With 2012 off and running, I found myself taking a step back to reflect on the fun filled year that was 2011. As every year comes to an end, I hear myself routinely acknowledging how it "just flew by" and how I feel like "it was just New Years". This time around that was no different but the major leaps and changes from beginning to end definitely were. When you really take some time to sit back and think about the year in review, it is amazing to be reminded of just how much can happen in 365 (or 366) days.
For me, the biggest leap from January to December was starting off the year driving around Orange County looking to buy my first home and start the next chapter of my life. While I did start that next chapter, by December I ended up doing so 3,000 miles away in a year leased apartment with my Craigslist roommate instead. Although spontaneous by nature in the way of social adventure, if you know me you know I am someone who always tries to have everything in order and be responsible, never doing anything drastic unless it entirely makes sense to me realistically and financially. That being said, if I decide something and get my heart set on it, no matter what the realistic and financial aspects may be, I will figure out how to make it happen. While deciding which toilet paper to buy, what candle smells better or which phone case has the cuter design may take hours for me to figure out, it seems that some of the biggest decisions in my life are the most clear and require the shortest pro/con lists... Interesting.
I started off 2011 in January with a trip to Las Vegas along with fellow stylists for the biyearly REDKEN hair show where I left feeling super motivated to continue building my business and better my skill set as a stylist. In March, I headed to New York with my beauty school bestie and one of my closest friends/fellow stylists to attend the REDKEN Exchange for a few days of intense hair education taught by some of their top educators. Heading home from that amazing week, I felt so inspired to continue evolving and growing as a stylist. However, shortly after returning from that trip, I was evaluating that inspiration and what it stemmed from and I realized it was not from the clients we worked on or the knowledge we gained, it was the journeys and experiences of the educators and how all of that lead them to where they are now. I remember thinking while sitting in on the classes that as much as I loved being in the audience, I felt like I should be the one on stage sharing my knowledge and having the ability to give back to others by way of life experiences and adventures.
After that realization, there was no doubt in my mind that I was ready for a big change. Ever since high school, I have always had the ambitious dream and visual pictures of my life around the world but yet I had never left the small bubble that I was born and raised in for more than a few days. I think until you take a minute to get out and see what the world has to offer, you don't realize just how much is feasible to you. For me it started with the curiosity of what is out there, it grew with all the amazing adventures I have seen my brother experience, it made my eyes open wider when I had the opportunity to visit my brother in Australia in 2010 and the deal was sealed after hearing the adventures of a third party, the educators.
The changes I have made in a year, the knowledge I have gained and the experiences I have had remind me daily that I am on the right track. I really do feel like I have the best of both worlds. In this case, the best of both coasts. I made it through my first semester at the SMFA while maintaining the ability to return home every few weeks and revisit my first love as a stylist which leaves me feeling re-motivated and refreshed every trip. People say to me all the time that I am crazy for going back and forth, how do I do it and why??? For me, it is not a question of why but why not? This is the first of many adventures of a lifetime, I would be crazy for NOT taking advantage of it.
Having 2011 come to a close was bittersweet to say the least. It is not just the end of a year for me it is the end of a major chapter in my life and the amazing prologue to this new chapter that I have only just dipped my feet into. After an amazingly perfect month break home in California, visiting friends, enjoying the holidays and forcing myself to relax, I returned to Boston this week feeling so excited to delve back into school, get working on new projects and see what 2012 will bring. With everything that went on in 2011 I can only imagine what my Revisiting 2012 blog post will say...