Every Thursday, our salon holds a quick ten minute meeting we call "huddles". While sitting in a circle with all of my co workers during a recent huddle, the question came about what advice we would give to our 19 year old selves. Some of the responses were hilarious and some were heartfelt, but it made me realize that we all have things we have very different experiences to learn from. I'm currently sitting in my local Starbucks, sipping a green tea latte and brainstorming some things about this question. Right next to me is a group of teenagers being, umm, teenagers lol. At first, I was kind of annoyed they chose to sit right next to me and I'm mentally rolling my eyes. Thanks to them, it got me thinking about what I'd have to say if 19 year old Allison were sitting on the opposite side of this table.
Take your time, quickly
Most people in their youth think they have all the time in the world. I'm 36 years old this very second and when I was 19, that was basically one foot in the grave, even though I feel healthier, younger and more energetic now than I did then, but that's for another post. My point is, time goes by faster than we think when we don't know any better. Don't sit around like you have all the time in the world to achieve all of your wildest dreams, but don't expect everything to happen right away. Be patient, but don't be passive. Take advantage of the first decade of your career to learn with an open mind, stay humble and never say no.
You deserve everything you want
I don't know if I was really sure what I truly wanted when I was younger. I just saw what older more successful people had and thought that was what I was suppose to strive for. Yet I aimlessly breezed through my twenties being pulled in many directions with the help of other people's opinions and me caring about them. It's so true that whatever you put out you get back. So I got back feelings of complacency, boredom and restlessness. Some recent life challenges are what forced me to look at the bigger picture. You have one life. Stop messing around. Be laser focused clear on what you want and make small steps to get closer. You deserve it.
Check your tribe
Take a hard inventory of the people you allow in your life. If they make you feel happy, inspired and supported, you're lucky enough to call that person a friend and the feelings should be reciprocated. Make sure they challenge you, lift you up and call you on your bull shit when necessary. Watch out for the cynical, the pessimist and the unambitious as those can slowly creep into your life, sometimes without you realizing it. Those people aren't "bad" people, they're just on a different path and they're not good for you right now. As your life evolves, so will your circle and that's okay.
I know my 19 year old self would give this one a big eye roll but probably because she just thinks it's so cliche to say. But the truth is, most 19 year olds don't have a ton of self awareness and that's because they're still growing up. (Although I feel like I'm still trying to grow up but save that post for a rainy day) As I grew later into my career, for years and years, I struggled with what was the "right" way to do hair and what was "wrong". Then social media blew up and I was really like "crap, I need to change how I work because that person has way more followers and is way more successful than I am." Don't lose sight of why you chose this career; because you are creative, you love personal connection, helping others feel their best, solving problems and so much more. Everyone's path to success is different because everyone's definition of success varies. I'm personally in it for the journey more than the finish line so I'll just remember what my mom always told me. "Put your blinders on and run your own race."
Bonus tips for my younger self
Eat well and exercise as much as possible. Not to be skinny, to be healthy. Red Bull and vodka is AWFUL for you. Save your money. Enjoy your curly thick hair because you won't have it forever and, for the love of god, please stop tweezing you eyebrows.