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/ 

liebster award!

liebster

soooo yesterday morning, i got a lovely little notification on my blog about a comment on my from vida, nominating me for the liebster award! liebster is german for beloved, loved, or dearest, so the liebster award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers who are up-and-coming in the blogosphere. i was so exited to see that, and i feel so honored! this blog isn’t much, but i’m glad that someone out there enjoys it! :)

lots and lots of thanks to vida for the award…it really means a lot! you should go check out her blog while you’re at it (http://goodgraceiousness.wordpress.com/)! she has a very clear writing voice that is smooth to read and her posts are real, which is very refreshing in a blogging world where not a lot of people are able to be really real in their posts.

so my task now is to answer the questions vida gave me, and then i get to nominate ten other bloggers! stay tuned for the end of the post where i do the nominating and give them their questions!

1. why did you start your blog? i wrote a rather wordy post somewhat about this, about this a week or so ago, which you can check out HERE, but the short explanation is that i wanted a space to express myself. i love writing, especially about random things i love, and i wanted to portray life how it really is in words. i have another blog dedicated to all things healthy living (check it out HERE), but i don’t feel like i have as much creative freedom with that blog. sooo yeah! life and loveliness was born!

2. what is your favorite hobby or activity – one that really makes you feel happy and peaceful? this is a bit tricky. i love filling my life with lots of things that make me happy! as of right now, writing is probably tied for first with playing the piano. i’ve been playing for a long time now, and i also teach piano lessons, so piano is stuck pretty strongly in the middle of my heart. i play mostly classical music, (bach and schubert and chopin and all that lovely goodness), and i’d say that spending time at the piano, playing the music i love, is what makes me feel incredibly happy and peaceful. lately i’ve been bad at getting to the piano with all the other things i have going on, but once i get the opportunity to sit down and play, i love it. i am obsessed with classical songs with beautiful, emotional, glorious melodies that are unquestionably inspired.

3. what is your favorite book? i think pride and prejudice still takes the cake with this one. i read it in fifth grade and have been obsessed ever since. it’s just solid, good, classic romance!

4. tell us something about you not many people know. ummm, i have a blog. (duh.) actually two blogs. ha, not many people in my life actually know that. okay, in seriousness, i speak to myself in french while i run. i’ve taken four years of french, and now whenever i run, i automatically translate the music i’m listening to into basic, broken french in my head. sound fun? yeah it was cool for about two months or so, but now i can’t make my brain stop when i want english-only music, ha. the weird thing is that it doesn’t happen when i’m listening to music in the car, or anywhere else. only when i’m running!

5. what was the most magical day of your life and why? ooh this is tricky too. truly magical days are pretty rare. if i had to choose, i’d say one day a couple years ago when i was in new york city with some pretty awesome people. we were in nyc for a few days, but one particular day stands out. the breakfast conversation that morning was refreshing and new and i’d venture to say it started a few things. we visited the 9/11 memorial, where i had an awesome experience, the gives-you-chills-kind, where i felt some strong, indescribable connection that nyc has with all of its people that stems from 9/11. that was when i knew i wanted to live there someday. we spent the afternoon shopping the black market for purses in chinatown, and then went to see “memphis” on broadway in the evening. most of us dressed up for the play, and i had the privilege of sitting by someone very nice during it. after the play, we went to ellen’s diner, where the inch-away-from-broadway waiters and waitresses sang us songs while they served us. it was just a pretty darn surreal, solid day that rang with magic.

6. do you believe in love at first sight? why or why not? yes, i do. i say this somewhat hesitantly because i haven’t actually experienced it firsthand, but i do believe it’s possible. and the why? i believe in it because i believe that love is something magical and wonderful that can defy expectations and logic and everything that is supposed to happen. if you’re only using your brain, and not your heart, love at first sight seems very illogical and ridiculous, but you’ve gotta remember that this is love you’re dealing with! does love ever really make perfect, logical sense? nope, but it happens anyway. love at first sight is legit in my opinion.

7. what is your favorite childhood memory? my little siblings and i used to perform plays together. i’d write them and then we’d put so much time and effort into getting together costumes and props and going the whole nine yards before performing the plays for our parents. fun stuff, right there!

8. describe yourself in three words. independent, loving, positive.

9. if you could spend a day with one person, living or dead, who would it be and why? mmm kay, i hope this isn’t creepy, and i certainly don’t mean it to be, but i would love to hang out with natalie holbrook. i discovered her blog a couple months ago (www.heynataliejean.com —- you better go check it out!), and i’m pretty much obsessed. she writes absolutely beautifully about real, marvelous, beautiful life, lives in new york city (my future location of residence, for sure), has an adorable little boy, aaaand her bio on twitter says “what would anne shirley do?” i. love. anne. shirley. i read all of those books multiple times, and it’s sad that anne of green gables has kind of faded off into the distance in the world. anyway…i’m not sure what we’d do for that day, but even just a chat would be great! and now that i sound like a stalker, let’s move on to the next question!

10. who is the one person who can always make you smile? so i have this one friend, who’s on a 2-year mission right now to the philippines, and he’s pretty great. i have lots of awesome people in my life who make me smile, but narrowing it down i’d say he can always make the smiling thing happen.

now it’s my turn! if you are nominated by me, here’s what ya gotta do!

1. thank the person who nominated you (me!) and link back to their blog in your post.

2. answer the 10 questions i give you (they’re slightly different than the ones i just answered).

3. nominate 10 of your favorite blogs that have less than 200 followers and let them know about their nomination via a comment or message or something similar.

4. come up with 10 more questions for your nominees to answer.

here are my nominees for the liebster award (should they choose to accept…which i hope they will)! along with the other few things i’ve told you to go check out already, you should also give these links a click and see the great stuff these people are writing!

with all our hearts

human shoes

authenticallyannamarie

my elegantly cluttered chamber

the girl with the red bag

a nourished artist

i love gypsy life

my life is beck

deerey me!

good to be grateful

now before i end this insanely long post, here are the questions for my nominees to answer in their posts! and if anybody else wants to answer some of these questions in the comments section of this post, go right ahead! i’d love to hear from anyone!

1. why do you blog?

2. what is your favorite song and why?

3. describe yourself in three words.

4. who is the one person that can always make you smile?

5. describe your idea of a perfect day.

6. if you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

7. where do you find inspiration in life?

8. if you could spend a day with one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

9. what would you like to be remembered for?

10. have you ever experienced a turning point in your life? if so, what caused it, and what have you learned from it?

i’m excited to read everyone’s posts! :)

a proper introduction

who am i?

my name is tessa brynn kohler. i am a daydreamer. i am obsessed with hot chocolate. i am a night owl. i am a hopeless romantic. i am a writer. i am a blogger. i am just one person in this marvelous world, trying to become better and brighter and kinder.

i have some dreams. ooooh man, do i have some dreams. i dream of living in new york city. i dream of traveling the world, especially france. i dream of marrying a handsome, wonderful gentleman in a gorgeous temple. i dream of having a family of my very own. i dream of inspiring people, of doing something worthwhile and using the time i’ve been given on this earth to the fullest.

i blog to get out all of my random thoughts and fancies and musings out into typed words. i blog because the idea of possibly reaching someone with the words of my mind is a magical one indeed. i blog because words are beautiful. i keep my own personal journal, where i write on and on about dramas and boys and family and life happenings, but this blog is my space for putting down words with the intent of making something soft and rich to run your mind over. i blog to highlight the reality of life, the reality that life as a whole isn’t perfect, but that it truly contains moments of pure perfection.

i write here about life. and loveliness. i write about the random, lovely bits of goodness that are manifest in abundance, if only we would take the time to look just a teensy bit harder for them. in this space i ramble. i spew forth words through my fingers, turning confusion and mess into something of possible merit.

it is my goal to reach out to people through my words, to possibly inspire someone, to possibly say something that someone out there can connect with, deep down in the rarely-touched depths of that someone’s heart or soul or whatever you want to call those reaches inside of us that are so hard to explain. i dream of connecting with people throughout the world, one bit at a time – people who are real and struggle and have light sparkling inside of them – which qualifies most anyone human.

in 2014 i hope to continue to write more, and write better. i hope for this blogging thing to become more of a habit than it currently is. i also hope to become less afraid of sharing my words with the world, because it’s kind of a going-out-on-a-limb type of thing, and i’m not always the best at those going-out-on-a-limb things. give me normalcy and smoothness and i’m with you all the way, but taking a chance is tough.

i’m just one person, and this is just one blog among many, many other blogs in the world, yet despite is seeming insignificance, i’m proud of it. i really do love this little piece of the internet where i’m free to write and write to my heart’s content and not worry a bit about being the tessa that everyone has always seen me as. these are my words. this is me.