I wasn't supposed to be a Hairstylist...
Do you remember in high school when they have you take those "career assessment" tests to tell you what you do when you "grow up"?? I remember mine.. and I also remember re-taking it AGAIN in community college because I was COMPLETLEY lost on what I wanted to do. I always thought I would be a teacher, a 1st grade teacher to be exact. I was accepted to my top choice university but when it came down to it, it wasn't the right step for me & I can see now, God had other plans for me. I decided a smaller community college closer to home was a better fit. As for the "tests"... I am not sure what I was expecting out of retaking them over & over, the answers were always the same, "work with people (i.e.. nurse, teacher, human recourses etc.)". So generic, right?
I was about to graduate with my Associate Degree but what do you do with that?! At the time there was not an option to get a bachelors degree without going away to a big name university and that was still not something I wanted to do. I was at a crossroads and this is where Cosmetology School came into the picture.
Hairstyling was always just an interest of mine, I never thought of myself as a hairstylist, let alone it being a career choice. My parents always instilled the value of going to school & getting a degree, so if I wasn't applying my Associates Degree to my career, I better be going to school. At age 20, I enrolled in Beauty School and I was over the moon excited! I soon came to realize this little interest of mine was something I was actually REALLY good at & I could see myself doing as a career. From that moment on I decided if I did this I would always strive to be the best, by finding the best products & taking as many classes as I could to master my craft.
After a year of being licensed in the industry, life allowed me to move to Hawaii where I earned my license there as well. After about 9 months of living in Hawaii I received the news my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor, so I packed my bags & moved home to be with her. When I returned home to Washington I was faced with another career crossroad. During my move I had sold all my supplies, gave up my clientele & needed immediate income. I put being a hairstylist on the back burning while I focused on what I needed to do to take care of my mom. I always loved school & education in general, maybe where my passion for teaching comes in. I strongly believe when you stop learning, you stop growing.
For the next 2 years I would care take for my mom, work a fulltime job & begin classes at the University of Washington satellite campus to complete my Bachelors of Arts degree. Six months before my college graduation, my mom passed away. Getting so spend the last 2 years of her life with her are memories I will cherish forever. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever experienced but it allowed me to grow my relationship with God & for that I am so blessed.
After graduation I took a year to travel, reflect and find the path for my future. By this time I had built up my salon supplies & began gaining my clientele again, just in time to be offered a chair at a super savvy salon. It was time!
My life experiences have led me to where I am today & there is not a test I could have taken that could have given me the answers I was looking for. Everyday I am behind the chair, never feels like "work" to me. I am passionate about what I do & my love for this industry only grows more each day. It means so much more than just hair, it's about providing a fabulous experience for my clients to make them feel beautiful. For those not knowing what career path to choose or are unhappy in their current job, my advice to you is a quote by the wise Chinese philosopher, Confucius. "Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life." A small interest, a passion, a hobby can turn into more that you can ever imagined, the road to get there might be bumpy & full of potholes, but let me tell you it is totally worth it!