Spit It Out

   Based on the title, I'm sure you're wondering just what I'll be spilling the tea on.... It's me, my skeletons, dirty laundry, deep dark secrets, aspirations, passions, life story, all dat. Everyone loves to say no one's perfect, which is true. At the same time though, when people are doing good or have reached a certain level of success, regardless of career path, it seems people always want to find those past mistakes just for the sake of saying " Hey, this person isn't perfect! Look what they did back in xyz!" Now when it comes to these claims, context is everything. Is this something that is ongoing behavior, or is this something that a person has already faced and made every possible effort to correct it going forward? The only purpose in getting older is to change, if that change is for the better or worse is up to the individual. What needs to be more accepted is that change with a history of corresponding action, is not the same as an apology with consistent behavior leading into, or after being caught. So if you want to know more about me or just being nosey, snuggle up buttercup because I've got a long story for you.

   Since I was young, I've always had my hobbies that I loved. I remember loving video games, animals, books, and dolls, not too odd for a child under 10. I loved dolls for more than the fact they were just dolls though, I enjoyed styling their hair with rollers and spritz, and making little custom outfits to the best of my ability. Books were something I adored because you could picture everything just perfect for yourself and there were no limits to the story like in movies or TV. You could even pick up where you left off at anytime anywhere,  but they weren't "cool", so I traded that time more towards video games. I think I was like 3 when we got a Super Nintendo, but I didn't really start finishing games from an accomplished mindset until I was about 6 or 7. The animal aspect I think grew more from a fascination of wanting to learn about them. I was deathly afraid of spiders, so that was the one exception, but almost anything else I would admire from a book or in person from afar. Looking back now, I see that I naturally gravitated towards creative, knowledge and hands on based hobbies. 

  The doors of video games opened up with the Playstation 1. On Sega and Nintendo there were staples like Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong, Mario and countless licensed and branded games. The Playstation 1 brought a whole new wave, stepping into territory that only PC had been able to achieve. I did use PC to play educational and nature games like Oregon Trail, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego, Amazon Quest, fishing, and who could forget the Math and Reading Blaster Games. Great as all of those games were, moving to 3d gameplay, and being able to do it in my own room without getting booted off the computer... It was phenomenal! It was only surpassed with the Playstation 2. Life was good in the 90's 2000 transition. All I wanted and needed was Playstation, PC and the fresh internet (AOL) and the start of the original Toonami, ah good times.

   When it comes to beauty and fashion, there is no true right or wrong way to do things. They are of the few career fields that are comparable to a fantasy or dream. Skill set aside, there’s no such thing as an ideal stylist on paper. They came in all shapes and colors, with different beliefs and backgrounds, but they all shared a passion putting their paintbrush on living people. That’s what I love about the beauty and fashion fields. Every so often, techniques change, but there’s never a limitation on what you can create or how people choose to express themselves. I’ve always had a natural talent in styling my hair since I was about 12. I would relax, color (Highlight), and even pin extensions or glue extensions into my hair by the time I was 13. I even played around with my mother's sewing machine from time to time to take in and alter my "not so new" clothes. Makeup was a far cry from what it is today and I wasn’t supposed to have it, so I would use lip gloss, powder foundation and a silver eyeliner pen from a friend at school regularly. That was my first taste of being in control of my appearance and I was hooked. It felt so good to feel like I looked good with my unique look. I knew beauty and fashion would be something dear to me. When people would ask me to duplicate something I did for them, I would reluctantly agree, simply because I didn’t see the same masterpiece they did. Now, I know that it was an issue with my confidence level, not my skill set.

   When I was 14, my first year in high school, I had my daughter. Everything came to a grinding halt because I had a baby to take care of. My appearance got put on the back burner and gaming was reduced to replaying what I had, or could borrow, while she slept. The resources I had been using to expand my hobby with, my time and any earned money for supplies, belonged to my daughter. I didn’t think twice about sacrificing what I wanted because I knew she was more important. It wasn’t until my junior year when I met my best friend that I even considered looking back into my hobbies. I had been struggling with bouts of depression, low self esteem, no direction,  just a mid life crisis in my mid teens. I can honestly say she is the one who rekindled the passions I had. She would always try to do different hairstyles or makeup looks with no success, and out of pity, I would offer to do whatever for her. She had always been adamant about me taking care of myself and not feeling guilty for doing so. Once she saw how simple styling came to me, she basically forced me back into pursuing my hobbies. She started ethically bullying me into fashion and beauty again. She would come to my house and rummage my closet to see what I had, that way I had no excuse if I wore something kind of bummy. She even would ask me to do demonstrations on myself so that she could learn, another part of her plan. Eventually, I started to take initiative on my own so she would give me some peace. I still thank her to this day for her persistence.

   My original goal for when I graduated in 2008 was to get a job, get a car, then enroll for cosmetology. That was way easier said than done. I got my first job on my 18th birthday at blockbuster and my first credit card. A few months later, my mom's car got repossessed. I used what I had from my credit card to help buy another car because it was something we all needed to keep jobs, so school got pushed to the side. Unfortunately, Blockbuster closed the next year and I lost my job. I was jobless for almost 18 months before I found another consistent one. In the meantime, I worked at the stadium on Sundays during football games and danced most of the week to keep bills paid. The money was good and fast, but I knew from jump it wasn't something I wanted to do forever. It was an opportunity that created a way, so I'm grateful for all I was able to do as a result. I found a new job in 2010. After a few months at my new job in 2011, my mom and I were in a car accident that totaled the car. I still thank God to this day that we weren’t seriously injured. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since we weren't at fault, we were able to put down payments on 2 cars with the payout from the totaled car. I was finally able to buy a car because I was a passenger in a totaled car, imagine that. With the financial strain of the new bills and my daughter starting school, I put my hobbies on the back burner again and pursued financial stability in my new job. As things fell into place, I started buying pieces for my wardrobe and stocking up in makeup again. I even got back into gaming and started buying games regularly. I played around with my personal style and even got into tattoo and piercings. I was finally pinpointing what things brought me joy and embracing them, even if no one else in my circle did. 

   Eventually in 2012, after some pressure of not having a college degree, I enrolled in college full time at a university. I was still working during the day, so I scheduled all my classes after I got off. I thought because psychology and philosophy interested me, they would make great career paths (and look good on paper), I was so wrong, after my first semester, I dropped out and focused on work again. I got in a lot of traveling and exploring over the next few years but I still had a nagging feeling that I was missing out by not having my Cosmetology license. In 2015,I was finally able to start a search for a cosmetology school that would fit my work schedule. I found a private school on a rolling schedule that would work with my job hours, but the tuition for cosmetology was too high for me to pay for even with financial aid. I opted to take their full specialty program instead. While I was there, I loved chatting with people in the cosmo program and watching them work. I still did my own hair during my program and my esthetician instructor took notice. She actually asked me why I wasn't in cosmo, then referred me to check out Paul Mitchell (Where I'm starting now) because of how I experimented with colors. I did a little research at the time but wanted to pay down my student loans before I attended another school. I liked that Paul Mitchell was a national brand with a uniform concept, but it also embodied my vision of a beauty brand. The diversity and encouragement to be bold caught my eye.

   Once I completed my full specialty program in 2015, I started a new job which marked the beginning of a very trying 4 years. The job I had taken to alleviate financial burden and get into a more traditional 9-5 life turned out to be a nightmare dressed like a daydream. In the early months there, everything was perfect and just as discussed and expected. Out of nowhere, the company began to sink, thus crunching down on employees. There was no job security and rules were changing so frequently without notice, things would be changed during our lunch break to accommodate whatever new rule they implemented. Out of fear of losing everything, I took a pay cut for a more secure job in 2016, or so I thought. 2 months later my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was more than shocking because she was one of those people it shouldn't happen to on paper. With bills piling up again from the pay cut, not being able to find a better job or supplementary job, the stress of thinking I was losing my mom, and depression settled back in, I lost myself. I had done everything in my power from the time my daughter was born to have a “good life”. I put necessities and responsibilities ahead of my wants, considering I became an adult with a 3 year old. I worked hard even when I knew I wouldn’t be recognized or even appreciated because I just knew a good work ethic would take me far. I went above and beyond whenever possible because that's what you’re supposed to do to be successful in life, and it got me nowhere. I knew I needed help, but couldn’t afford it and it was nowhere as encouraged as it is now. Eventually I had a breakdown and stopped caring. I had no hope or faith, I gave up. One night at home alone of pity drinking resulted in a DUI, without me even remembering leaving the house. Thank God nobody was affected but me.

   Mid 2017, I was finally able to get the help I had needed for years. For the first time in my adult life, I had a clear sense of purpose. I knew that I wanted to make sure that nobody ever felt as low as I did most of my life. I enrolled back in school for an AA. Initially interior design since that's what I had become fond of, but just like the first time, it wasn't for me. Then I switched to fashion design, but became unable to match up the classes I needed to transfer, so I settled for finance. I talked myself out of cosmetology because of the big obsession with beauty that had sprung up, I felt my skills were too generic to be of any success. In August 2017, I was in my first of 3 car accidents. August 2017, May 2018 & August 2018 the first and the last major. I was able to knock out a few classes in my AA , ultimately I stopped because it was too strenuous on my body. Slowly I could feel the pit creeping back into my reality that I had worked so hard to get out of. This time, I didn't allow myself to dwell and pity myself. My last accident in August 2018 was by far the worst. The only thing that brought me joy initially was being able to do a little makeup or put on a cute dress, everything else was too strenuous for a while.  All I could think about was how something so simple as thinking I looked nice when I looked in the mirror seemed to lessen the blow of reality. I found books, Instagram accounts, games, YouTube channels and anything else at my reach to keep myself uplifted.

    What everything has shown me, is that passions don’t just go away. No matter how much you neglect them, they always put a glimmer in your eye. With everything that had happened and I was experiencing, I still wanted to find a way to help uplift people who feel, or have felt as low as I had. Now, I knew I wanted to use the things that kept me from going back into a dark spiral. I want to show people that your appearance is something simple that can have a direct effect on your emotions. Even when life is less than happy, when you think you look good, it makes you feel good. Even when you look the part but don't feel it, a basic compliment can brighten your day. I want to show people how a simple style revamp or total makeover can skyrocket confidence, not just in your appearance but in life. If you get that same feeling of accomplishment from beating a game that took months, go for it! I know I felt awesome when I finally went back and beat the 1995 Power Rangers game on Super Nintendo. Nobody burst my bubble all day! Whatever it is that you love to do, that gets you pumped and feeling invincible, go for it with no shame. Be a bookworm and be excited to get home and read more of a book, whatever gives you that pure joy and confidence in being yourself.  Confidence is key to a lot, self-confidence is the foundation.

   This website is the result of being temporarily limited by my car accidents. My brand is focused on finding what really makes you happy and accepting yourself. I love the sense of style I’ve developed, but I still push myself so I don’t get too content in a comfort zone and fear branching out. At the same time, I see myself in all of these items from time to time and I felt others could relate. Putting effort into your appearance doesn't always mean full makeup with glitz and glam. It means a shirt and ripped jeans with sneakers that you like and feel good in or dressing nice for work just because you can. It’s being sexy whenever you want to, or being totally comfortable scaling it back for your perfect everyday look. On the same note, you can love getting fully glammed and play Fortnite, or any other game, even skip out on a gaming session to catch up on a good book.There are very few people who fit into one distinct category. If you do, great! If you don't, Great! With the rise of social media it’s easy to get lost or feel completely left out. My brand is going to bring reality back to a virtual world.

   After everything I’ve been through, I have finally realized that the only thing putting limitations on my life is my own self doubt. With that in mind, I’m not standing in my own way anymore and I will encourage as many people as possible to recognize the same. Life happens to everyone. You can dread how bad things can get or you can get excited for everything that can go right. If you get into a cycle of thinking “what’s the point everything always goes wrong”, correct yourself and ask “what if even one thing goes right?”  As long as you don’t forget how valuable you are as a person and that since you’re breathing you can change, life can only delay you, not stop you. I see my brand being unique in its ability to flourish as a community more so than just a business with a mission. My brand is going to redefine what the beauty and fashion industry has to offer consumers. I am going to help people regain their confidence in life, one hairstyle, blog, outfit, or video at a time. There’s a difference between what you aspire in life and what's glorified. If your goal is to finally wear a 2-piece tankini, don’t be intimidated because barely there swimwear is in style. In the same respect, if your goal in life is to have a 9-5 office job, don’t feel less than because entrepreneurship is popular. It’s time to truly start being confident in what you want in life instead of being caught up in the hype of “trending movements”. Nobody can see the passion in your goals but you. If you don't stick up for them, nobody will, and the only person who will suffer is you. Go for what you want and see it's not for you instead of risking spending your whole life regretting what you missed out on.

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