A Day of Affirmation

You know what I love? Moments in life where it all clicks. Today I was sitting in my Psychology class and all of a sudden it came together: I am in the right place with the right people, doing exactly what I need to be doing. It seems so simple but it was such a profound feeling for me.

I’ve been so nervous about saying goodbye to my “break” from school. “What if I can’t find my class? What if I get a parking ticket? Will my classmates be inviting? Will my teacher and I work well together? What if I fail?” I was freaking. OUT.

I questioned my ability to find balance between my education in the classroom and my education in my everyday life. The life I created once I made the decision to focus on self-discovery ended up being tough, but absolutely beautiful once I got the hang of things. But tonight I realized that I am not letting go of that life, I am simply adding to it.

Let me break this down real quick. My professor also teaches yoga (my first OMG) She teaches Psych at Westminster (my dream school) as well, and she mentioned that one of her greatest passions is being a mother to her two daughters. She assigned the first chapter of the book for homework, and asked us to watch a TED talk. Hi, I was in heaven.

The TED talk happens to be something I watched a few weeks ago, and it absolutely blew me away. And the presenter is a 13-year-old boy. I strongly encourage you to watch it. It’s called Hackschooling makes me happy (click to be taken to the video) My professor, Miss Cain, encourages us to do whatever it takes to “hack” this class to our liking.

I started the day with an amazing workout, went to work and connected with all of my amazing students and colleagues, and then had the opportunity to go to school and have my mind and heart opened up in multiple ways. I’m feeling pretty ecstatic about life right now. Today taught me this: We lose ourselves in the things we love, and we find ourselves there, too.

This is the smile I had to keep to myself until I got to my house and shut my front door. Oh, the joys of being the biggest, happiest dork on the planet right now. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. I hope life is spoiling you with similar moments like I had today.

All my love and giddy-ness,

Bailey Mikell

Photo on 1-13-14 at 7.57 PM

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?