For Men Who’ve Never Held Your Feet

Every 6 months or so I go through the large wooden Olive and Cocoa box where I keep the little things that bring me joy. Birthday cards & “wish you were here’s“, gut-wrenchingly beautiful articles, old photos, worn ticket stubs, and quotes. With time these things begin to look scattered and lost — my pile of messy love. A tiny piece of my heart is in that box. And tonight was the night that I went through it, reflected, and organized the little notes and trinkets.

As I was doing this I found a quote folded up that I printed off at work. I did so because at the time there was a man in my life that treated me like a kitchen dish towel. It felt as though he had found me nicely folded, dunked me in hot dirty water, used me to clean the corners of his dusty and tattered heart, and then rung me out before he threw me aside to dry. Needless to say, there was some healing to do.

I’ve always loved the way words can handle my emotions that I often don’t know what to do with. This quote is long, but it is such a nice reminder of how far I have come. How much my heart has grown and how much strength I have found since this time of my life. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I’ve made the decision to never allow anyone to make me feel that small again.

So as I sit here on the floor of my cozy little apartment I am crossing my fingers. Hoping that at least one person can relate to this and then think “Wow, I am so much stronger now.” Anyway… I hope you enjoy it.

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“How far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
How often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
Why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
Where did it begin? What went wrong? And who made you feel so worthless?
If they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
All this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin?
And what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it?
How are you both of these women, both flighty and needful?
Where did you learn this, to want what does not want you?
Where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?” 
― Warsan Shire

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Alone But Not Lonely

I remember being about 13 years old and going through pre-teen “funks”. I was (and still can be) a moody little shit. But I always knew what the solution was. I’d hurry home, play soccer until the sun went down, and then “redecorate” my bedroom. I would put in my favorite CD and go to town. Getting rid of things that no longer served a purpose and reflecting on the things that did (I was a weird kid). I’d always make my mom stay upstairs until I was done (which I’m sure she was thrilled about) and then reveal my “new and improved space” when I finished. I knew at a young age how much of an impact my personal space had on my mood.

With that little hobby came big dreams of having my own apartment. I imagined that it would have beautiful art, shelves full of books of poetry, romance, sorrow, and adventure…candles, music, plenty of plants, and soft pillows and large blankets. A place to relax and write, entertain the people I love, make memories, and dream . And I am incredibly blessed to say that my little shoe-box apartment is beginning to fit that description.

It’s been such a fun and rewarding process for me to make that dream into a reality. But like all good things it has taken time. I have added each piece that is in my home slowly, making sure that each object resonates with me some way or another.

A few months ago my aunt Carolyn told me that she wanted to buy me a piece of art for my home. I was so excited. But I’d been looking for a while and just couldn’t find anything that made me feel like I had to have it. Last weekend while my mom and aunt were out shopping they came across a piece at my favorite store, Dancing Cranes. They sent me a photo of it but I just wasn’t in the mindset at the time to make a decision about whether or not I wanted it.

For the past week I’ve been on my way home and thought about that piece as I drove past DC. Today all three of us went back to Dancing Cranes and it was still there. I guess that is how I knew that it was meant to be mine. I came home, hammered a nail into my paper-thin wall, and just stared at it. It’s perfect where it is.

The piece is called “You Found Me, Alone But Not Lonely.” It’s such an accurate symbol of where I am at in my life right now. The photo was taken in Bear Rive Migratory Bird Refuge.

You Found Me, Alone But Not Lonely.

I just finished reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s book “Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles.” and it is now a new favorite of mine. So I decided to buy myself a new book to keep my reading flow going as well as a meditation pillow. I have been using a pillow from my bed or I’ve just sat on the floor while meditating, so I’m eager to have a comfortable place to gather my thoughts, pray, and meditate everyday.

The book I purchased is called “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot By The Taliban.”

I truly believe that Malala is our youngest and most powerful female voice right now and that she will continue to do incredible things throughout her life. Her book has truly moved me. I’ve made a promise to myself to only read it when I have time to really allow her words to sink in and sit with me. I start school next month and her story has changed my prospective on getting my education as a female. I strongly encourage you to purchase it for yourself and/or someone you love.

"I Am Malala"Meditation pillow

I hope that you have had a weekend full of the things that bring you inner peace and joy. It can be hard to find time for ourselves during the holidays, and some people look down on it. But I find it absolutely essential to find a balance between giving love to others and giving love to yourself in order to be happy and healthy.

All my love, Bailey Mikell 

 

You Will Be Stronger

You had me second guess myself so many times that I’d be surprised to find a single doubt within if you asked me to look today. You led me astray more times than I chose to count. I fell flat on my face but I didn’t ever give up. My phone bill teetered towards overage charges for the first time since high school; I sobbed to my mum so many times our plan couldn’t keep up, yet somehow she always did. It’s been since I said farewell to my childhood that my lips have trembled like they did during this month. I crumbled in situations that I’d usually be holding down.

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And sometimes, if the stars aligned just right, I’d be at the end of a gut-wrenching day doing my best to catch my breath & I would suddenly find myself in an opulent moment. After letting those sporadic moments of bliss amongst blur confuse me for a while, I started using them as fuel: I knew if I consistently fought until I couldn’t anymore I’d start to see results. Slowly but surely, things began making sense.

April, I know we didn’t always see eye to eye, but our 30 days of trial & error together splashed color on my white walls & infused a deep appreciation within. Thank you for kicking me in the ass even though I was usually still trying to get up from the last time. And, thank you for teaching me how to be strong even when I am alone. I reached out to my incredible loved ones a lot, to say the least, but whenever a new situation arose I had to learn to adjust (still learning how)

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I guess I’ve decided that a firm reality check isn’t always the sweetest cup of tea, but it sure does make a pretty little promise — that this too shall pass, and when it does, you will be stronger. 

All my love until we meet again next year, xoxo, your little warrior

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” (Sonnet XCVIII) -William Shakespeare

The Earth, Without Art, Is Just ‘Eh’

I believe in treating all creatures of the earth kindly and making sure our actions, as humans, are made with love and respect. Aka take care of our planet because it takes care of us! It is incredibly beautiful — lets try & keep it that way!

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Some of my favorite quotes about our beautiful planet:

  • To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. -William Blake
  • There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.  -George Gordon, Lord Byron’
  • Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran
  • Only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned, and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money. -Cree Proverb
  • The creatures that inhabit this earth–be they human beings or animals–are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.  ―Dalai Lama XIV

Here are some photos of our home & the creatures we share it with — there is also a cool video at the end. I hope these take your breath away like they do mine. And yes, I really did try & keep the number of photos to a minimum — I did a really good job, as you can see… As always ;)

Happy Earth Day!! Plant a tree, or at least say thank you to one ;)

Ali Carney, if you're reading this, this ones for you:) I will always think of you when I see jellyfish. You are just as outstanding, my sweets.

Looming

Glowing wild mushrooms

This tiny gem-like object is an actual living creature called a Blue Dragon Nudibranch, a kind of sea slug.

Irish Forest

Animals of the sea smooching animals of dry-land. Pretty cool... Imagine if humans treated one another with unified love such as this?

I always find such sites reassuring -- mother nature is still more powerful than we are!

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.

Dare to Begin

Today after work I went and did my third interview this week (that’s a lot for a rookie like me.) It was the best interview I have done so far; I can honestly say today was the day that it clicked, I understand why people love journalism.

As I was leaving we thanked each other & went to shake hands. I’m not sure what encouraged me to do this, maybe it’s all the time I’ve spent admiring those who did; Because instead, I chose to give her a hug & say “I’m a hug person.

She softly replied “Well I’m happy to hug you.

I wont always be a hug person — unfortunately there might be times where I may break that rule, but I’m at least going to try it out. I mean, how much damage can more hugs do? Ps. If you don’t want a hug you don’t have to have one:) I’m usually quite good at spotting I-like-my-bubble-respect-it-or-I’ll-glare-at-you people

You take away all the other luxuries in life, and if you can make someone smile and laugh, you have given the most special gift: happiness.” -Brad Garrett

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My blog has been slightly ignored for a few days because I want to end this semester running. I haven’t done the best job this semester, but I can genuinely say I have been working my ass off since day one. My time & energy is being put towards work & my class blog, Rescue Me. I have ten articles due in three weeks — and I plan on having them done early.

Another reason I’ve been such a stranger is because I have also discovered a few sad things:

  • There is life after blogging (really, it should be “before blogging”..)
  • There is also life after mother-daughter time while we eat her homemade quiche & Cadbury eggs in the sun & talk about life. I know.. Shitty news right?

If I don’t work hard in school and in the office I will not have the luxury of blogging. Many forget that blogging/the internet is not a right it’s a luxury. If momma can’t pay the bills how the hell is she supposed to blog?….

My mother worked hard to provide for me; I now work hard for the things I want/need & will continue to. It’s what we (the Nielson family) do. Nothing tastes as sweet when it’s handed to you.

Think about it. How many luxuries do you take for granted every single day? We’ll chat soon sweets.

Never felt so beautiful

After the sun discontinued it’s lovely light supply through our windows I decided to take a step outside. I stood on my porch barefoot with a naked face & a baggy t-shirt on. At that moment I realized I couldn’t recall the last time I felt so beautiful; Yet I had nothing to do with the beauty I was experiencing. Logan sunsets will do that to you.