Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen.

There is one thing that I still haven’t really told anybody in my life. It happened last June. Every single day there are at least 5 minutes where I sit there and go back to that month. My chest gets hot, I sweat, I ache, and I think about how there is no way I could ever really tell anyone about it. It devastated me. But I need to talk about it. And I will. I will take the steps to choose to see that event in a different way. I will choose to see the love in it.

I used to be kind of proud of my ability to be open with people. I learned at a young age how much I treasure sharing stories about my experiences. I’d always say “I’m an open book. I have a blog, and I don’t really have anything to hide.”

There were times in my life where I would go through something difficult and at times it would feel like the only comfort I could find was telling myself that it was happening to me so that I could tell my story one day and help others grow. Ultimately I wanted to share my downfalls in order to inspire others somehow… I wanted to help others avoid making the mistakes I’ve made. But things have changed.

The past couple of weeks have really challenged me. I’ve spent my time doing the things that scare me. Going to school, taking on more responsibility at work, breaking unhealthy patterns, figuring out how to remove toxic people in my life in a way that is loving, kind, and graceful, and accepting the fact that my life can drastically change in one month. And I can’t do a damn thing about it.

And suddenly I’ve found myself surrounded by individuals who see right through me, which also obviously scares me. You want a wake up call? Spend some quality time with people who don’t agree with everything you say. Who call you on your shit. Spend time with people who, after they’ve left, stay in your head because of one bold, honest thing they said to you that you couldn’t even begin to respond to.

When I’ve been asked to share some of the things that have frightened me, shook me, changed my perspective, and straight up knocked me on my ass I have discovered one huge thing: I am not the open 18 year old girl that I used to be. I am a woman who has spent some time in some pretty dark places. And that’s okay.

I am realizing that I’ve allowed some of the ups and downs I’ve gone through in the last 2 years into my head. I’ve basically shut off that open, vulnerable, “it is what it is” part of me that used to be so significant and crucial in my life. I have let fear create a home in my mind and in my heart. And I want to work on that.

It all comes down to being scared that exposing anything in my life that is not beautiful and well kept will put a big ole’ “I’m not worthy of love” sticker on my forehead. But that is so far from true. Maybe finding the will to truly open up to people will teach me about trust again. Maybe it will teach me me to love and be loved because I have nothing to hide.

So, February has been a month of getting real with myself. It’s been about going to the places in my life that I once ran from and dumping all the love, acceptance, and forgiveness into them. It’s not always pretty, but digging deep within and truly grabbing the rot and negativity out of your life with your hands is one of the most empowering, loving things you can do for yourself. It’s just finding the will and finally saying “I’m done hiding from this shit.”

This is the month where I make peace with the bad so that I can make more space for the good. This is my time to make peace with the past.

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If the girl had been worth having she’d have waited for you?’ No, sir, the girl really worth having won’t wait for anybody.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

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Turning Point

I stood on my toes and peered into a basket full of crystals with big curious eyes. I was 5 years old and sure that I’d never seen anything more fascinating. The woman at the register watched me carefully sift through the group of stones with my tiny hands. She looked down at me and said “You can take one home if you’d like.” I smiled and reached for the first one that caught my attention, a small amethyst with jagged edges and a smooth bottom. I said thank you and left the store with my mother.

As we made our way back to the car my excitement got the best of me; I walked too fast and stumbled on the concrete. The amethyst slipped out of my hands and broke into pieces on the ground. Hot tears skipped off my sun-kissed cheeks.

A man with long blonde dreads in his hair walked towards me and bent down to pick up the pieces. He looked in my eyes and quietly said to me “Don’t cry, sweetie. Some things are just meant to be shared.”  I handed him the largest piece that had broken off of the stone as I held the other piece close. He smiled at me and with an unspoken understanding he stood up and walked away.

I never saw that man again but his smile and energy were unforgettable. My amethyst has stayed with me since that day. It stands as a reminder that some things break and you simply can’t let it shake you. I still visit Dancing Cranes Imports (the store where this event occurred) and feel the beautiful crystals in my hands. It will forever be one of my favorite places to be.

That was the turning point in my life where I discovered the art of sharing the things we hold near and dear to our hearts. I believe we can only lose the things we hold onto, therefore I allow my experiences to open my eyes and then I move on.

And that is what has inspired me to start this blog. My only hope is that someone will stumble upon a post and be able to take just one thing with them that helps them along their journey.

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Bold

And just like that I realized that I am in the exact place that I am supposed to be at just the right time in my life. And that perhaps things aren’t ‘so bad’… maybe it’s simply time to adjust my perspective.

I am ready to grow.

I am ready to learn.

I am ready to stop living in fear and start being bold. Are you with me??

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Have you ever struggled with this? What are some ways that you choose to be bold? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

All my love, Bailey Mikell

War on Heartbreak

I found myself scribbling helpful tips all over what used to be my office, but is now his. I wanted him to have a space to create, a place to dream like I once had. I jotted down silly things like little secrets about the house that he may not know.. like how to get the bedroom window open just right so it didn’t get too cold. I left him one of two matching chairs we always planned to sit in, and the key on the table we got together.

I felt hot tears skip off my concealer I only use when I have a cold. The heat was pounding on every inch of my body — the sun had lost all empathy. I felt numb, and I began to worry that maybe, just maybe…. So had I.

Suddenly my girlfriend honked the horn and yelled “Bailey! Lets go!” It was louder than I remember it being. And I couldn’t even believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. Here I was again, packing up my wee car & leaving a dream I once dreamt.

I hopped in the car and said thank you to the best of my sniffling-ability to my girlfriend who had offered to drive home (& also ended up  helping me pack my belongings) We got gas and I didn’t dare take my glasses off when I paid for it.

As we drove away in the sunset I strapped the most fabulous headwrap I owned around my messy hair, smeared on my most sassy lipstick and kissed my window.  I had to at least try to be okay for the ride home. Kerry taught me that day that driving while crying can be dangerous — I was so thankful for her support.

When I got home I went straight to the shower. I stared at myself in the mirror — I looked like hell. My mascara ran a big deep black line from here to Arkansas bleeding from both eyes. I was scared. I was exhausted. And hungry, too, god damnit. But I could not be in denial any longer, it would only make things harder. I wiped the old makeup from my left eye and accepted the fact that I had officially announced war against heartbreak. And I didn’t have a clue what to do next.

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

Motherhood & Tough Lessons to Teach

These two posts written by C. Jane Kendrick are quick & powerful; Both took my breathe away while I was reading them and I loved it. As always, I hope you love them as much as I do. I believe there is a great & beautiful lesson to be learned from them.

[ click the text below to be linked to each post ]

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It will be years (+ a couple more for precaution) before I begin the journey of motherhood — But I’d be lying if I said my chitlin won’t have this onesie.

I hope you’re having one of those days where you get things done that have been bugging you for weeks. I know that’s how my day is going, and it feels so good.

All my love, Bee