The Difference

9:06 am. Sunday morning, and I'm sitting at work. It quickly became unfamiliar. I had spent the past five days in a completely different state of mind, and the difference was nothing short of plain.

School is bringing out the best of me. There's a spark of excitement that I haven't felt since I was a kid. And I'm sure it's absolute coincidence, but everything feels like it has been leading to what has become the perfect timing for a class. April is their down season, so our core class is 4 students. Four. Typically it can be around twenty. Our instructor for the core classes is a sweet woman in her early 40's, who has been a stylist for 25 years. This is the last class that she will be teaching before transitioning back into her main role at the school.

The other three students in class all moved to Boise from Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona to attend this school specifically. We are five people in a room with a common goal in mind, and our definitions of success have only the slightest of variations. We all have passion for the same thing, and we feed off of each others energy in this early stage.

At work, we have 15 people who come together for a paycheck. The only common bond that unites us, is the fact that we all have bills to pay. That isn't to say that people I work with aren't without their passions, but it certainly wouldn't revolve around convincing people to keep their HBO subscriptions. For a lot of people, however, the motivation for success is tied to getting ahead with the company, or it could be getting bonuses, or the fringe benefits, or maybe it's as simple as being naturally competitive. But the common theme is the desire to be successful in the current job outweighs the fear of not having an income. 

That was my situation, and it's all been jobs I hated. Not having passion as the forefront of my focus is no longer an option.  Today I met with one of the student advisors to talk about making the Dean's list and what I need to do to stay on track. I'm the first student he's seen that has come in to the barber program with the intention of making the dean's list. I think my biggest obstacle is making it to Caper, but I'll be damned if I let it slow my momentum.

The first week was exciting. Covered a lot of essentials, anatomy and how to properly part and segment hair. Nothing involving our scissors yet though. I had a bit of a snafu with my barber kit though. It had been damaged in shipping, so I was waiting on a replacement roller. All of my tools I had been bringing back and forth in a box I had taped up securely. It was working out fine until day 4 the bottom came out from under itself and my clippers came crashing to the ground. Fortunately 2 of the 3 came away unharmed, but mister unlucky chipped his teeth. The most unfortunate soul. I could have gotten mad about it, but honestly it's nobody's fault and I found out that it will only be about 15 dollars to fix. If anything, this is going to teach me faster than I would have learned otherwise how to take apart my clippers and repair them.

There was a fun story that came from the first week though. I was goofing off in my car on the way to the first day and posted this video on Instagram.

The admissions leader saw it tagged and wound up showing quite a few students and faculty who loved it. It honestly made easy work of turning friends out of strangers.

Week 2 started today, and it was an April Christmas. First off, I got my roller first thing this morning and after a week of lugging everything around it is literally the greatest part of today. I consolidated all three of my heavy bags into one slightly heavy bag and a roller cart. We started the day diagramming a basic haircut, but then a knock on the door, and in came the iPad minis. The last time I was in school, I had to carry 7 heavy bags in my backpack because it was 1996 and that's what the option was. With the price of schoolbooks in a traditional school, it makes sense (to me at least) to have all of your written curriculum share the space of instructional video in a consolidated app. Actually seeing it in practice and encouraged is a weird transition coming from years of "No Phone Zones". 

I happened to get mine open first, and I noticed on the back, it had the school logo engraved on it, and it was kind of fitting for me. I have a phone with 128gb storage, I don't need to put anything to take away from the 16gb on this accept that which is going to benefit my career. It helps me separate and shift gears in my mind to take it a little more seriously. 

Turns out mine was the only one of the four that had that, pure happenstance. So we are all setting up and downloading the curriculum when the instructor grabs a stack of four white boxes from the closet and starts passing out our first set of shears.

We're cutting today.

This was the second best part of today for me. A starting point to gauge off of and I finally have an opportunity to do my very first crappy haircut! I feel it didn't come out half bad, considering that we were breaking it apart section by section, so this was a two, maybe three hour haircut with a certain amount of nitpicking (in a good way) to ensure we all had proper form. I certainly wouldn't pay me for a haircut yet, at least not until I learn the second half. But it has to start somewhere, and I have so many new experiences to be excited about and keep me motivated.

The approach I'm trying to take on this is really simple. I have an opportunity to reinvent myself, how many other people have failed to recognize the opportunity when it was there's? Do I want to be lazy? Well technically, yes, but NO! This is worth making sacrifices for. But then I get to come back home to my motivation. After all of this positive time, I get to come home to my three favorite girls (Hailie in charge of the picture obviously). This was the best part of today.

Chris BentleyComment