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. 


other places to find me:

twitter >>> @tessabrynnk

bloglovin’ >>> life and loveliness

instagram >>> @tessabrynnk

pinterest >>> tessa kohler


to paint my present beautiful

“do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” -buddha

this made me stop and think for a minute when i read it. i understand not dwelling in the past, and making sure to live in the present moment, but not dreaming of the future? um, i pretty much exist to dream of the future. romance, marriage, kids, nyc…you name it.

but in a way, i do see the truthfulness of this quote. it’s important to be happy in the now. happiness comes in loving this journey, every inch of it, no matter how disgusting and discouraging life may seem.

i’ve found that there is a sense of peace, unlike any other, that comes from taking a moment to just sit, and be. to live for even just thirty seconds, perfectly in the present, perfectly grateful for all of the blessings around you, perfectly whole, and content, and full of compliance with the world…that’s a beautiful moment right there.

i’ve been trying to take more of those moments for myself lately. just snatches in the middle of each crazy day where i stop worrying about what’s going to come next and what else needs to be done and instead take a moment to recognize the bounty around me.

i’ve found that life becomes a little bit like a prison when all you can ever see is the future, and how the present is just clearly not good enough, since there’s this amazing future right off in the distance. happiness is so easy to just toss of to the hands of the future for safekeeping.

but the thing is, if you haven’t learned how to be happy in the gorgeous, rich present you’re living now, how is anything going to be any different when you finally reach that day, or event, or milestone that you tossed your happiness to so long ago? happiness is a choice, and it can most certainly be a hard choice, but it’s something you have to train yourself to choose. and as nice as those pity-parties sometimes feel, and although i’m far from happy all of the time, i’ve realized that the world is so, so much brighter when i choose happiness in the current moment.

yet i don’t think dreaming is altogether bad either. when you have those dreams and aspirations continually in your sights, you’re able to live your “now” in a way that will allow those future hopes to eventually become a part of your present. expectations for a better future are what keep me moving – what keep me taking steps and making the choice to keep going, every time that lovely sun comes up.

so i guess there’s an extent. when you pile up all of your stock and save it for the future, that’s a recipe for dissatisfaction and unrest. but letting the future be a guide, a beacon of hope in the distance makes for special, precious, full moments in the present.

i want more of those full moments – those moments where time seems to smile, imperfection seems perfect, and the goodness and rightness of life seems about to overflow. and i have a sneaking belief that those moments aren’t fleeting or rare. my sneaking belief is that every moment can be a full moment, if i only expend the littlest bit of effort to recognize it.

my goal at present is to hunt out those full moments, to open my eyes, and pull down the discouragement and the pride and the haze of expectation that i’ve allowed myself to let hover in the way of present contentment. i’m going to do my best to usher the beauty and the gratitude to the forefront, and help keep it there.

and while accomplishing my goals and living out my dreams may still be something a little ways off in time, ushering in the beauty is something i can do now, this very minute. i’m going to throw back the curtains and let beauty into my present – i’m going to paint my present beautiful.

let it go

let it go, let it go, let it go.

it seems like lately i’ve been saying this to myself over and over again. sometimes with clenched fists and deep breaths and little tiny tears trying to sneak their way out of my scrunched up eyes.

this is something i struggle with, this action of letting it go. letting go of hurt, of grudges, of feelings of being wronged. but this struggle is only human, right?

it hurts to be the second. the second priority. the second option. the second person to be called for comfort. sometimes i feel like i’m just halfway reliving about fifty sappy, passionate quotes on pinterest, and then it seems silly, but it’s the truth. no matter what form of relationship it occurs in, it hurts to be the second.

i keep struggling to find the line – really, really wanting to find the line – the line where i can say to myself, “it’s okay, you’re done now – it’s okay for you to leave these people behind. they’ve done too much. they don’t deserve your help or your friendship anymore.”

but yet, despite the hurt, i can’t get rid of the little voice of goodness whispering to me to let it go. just. let. it. go. 

i do need to be better at remembering. remembering is what will keep the cracks and tears from going deep. remembering that i can only control my own actions. i am in control of how i react. the other person involved may go and act in a way that i deem hurtful, but that’s their choice. and i really don’t think that most people act with malicious intent on a regular basis, so whatever they choose to do is whatever they feel is right.

so no matter how badly i want to want to punch some people in the face and break down in tears in front of them because of how they’ve treated me, or sometimes how they haven’t treated me, i need to remember to choose to just let it go. 

i need to put first in my mind the moments of kindness, and the words of encouragement, and the goodness that’s deeply rooted inside of people. that doesn’t mean that i’ll make the choice to put 100% of my emotional stock in certain people again, since there is a point where you need to make sure you’re safe and not continually throwing yourself into a toxic situation. but it does mean that i need to remember that life always sits better when you’re on good terms, when there is peace, and when you’re searching for the beauty in people instead of the faults.

i don’t want to blow this out of proportion, because these bothersome happenings don’t occur every day, and it’s not abusive, or anything scary. it’s just the accumulation of one little thing and then another, one week here and there, that adds up over time. but the fact that it’s only little things is all the more reason for me to let it go. these people aren’t bad people. at all. again, all the more reason for moving beyond the hurt.

these little things don’t really matter in the grand scheme of the world. let it go, let it go, let it go.

and at the end of the day, i want to be known for being the friend who forgave, the one who stuck through to the end and lasted beyond the stupid boyfriends and the icky spots and the times of being put second. i want to be known for being reliable, for being a constant, despite how the other party may act.

this whole let-it-go-thought-train reminded me the other day of part of the song “little wonders” by rob thomas. (to hear the whole song, which i highly recommend, since it’s a beauty, click this link >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhZ1BdMtw_Q)

Let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know the hardest part is over?
Let it in, let your clarity define you
In the end we will only just remember how it feels

Our lives are made in these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away but these small hours
These small hours still remain.

i need to let the “clarity define [me].” i need to find the peace in the situation, even if that means removing myself for a time. life will go on, and i’ll look back on past events without remembering specifics, but instead remembering how i felt. i want to remember feeling happy, and content, and joyful.

and though it’s a struggle, at the end of the day i’ve formed this determination to rise above and shake off the hurt. no matter how badly a part of me may want this to be the last time, i have a determination to forgive. i have a determination to allow those let-it-go whisperings to win over, leaving me free.

my favorite things // 12-12-2013

“raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…”

this morning one of my friends asked my why that song is considered a christmas song, and i didn’t have a reply for her. any ideas?

today has been an interesting day. oddly enough, even though life didn’t quite take the turn i wanted it to take today, i feel at peace.

today i’m grateful for the happy bits that occurred throughout the day. my favorite things of today don’t consist of anything super fancy, but i’m a firm believer that it’s the little things that matter most.

things that made today lovely:

-sweet, sweet piano students who give you their handmade bracelet off of their wrist right in the middle of their lesson. a few months back, this same girl also picked flowers from her garden and gave them to me. i tell you, she has something special and wonderfully perceptive about her, because she seems to possess the ability to know exactly when someone needs reached out to the most.

-croissants with raspberry cream cheese filling at kneaders

-hot chocolate

-waterproof mascara


-curling wands and hair that holds a curl

-classical piano music. “intermezzo” by brahms is unbelievably gorgeous. listen to it or play it when your emotions are running high and it will speak to you, guaranteed.

-options. when one thing doesn’t work out, there’s always another path, and there’s a reason why that initial thing didn’t go the way you wanted it to.


fall rain. as i sit cross-legged here on my bed, the window next to me cracked slightly open, the rain sings a soothing, calming melody. summer rain cleanses and clears and cools the hot, muggy, stuffy air. fall rain is different. fall rain is like a mother comforting her child – it relaxes and sets you at ease. the world is already cool and a chill has already seeped into the days, so that’s not the purpose of this rain. it’s a song for the tired and worried of heart.

rain is part of the music of nature, along with bird chatterings and tree rustlings and wind whisperings. what’s it trying to say to you?

the next time it rains, slide open your window just a bit and listen. listen to the rhythm and cadence and tone of it. listen for the words of the rain speaking peace to your soul. can you catch it? let the sound rush over you and envelop you. cling to that sound, to that reality, and remember that there are only a few bits in this life that matter most. let the rain help you find your way back to those bits. let its song carry you back, washing away the stress and worries of your life. then just breathe. let the rain help you breathe.