Monday, June 20, 2011

An epiphany, if you will.

Call me dramatic, but I had an epiphany this weekend. . . something really clicked and I feel like it was pretty life changing. I am the kind of person who likes to think that I live in the moment, when in reality. . . I question things to death and only leap when I'm 110% sure I will be successful. Sometimes I feel like I can't make any mistakes, because I worry about how it will effect my husband, if my parents will be proud, if my friends will think I'm smart, if my boss will find me interesting -- I really care what other people think. I hate admitting that, but I do. I'm only human, right?

Anyway, I have been battling this desire to go to hair school for a while now. Actually, I wanted to take cosmotology in high school. . . but I didn't because I thought my parents would be more proud if I went to college and got a degree in something, for lack of a better term, ''normal''. You know, the typical nine to five office job. I also didn't tell anyone that I wanted to go, because I cared too much what my friends would think. Last year around this time I told Sean that I was seriously considering a career change: I wanted to go to hair school, quit social work, and become a hair stylist.

He had some legit issues with that. One, we owe a LOT in student loans. Neither of our parents paid for us to attend college, and every month we have to pay. Two, I have invested a LOT into this field. I went to college for 4 years to study it, I completed 2 internships, and as soon as I graduated I got a job in my field. Social work doesn't pay well, but having a salary and nice benefits makes it a pretty stable job. So. . . I brushed it aside and decided to just get my master's and find a way to make myself happy doing what I've been doing for the past several years.

But, a year has passed and I still want to go. I've even googled versions of ''negative aspects of being a hair dresser'' for months trying to talk myself out of it. I went to a hair school two weeks ago, and it only made me want it more. I love the aspect of being around people all day, no progress reports or quarterly reviews, no office, no hiding my tattoos and absolutly no pretending I'm some one that I'm not. It's no secret that I'm not exactly money-driven. . . success in my eyes is being in an environment that makes me happy. I don't want to dread work everyday, who does?!

Thinking about switching my career totally freaks me out. I get this feeling in my stomach that makes me feel like I need to barf and at times I think it's EASIER to just stay where I'm at. Even if it means being miserable. I've been going back and forth on this for a whole year. . . until recently.

Well. It all started on Wednesday when one of my best friends, Denise, suggested that I contact one of the bloggers that I follow and get their perspective. My other best friend, Brittany agreed and gave me a little pep-talk about how I cannot keep worrying about other people and their opinions (don't you love those chats?) Feeling better, I emailed Brandi from Mucho Mucho Bueno Bueno and some of the things she said really got to me. She talked about how much fun she was having, how successful her shop is, the creativity, the people, the positivity. I was absolutly in love (especially since I'd been only thinking about the hard parts of the job, trying to talk myself out of it). Sometimes you really just need to focus on the positives, and the direction that your life CAN take if you choose to follow a different path every now and then.

Then I met some one on Thursday. He sealed the deal. I jokingly call him my ''soul mate'', but I met this 78 year old sailor and we talked for several hours -- epitomy of living the moment. This guy grew up in Liverpool (he saw the Beatles LIVE!!!), came to the United States, attempted a nine to five and then finally said screw it! This isn't for me! Guess what he's doing now? Living on a house boat and traveling the world. How cool is that?!

He has made some mistakes in his life, but the most important thing I learned was that he would never change anything about his circumstance. You only have one life -- this is IT. No matter what you believe about what happends when we die, the here and now is the only thing we know for certain. And I don't want to look back on my life at 78 with regrets. . . I want to be like this guy, who has seen and done everything he's wanted to see and do, and who is happy and healthy because he has followed his heart. I love how at 78, he still goes swimming every day and has so much energy and knowledge - he is so young at heart.

Yes, it's a huge risk. Money will be an issue and I'll probably have to work two jobs while I build up my clientele. Hair school sucks and I'll be leaving my full time job every night to study hair for 4 hours. But the bigger risk is NOT doing it. Because guess what. . . the older you get, the harder it is to change careers. I have no children who depend on me, Sean has a steady job, I'm healthy - I can handle it! Worst case scenario, I hate it and I fall back on my degree. Best case scenario, I succeed and I have a job that I love. . . and with that comes a happy outlook and less stress.

I think I owe it to myself to take this risk, and to really practice what I preach about living in the moment and not taking life for granted. I also owe it to my friends and family - for them to see that even if this is a mistake, I can pull myself back up and find a new plan. That it's ok to keep searching until your happy; that we don't have to ever ''settle''.

So time to get serious about hair schools, do some more visits, and make a decision on a school! Hopefully by the end of the summer :)

On a lighter note, I got to go to a work conference with Sean over the weekend :) I'm really lucky that my husband likes me enough to pay so much in order for me to attend -- and also really lucky that while he was in meetings, I got to read on a beach and watch sail boats all day! We went to a wine tasting, and as you can tell. . . it was fun!

Have you ever made a decision that you were afraid of, because you knew it had the possibility to totally change your life for the better?


  1. i am proud of you for having this epiphany. you should do whatever makes you happy. it's your one life.. so live it the way you want to live it.

    i've come to the conclusion all adult decisions are scary. your parents are no longer the security blanket, your husband is. that in itself is nerve racking!

    making the decision to go back to school to become a teacher is scary - especially since i don't have years of experience with children.

    i had to write down a pro's and a con's list to look at whenever i started to have any self-doubt. it helps and keeps your mind in the right place.

    ... and remember, you can DO anything you set your heart to!


  2. Wow! This is all amazing to hear, Kara. I'm so happy for you that you're taking a heart filled change in your life. Many many many good thoughts go out to you for being brave enough to do so. I can just tell that no matter what you do, you'll be successful at it! Times will get tough, but again..I can tell you're a tough gal too.

    As for me, I'm actually taking a plunge and FINALLY going to school this August! It's a long story...and I need to do a post on it soon, but pretty much it took a long and hard while for me to find my own reflection and realize that my dream was RIGHT THERE...I just needed to grab it and not be afraid to hold on.

    This post really touched my heart. Well, a lot of your posts do. :)

    Cheers to a happy ending!

  3. PS.....Did you ever see an email from me asking you if your email account was hacked? I got some odd message from your email address a few weeks ago stating that you were in another country and was out of money...and it gave an address for me to send money to. I just replied back and said that your email must have been hacked. Not sure if you knew or not. Oh...and no, I didn't send any money. Lol.

  4. GO FOR IT.
    I went to university and dropped out. As soon as I got there, I thought, "What the heck am I doing here?". I knew I wanted to write but I just didn't have the confidence. I see now I should have been doing it all along.
    This time next year, I'll be a qualified journalist. Follow your dreams! Money is important, but it's just numbers on a screen. xx

  5. those kinds of decisions are the scariest, but roller coaster scary, not axe murderer scary. which means, you will be okay after; it'll all work out. :)


speak your mind! always!

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