It was a cold January day. The year was 2005, and I think it snowed.
I had quit my latest job at Toys’R'Us a month earlier due to a controversy with the store manager, and was now in a project for unemployed office administrators. On the first day of the project, I realized that I didn’t really want to work in an office, I didn’t want to work with administration… it was something I was good at, but not something I actually wanted for myself, and in this project I met people whose biggest dream in life was to build databases and file papers. Their biggest, wildest dream, was something I had considered to settle with until something better came along. I decided then and there that it was better to leave those jobs to the people who really want them.
On the second day of the project we analyzed our personalities, and it became even clearer that I didn’t belong in that group of people. Most of them gave similar answers to all the questions, but not me. I was not one of them, so why were we looking for the same jobs?
On the third day of the project I was told about a vacant job in telemarketing. I had experience and matched their profile, and I knew that if I were to apply for the job I would get it right away.
That thought was enough to give me a panic attack. My heart rate skyrocketed, my body shook, tears came to my eyes. All I could think was I don’t want to work in sales anymore! I can’t take this job! I just can’t! I couldn’t breathe. My feet were glued to the ground and I couldn’t force myself to go back into the house to pick up the application papers. I don’t want to do this!
I stood there outside the house for a long time, before I finally turned around and started to walk home.
I walked slowly, with a feeling of not really being there but all the same being extremely present. Conscious. Awake. Alive.
My legs shook, but my steps were firm and definite.
I knew that I was changing my life right then and there. I knew that there was no turning back, but I had absolutely no idea of where I was going next.
I knew that I couldn’t keep doing what I had done for the last seven years – jumping from one job to another, starting one education after the other, doing what others suggested, never finishing anything. It wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had 40 years left to work before retirement, and I just couldn’t keep doing it for forty freaking years. But if I wasn’t going to do this – then what?
I knew that I had to look at myself: Who was I, what did I want for myself, where was I going to, what were my dreams, what was I passionate about?
I knew that I wanted to be my own boss and answer only to myself, but that was about it. You can’t really start a business without having a business plan, can you?
I walked slowly through the snow. It was almost -20 degrees but for once the cold didn’t bother me. I think the sun shone, but I didn’t notice my surroundings. I walked slowly, hypnotized, letting my feet lead me home.
Who was I? What was my passion? What kind of business would I want to run?
Thoughts that weren’t mine started running through my head, demanding attention. Memories of reading beauty magazines when I was 4 or 5 years old. Pictures of myself reaching out for every single magazine with a “beauty special” or “hair special”. The voice of the healer I had gone to a few weeks earlier who told me about a past life as a medicine woman, and how I would be very successful should I decide to work with homeopathy. The voice of my sister’s friend who told me that she saw a different life for me – home staging, healing, alternative medicine, or something like it. My life long interest in beauty, health, food, medicine, healing, spirits, alternative therapies.
I went home, with a mixed feeling of calm and excitement, and started researching on the internet. I looked at different courses – health therapist, massage therapist, makeup artist, stylist, nutritionist – but it didn’t take long to decide on hairdresser. I knew that I wanted to have a holistic approach, treat the whole person inside out, but I had to start somewhere and while everybody cuts their hair on a fairly regular basis, not everybody treats themselves to massages or pedicures as often, and so it felt good and right to choose hairdresser as my main profession; a foundation to build upon.
I started looking for schools, and the rest, as they say, is history. I still don’t run my own business, but I also know that it’s not time yet, just like I know that it’s not time for me to move to Italy yet. When the time comes I’ll be ready, but it’s not now. When, I don’t know.
I read Kathy’s post about serendipity, and it reminded me of why I am where I am today.
Serendipity…the faculty of making fortunate decisions by accident
What would have happened if I hadn’t turned around that day to walk away from life as I knew it?