Stop Moving The Finish Line On Yourself.

Today I realized something so interesting. I’ve been working really hard to make all my dreams come true! Like, ridiculously hard. The fascinating thing about our dreams and goals, is they continue to evolve and grow as we ourselves so. In a way, this is good because if it didn’t, we would all achieve everything we set out to do and then we would have no where to go. This is also a little bit unfair because it’s like running a race where somebody keeps moving the finish line and you don’t even know it. If you’re constantly racing toward something and giving it your all to the point of exhaustion, you’re probably not even giving yourself the opportunity to see how far you’ve come. The interesting thing I realized today, is that my 20-year-old self would be so excited to see where 27-year-old me is today. The dreams and goals of 20-year-old me have already been not only achieved, but blown out of the water. I’m not sure if I could’ve even imagined this life and the accomplishments that have been checked off the list 7 years ago. I’m not saying this to boast, I’m saying this because I haven’t been giving myself enough credit and you probably haven’t been either.

beauty school 2012
My model and I hugging Ms. Angie and Ms. Jenn when I got second place at a state competition

20-year-old me was a beauty school student. She had wanted to do hair since she was old enough to have the ability to understand the concept. She had been talked out of it for a couple years by the people who didn’t see her vision. Most people told her she was too smart to be a hairstylist so not wanting to disappoint the people she cared about, she had put it off for 2 years after high school. Eventually she reached a point where she couldn’t ignore this overwhelming feeling that the beauty industry was where she belonged. It didn’t take long for my instructors to ignite a passion within me for education. I quickly realized that there was more to this industry than I ever could’ve imagined. Learning the principles of hair color was the most fascinating experience of my life. I could not get enough knowledge on the subject and I realized then that I would always have a thirst to be on the cutting edge when it comes to the science behind hair color and the techniques that bring it to life. My core teacher Ms. Jenn said that the best way to do that, was to educate others. So from that moment on, education was on my goal list. Later in my time in beauty school I met Ms. Angie who confirmed that education was something I wanted to aspire to be a part of. Seeing how Angie ran our Phase Two crew (which at Paul Mitchell Schools is like the honors program run very much like a real salon) also made me realize I want to open my own salon one day. 

The first time I met Sam Villa March of 2015
working with Sam Villa November of 2018

After beauty school, one of my first mentors Chad, introduced me to Sam Villa’s social media pages, techniques and tools. That was the first time I had ever seen such creativity and innovation in the disciplines of cutting and finishing. I spent the next couple years watching him almost obsessively and putting his words and ideas into practice every chance I got! I remember thinking this is the best imaginable educator possible and someday I need to meet him. In 2015, I had pretty much just started my career over at a new salon in a new city and money was really tight. I found out Sam Villa was doing a hands-on workshop in Chicago, it was like $700 which was an entire paycheck for me at that time and you know what? I didn’t think twice! I purchased the ticket and I went. It was worth every penny and I wouldn’t take back that experience for any amount of money. Meeting Sam Villa and interacting with him that day made me realize that although local classes were great, I needed to start investing as much as I could in myself and learn from the best. And guess what? I got to work on stage with him this year. 

The old Redken Exchange

Shortly after that, The Redken Exchange in New York City was calling my name! I went out there for the first time (which was also a dream of mine since I learned of it’s existence) I took “Cut and Know Why” and Adina Doss, Jason Gribbin, and Brayden Pelletier were the facilitators and they were all AMAZING but seeing Adina in action was the moment that I knew I wanted to work for Redken and become a Redken Artist specifically. She inspired me in a way that no one other than Sam Villa had before. Basically, she’s who I want to be when I grow up to this day. Just months after that, I took and passed my Redken Color Certification because I knew that was the first step to get out of the way before completely my Redken Artist Audition. (Also, I got to work with Adina Doss when she came to town earlier this year) 

Redken Symposium 2017
My own little buisness! 
Redken Artist Induction

Fast forward to the beginning of  2017 when I attended my first Redken Symposium in Las Vegas (yet another dream come true) and found out I was accepted into the Redken Artist Induction class of 2017! My year was off to such a strong start, I also decided to open my own business in March of that year. (more dreams coming true) Redken Artist Induction was the first time I felt like I found my tribe, I got to bond with a whole group of like-minded individuals and make life long friends. I learned a lot about myself and took my career to the next level during this time. 

Now I look at my life, I own my own little salon that is growing at such an unbelievable pace and becoming so successful. I am so honored and privileged to finally be a educator for an industry I care about so much! I’ve had opportunities to help other salon professionals almost every week since becoming a Redken Artist. I love this life more than I ever could’ve even imagined I would and I’ve done things in my career I couldn’t have even dreamed of 7 years ago. Of course I have bigger dreams now, and new goals to check off the list but I’ve done everything that 20-year-old me set out to do. I am not sharing this to brag about my accomplishments. I’m sharing this story because I want you to look back on what you hoped for when you were younger. I want you to think about how proud your younger self would be of how far you’ve come. If you have achieved any of the things you hoped to when you were younger, you need to celebrate that. Don’t keep moving the finish line on yourself like I have. Be proud of your accomplishments and continue to celebrate the new ones as you go. 

This has been Day 4 of Blogmas 2018

Why Marilyn Monroe Wasn’t Happy

Many of us believe we would be happier if we had more money, more fame, more beauty and more adoration. Icon Marilyn Monroe had all of those things and more. Norma Jeane Baker come into the spotlight under the stage name Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. During the height of her career, you would probably view her as the ultimate success story. Girl comes from nothing and conquers the world! So how did this seemingly perfect life turn into a tragedy in the blink of an eye? More importantly, what can we learn from this legendary star and apply to our own lives?

Marilyn Monroe didn’t have the easiest childhood. Her father wasn’t in the picture and her mother was not prepared for parenthood financially or emotionally. Monroe was put into foster care shortly after birth and although her mother remained a part of her life her foster parents were the ones raising her. Despite the foster parents wanting to adopt Marilyn, her mother took her back full time when she was about 7. Shortly after, Monroe’s mother suffered a mental breakdown, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent the remainder of her life in a revolving door of psychiatric hospitals and care. With her mother once again being in no position to provide care for her, Monroe became a ward of the state and returned to foster care. Unfortunately, this period of her life didn’t provide much positivity or stability. Marylin Monroe found herself hopping from family to family and even spending time in orphanages. During this time, she experienced many horrors such as multiple instances of sexual abuse, molestation and isolation. These unthinkable experiences affected Marilyn deeply and the trauma caused her to become very withdrawn and depressed. To escape this situation and find stability, she chose to get married at the age of 16. This marriage ended up being a loveless one and while it didn’t affect Marilyn negatively, it was short lived.

Marilyn Monroe was very driven to achieve her goals. She broke into the modeling world and then decided to set her sights on acting. Before she knew it, Marilyn was starring in the most popular films and becoming a household name. All of her dreams were coming true! She was considered the “it girl” of the era and in the publics eyes she could do no wrong. Her scandals were even making fame skyrocket to new heights. She was recognized as the top actress, she was certainly one of the highest paid people in Hollywood and she had unmeasurable love and admiration from her massive fan base. Marilyn Monroe was just adding award after award to her growing collection. Despite her growing success Marilyn was still struggling. Her lack of confidence and happiness were still evident in her behavior especially in a working environment. Marilyn was rumored to be very difficult to work with and her perfectionism was making it impossible for her to be satisfied with any project she was involved with. The amount of pressure she was putting on herself eventually lead Monroe to turn to substance abuse. These habits eventually made the problems she was experiencing even worse and lead to addiction issues. As we’ve all seen time and time again, eventually addiction catches up with everyone. Marilyn Monroe was no exception to this and her performances began to suffer as a result. This only added to her substance abuse and eventually she ended up losing her life to her addiction. There is no question that her lethal overdose was intentional because the toxicology report showed that the amount of drugs in her system were several times the fatal dose.

How you feel has nothing to do with your circumstances. The reason Marilyn Monroe committed suicide because she never learned to conquer her emotional state. Instead of learning to find happiness within herself, she chose to use drugs to try and change how she was feeling. She had every reason in the world to be happy by most people standards. The amount of money she had would be the equivalent to about $2 billion in this day and age. She was considered by many to be the most beautiful woman in the entire world. She had dedicated fans who viewed her as the perfect woman. She had reached an unmatched level of fame. She had numerous awards validating her success. She lives on as a legend even to this day even though she passed away over 50 years ago. She had to have seen the impact she made not only on her industry but on the world as a whole, yet this is a woman who felt hopeless enough to take her own life. Obviously now that you’ve read about her childhood, you know that that trauma was a factor. As many of us tend to believe, Marilyn probably thought all of these achievements and material items in her life were supposed to bring her joy. She probably believed the money, success and admiration had the ability to erase her broken past. No circumstance you create for yourself will ever have the ability to do that for you. Happiness is a choice. If you aren’t happy with your life as it is in this current moment, I’m not suggesting that you should just accept it and do nothing to change it. What I am suggesting is that you take action immediately to learn to be happy every step of the way and start training your brain to be happy regardless of the circumstances you are in at any given time in your life. Even the world’s most successful people will tell you that life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Until you reprogram your brain to be happy during the entire ride, it won’t know how to be happy in even the best of times and Marilyn Monroe is the proof of that.

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**I should mention that I understand how mental illness could have played a role in this situation. With her mother’s diagnoses it is certainly a possibility that Marilyn Monroe was more prone to the same issues. However, dwelling on negative thoughts has been proven to worsen your brain chemistry when these illnesses are present. If you do suffer from mental illness, I encourage you to seek professional help and allow them to help you develop strategies to improve your ability to cope with whatever issues you may be experiencing. If you are predisposed to have negative thoughts, this concept is going to be even more important for you. Please, take care of yourself. The world just wouldn’t be the same without you.

this has been DAY ONE of Blogmas 2018