I moved to Texas about eight months ago from California, alone and with only the belongings that fit in my car. I had just gotten out of a long-term, unhealthy relationship, left a job I was unhappy in, and was sitting on a psychology degree that I wasn’t using. It was time to step back, evaluate my life, and ask myself what I’ve always wanted to do. The answer was that I wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives, starting with my own. The way to do it was through hair. So I packed my bags and my dog and found myself in Texas.
The old adage, “Wherever you go, there you are” has proven to be true. Sure, I had left my city, job, and relationship, but I was still stuck with me. I was about to embark on a new career path but I was still the same insecure, scared little girl who’d left California, only now I was completely alone, homesick, and starting from scratch. In the six weeks between moving here and starting school, the depression I had battled my whole life became an unrelenting force to be reckoned with. I asked myself over and over why I’d done this to myself. If I was running from something, I hadn’t gotten get very far. To put it mildly, I was a train wreck.
Then school started. It was as if July 20 was the first day of the rest of my life. I could feel the old machinery of my life grinding to a halt, and the new and improved model was switched on, humming with life and possibility. By the second day of school, it was clear that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and doing exactly what I was supposed to do.
The last six to seven months have changed my life. I have grown so much as a person and continue to grow at such a rapid pace that it often catches me off guard. I have found a source of inner strength and confidence I didn’t know I had. I have found the courage to be myself. I started believing in myself, and once that happened, magic started happening. I continue to believe in myself, and not just because someone pointed out reasons A, B, and C why I should. I believed in believing in myself, my future became exciting and promising, and the possibilities seem endless. The source comes from within, and after 29 years of searching, I have found that source. I am happy, strong, and courageous enough to keep going even if it feels like an uphill battle sometimes. I will not give up. I’ve shed many tears since last June, for many reasons. I think it’s been my process of letting go of everything I once knew to make room for everything I am learning now.
I feel so blessed with my life and the opportunities I have been given. I am not sure how much of this I would have achieved on my own, and I am grateful. The Paul Mitchell culture that has been engrained in each school, book, and MASTERS interview has been more valuable than I can express in words, and I want to thank you for making “believing in yourself” not only part of the curriculum, but a priority. I can learn how to cut hair anywhere, but never would I have been given the guidance and fundamentals of personal success (and that success is not necessarily measured in dollar signs) anywhere but here.
I am a part-time night student and have about a year to go before graduation. Sometimes this seems like forever. But this is how I have chosen to look at it: I am lucky enough to have a whole year left to learn from other students and Learning Leaders, a year to cultivate relationships with guests and classmates, a year to mentor new students, a year to gain experience and make connections, a year to give hugs, a year to learn about myself, a year to make mistakes and turn them into discoveries and turn those discoveries into learning experiences, a year to grow into the person I want to be, and a year to set goals. I have the rest of my life to build my career, and I don’t want to rush through this experience. Things don’t happen overnight, and for me, a year seems like the perfect amount of time for all the seeds I’ve planted to grow into a full-blown garden.
Being a Paul Mitchell Future Professional has offered me (and I’ve gladly accepted) the confidence to do all I’ve dreamed of and the courage to set the goals I may not have thought possible in the past. At 450 hours, I have been asked to participate as a Phase Two prospect, to fill in as a substitute if needed, and to apply when I earn more hours. Once I reach 750 hours, I will apply to be a Core mentor. At only 450 hours, I have already attended an Armstrong McCall show, am a member of the John Paul Pet Club, have an application in for the Be Nice (Or Else!) Team, have built up a clientele, attended Caper, submitted my Beacon project and plan to attend as a winner, and have my sights on a property that one day I hope to be able to buy and turn into a successful Paul Mitchell Focus Salon. It is a beautiful Victorian in desperate need of repair and renovation, time, and love, but I believe in myself enough to believe that I can return it to its glory. After all, I was a beautiful girl in desperate need of repair and renovation, time, and love myself. I found this in Paul Mitchell, and this is one way for me to pay it forward and to maintain that culture long after I’ve graduated. I have been thinking a lot about becoming a Learning Leader, and maybe opening a school one day. Dream big, win big.
It’s not just cool to be a Paul Mitchell Future Professional. For me, it has been life altering in a profound way.
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