Hey beauty queens!
I wanted to take some time to share my story with you. For the past three years, I've been blogging constantly about hair. As a stylist behind the chair and an educator for Kevin.Murphy, my whole career and life is rooted in making women feel beautiful by helping them learn more about how to wear their best accessory. I like to think of a great hairstyle as a crown you don't have to take off and I absolutely love getting to play fairy godmother to women everyday behind the chair.
As much as I've enjoyed writing about hair, I've felt pulled to further my mission in the digital world to include all things beauty. To me, beauty is about loving yourself and embodying the woman you want to be, mind, body and soul. There is absolutely nothing sexier than a woman who can own a room because she knows she deserves to be there... regardless of what size dress she's wearing. In a sense, it's faking it til you make it by acting confident through your struggles and insecurities. I don't believe that means you act like everything is perfect when it's not, but I do believe it means you hold the power to carry yourself with full confidence and knowledge that you are a uniquely beautiful woman no matter how you feel, what insecurities you carry or what others have said about you. If you want to feel beautiful, you simply just have to exist as if you know you are. And it's amazing how life opens up for you with that perspective.
The only reason I can say this with full confidence is because I am a 28 year old woman who spent my first 23 years paralyzed by insecurity. I allowed the world to tell me who I was and what I was worthy of. In a sense, I was enslaved by the words and actions of others and I lived as if what was put on me was truth. I spent my life trying to validate the fact that I was a valuable woman with something to offer the world, all the while believing that what people said to me was probably true. I was incredibly confused, needy and insecure and until recent years of working on myself, I really had no idea just how broken I looked. From where I stand now, I can see that a lot of what I chose to do, who I chose to associate with and the things I fought for were really just me seeking validation. I wanted to be told that I was important, that I was lovable, that I was perfect as I was, that I was needed, that I was beautiful.
And all that time, I had no idea that I held the power all along to change the story. That all I had to do to become a queen was put on my crown.
My childhood was both beautiful and painful. Unfortunately, for as many great memories that I have of playing with my four siblings and living on the baseball field, basketball court and my Dad's gold mine on the Snake River, I also experienced very dark moments that most children don't have to navigate. I experienced a lot of loss, attended way too many funerals, saw addiction issues and mental instability, dealt with struggling through poverty and at school, was teased mercilessly.
I learned two very important lessons early on and they carried me through when my insecurities and struggles battled to take over. The first was that tomorrow is a guarantee for nobody and there's no excuse for not speaking how you feel. It's so much better to just be real and honest and allow yourself to live in that with conviction. And the second, to survive this thing called life and to enjoy it fully, you have to be immensely grateful. Every single morning that you get to greet a new day is a celebration in itself.
It was these two core values of who I am that got me through some very difficult times. Right up until I found myself divorced from my high school sweetheart at 23 years old.
We had a very bitter and painful ending that left me more insecure and weak than most of the things I'd already fought through in life. So I did the only thing I knew to do to find and reclaim myself. I ran away. I left my city, the friends we had shared, my great job, everything. And I moved to Seattle where I knew two people. Flying into the northwest, looking out at the mountain ranges and the forest, I felt so liberated. I was about to start a new life and one that I was the author of.
The pen was in my hand and I could start this new chapter any way I pleased. I was determined to make this new story one of self-love, acceptance and happiness. And this was where my new mindset that ended up birthing this blog came from.
I dove into my heart and soul like I never had before. I chose not to date and just focus on learning to love myself, with all of the good and bad. I committed to knowing I was a work in progress and that I probably always would be... and that was okay. I looked at myself in the mirror every morning and recited what I loved about my appearance, instead of focusing on what everyone had told me I could improve. I walked into a beautiful downtown salon which I had only dreamed of being able to work in. And not only did I get a job, but I ended up surrounded by a beautiful and loving group of women who really helped pulled me up in my time of transformation. They taught me what female friendship was supposed to be: empowering and supportive.
I spent three days a week at the library checking out new books on topics I'd never studied before. I fed my mind with knowledge and I binge watched documentaries to keep expanding. I tried on different versions of myself in the clothes I wore and the hairstyles I chose. I fell in love with makeup and jewelry, which I had previously been too scared to try or had been told was superficial. I often would hop on the train and find myself in a new part of town, completely alone and indescribably happy.
I was learning independence.
For the first time in my life, no one was telling me who I could be, what I was capable of or what I was worth.
For the first time, I was the one molding who I wanted to be. And I was falling madly in love with the woman I was becoming.
It's been five years since that time in my life and to this day, I believe that became the foundation for the new life I live. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I needed that time to establish the habits that would become my way of being and thinking.
Everyday is not easy. Life is not easy. Since that point in my life, I've gotten engaged and had to call off said engagement and break a very good man's heart. I've had a tumor scare, I've moved to a new city, I've lost friends. But I've also worked behind the chair in one of the top salons in Texas and fallen madly in love with my career with new ambition and excitement, watched my beautiful sister marry the father of her children, I've fallen in love with a southern gentleman who reminds me everyday that I'm a queen and I've traveled the country with my job gaining new experiences and challenging myself. Through it all, knowing unashamedly who I am, what I want out of life and who I want to surround myself for the journey has made the difference.
And above anything else, knowing that I'm still in control everyday of making sure I'm living the life I want to live. No matter what is thrown my way, I get to smile through it with confidence or complain and add to the negativity in the world.
I'll choose beauty, positive thoughts, happiness, confidence, all of that love stuff everyday.
I really hope hearing a bit about my story helps you gain perspective on how we've ended up here. I want this site to be a place of inspiration, empowerment and positivity for you on your journey. I really want to encourage you to create the life you want to live and become the woman you want to be. And to love yourself with grace and humility no matter what life throws your way. Trust me... If I can do it, you can do it. And we're in this together now!