You would think that having almost 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, I would have a lot of tips to share about beauty and fashion.
A hairdresser for many years, I would have, in the past, been able to share the latest trends. No problem.
But that almost feels like a different life.
My cosmetology years were a good life — full of fun, fashion, friends and freedom. I attended beauty school at Capri College in Dubuque. I knew beauty was my calling. I was good at it. I loved it. It was my purpose and passion for many years. I thought I would be in this field for the rest of my days.
I would work long hours in high heels and the most cutting-edge clothing I could find. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on being trendy — not to mention how much I would spend on my makeup and my hair.
I always was ahead of the times. I had to be. I wanted to be successful, and with that came a huge investment in myself. “Walking advertisement,” our instructors would tell us. And it was true.
Then, I became pregnant. I had four kids in two years and had no extra money to dress fashionably. I had no time to even go to work, much less keep my salon running. I gave it all up in the blink of an eye before I could even think about it.
You can now find me, 99.9% of the time, with my hair in a bun and wearing yoga pants and sweatshirts. I rarely put on jeans. When I do, I feel uncomfortable and awkward — not to mention that my kids don’t recognize me when I do put on “real clothing.”
It all changed without me really feeling like I had any say in it at all.
“Be attached to nothing and open to everything”
Things change. People change. Careers change. Your priorities will change through the years. It’s not bad. It’s not good. It just is. We change, and we grow.
Once upon a time, $200 jeans would be no biggie to me. Now, it would feel like taking a bullet to drop that kind of money on myself.
Spending $150 on a new hairdo was not a problem. Now? I don’t even color my hair anymore, and I am just seeing the gray pop up, fully embracing it all.
Yes, things change. But not to fear. If we are not changing, then we are staying the same. What fun is that? As long as we are open to change, we are attached to nothing and open to everything. Then, we are free. We are not shaken or rattled when things don’t always go as planned. We are not worried about whether or not something does or does not go as we had hoped.
We are like the water. Ever flowing, ever changing, ever embracing.
When we are flexible with change, we cannot be broken. When we are OK with the fact that things will not always be how we think they should be, we have nothing to fear.
I never wanted to quit my stylist life. I was fearful in not being able to buy and do whatever I wanted. I did it, though. I never found my value in what I wore, looked like, my status or any “thing” else. My value is just that: Personal. My spirit. In my heart. That will never fail me. That will never fail you.
I am not saying it is not OK to invest in fashion or beauty. I am simply offering advice not to seek your self-worth in material things. You never know when they will vanish. As long as you’re cool with or without “thing,” you always will have peace.
That is all we need in this life. Peace within equals true freedom.
Addie Graffin is a freelance columnist and blogger based in Platteville, Wis. Read more at www.HealthyHairdresserAddie.com.