I-am-so-blessed-I-just-can’t-even-believe-it kind of a way. I’m in the writing mood, but everything is relatively jumbled right now, if you can’t tell already.

I’ve had so much to ponder lately. Maybe that’s the reason for not feeling like myself – my mind has been wrapped up elsewhere. So much is fast coming to a close, and so much is just beginning in my life right now. Despite all of this action around me, action that does involve me, I feel oddly still. It’s as if I’m watching everything around me, thinking all these thoughts, while I simply sit, with a slight sense that big things are going to start changing real soon. I’m watching friends argue, and watching friends make not the best choices sometimes, and watching people struggle, and watching buckets of conflict and opposition play out in the world around me at a pace that seems to be rapidly escalating. It’s a surreal sort of an experience.

And then today I look at myself, and my life, and I’m seeing peace. I feel like I should find some sort of storm in my life, just like I’m seeing everywhere else around me, but I just can’t. Sure, I have my struggles, and some days are worse than others, but I don’t seem to be battling through some fierce storm like the rest of the world appears to be doing. Maybe by saying this I’m just inviting something into my life, but I am so glad and fortunate and blessed to say that I have an inner peace that can’t seem to be shaken.

Life is so, so good.

P.S. My apologies for the crazy, disordered mix of about fifty different ideas. I’ll get to work sorting it all out and then hopefully come back with something a bit more cohesive. So stay tuned! Also, a post or two with some lovely Oregon pictures should be headed your way relatively soon. I’ll admit that I’ve slacked off a bit in the blogging realm of my life, but it’s felt so much better to write when I’m actually in the mood, and not just because I have to get a post published. 

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other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

the joys of blogging

Blogging…ha, I feel like that’s all I do that is remotely interesting anymore…for some reason my social life has dwindled down to the bare minimum lately, and I’m about ready to turn into a crazy lady that talks to herself all the time and communes with the birds in the park. I’m pretty sure I’m about 78 percent there already. So yeah, while I’m spending this abnormal amount of time at home, I’m just blogging quietly away. And blogging is kind of like talking to yourself, right? So actually I’m probably at about 98 percent crazy lady…

Craziness aside, the past few weeks of blogging have been lovely. I’m feeling slightly worn down from it, which is why this post is late, and there have been times when working on a new layout has me about ready to pull my eyebrows out, but yes, it’s been lovely.

As a whole, the past few months that I’ve been blogging in this particular space have been filled with so many blessings. I’m so grateful to have this little corner to just write, write, write, and interact with people (because, you know, with my steadily dwindling social life, I need some contact with real people every once in a while). I have connected with some truly wonderful, talented people, and I am so grateful to anyone who has taken the time to leave a comment – I have been inspired and uplifted by the enlightened responses to many of my posts.

I’m also forever grateful to everyone that follow this blog, whether by email, or on Bloglovin’, or Twitter, or on WordPress. It may just seem like a simple click of a button, but it is a joyful thing indeed to know that someone out there believes in you enough, and enjoys your words enough to want to read them on a regular basis.

So yes, blogging has brought me joy. It has brought me friendship. It has brought me inspiration. And I sincerely hope that this blogging-thing has some sort of a future, whether it is big or small, just some sort of potential to become something great.

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#blogeverydayinFEB is almost over, but if you’re a blogger, feel free to join in!

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

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

a time for coping

Coping with the bad times is an art that will forever be imperfect. Sometimes life flies in with its swift broom and sweeps you right down before you know what’s happened to you. I believe that in times such as those, there is a moment to cry, and crumple, and look at the world from a lower position than you are used to. But I also believe that after that low moment, there is also a time and a place for a coping moment, a moment to be strong in the face of opposition.

I’m no expert at the art of coping, by any means, but I have found little tricks here and there along the way that make the hard moments considerably better.

When there is anxiety… I pray. And I write. I write around and around in circles, and by the time I’m done, the anxiety seems but a small piece of this overall wonderful experience of life. I search the pages of my well-loved set of scriptures for words of comfort and peace.

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When there is stress… I run. I run aimlessly and slowly, without a goal of speed or a long distance. I drink in the fresh air, and somehow the stress seems to calm down. Not disappear, but at least calm down to the point where I don’t feel like crying buckets and giving up anymore.

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I drink hot chocolate, sweet and rich. I sip it slowly and enjoy the experience of the warmth running down my throat, filling me and spreading that sensation of comfort throughout my body.

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I treat myself to the little bits of happiness that are Netflix, and playing beautiful music, and writing. Disney classics and countless episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” are my favorites on weekend late-nights. Revisiting old favorites by Bach and Schubert on the piano is my release. And writing my heart out, often about a completely unrelated topic, does the trick with this thing we call stress, too.

When there is fear… I pray some more. And I trust. This is the tricky one, because fear is just there. You can’t get rid of it by finishing an essay, or taking a bubble bath. Fear is often a bit more deep-rooted than anxiety, and much more deep-rooted than stress. This is where the trust comes in. I hate feeling out of control, but when there is fear, that is my time to step back and let life happen. What is meant to be will happen, and it’s my trust and unending belief that everything will work out that keeps me going.

How do you deal with stress / anxiety / fear? 

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This post was written as part of #blogeverydayinFEB. If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in too!

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other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

little-known facts

-I’m not a selfie person. Seriously, it requires so. much. effort. to take a picture of myself, and the act of taking a picture of myself is unnatural to me. Actually, I’m the worst at remembering to pull out my camera in any situation, selfie or not. But! I feel like pictures of things that aren’t trees and ducks and snow and canals are in need over in this here blog, so I need to get working on it. So that being said, I attempted the selfie this afternoon, in an effort to start conquering my selfie fears…

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-I have a strange love for cats. Loving cats isn’t weird at all, except for the fact that I’m allergic, soooo that’s a little bit of a problem I’ve got on my hands. But yeah, I just have a thing for cats. Dogs are so happy all the time (yes, I know I’m generalizing), and cats seem to have a variety of mysterious emotions that I connect with a little better. Maybe someday I’ll get treated for my cat allergy and then fulfill my destiny of becoming that crazy cat lady down the street with approximately seventeen of the furry creatures, give or take a few.

-Frank Sinatra is pretty much the best. And Michael Bublé too, but Frank will always be my favorite. When I was little and no one was at home, I would turn on his CD and slow-dance with a broom in my living room. Because I was just that cool. But really, he never gets old. Classy, classy, classy.

-I’m unashamedly obsessed with New York City. Actually, if you’ve even read this blog a little bit, you probably know this already. I’m, like, really obsessed. I have a “New York” playlist that I listen to frequently, full of songs that have what I feel like is a New York vibe, a large majority of my sentences about the future begin with “when I live in New York…,” and if you’re a blogger, all you have to do is mention NYC somewhere in your “About” section and there’s a 99% chance I’ll follow you in about two seconds flat, especially if you actually live in New York.

What are some little-known facts about you? I love hearing from you, so don’t be shy…leave a comment instead!

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If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in on #blogeverydayinFEB!

6aba9-dailyprompts

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

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler