I think I’ve been going through an existential crisis of sorts. Either that or I am going bat-shit crazy. Since having weight loss surgery I have undergone so many changes so fast that it would make any sane person’s head spin and sometimes I don’t feel so sane. Some days it feels like my mind is about a month behind what’s going on with my body. For example, I recently purchased some new clothes in my new smaller size. One specific piece of clothing is a cotton top that is periwinkle, my new favorite color. I put it in the washer and then the dryer. When I got it out of the dryer I really thought that it had shrunk. I was starting to feel upset that the new shirt had shrunk when I got the idea to try it on just to make sure. Lo and behold, it had not shrunk, I had. It was a bewildering moment. My brain was clearly not in sync with my body.
I’ve also noticed that as I lose more weight some of my interests that have lain dormant for years are resurfacing. I am much more interested in fashion and beauty products. I’m actually considering going to Cosmetology school in a few weeks. Me? Going to Cosmetology school at the age of 40? I’ve wanted to do for more than 20 years. I specifically remember a time when I was around 20 years old that I seriously considered it. I visited 3 different schools in the area and gathered all the necessary information to enroll. At the time, I ended up deciding not to pursue it. I had just recently begun giving private music lessons from my own personal studio space inside a large music store. At the time I really thought that I was going to become very successful as a Musician. Teaching music was my “day job” and I was going to become the next best Music Composer or so I thought. I had aspirations of writing theme music for movies and TV shows. My dream was to get signed by a record company as a New Age pianist. Wow! All the things we dream up when we’re young!!!! Only a couple of years later I became a Mother for the first time. Over the next 15 years I taught piano and violin lessons as a way to make extra income for my growing family of three sons.
I have recently been looking for a job again. It’s been about 10 weeks since surgery and I’m ready to get out there and start making some money. I have had no luck so far in finding a job. I’ve only been searching for about 4 weeks. I have had a couple of interviews but I have not received any job offers. Since weight loss surgery I really can’t stand the thoughts of working in an office. I have worked through a temp agency for the last several years as a medical office associate. I’ve done it enough to know that I absolutely cannot stand the thoughts of doing that for the rest of my life. Now that I’ve lost about 35 pounds I have so much energy now that it would be really hard for me to sit behind a desk all day long. During the last few weeks I have taken several personality and career aptitude tests on the internet. None of them have ever suggested that clerical type work would fulfill me. I know that…without taking a test to confirm it. So….it dawned on me today…..while I was feeling rather low and sorry for myself….maybe now is the time to revisit the idea of going back to school. For the last several years I have contemplated the idea of becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist, an Esthetician or Hair Stylist. I have this idea of becoming both a Licensed Massage Therapist and Esthetician. I’ve though about going to school to become a Massage Therapist first. It only takes about 6 months to complete. Get a job and then take Esthetic classes part-time while working. Or vice versa. Then I think about just taking the whole Cosmetology course so I have more options.
I live in an area that is economically depressed and there really aren’t many job options except working in healthcare AND hair, of course. I’ve come to the conclusion that most women are very particular about their hair. One time when I was at my hairdresser’s waiting my turn I noticed an elderly lady waiting patiently in the lobby area of the salon. When it was her turn to have her hair done she slowly stood up and steadied herself on her walker. A few minutes later my hairdresser announced that she was ready for me. As I sat in the chair she explained that the elderly lady was her 87-year-old grandmother who still came in for her weekly wash and curl. The lady had pretty advanced dementia and could barely walk, but “by grannies,” (pardon the pun), it was still a top priority for her to have nice looking hair. She couldn’t remember her children’s names half the time, but she knew when it was time for her weekly hair appointment.
The last temp job I did was at a women’s cancer center. I sat at the check-out window collecting co-pays and making future appointments for the patients after they saw the doctor. You would not believe how many women would schedule their doctor appointments and chemo treatments around their hair appointments. I am totally convinced that there is definitely a demand for a talented and hard-working hair stylist these days. I look at it this way: anything worth having in life takes hard work and I’m not afraid of a little hard work. I’ve thought long and hard about the longevity of a cosmetology career for myself. I’ve asked myself what will I do when I’m 50 or 60? Will I still be doing hair or waxing old lady’s upper lips? There are far worse jobs out there. I can’t really worry too much about what I’ll be doing when I’m 50. That’s 10 years away. I might not even live another 10 years. With my Dad having been diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago and my Mom’s recent Lupus diagnosis….who’s to say that I’ll even live that long? Yes, I totally get it that all of us need to somewhat plan our future resources. I am fortunate and blessed that my husband’s job allows for not only his retirement but mine as well and I don’t work there, he does.
I envision myself going to school, finishing at the top of my class, getting an awesome first job, working under a brilliantly talented boss learning as much as possible and then one day opening up my own hair salon. That has been my dream for so long. Maybe I will do just that and by the time I am 50 I will have a successful career and a profitable business. I have the guts to do that very thing of what I just mentioned at the age of 40 than I would have at age 20. I realized something else today, too. Each of us were meant to be different from one another. I can’t compare myself, my life, my successes with others. I am unique and my family situation is unique. I’ve done what I’ve supposed to do with my life up to this point in my life. I did what I was meant to do. Having weight loss surgery is the catalyst that has finally helped me to pursue dreams from long ago. I’ve also learned throughout the years that what I do for a living has nothing to do with my intellect. In fact, I am more interested in pursuing something that will allow me to be creative. I value my creative and artistic abilities much more than intellect. Although it takes a bit of intellect to create a successful business. I have decided that I will be happy no matter what I do, but I would really like to be able to have the best of both worlds. And if that means I need to go back to school to make it happen then that is what I’ll do.
Until next time……..or until my next existential crisis………..Peace & Love – may you find it, embrace it and spread it around!