“My dad had lots of issues and it made our relationship very tumultuous. On one hand we were very close, on the other he could be very hurtful to the people closest to him. My father had a progressive illness that ultimately led to him being a quadriplegic by the time I was 13. He was really hard on me, and I had to give him showers and clean up after him. He and my mom were divorced, so I became his live-in caretaker from the age of 13 to 16, when I should have been out enjoying life as a teenager. When I was 16 he was finally put in a nursing home. I visited there every day until he passed away when I was 21.
“I felt like a lot of people underestimated me when I was growing up. My teachers, my parents, and after a while, I too started to believe I wouldn’t amount to much. Being ADHD I was told I was lazy a lot. That was a huge hit to my self-esteem. I surrounded myself with people who thought very little of me because it felt familiar. In a way I felt like I didn’t deserve more or couldn’t achieve more. It fostered an adolescent period of being a wild child and a troublemaker. I got thrown out of high school for fighting and skipping school and sent to an ‘alternative school.’ But that led me to vocational school and getting my cosmetology license at the age of 17.
“I went to college and it helped me turn myself around. I thrived and blossomed. I achieved the dean’s list almost every semester. I graduated with a high GPA and had work of mine chosen to be presented in front of the entire English dept.
“But all along I kept cutting hair. About halfway through college I got a job at a local barber shop and everything changed. I fell in love with barbering and began to really excel and develop a passion. I was very involved in college still but for the first time I really loved being a hair professional.
“2008 happened and a teaching career was rapidly becoming less of an option for me. I went through a dark period of feeling like an utter failure and a lot of the old feelings of not feeling good enough came back to the surface. After getting back into barbering thanks to Shain getting me a job, I felt myself regaining my confidence.
“When Shain and I made the terrifying decision to open our own shop, I sold my father’s jewelry to pay my bills and took a chance. I’m still learning but so many of those experiences have helped me develop who I have become today. I was fortunate to be accepted into the business community here in Point Borough, and I feel honored to be assigned with holding an executive chair on the board of directors for the Chamber.
“My life has completely changed and I feel like everything leading up to my last 10 years in life has prepared me for what I have accomplished and where I am today. My father in his own weird way motivated me. He doubted me, he doubted my worth, and in my own way I have shown him how wrong he was. My demons became the fire in my heart to power me ahead to become successful. I am very proud of where I am now, but I am nowhere near done with my ambitions in my life.”
~ Bridge Ave Barbershop
Point Pleasant Borough
— at Bridge Ave. Barbershop.
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