20131130. This is the date of the last day I’ll be doing hair, professionally. I’ve been a licensed cosmetologist for most of my adult life. I started hair school only a few weeks before my beloved and I met. I still remember the early days of that education, receiving text messages from him, and smiling. I thought I had been smiling to myself, but it was outwardly obvious enough that it made the gals in my class speculate that I’d met someone new and interrogate me thusly.
Since those days, I have had an interesting career in hair and I find myself smiling more at the mental images of my beloved than at his texts. There were times in my hair career when I made hardly enough income for gas money, let alone student loans, groceries, car payment, phone bill, etc… There were also times when I made enough to do all those necessary things and have had money left over for frivolous things for myself AND spending > $400/month on personal training for my beloved. I encountered people who couldn’t have been pleased had I turned their hairs into spun gold and people who became so loyal to my hairdressing talents that they remained with me virtually my entire career. There have been plenty who made me want to hang my shears up right then and there, and many who have made me feel so honored and valued that the thought of not servicing them – or anyone else – seems painful for me.
But, things change. They must eventually, otherwise they must eventually face death. That will seem peculiar to some, but the truth is: Change is not synonymous with destruction.
I’m far from old, but I’m definitely not as young as I used to be. Heading into my mid-30s, I can already notice an enormous difference between the me I was and the me I am and am becoming. I also recently took a position at work that pays more, but requires more of me. And then there’s school, which not only seems endless but also as I progress in my degree the work is becoming more demanding. The short of it all, is that there simply isn’t enough of me for two jobs, full-time school, and other activities like entertaining the best for game nights and temple stuff.
This has led me to retire from the hair industry entirely. For many years I worked full time hours. Then I entered school, found a different job, and cut my hair hours more than a little. Some time later, I cut my hours even further. Now – well, as of the 30th of this month – I’ll be cutting them entirely. And it’s scary.
It’s scary because I’ll miss it. It’s been a wonderful and creative outlet for me for a number of years and when you work for a technology company and a cancer treatment center you need that kind of outlet. It’s also been a good way for me to hone my people-reading skills. I dare say I’m an expert at it by now – you can’t possibly be someone’s priest, bartender, and psychologist rolled into one body and not walk away without having developed some pretty great and intuitive skills. Having this job has also allowed for spending money and a nearly free gym membership for me and the beloved for the better part of a decade. That will be missed (for now we’re retaining the membership, but it’s no longer free and will cost us more than $100 / month). And those things, all intuitive advancement aside, are mostly superficial. I have known so many interesting and wonderful and horrible people – none of which I’d really ever trade for anything. I’m a different person because of them.
Here’s the real kicker: Holding onto ANY of it, ruins all of it. None of it is mine to keep – whether I step away from the industry or not. None of it. It’s served an immense value in my existence, and hopefully that of many other people. On many levels that value is spent for now. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But whether I love it or not, its not mine to keep. Even my beloved isn’t mine to keep, as painful as that seems to even consider. My household is in for significant change after the end of this month – financially, among other aspects. This is a source of aprehension, but it’s no reason to fear. Nothing about the now is mine to retain, and in fact the beginning of an attempt to retain automatically means suffering and decay. What lessons we can learn from staying present and relinquishing our attachments – which are only ever founded in fear! Be sure of it.
There are so many things from this career adventure that I have benefitted from. I can only hope that those I’ve serviced for the last 9+ years have received as much from me as I have from them. If I may, I’d give one last thingto my clients: Any grace that is mine to give, I gladly forward on to you. My very best to you!
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha