How many adults, those who have been working for many years or those in college will say; “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” I think a lot of adults never know just what career would have been the one to make them the happiest and when they get the first job just stay there.
I was very lucky because I knew very early in life what I loved to do and stuck with it. I may not have known when I was 5 or 6 that what I wanted to be was a cosmetologist, let alone know the word, but the joy of doing that job was already there.
I was not very successful at that age but I still loved to get the scissors and work on hair. Somehow I knew then and even younger that I should not cut my own hair and bangs and never did that. And I never cut my friends hair at that age either. Even when my sister came along when I was 7 and we would get into fights I didn’t take the scissors to her hair. I sure let a perfect way of getting even go by.
Dolls back in the 50’s, when I was still into dolls, didn’t always have hair. Most of the time it was painted on and they were safe from the budding hairdresser in the house. The last two dolls I owned had hair and it was in a beautiful pony tail. I loved the real, or so I thought, hair they had.
The first one I had was a Revlon doll which was the forerunner of the Barbie. The main difference was that the Revlon Doll had a normal female shape instead of the exaggerated figure of a Barbie that no one can obtain. Unfortunately I decided to cut her hair after I had her for a little while and made the mistake of cutting the pony tail off about 2 inches below the rubber band.
The dolls back then had hair around the edges of the head and nothing in the crown area and the hair was pulled onto the crown to form the pony tail. I had no idea that the hair was not all over the head. They were meant to have the pony tail and when I cut it off and took the rubber off she was bald around the crown area. The other doll with long hair was a bride doll and I did the same thing to her with the same result. That was my last doll and doll haircut.
At slumber parties with the girls in my class, there were 13 girls, there were three that loved to do hair and that is what we spent the night doing. We had a good time giving the others new styles. But we never cut their hair which was amazing. All three of us went to Cosmetology school after high school, but I was the only one that made a career of cosmetology.
When I started high school Mr. Keener, our math and science teacher, asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I didn’t even hesitate and said “a hairdresser”. He told me to be sure and take chemistry class.
In Mr. Keener’s chemistry class we had to learn the chemical element symbols of the Periodic Table. We had to learn them and used them every day in Cosmetology school and I was glad I’d learned them in high school because it was just a review for me. Back then the element symbols were used a lot on products instead of spelling out the word.
So at the age of 18 I began my career as a cosmetologist that I’d wanted to do all my life. I loved the work even though doctors told me it is one of the hardest jobs on the body. When we are young we think it won’t bother us.
If you have a job that you move around and walk while doing it, even if you are on your feet all day, it is better than just standing behind the chair for 8-12 hours working on hair. But most cosmetologists will tell you that they love the job and wouldn’t give it up.
I worked in a salon for 45 years before I had to quit because of my joints and back. If I had known when I started the job what it would do to my body would I have chosen another profession? Probably not, because I loved my customers and working with hair. But I probably would have been smarter and changed jobs after about 25 years and given my body a rest.
The question is, no matter how old you are right now; do you know what you want to be when you grow up? To contact Sandy: [email protected]