one little word

Aaah this type of writing fills me up like no other, and I’ve missed it. I feel like it’s disappeared for the larger part of the past month or so, but it is coming back, I tell you, coming back with a vengeance.

So, “one little word,” huh? I’ve been thinking about this post for the past few days, searching for that “one little word” that is whispering inspiration to me at the moment. And the one little word that kept showing up in the corners of my brain that I was scouring surprised me.

Courage.

Courage? Why not strength, or patience, or perseverance, or work, or some other word that I relate to a little more. Or at least that’s what I thought. The more I think, the more courage seems to fit, so I’m just going to roll with it.

Courage is strength. Courage is patience. Courage is perseverance. Courage is work.

Courage is sometimes standing alone, but it’s also sometimes standing in a crowd.

Courage is one of those things that often gets overlooked in the moment, but is praised in hindsight. I’m so much quicker to tall myself to be strong, or to be patient, or to persevere, or to endure, but I, for some reason, rarely tell myself to have courage. Maybe because courage seems to encompass all of those other little pieces.

So then how does a person have courage? I have a thought that courage comes from baby steps – baby steps in the right direction. It comes from living. Curling up on your own with the thought of independence in your head is a good way to trick yourself, but I’ve figured out that there is a difference between independence and living. Sometimes they go together – actually, in the best form of courage they do go together. But then there are times when you tell yourself that you’re being independent, and you say that the experience of independence is living, but you’re actually isolating – which is quite far from living, in my thoughts. For me, at least, sometimes it takes courage to find that living state of independence, that state where I’m not just labeling myself independent so I have permission from myself to hide away and live in my own neat and tidy world all the time – instead, that state where I can be independent and my own person, but also take part in the richness that is society and human diversity.

That takes courage. Courage {and strength, patience, perseverance, and work, too} to plunge deep into the world, outside of all limits of comfort. That’s what I’m in the process of working on. I’m in the moment of courage, or at least trying to be. I’m not even wading through any particularly deep sludge in life at the moment, but I think that a person can have courage for little points of stickiness along with the thick swamps of sludge. Everyday life takes at least a little bit of courage, that mysterious, strong force that keeps us going.

Courage, to me, is living with actions and intentions, and living with the intentions to truly live, and embrace life, and strive for the beauty, and walk in the light.

What are your thoughts on courage? 

other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

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a letter to 16-year-old me

Fun times opening presents on my 16th birthday!
Fun times opening presents on my 16th birthday!

Dear Miss Tessa,

I don’t have a lot to say, because I think you’re actually doing a decent job of figuring things out at this point in your life, but here are some little tidbits…

-Always give people the benefit of the doubt. I promise, those second chances that you keep giving people always pay off in the end, despite how badly you just want to give up on them.

-Listen to promptings the first time they happen, instead of waiting until the very end to be smart. 

-Be yourself. As much as you hear this, it is so, so important. What those kids in high school think of you doesn’t really matter in the long run. By the time the high school chapter of your life is coming to a close, most of the people in your class will become chill enough with each other that they are totally fine with you being who you really are.

-Life gets so much better than sophomore year of high school. Keep sticking it out – it’s worth it, I promise.

Best of wishes, and believe me when I say that some pretty amazing moments are in your future.

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This post was written as part of #blogeverydayinFEB. If you’re a blogger, feel free to join in for the last few days!

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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

a story without words

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After-note…

First of all: Holy cow, this was hard…I am not an artist…at all…hopefully that story made even an ounce of sense…

Second: I’ve realized that my stick figures look even more lacking in artistic talent when they’re blown up on a computer screen. Um, I’m pretty sure I need to go back to kindergarten now…

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

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