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 

 

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The Job That Changed My Life

Three years ago I called my mom & told her that I did not want to be a receptionist at a day spa anymore. I didn’t want to get all dolled up every evening & be the hostess-of-the-mostess at a high end, beautiful restaurant. And I didn’t want to answer phones at a hair salon & fold towels all day. I was thankful for those jobs & the opportunities & people I was lucky enough to experience along the way. But I didn’t want to just work, I wanted to inspire. I shed some tears about it, went to sleep, and then I woke up & got busy.

My heart knew that it was time to start searching for my purpose. I knew if I looked within myself & remained positive I could find the thing that would make me eager to rise early in the morning & work hard all day. It was time to find something that would not only occupy my time, allow me to support myself, and help me grow as a young woman — but something where I was making a difference in other peoples lives as well.

Fortunately the universe heard me. A few months later I was offered a position as a recruiter at The American Academy, an online private high school. I absolutely loved what I was doing, and then something amazing happened: I felt myself begin to feel alive again. I knew I was where I needed to be & that is where I have stayed.

I have been with TAA ever since & it has been such a rewarding journey. I’m honored to work with such incredible people every single day. I’m surrounded by motivated individuals who genuinely love helping others succeed. My students remind me every day that we can all do anything we set our minds to, no exceptions. They are proof that it is not about what happens to you in life but how you react. There are times when I hear the things they have gone through at such a young age & it really puts things into perspective for me. They help me be strong & appreciate the little things in life.

When I accepted my first position with TAA I had recently finished a semester at the local community college. After I completed my classes I decided to take a break from school for a while. I was burnt out & needed to focus on supporting myself financially so that I could have a stable lifestyle. A lot of our students originally dropped out for that exact reason, but they also have children & other hardships to overcome. But they found the courage to return to school. That is what motivates me. I love my students, and the fact that they keep on working hard when it would be so much easier to give up is amazing to me.

Thanks to TAA I have decided to enroll for Spring 2014 classes & start working towards the dreams that I put on hold for a while. And I have to admit.. I am absolutely scared to death to return to school. But I know that this is what I need to do in order to become the woman I want to be & open doors for myself. I’ll be able to create a better future for myself, and I’ll also learn how to be an even better support system to my students. I am so incredibly grateful for my job. I help students graduate & become more confident —  now it’s my turn.

What are you thankful for that has influenced your life in a positive way?

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10 to 1: Empowering our kids

Did you know that for every negative comment you make to a child you need to tell them ten positive things? You cannot erase the harsh words, shaming, and belittling. But you can start a fresh path with words full of love, encouragement, and empowerment. I wish that everyone kept this in mind while interacting with children. This goes for any child, not just yours. They are all sensitive beings who need to be told how wonderful they are, how intelligent they are, and how beautiful they are.

Why, you ask? Because eventually they grow up. Eventually we force their inner child to hush it’s young joy + excitement. Eventually we throw them into an adult world that is fast, competitive, judgmental, and quite scary. And eventually, they are you. Walking around with the insecurities that the adults who influenced them the most instilled without even knowing it. 

I’ve always loved kids + my career just so happens to allow me to work with them on a daily basis. My younger students always amaze me. They are quick, curious + eager to learn. And they are often all those things combined with some insecurities, self-doubt, confusion, and stress from societies pressures. There are days where I get a call from a student that is sobbing about not doing well on a test, letting down their parents, or failing a course. Finding the balance between being an adult they must discuss their education with + a person they can trust is hard sometimes.

All I know is that there is no black and white with kids, and if we start to focus on that then maybe we wont have so many damaged adults. Be their listener, cheerleader, link to success, and outlet. Be the person that tells them when it’s time to get up + get busy making their dreams turn to reality. But don’t be their source of negativity + self doubt, because that simply does not go away. Let them be eclectic, passionate about things you don’t understand, and slightly silly. Kids + their ideas about life deserve respect as well. We must shape the future generations, and it starts with the way that we speak to them. It starts with you.

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Enjoying the Tangible

[ now playing ‘momma’s music’ ]

Its pouring outside today & I can’t quite find the sun’s hiding spot in the sky. That’s okay, because I’ve decided to stop looking for what’s missing & begin enjoying the tangible. I love the rain because it forces me to seek the sunshine in my life. Cheers to you being one of the many beautiful rays that shine light in this life of mine! Wahoo! Thank you for being here. (if you care, I cheers’d with my cup of joe;)

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Last night I went to sleep next to my love in our brand new bed (my sweet Andy truly spoils me) and I woke up to the best news ever! After 14 weeks of pushing myself harder than I ever have at school I finally have results: I received my first A on an article!!! Many may laugh at this because A’s might be your average — but an ‘A’ to me means I’m finally getting it. I am LEARNING! My professor doesn’t give A’s often, so I am absolutely ecstatic. This is what I woke up to at 5:45 a.m.  “Wake up! Smell the coffee! Enjoy the ‘A’ you got on your week 12 paper!!!!”

Last night I told Kelsey how frustrated I was with myself and my performance at school — I’d be lying if I said giving up never crossed my mind. This ‘A’ has given me the confidence to fight through the last part of finals, or as Professor LaPlante calls it, ‘The Crucible’.

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Anyway, I just realized I need to stop blogging about it & be about it – I’ve got class in an hour!

To read my ‘A’ article go here 

All my love, Bee

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.

A Smooth Sea

I just learned the massive difference between asking for help and needing help. There shouldn’t be any shame in either situation. If you ask for help you are taking the first step to creating a solution. If you need help you are a bit closer to getting it once you acknowledge there is in fact a problem.

am

doing

things

that

scare 

the

shit

out

of 

me

every

single

day

I am capable. I am willing. I can do this. 

And you can, too. 

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.”

Lovebugs

When I was wee I spent hours searching my grandmothers yard for creatures. I had a love for insects – I truly thought they were so beautiful. I no longer spend my free time searching for, collecting and educating myself about bugs but they still fascinate me. Whenever it rains & I go on a run I swear to god I look like a damn fool dodging worms & snails. Andy & I are glued to the TV when Planet Earth is on (or anything on Animal Planet) & if he ever catches me on my phone he goes, ‘BABE! You’re MISSING IT!’

This photo caught my eye and I had to know more…

Caddis fly larvae are known to incorporate bits of whatever they can find into their cocoons, be it fish bone or bits of leaves. Hubert Duprat gave them gold, turquoise, gems and pearls and this is what they gave him.

Perhaps if we stop spraying harmless bugs with poison, killing them with our shoes, and being disgusted by them we can begin to really appreciate the miraculous things bugs are capable of. Like us, they have flaws, but once again… The beauty takes the gold.

Cheers lil’ lovebugs