My name is Hillary and I’m a hairstylist. What people don’t realize is before I was a hairstylist, I was a former straight-A student who dreamed of a corporate job. I was going to school for either business or marketing. I worked the same job I had since I was 15, climbed to management and stayed there. I wanted nothing more than to be a conventional human with a normal safe life. I am a daughter of immigrants. I wanted to make my parents so proud. They worked so hard to give me an opportunity they never had. All I wanted to was to make something of myself the most practical way possible.
When I graduated high-school I started in a management job, worked on salary and went to school. I was so freaking “lucky”. My family didn’t have to worry about me. In fact, I could even help them. I was going to school and working full time. I didn’t even know what I was doing.
Everyday seemed the same, there was nothing challenging me. School was not interesting, at all. Not to mention I could not pass my college algebra class to save my life. Also I didn’t care if I failed that class. I hated going to work and not doing something that made me happy. I felt so ungrateful, how could I be so “unhappy” when I had so much going for me?
I knew I loved to create. I ALWAYS did. I repressed my feelings to create art in the world and make noise for a long time. Artists didn’t make any money. It wasn’t practical and it didn’t make parents proud. Who wants to brag about their daughter the starving artist…or they rather brag on their daughter the professional *insert profession that people find respectful*.
One day it became so clear to me. I needed to do what made my soul happy. I had to do something that made me happy even if it wasn’t safe. It terrified me so much, I had to go back to relying on my parents. I felt like such a disappointment. I struggled so much with what people would think that I was about to make my whole life about the approval of others. I wanted everyone to think I was doing good. I also realized corporations don’t care about you, they only use you for their personal financial gain. *pretends to be shocked*
So I quit my job literally as soon as I could (don’t do that kids) and enrolled in cosmetology school. I loved all art. Makeup and hair were no different. I decided on cosmetology because the best part of my day when I was working and going to school was doing my hair and makeup. It was the only thing that brought me joy.
Going to Cosmetology school was fun and starting over from scratch was terrifying. I went to 2 other salons before I found the right fit for me. I spent my last 2 years training. I can honestly say I don’t dread my job the next day, I get excited. When I see a really cool men’s cut or a beautiful blonde on my books, I get so excited. Finding the excitement to get up in the morning has changed my life.
With that said, this job is also the hardest job I have ever had. However, I don’t have to wonder what could be. I’m literally doing what I day dreamed about. Also, I’m scared as fuck and I have so much learning to do.
I don’t want people to be afraid of their creativity or what made them different. Fear of what others will think held me back. March to the beat of your own drum. Create something you believe in. You don’t need paint and paper to create art. Art is whatever you want it to be. From furniture to music to restoring old cars. Whatever it is you love. You should do it.