Progress, it is defined as "a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage." I have always been clear with the simple goal of The Barber Story, but I was asking a friend the other day if she had put together a mission statement for a company she wanted to start, when I realized I hadn't done that myself. I had an abstract idea, and looking back over the past year, it's apparent that I had more than a fair share of abstract and ill-conceived ideas. I still need to answer the fundamental question, that I have failed to put into words. Why am I doing this?
I love barbering because of the transformative process that I get to watch others react to. Nothing is more satisfying than the moment of the reveal. It's a reaction that quietly says, "I'm getting laid tonight." It's the confidence that you send someone out the door with they didn't have on the way in. in contrast, I love The Barber Story as a blog, because maybe, just maybe, someone will realize that a fresh start isn't as terrifying as they had built it up to be in their mind. Apply for school, create an etsy shop, pick up a new hobby, do anything you can in the pursuit of passion.
I spent hours revising this post, and while I was compiling all my thoughts for this update, I felt the need to look back at the steps that have led me to today. I knew today's post was going to be a big deal, at least, it was a big deal to me. This all started with an act of desperation to pursue an abstract concept of happiness. The year was hectic, but knowing where I am now, I'll be damned if I'd trade the headaches and stress for anything. So here's a quick look back.
8/11/14 - Robin Williams committed suicide. This was a rough day for me. I was on the phone with my mom when she asked if I had seen the news. If someone so full of joy couldn't find any resolution from his darkness, how would I possibly get through my own depression?
8/12/14 - I seek out help from my boss for my own suicidal desires. For 3 weeks, I focus completely on what aspects of life that I had utter distaste towards. I create a chopping block of career opportunities that seem to venture down a path that would bring me any form of misery. I had never done it before, but cutting hair seemed like a viable option. It will allow me an opportunity to take pride in a job well done, as well as make relationships in my community without having to put on one of a dozen different masks. It would give me the opportunity to just be me.
10/27/14 - I become a whistle-blower, exposing a company for unethical hiring/ firing practices. I'm still waiting on the results of a separate lawsuit against them. I remember the day I sent my email out to everyone in the company. I walked out the front doors across the street to a job I had lined up for income while going to school. Even though at this point I still hadn't made a final decision on my school, I was taking the first step towards my abstract happiness.
1/3/15 - Last day of my bipolar medication. My part-time schedule at work doesn't provide health insurance, and I make too much in the limited hours to qualify for any tax credits under the ACA. I literally cannot afford to get sick because the medication is too expensive.
3/4/15 - I am accepted into barber school. TheBarberStory.com begins.
3/20/15 - Updated design to TheBarberStory.com
3/24/15 - I file for bankruptcy
4/21/15 - I start school
5/22/15 - I begin seeing a therapist
11/13/15 - I graduate
In the time I went to school, I was given an opportunity to learn a new skill, become a runway model, a photographer, and a childhood icon for a holiday parade. All of these experiences and the confidence I have gained going to therapy have been useful in transforming me into the person I am today. I truly appreciate the joy and passion that 6 1/2 months spent in school opened me up to. I am in a better place than I was 12 months ago, I don't think about hurting myself the way that I used to, and I'm excited about this because of one reason. I HAVEN'T HAD A GOD DAMN PILL IN A FUCKING YEAR!! Maintain that positivity, and reinvent yourself as many times as you need to for the pursuit of happiness.
11/13/15 - I graduate
12/14/15 - State Boards Practical
12/15/15 - State Boards Theory
One of the few things I've learned is to keep my cards close to my chest. I haven't wanted to give away too much of my plans before they were worked out. I've had too many situations come up throughout my life that build up into giant disappointments. Managing this blog has been a learning experience of the balancing game of sharing your story without revealing the end game. Today, I get to share with you more of the end game.
Wendy at the Beardsmith gave me my first piece of advice when I told her I was going to barber school. "Keep your cards close to your chest." For the most part, I've been pretty tight lipped with long-term plans, and a lot of plans with the website, but I've known that at some point I will get to share more of the progress. So today, I (in literal fashion) get to be as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to share the following information with you.
Located at the heart of downtown in the historic Belgravia building, Barbiere Devino is Boise's finest for the grooming needs of the modern gentleman. Walk-in appointments are available on a first come, first served basis. Online reservations will be available shortly. Come on down for beer, bullshit, and the best bastard barber experience you can find in the treasure valley.
I've sat behind a desk for damn near 12 years. My new office beats everything up to this point.