Life Lesson Learned

I wrote the following on 1/27 but kept held off on posting it. I had already gone through and edited it, but kept holding off because I felt like it was just me bitching and being negative. I still want to share it, but I'm glad I held off.

1/27/16 -

Did you know that most men get their haircut less frequently in the winter? It's true, short hair gets shaggy as the temperature outside drops. They say hindsight is 20/20, right? In hindsight, I would have waited to start school in August instead of April, because then I would be building clientele' in the beginning of the busy season, instead of the heart of the slowest season for the industry. 

This is impatience. This is frustration. This is killing me.

It's not a matter of if I build a client base. It's a matter of when my client base is steady. Rome wasn't built in a day and all of that motivational shit aside, it is frustrating to wait for hair to grow. I am getting new clients, I'm meeting new people, I'm building my name, but at the end of the day most people don't get their haircut the day after getting their hair cut. 

I need to take a step back from this perspective, though. I am at a prime time to make this happen because I have more time for focus and dedication on my speed and technique, and when the peak season picks up, it will be a lot easier to keep up with the pace.

Life Lesson from Chris - If you happen to change your life into a more fulfilling career, make sure you look closely into any peak seasons that might exist and account for that in your career transition. 

Anyway I look at it, I had accounted for this, it was part of my pro/con analysis for deciding the shop I wanted to work at. Now it's just a matter of making sure I stay busy and productive with the time that I have to make sure three months from now is a nice transition.

-Stay Stronzo

2/7 -

Let's bring this back to today. 2 days after initially writing that was my final day working at the gym. I am now down to only the one job. I've completed the first part of my transition. This is excitement. This is an opportunity. This is jumping into the deep end of the pool.

Yesterday I cut the hair of a gentleman who recently moved to Boise. He came in with his wife and young daughter, and in the midst of the conversation we were talking about why I got into barbering and I was telling them my story about how it was an experiment in starting over and his wife asked how I was able to overcome my depression and the need for medication. As open as I have been about this topic, I have never been asked that question by a stranger, so I didn't exactly know how to answer. I've always just kind of spewed my thoughts randomly onto this website so one day I can look back and see how I've progressed and remind myself that life isn't so bad. I told her I started forcing myself to start looking at the positive. The more time I focus on all the negativity around me, the less time I spend appreciating the beauty and art that is our existence. 

About a month or two ago, Hailie was making fun of me and said I was vain. I think back on it and  laugh now because I completely embrace a certain level of vanity. I spent nearly 15 years with low self-esteem and deciding on the behalf of others that I wasn't worth it. I am fucking worth it, and so is every person that has the chance to read those 5 simple words. I still read it on my bathroom mirror every morning as I get ready for the day. 

I look at it like this. There is a difference between a healthy amount of vanity and being utterly self-absorbed. I've long embraced my transition from Theist to Atheist, and that change has helped change the negative perspective of vanity that the church engrained in me. To be morbidly blunt, we are all sacks of meat floating on a giant rock in space, and everything around us is everything we will ever have the ability to appreciate, so why not enjoy your blip of time in the minuscule amount of history we are allowed to partake in? This is a very stark contrast to the consideration that the universe would be worse off without your presence.

Vanity is simply a vice of life, but a healthy vice. I've had friends in call centers that took 45 minutes in cigarette breaks a day to deal with how miserable the day was to them. Vanity only asks for 15 extra minutes out of your day, and an additional 120 minutes out of your available 43, 200 minutes in a month to say I'm fucking worth it. This is taking positive energy, riding the momentum, and sharing your energy and excitement with others instead of focusing on the parts of life that constantly drag you back to that place you hate going to on such a frequent basis.

I used to wear different personalities as masks to get through the misery of the day, now I wear different faces because it's simply fun to wear different faces.

Back to the haircut, the man, and his wife, said they could see my passion, and they were amazed that I was able to get past my need for medication. I've had a better understanding that one of the most interesting aspects of people, in general, is the monotony of home life. Almost everyone I talk to says that they lead pretty boring lives, and yet I've talked to bar owners, legislators, an FBI agent, athletes, musicians, and countless others that all have an incredibly interesting and unique experience, individual lives, and they all have their own story. It's all the perspective you take. I've been trying to ride the positivity train. Why would I need to bitch about coming into the slow season when I am perfectly capable of getting people to come into the shop during the slow season. I repurposed the negative energy to better use of time management. more video editing. I love these side projects I put on myself and hearing someone say "Oh yeah I saw this video circulating on facebook so I figured I would check you out." 

I must be doing something right.

I drill this in over and over and over. It's not for you, it's for me. There is more that can be accomplished with positivity and motivation than there would be done with negativity and apathy. Good things happen when you simply allow them to.

For the record, there is a cockroach behind my ear. I quickly got annoyed at the disapproving messages when I first started getting tattoos, so I got it as a response to the naysayers.
"You know that's forever, don't you?"
"No...It's going to last for about 60 years and then I will truly stop caring."
I wanted to get a tattoo that would last longer than I would, so I got a cockroach just to shut them up. I remember when a few girls had come up to me and asked me why I had a scarab beetle behind my ear. "Oh no no no, you misunderstand. You are giving me far too much credit, this is the most disgusting thing on earth behind my ear to remind me to wash behind my ears. Also, you should look closer into Egyptian history."

I wish I could give the 13 year old version of myself the following advice.

You are going to die one day and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Don't chase it, it will come. In the mean time, don't take anything seriously and do a few things that bring you closer to death so you can fully appreciate the life you are priveleged to take part in.

Chris Bentley1 Comment