Updated: Mar 3
In the late 90's I started working in the beauty and fashion industry. It had been a fantastic experience, but somewhere along the way, I lost my way when I lost my job in 2010. The funny thing is, during the ten years I worked, I secretly thought of what else or where else I could go, even though I had a position I loved working for THE makeup brand at the time.
During that 7 years, I lived in survival mode—every decision I made reactionary.
The first thing I did was get a job at one of my favourite cosmetic stores, hoping it would land me another corporate training job. When that proved fruitless, I decided to go back to school to learn how to do hair. That decision was based exclusively on the fact that it would make me a more marketable freelance makeup artist. It makes sense to anyone in the industry; however, I hated doing hair, and I made no bones about it.
BEING BROKE WAS WHY I SAID, YESSSS!
Months after completing my course, I was contacted by the hair school I attended they wanted to hire me as an instructor. Their logic was based on my background as a trainer. My logic for saying yes was based on being broke. I thought it was completely absurd, but I took the job anyway. Plus, they promised I would have all the training necessary to be successful. Well, 3 days is what I got. Somehow, I rose to the challenge. I spent endless hours on YouTube and other relevant sites watching hair videos. I was a fraud, but my saving grace was my passion for teaching and coaching.
Every day was filled with the anxiety of being found out. Now you would think that this would be where I took the time to gain some insight and perspective on what my next move would be. Clearly, being a fraud is not the best way one should spend their days and talents. NADA!!! I could barely survive on my meagre pay, so in a fit of desperation and fear, I reached out to an acquaintance who worked in the hair replacement industry for a job.
I need to mention that when I applied for jobs, I didn’t bullshit about my skill level. Still, I highlighted my soft skills - leadership, organization, customer service – which overrode my hard skills…. actually knowing how to do hair
I was hired with a promise of training and support, ……I’M STILL WAITING!
If I thought I was a fraud before, that was nothing compared to being a mediocre stylist cutting hair for men who were paying a small fortune to mask their hair loss. It took me six months to accept that I did not, in fact, like or even respect the role I was in. I was taping and gluing hairpieces on men who in some cases felt duped into buying overpriced man wigs. The selling techniques were shameless and played on my conscience.
During that time, I was promoted to a supervisory position, which I accepted, and now my shitty job became a full-on nightmare. After my first year, I was in deep trouble; I was too scared to quit and too miserable to carry on. I had no idea what to do or where to go next, so I decided to take advantage of the counselling offered through our group benefits. Finally, a decision that made sense, although still reactionary, would provide a more positive outcome.
It’s fascinating how one’s mind works when you are in “survivor mode.” Fight or flight can manifest in very different ways. For me, it was simple; identify the problem, create a solution, attack. My solution to this problem was returning to school, studying culinary arts because I love to cook and you should do what you love, right?!? I registered for a 2-year full-time course at George Brown College. I was taking part-time interest courses there, so this all made perfect sense to me. I had my high school transcripts transferred, I gave up my downtown apartment, and I made arrangements to move to my parent’s home. I would stay at my job until school started; phew! Problem solved…. NOT!
I LEARNED TO BREATH AGAIN
The magic of therapy is it forces you to stop, look and listen. This is something you can’t do when you’re running around with your head in your ass. It took me a full year, but I learned to breathe again! At that time, I realized that trading one hamster wheel for another was not the answer to my problems; getting off and getting quiet was. I returned to daily meditation and made the simple decision to step out on faith, quit the soul-sucking job, and continue enjoying my culinary arts courses as the hobby they were meant to be. I have a marketable trade and connections, so I continued to do makeup until my next step came to me.
I re-read Louise Haye's “You Can Heal Your Life,” which prompted me to read more books about self-help, healing and connecting with the source.
One day I came across a powerful intention that read, “I live my Life On Purpose!” WHAT?!? It hit me like a ton of bricks. Everything you do, think, and speak is done with and for a reason. What a concept! No running around all willy-nilly, not reacting to every situation, but taking the time to walk your path whatever it is; it’s your way for your reason with integrity and intention. This was my Ah-Ha! Moment. Living my life ON purpose has become my guiding force.
I LIVE MY LIFE ON PURPOSE
With that, I reflected on what brought me true joy in life and work. Yes, I love to cook, and nothing makes me happier than feeding my loved ones, but I also want a balanced life that makes room for friends and family. Ask any Chef, and they can tell you how many hours they spend in the kitchen. That is not life for me. My life’s purpose has never changed. Only how I viewed it. I have always wanted to help people live their best life. I have since completed my Life Coach Certification, and for the first time in a very long time, I engage with my life on purpose.
When I make decisions now, I think of the intention behind my choices. Have I taken the time to get quiet and listen? Have I thought of the purpose behind my words and actions? Am I in action or reaction mode? Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments, but they are much fewer and less destructive.
I hope you are living your life on purpose! If not I invite you to.
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