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

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brokenness in late-night moments

Tonight I’m in the mood for writing words. It’s 11:37 at night, and I have an essay that needs written, but right now my need to write real words is greater than my need to write the cold, lifeless bits of that essay.

Emptiness. Emptiness denotes an absence, and sometimes a lack of fulfillment. Or sometimes the state that comes before the fulfillment. At 11:37 p.m., right now, I’m currently trudging my feet, and my heart, and my soul through a field of emptiness. Through a field full of unfulfilled dreams, and goals, and late-night broken heart-cries.

Efforts. Sometimes I feel like I try so, so hard. So hard. And with all that trying, all that heartache…nothing. I look around me, and think, ‘It shouldn’t be this difficult. There is no way.

And I feel helpless. There is something so heart-wrenching, and leveling, and painful about being faced time and time again with failure. It’s a feeling that stretches right down to the bottom of your soul, something that has dug its way down there over time, until now it is securely lodged and it feels as if nothing in the world could root it out. The future is stretching on and on in front of me, and no matter how hard I desperately search, and move forward, I’m seeing nothing but that failure. It’s a feeling of inadequacy. It’s a feeling of lacking. And it feels so permanent, as if that is all I have ever known, and ever will know – this crawling and enduring sense of failure.

I hate feeling helpless. I despise that feeling above most others. I enjoy being capable, and competent. But there’s this one particular area of my soul where helplessness abounds. I’m usually good at ignoring it, at moving forward in life, with an ever-cheerful spirit and hope for the future. But then every so often, in the quiet moments where it’s just me, and myself, looking at each other in a mirror, I stumble onto that vast field of achy feelings, that realm of helplessness. And then I am broken. The wall of protection I try to build up to keep myself away from that realm turns to rubble around me, and I am left staring at that shadowy field, knowing what is to come. Sometimes I can propel myself past that landmine, but when these moments happen late at night, my propelling abilities weaken and that’s when the tears come out.

Broken. A state of cracks, and holes. That’s what I become in those late-night moments. In those moments, the helplessness, and the circling thoughts, and the emotions pour through the holes in my self-confidence. I pray so, so hard, and I feel the comfort of my Savior as if He were kneeling right next to me, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that He knows me personally, but I still struggle. If it were a matter of belief, or faith, or anything of a more spiritual feel, I would know what to do. I’ve gotten over those types of inadequacies. Not that I’m perfect in those areas at all, but the solutions to those struggles seem more evident in my eyes.

I keep reaching, though. I. know. it. must. get. better. It must, it must, it must. There has to be a turn-around point, a point where all of this work, and all of this endless and seemingly fruitless effort will be worth it. There has to be. I’m working on trust. Trust is that little thread that I cling to in the late-night moments. Trust in my Savior, and the knowledge that He is right there beside me, so it’s going to be okay. I know that He has the infinite power to heal, and to help, and so out of all the things in the world that I can turn to, He is by far the best choice out there.

It’s going to be okay. You are okay. I whisper this to myself in those late-night moments. I will myself to believe it. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Actually, to level with you here, as of late, it hasn’t been quite as foolproof as it used to be. But I’m trying. And trusting. And moving forward. Those late-night moments happen. Maybe, hopefully, there will be a time when that particular field of shadows is dispelled and I will stumble upon it no more. As of right now, 11:37 p.m., that field is still alive and well,

But I have faith that it will get better. It has to get better. I know it will get better.

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After-note: I know that a lot of people that know me in real life read this blog, so just FYI, I am okay. Writing helps get all of my emotions out, and I am doing fine! :)

other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

pinterest >>> tessa kohler

smells of freshly-baked bread, and here i am, still writing

the hour is late. my eyelids are starting to droop, but here i am, still writing.

the smell of freshly-baked bread still lingers in the air from earlier this evening. it is a sweet, sweet smell that evokes feelings of comfort and home.

michael buble’s soothing voice sings on, quietly, softly in the background.

i can hear the clock tick-ticking behind me, each tick reminding me that it is late, and that early alarm clock isn’t waiting for anybody tomorrow morning.

i rest my chin on my hand with my elbow on the desk before me. my eyes close for a minute, taking in the relief of relaxation.

but here i am, still writing.

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this post was inspired by the daily prompt from the wordpress daily post! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/daily-prompt-now-2/

confessions on reputations and being scared

so the funny thing is, very few people know that i blog. when i started blogging my family eventually found out, but i never told my friends. and as of today, as far as i know, none of my friends know about my blogs.

i’ll probably tell them sometime, or they’ll probably figure it out somehow through twitter or somewhere. the funny thing is that i tweet out a link every time i write a new post, but yet my best friend – the only close friend who follows me on twitter – still hasn’t figured it out. or maybe she has and there’s a reason why she hasn’t said anything haha? anyway, i’m pretty sure no one knows.

so why the secrecy among the people i know? i guess it’s not so much secrecy, just a choice not to broadcast my blogging. but why shouldn’t i be proud of what i write, and be happy to share it with people?

the thing is, i am proud of my writing (if i’m allowed to say that). if nothing else, i’m proud of it because it’s something i love to do and i hold dear this little creative outlet i’ve grown for myself.

but in all honesty, i’m terrified to share. 

and the deep down issue with all of this is that i’m honest-to-goodness scared about what people might think of me, despite how badly i want to pretend that other people’s opinions don’t matter to me, despite all the motivational messages that are shoved in our faces telling us that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you. i know, i know, i know, but try telling that to a brain that has emotions all wrapped in it, plus a life full of conforming to the reputation the world has placed on it. it sounds so petty, but i’m scared, and it’s the truth.

with my healthy living blog, (www.thehealthynotes.blogspot.com) i’m scared that people might think that it’s silly of me to be blogging about living a healthy life when i’m not an “athlete,” or a registered dietitian, or a personal trainer, or a health coach, or anything similar. i’m just one random person out there who sees the value of healthy living and wants to share it with others.

and then there’s this blog. i can’t decide which one i’m more afraid to tell my little world about.

and to level with you, i’m scared that people that know me might read my words on this blog and find me ridiculous.

there, i said it. that, right there, sums it up. i’m afraid of the snickers, of the behind-my-back-comments, of not being taken seriously. “you wrote some stupid flowery thing on lipstick???” 

okay, i basically pour out about seven-eighths of my heart into these words. the other eighth i keep to myself, since some special heart-secrets are good for a person, but i’ve put the rest out there, for anyone that cares to take the time to read it. (which, by the way, if you’re reading this, thank you thank you thank you for sparing a moment out of your day to hear me.)

so i give a lot of myself with my writing. and with all the giving, giving, giving, i feel like the defenses i’ve had in place my whole life are going down, one-by-one, post-by-post. it’s left me feeling exhilarated, and alive, and liberated…but also very exposed, in a way i’ve tried to avoid my whole life.

and i just can’t shake this feeling of vulnerability. 

to those acquaintances that know me from a distance, even a semi-close distance, i have a reputation, and a facade, and the internal pressure to keep it up. i’m seen as reserved. i’m known for being “smart,” however you want to take that. i’m known for niceness, and i’d venture to say that i’m perceived as being passive.

and i suppose there’s some truth to those statements, but that’s not me in a nutshell – in reality, the perception is very far from the truth that i see inside myself. that reputation – that outward perception – is only lightly touching the surface of me.

and for some reason it scares me to think of taking a step outside of that reputation, which is currently operating as my safety net. “tessa kohler” is liked, and accepted, and i don’t mind that in the slightest. “tessa kohler” has friends. “tessa kohler” isn’t criticized. “tessa kohler” is safe.

but “tessa kohler” also doesn’t write fiery blog posts about chivalry or happiness or other such deep matters in life.

so to take that step, and share what i write, is – to me – the equivalent of stepping out of a plane with a sketchy parachute, where you’re not quite sure if the whole falling-through-the-air-until-you-hit-the-ground thing was a smart idea. to share what i write with those people that already know me as a certain person, who acts a certain, predictable way – that would rock the ground just a little bit and suddenly i wouldn’t be that safe “tessa kohler” anymore.

and sometimes i can’t decide how badly i really want to share this with everyone. sometimes i really love coming here to write, and knowing that i can write whatever i please, because no one who reads this has those preconceived notions that terrify me so much. in those cases, my outward reputation is something i can hide behind, so while i stay safe and predictable in the real world, i’m also safe and free in the writing world that i adore.

but then again, sometimes i want to stand up in front of everyone i know and do some legit heart-and-guts-spilling, like i do here, in hopes that maybe i’ll actually be understood. and on those days, my stable reputation in my own little world doesn’t seem to loom over me as something that’s keeping me from expressing myself.

and yeah, i’ll probably end up sharing this completely unknown side of me someday. it probably won’t stay a secret forever. a friend will finally look at my tweets, or maybe i’ll drop a hint in a conversation, and people will figure it out eventually.

but for now, this is my place to be the real, legit, unrefined tessa, as cheesy and idealistic as that sounds. conquering those fears of altering the perception and the reputation is my mental and emotional work in progress at the moment. i’ve come to the realization that the more i write, the closer i draw to accomplishing that goal, so you can bet that’s what i’m going to keep doing.

here, i’m writing my heart, and my life. here i’m writing my true story.

here, i’m writing my reputation. 

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this post was inspired by the wordpress daily prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/daily-prompt-you/ 

the merits of bright lipstick

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in my closet i have a little drawer dedicated to makeup. the majority of the contents of the drawer are tubes of lipstick, leftover from a phase about six months ago when i felt the need to be bold and make a statement. i dabbled in the deep pinks and sultry reds and bright corals, spending probably far too much money in a short period of time on that particular tangible representation of my desire for uniqueness.

nevertheless, the lipstick phase has mostly passed. i tell myself i’m saving it all for when i live in a big city and everyone that i’ve known since childhood isn’t seeing me every day, wondering what in the world i’m doing with that unusually vibrant color on my mouth.

there are some moments, however, when the need for brightness on my lips comes back in full force, coaxing me into opening that closet drawer and digging around for something fun. just momentary whims that pop up when i’m feeling the need for added confidence and some sort of boldness.

so right now, at almost 2:00 in the morning, i’m curled up in bed typing this, wearing a very vivid pinkish-magenta shade of lipstick. because sometimes, no matter what time it is, you just need that little extra burst of uniqueness and slight flamboyance that says to life, ‘come at me. you can keep throwing out your best, and i can still get through it, because i am strong and capable and enough.”

sometimes change is hard. actually, a lot of the time change is hard. i’ve been discovering lately just how relatively unchanging my whole life has been up until recently. the past couple months have been full of thrown monkey wrenches all over the place.

i’ve been discovering lately how hard it is to see people you love grow increasingly distant from you – how hard it is to see them make choices and have to just sit there and pretend to be happy even though you want to shake them by the shoulders and ask them what in the universe they think they’re doing.

i’ve been discovering lately that coming to a crossroads in life can be both very exciting and very daunting at the same time.

so needless to say, the lipstick has come out of its little drawer a few times recently, because sometimes it somehow has the power to turn the ordinary into the magical and to elevate the rough spots so they don’t seem so bad.