What was I thinking? I am starting out at the age of 27 with just a little confidence in an industry where many reach their prime by their early 20’s. With all this baby weight I keep making excuses for (it’s been 11 months) I am feeling less confident than ever.
Why not add a huge career change to it?
I made the choice to be part of an apprenticeship program after discussing with Maye(one of my good friends), that in this industry I was not a spring chicken and felt jumping right into working on a salon floor would not be adult of me. If I am going to start this late in the game, I am going to do it right.
Maye invited me to Local Honey where she has been getting her hair done for a while now to check out their program. I loved that Local Honey had open doors and welcomes the public to free education nights just about every other Wednesday. I actually kept saying to myself, “Are people seriously this nice?” Everybody I came into contact with was so friendly and so upbeat. The Northerner in me was like, “What do you want?” every time someone said hi to me. It really is a true statement when people say Southerners are friendlier.
After a couple of weeks attending the classes they had me hook, line and sinker.
A few weeks later, and here I was like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air in Nashville. I went into the program thinking “How bad can this be?” and to say the least, that was an understatement. After the first week, I was in my car bawling.
How could I compete with these stylists? The people there are beautiful, educated, stylish, and amazingly talented and here I am walking in with pants to my ankles because I shrunk them in the dryer and bleach all over my most “stylish” shirt.
The program started off with styling. “Ha” is all I can say. I was like a infant with a marcel curling iron waving it around because it looked shiny. I’m pretty sure I gave whiplash injuries to the first couple of guests. I could not even do a beach wave, the most requested style of all.
As time went on, I noticed myself becoming better and better with styling. I was definitely not winding hair on a round brush like a huge wind turbine anymore.
Along the way people were encouraging me through the little things and slowly that voice in my head was getting quieter (about damn time!). I am not saying I am or was Picasso and have doves flying after every style, hell, I still feel I am the last to be picked on the baseball team!
Then the moment that makes me sweat from every part of my body happened. One of my mentors asked me to style one of the more prominent hair stylists who works at Local Honey.
I about died or crapped my pants.
All I was thinking was “This is it. I am going to be fired after this hot mess of a blowout.” I began to style her hair. My hands felt like they were stuck in a half-closed hand position and they couldn’t open. Imagine trying to use chopsticks to pick up some little fire ants, that is how my hands felt while trying to give this stylist some volume.
I have a pretty bad habit of thinking people are judging me. Turns out she wasn’t judging me. In fact, she was helping me. Instead of criticism all I got were understanding, knowledgeable tips/tricks and suggestions. A situation that had me sweating from every part of my body was changed by the kindness of one person. From this one act of kindness, that little voice in my head that told me this wasn’t working out, disappeared.
From that one experience, I am now so excited to see what the future holds. Sure, there are going to be some ups and downs.I cannot wait to see what the future holds for this momma of two, on the road to a more confident future!
This is just the beginning of the Diaries of a Not-So-Confident Apprentice.