Before going to bed last night, I told Hailie I was feeling a little glum. I was really hoping that a good night's sleep was all I needed. It wasn't.
I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. I didn't even shower to wake myself up. Nothing about me is happy. As I was driving to work I felt pressure add on the gas pedal. My vision focused less on the road in front of me and more on the horizon. I slowly crept past the 40 mph speed limit to 50. The thought of flipping my wrist upside down to prepare for a sharp right turn was recurring as I got up around 60. As soon as I hit 75, electric poles became less decor around the perimeter of the road, and more of a two foot wide target to aim for.
Today is a bad day. The unfortunate part to all of this, is that today is not unique. Sundays started getting better, but being stuck in a building that surrounds and fills me with negativity doesn't help. I have no freedom to be me. The only saving grace is that my boss knows how much I hate being there and he honestly tries to make it as much fun as it can.
Yesterday was the start to all of this. I arrived at school stoked on the fact that I got a new apron (that doesn't have a school logo on it) and I had ordered the straight razor I have been putting almost three months worth of tips towards. I am actually getting the tools that will help me transition from student to professional. I was riding that high all morning. I get to school, and I find out I've been assigned as towel leader. What the hell? This is the third time this month that I have been given towels.
I have no problem doing laundry, and I actually am glad that it gets to the barbers from time to time since, as a collective group, we are less worried about gossip and chatting, so it typically gets done in comparison to the days that everybody asks "Where are all the towels?" The problem I have, is that in a program that is 1/3 the time, and maybe 1/10 the actual amount of students participating, we are doing it more frequently. This means a larger percentage of our education is folding towels. Furthermore, taking me off the floor on a busy Saturday stifles my ability to transition from student to proficient professional.
I need to think of the positive. This week as a whole wasn't terrible. Even though I had a scowl on my face all day, as I was leaving one of the girls at the front desk thanked me for being so focused "It's really easy to get bored doing towels, and you stayed busy all day to take care of things. You're awesome." It immediately made me realize what an ass I had been all day, so I said thanks and I made a mental note to try and not let it get to me next time.
I had a kid come in Wednesday. 12 years old, really quiet, fire red hair. His dad and stepmom were getting married Saturday, so he wanted to get it out of his eyes and look cleaned up. We started talking about fishing and movies, and then Henry would come over and show me a few things that would stop the conversation. This is when he started saying a few things that really got me worried.
"Sorry if I'm being difficult, I'm not trying to. I don't want to get you in trouble"
"Don't worry about anything, I'm in school to learn, so anytime Henry comes over it's just a new opportunity to pick up something I haven't quite figured out. Besides, I work at DirecTV so I get to talk about movies and TV a lot."
"Oh.......we can talk about something different then. I don't want to annoy you."
First off, kids should not be worried about being annoying. By their nature they are annoying to most adults, but adults shouldn't outright tell kids that they are annoying. It's called tact. The only reason a kid his age would worry about that is because they've heard it before.
"Do people say you're annoying?"
"Has another barber told you that you were being annoying?"
"No way dude. Don't let anybody ever tell you that. Be who you are and get excited about what you want to get excited about."
So we started talking a little while longer, and I kept staring at his hair. Ginger hair is like working with liquid gold. It's the perfect texture, holds a shine that you can see more of your blend, and just all around is ideal for cutting. Charles had even made a point after the haircut to ask me how I liked working with red hair. I told him in the middle of the haircut "You have amazing hair, I would probably kill somebody to have hair like yours." His response, again concerning, was a sheepish "...yeah"
"Do people make fun of you because of your hair?"
"Sometimes, I've heard some of the mean things people say."
"Things like ginger?"
"And a few others."
"Whoever has been telling you that doesn't have the education to know better. They're dumb. You're hair is amazing, and you can pull off a haircut guys 20 years older than you only wish they could. Don't let what other people think of you have an impact to what you think of yourself."
I was that kids best friend for the next 20 minutes. His stepmom was getting her own haircut in preparation for the wedding. He was ecstatic to get out of the chair and talk for a few minutes before I needed to get ready for my next appointment.
I feel like I made that kid's day. But I also need to adjust the advice I gave to be relative to myself. I need to stop letting the opinions I have about myself impact how I feel throughout the day. I know the opinions I have about myself are bullshit, but it's hard to listen to reason.
I'm just stubborn, I guess.