A very long time ago I worked at a kid’s hair salon in Crowfoot. It felt like my rock bottom before I was going to walk away from being a stylist. This was my end as I saw it so I felt maybe instead of giving up I would just let go and work somewhere that just paid the bills. Struggling financially at the age of 21 sucked. Not having any kind of realization of what the cost of real life was I felt defeated but giving up wasn’t an option. I’ve had nothing. And when you have nothing but the will to survive that was maybe just enough. I worked at this kids hair salon and quickly realized how fulfilling I became. Children are simple. They react based on the moment. If they were hungry, tired or exhausted this would determine how difficult or easy my job was going to be. I worked with 2 other girls that were sisters and had a boss that wasn’t really present. Working at a kid’s hair salon I learned so fast how to hone my skill. I got to practice my ability to check my emotions and I learned about simple acts of kindness. It’s funny how a moment with a person can teach you so much about life.
The first few months were rough but super fulfilling. I saw first hand how people lived their lives. How parents managed their children and how much they loved them. What shocked me was alot of the moms did not work. Their husbands did. I was seeing something I have never experienced before. People spending time with their children. Opening their tupperware containers with the fishes feeding their children as i cut their kid’s hair.
I didn’t know that existed. Doing simple acts of preparation and taking the time to be prepared. I was intrigued. My heart felt something it never did before. I wondered how something so simple existed. I didn’t ever say much at that age. I was scared. These people that came in had money. I grew up with very little. What I saw with these families I never had that. I never had much of anything except my two hands to work. What I came to understand is everyone has a routine. More evident I realized how tired they were from their responsibilities. And for a moment they were tired of their children having bad hair cuts or being mistreated because they just wanted their children to look good and to feel good. I tried my best to always get as much info about what they didn’t like so I could make their experience a little better. What was astounding to me is they liked my work and their kids were happy. As i spent more time with the parents they would confide in me and I wanted to do the only thing other stylists didnt do. Treat the kids with respect. Just because they are kids and can be difficult it’s learning how to calm them and slow the process so that their cuts would turn out better each time and in a way it gave me a chance to train their kids and give them comfort so they didn’t have to be scared about sharp objects coming at them. As months went on I started to see the same faces. The parents would say hello and share a tiny piece of what they did for work. What they were doing for the holidays. What their day entailed. I looked forward to seeing them. To see the same faces and to feel the appreciation of a job well done it filled my heart. Something money could never do. I learned a lot. More importantly I learned that the wealthy was a made up image I had in my head that everything was handed to them and my perception was being challenged.
Being surrounded by million dollar homes intimidated me. Driving 45 min each way 6 days a week to a kid’s hair salon making 8$ an hour was challenging but it never bothered me. Everytime I got in my broken ass car to drive up to the nw it felt like driving closer to my dreams. Everyday I was reminded I’m so blessed. I felt like this was home.