to find your own reality

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“i don’t like work – no man does – but i like what is in the work, the chance to find yourself. your own reality – for yourself, not for others – is what no other man can ever know. they can only see the mere show and never can tell what it really means.”

-‘marlow’ in joseph conrad’s heart of darkness

it’s the times of work, of struggle, where you find out what you’re truly capable of. when you realize that you are strong beyond measure.

and it’s also your job, and your job only, to figure out who you are. it’s your life and no one will ever truly know what you’re made of.

i secretly really enjoy this aspect of life – the fact that none of the people you interact with yearly or monthly or daily or ever will ever truly know exactly what is inside of you. i kind of really enjoy having my secret self that no one can touch. people can try to make sense of others, give them labels, and try to explain their motives and intentions, but they’ll never really get it.

[on an off note…since we’ll never really, truly know anyone, why do we still persist in judging and discriminating? just food for thought…]

i love this ability to change, through work and life and all of that, and have no one really know the magic that is going on inside. changing and becoming a different version of yourself is something special and private, and i’m kind of glad that people can’t just take a little look inside you and have you all figured out. it’s truly something to have your own person that can’t be replicated anywhere at all in the world.

any thoughts? what do you think about this quote? 


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

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin >>> life and loveliness

mirror mirror…or not?

i spent a good amount of time last summer roughing it in the great outdoors. camping, hiking, boating, et cetera. while i was gallivanting around lakes and through creeks and up mountains, getting terribly dusty and sweaty and considerably disheveled and having a thoroughly fabulous time, i had a thought.

what if we lived in a world without mirrors?

really. think about it.

during my time spent away from proper civilization this summer, no mirrors followed me around. i didn’t have a chance to glance at my hair or makeup or clothes just by stepping into a bathroom.

i got dirty, my hair wasn’t perfectly straight, and my invisible blonde eyelashes were, well, pretty much invisible without a coating of that dark gloppy stuff we call mascara.

and i was totally okay with it. when i didn’t have the chance to look at myself every hour, i actually ended up caring less about how i looked.

the honest truth is that when most of us look in the mirror, we see the flaws. as bad as that is, it is so, so hard not so sometimes.

but what if we had never, ever seen those flaws before? and really, we only consider them flaws based on society’s definition of beauty. so what if we never had the chance to look at ourselves and determine if we had those “flaws” or not?

think of all the depression and the sadness and the self-consciousness that might have never even begun, had people not ever been able to look at themselves.

this summer, i was able to look on people with more love, and with a softer eye because i wasn’t inadvertently comparing my appearance to theirs. after not seeing yourself for even a few hours, i found out that you kind of start to forget the little tiny details of your face in your mind (as weird as that may sound). everything began to soften and blur in my mind until when i thought of my face, i only saw the smile, and the eyes, and the light.

the beauty is what is left behind as everything else fades.

but then you get back in front of a mirror, and the stark reality is staring back at you, and the comparison begins again. suddenly it is so painfully easy to pick out everything that society has told us is far from beautiful, and those nuances seem so painfully obvious.

but what if we didn’t have mirrors? 

there’s my hypothesizing for the day – what do you think?


this post was inspired by the wordpress daily prompt!


“every child is an artist. the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ” 

-pablo picasso

this is refreshing. i love the thought that, just maybe, i’m an artist at something.

and if this quote has some truth to it, which i really believe it does, it also means that everyone else on this enormous planet is an artist in some way, no matter how deeply hidden inside of them it may be. when i think of that, i have this strange desire to get to know anyone and everyone out there and dig up their inner artist from the depths where it may have become forgotten. for me, a person really becomes beautiful to my eyes when i see their talents and their gifts and the unique little bits that make up the side of them that isn’t visible to the entire world.

what is your art? have you stayed an artist as you’ve grown up?

mutability of feelings and a clinging love

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“how mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!”

-mary shelley, frankenstein

is this not so true?

when we throw our whole selves into life, when we want to reach the highest mountains and explore all of the nooks and crannies of this existence, sometimes our hearts are left vulnerable. i really don’t think this is a bad thing, it’s just part of embracing every day and hour and moment we are given. truly beckoning to life, with open, loving arms, is accepting the whole package – the triumphs as well as the tears – because we’ve come to the realization that the whole package is what makes life so unbelievably beautiful.

and when we are miserable, we keep holding on, because we know with an absolute certainty that it’s worth it and that there is still light somewhere. we’ve developed this exhilarating, undying love for this adventure we’re living, because across the years it has time and time again come through for us.

we hold fast to life and all it’s made of because the wonders of it far outshine the misery. we’re drawn to the glorious experience of living and living fully – raw, unbroken, and wild.

what’s your take on this quote?

in defense of chivalry {part 1}

looking around me, the state of the world regarding chivalry is appalling. chivalry seems to be slowly seeping away, leaving behind coarseness and “equality.”

now, just getting this up front, i strongly believe in equality between men and women in society and relationships and communication. i believe that both men and women are equally capable and that there isn’t a superior sex.

but then there’s this whole concept of chivalry that seems to go against the idea of equality. or does it?

CHIVALRY. Definition: 1. the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp. courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak; 2. courteous behavior, esp. that of a man toward women

can a girl open her own door? heck yes, she can! but when a gentleman opens her door for her, it shows that he values her enough to go out of his way to make her life even just a teeny bit easier.

but then again, there are definitely other ways to show someone you value them than by just opening doors and being courteous, i suppose…

so this is all personal opinion, and i’m kind of just thinking out loud, but to me, demonstrating chivalry shows that you live by a greater moral code, one that respects women and holds them in high esteem. and when a man is chivalrous, he’s doing quite the opposite of putting down women and treating them as lesser people who are unable to do things for themselves. in reality, he’s like treating them as royalty, special and important. think about it! honorable knights slay dragons and sail across oceans and fight for their queen, not because she can’t handle it, but to show respect for her and to outwardly display how important she is in their eyes.

in a world where women’s rights has always been an issue, where women have continually fought to be equal, and feel validated, chivalrous actions build women up and say to them, “you are important, you are wonderful, you are special, and you are worth it.”

in this world, chivalry is exactly what we need.

i say that chivalry is far from old-fashioned. i say that chivalry is necessary and valuable, and any boy that ever wants to try to marry me better chivalrous all the way to the moon and back. chivalry is not dead yet, and you better believe i’m going to fight tooth and nail to keep it alive.


where do you stand on the concept of chivalry? is it important? or is it holding us back? i’m curious what the general opinion is on this!

stay tuned for part 2 of “in defense of chivalry” on thursday!