Sunday, December 16, 2012

....and Imagine All You Can Be

Its a little strange to be back home after going to New York for the final interviews for Matrix Spread the Love 2013. This whole weekend seems to have been a dream and the day I arrived seems like such a long time ago. I added so many new family members, planted seeds for the future, comforted others who needed it and praised others who deserved it. I learned from the top people in my industry and I don't even have my cosmetology license, yet.
I went to New York thinking it would be great to win, but I told myself I would be completely happy being in the top 20 and benefiting from all the education and connections we would receive and make, respectively, over the weekend. One thing I didn't prepare for was REALLY wanting to win. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have entered if I didn't want to win, but I am finding that I am a VERY competitive person and really would have liked to win this opportunity.
Well, I didn't win and you know what?
Its okay.
I'm okay.

Why am I okay?

I was me, I was real and I was honest. I didn't go in trying to make anyone feel sorry for me or trying to sell a fake bill of goods. [Please know that I'm not insinuating anyone else did, I'm simply speaking for myself.] I did the best I could and said what I said because I believe the words coming out of my mouth and it turned out I wasn't what they were looking for and that's okay.

Its okay that I didn't win one of the six spots travelling the United States and instantly becoming an industry icon because I won in other ways. I won myself back.

A long time ago, I lost my way and couldn't quite get a footing in life. I was asleep, but now I am wide awake. Yes, I was a sleeping giant. This weekend I came out of hibernation broke through my own fears and perceptions. Only God can stop me now. Matrix, Penrose Academy, Casa de Cristo Church and Apostolic Center, the officer that stopped me three and a half years ago and my family all woke me up. This was the village it took to raise me back up and it all came to a head this weekend when I found, once again, what of what it is I am capable. That is worth more than any prize or cash value because from now on, I will always have me.

For a while I had wondered why there weren't more people I know applying for this opportunity, but I found that uncertainty, opening yourself up to be compared to other and being subject to rejection are very difficult things to face. I faced all of these things and now I'm even better than I was before. You can do this too.

In addition to all this, I receive education from Nicholas French, Brian and Sandra Smith, Daniel Roldan, Ammon Carver and Chrystopher Benson.
Chrystopher Benson even went so far as to let me know he was impressed by the fact that I still cut hair, even though I have tremors.

I learned a new color technique from Chrystopher Benson, a new haircutting techinique from Brian Smith (oh, and he even gave me the mannequin he was using to demonstrate), I receive more education in blowdrying from Ammon Carver and was given insight as to how Nicholas French produces looks for NAHA.

I'll be here all night writing about all the people I met from Matrix/L'Oreal and and the previous Matrix Spread the Love winners, but I will say that it was a wonderful experience meeting everyone else who were finalists. Not only did I add a great many people to my family, I had the chance to be inspired and reminded who I am and "Imagine All You Can Be."

Oh, and I can't finish without mentioning Dr. Lew! Dr. Lew was wonderful and inspiring, well everyone was inspiring, but we were informed that this was a rare appearance.

So, if you were a contestant, a judge, a winner, a previous winner or an educator from Matrix, I want to thank you for the role you played in changing me these last few days.

The last thing I want to say is, if you are considering applying for 2014, DO IT! Its okay to be afraid, new things can be scary and the benefits are immeasurable.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One things ends, another begins

Today was a week of completion for me. Monday was my last day at Par Exsalonce CityScape Salon and Spa and today was my last day at Penrose Academy (formerly Kohler Academy). I can't explain what a great feeling it is to have completed something into which I put so much effort.
When I was younger I always wanted to be the best or at least close to the top, but somehow I could never quite cut it. I either lost interest or didn't have the passion to be the best. I do want to mention that I'm not saying I AM the best at this point, but I have no doubt the capacity to do so is within me. In the past I really wanted to find what I was passionate about and hoped every time that the new thing I was trying was going to be the thing where I would excel. Well, I did excel at a few things, but I would eventually hit a wall and my passion subsided.
There were other things where I think I was just trying to survive and decided I would try them and make myself be happy if I could make some good money. The problem with that was I would eventually feel I was spinning my wheels and become depressed. Each time I would hope that it would be my time. I hope no more. I now know that this is my time.
I'll get to my point. I really had trouble standing out in my class at Penrose Academy because there was so much talent in my class, technically and academically, so I participated in everything I could. This helped earn me a finalist spot for Matrix Spread the Love 2013. In addition, I managed to get an interview at two of the best salons in the United States. In August of this year I interviewed at Mane Attraction in Phoenix. Keep mind I don't graduate until Friday (or by the time you're reading this, tomorrow). I didn't get that position, but I will also mention I was the only person in that interview group who did not yet have a license.
And here is my big announcement, in early November I was hired at Aura Salon & Day Spa in Scottsdale. I set the bar high for myself and Aura exceeded my expectations. If you're wondering why I didn't make an announcement about this sooner, I'll let you know that it was because I was still working at another salon and since they were still paying me, I didn't want to distract from them.
So next week, I'll be in New York to find out if I'm a Matrix Spread the Love 2013 winner. If not, I still already won a spot at Aura Salon and Day Spa as an apprentice (and let me tell you, this is a BIG deal). No matter where I land on my feet, I'll know its where I belong.
Above all this, I am most proud when I hear my mother say how proud she is of me.