It’s that time of year when I start getting busy with styling for weddings and proms and it’s inevitable that I’m going to be asked: why don’t you work as a stylist full time?
you can read my story and advice on becoming a stylist here but here’s the condensed version: I don’t like being put in a box.
It’s pretty safe to say that the Hamilton clan is a mixed bunch of creatives. I like to say that we’re fantastic at very few things, but pretty great at a lot of things. My dad has a degree in advertising, but he’s a fantastic artist and guitarist, and has the most eclectic taste in music that I’ve ever seen. My mom owns her own interior design company, but she’s also a painter, photographer, singer and owns more power tools than most men.
My sister Courtney has always been interested in fashion, but she’s also an amazing writer and artist in her own right. My brother travels with a praise and worship team playing bass, but he’s also a soccer player and writer himself, and my baby sister is probably the most wide spread of creators in the family, as a writer, artist, photographer, dancer, fashion enthusiast and lord only knows what else.
And then there’s me. I’m a writer. designer. web editor. event planner. dancer. photographer-in-training. fashion enthusiast. office supply addict. and yes, hair stylist. Roll it into one name and I like to call myself a Jill of All Trades. it’s one of the reasons Jared and I understand each other so well, since he fits right in with his own mix of titles: entrepreneur. freaky good musician (seriously, he can play just about any instrument you put in front of him). carpenter. designer. beard grower ;)
All this rambling basically stems from two things: my brother is trying to decide what major to declare in college, and my little sister is trying to decide what college to go to. And those are big decisions, they shape your future and who you want to become. It can be tough, at 16, 20, or even 50, to figure out who you want to be, what you want to do with your life.
I really struggled with that in college because I kept trying to put myself in a box and I let my weaknesses hold me back. I wanted to be a dancer, but I was intimidated by the competitiveness I saw so that was out. I looked at a business degree, because I’d like to own my own business, but I haaaaate math so that was out. I love reading so I went with English but I didn’t want to teach or be told what to write, so that was out. I looked into a Psychology degree but that seemed to leave zero room for creativity, so that was out.
I looked at so many different jobs and nothing seemed to fit. But I’d always loved hair and I was good at it, so I went to hair school and I thought, “YES ok. Here we go. This is my niche”. But then that didn’t work out exactly as I planned either.
Looking back, I realize that I was trying to fit myself into these different titles when it really boiled down to the fact that they simply didn’t fit me, not that I didn’t fit them. our society will try to file you away, tag you under some group and tell you that that’s where you need to go because a,b,and c all line up with this certain task. But it doesn’t work that way. People are multifaceted, multi-talented, forever changing and growing and learning. Did I ever see myself working in Ministry? heck no. But I do now. I am blessed to have a job that allows creativity, that doesn’t try to fit me into a mold, that’s perfectly fine with my extensive filing system that’s all coded with hot pink sharpie.
Am I saying you shouldn’t go to college? absolutely not, I did and while I can’t say I found my Life Calling there, I did find some very dear friends and the love of my life there. And I got the chance to explore, figure out what I liked and what I didn’t. My college experience is not the typical one, but it was still beneficial and I would tell everyone to at least try it out. But don’t forget your quirks, don’t forget your facets. Put yourself into your career, don’t let your career make you.
I don’t think I’m done, nor will I ever really be done, figuring out “who I am” and what I want to do. It changes as you grow. And yes it can be scary at times. One of my favorite verses, which can seem kind of cheesy and almost every high school senior will quote this as their favorite verse as well, but that doesn’t change it’s power: “for I KNOW the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to help you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
We each have a purpose, a destiny, a calling. Whether that’s to be a parent, a teacher, the president, or just to have a regular 9-5 so you can go home and do what you love in your spare time, it doesn’t matter. YOU will feel fulfilled in your life because it was designed specifically FOR YOU. Make your own path. Create a new job. Forge a new way.
And if you’re trying to pick a college, or pick a degree? HA good luck. I really don’t have any advice, other than think about the things you enjoy and don’t let the things you aren’t the strongest in, or the things that intimidate you, stop you from taking chances.
OH and go to one of the schools that offers Quidditch as a sport, that is freaking awesome. *nerd alert*