Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I did!

I didn't call the dermatologist, but I went to a dr. The (still) recurring rash is a staph infection on my face. So, why all-of-a-sudden do I have this rash all the time? I can only ponder, but I think all of my weight gain has most likely maid me somewhat insulin-resistant (pre-diabetes kind of thing) which makes me susceptable to things like this. Aweshum. I have a cream for it that's supposed to make it go away, and it works...until I run out. Then it comes back. I hope it goes away for good one day!

So, how're things in my life? I'm doing a hairdresser apprenticeship these days. Everyone in the USA gets really confused about what an apprenticeship is so I'll break it down quickly; instead of going to an academy for a year to become a stylist, I will be undertaking this apprenticeship for 3 years at the end of which I will recieve the same qualification as if I'd gone to the academy. The difference is that you study 8 hours a day at the academy, just learning and practicing, and I only study once a week as an apprentice. I spend the rest of the week working in the salon and learning by experience. So, for example, if I spent 3 months of my training days doing men's haircuts then, once my manager thought I was proficient enough, I would actually start cutting mens' hair in the salon. So at first I'd do men's cuts only before progressing on to girls' cuts and eventually ladies cuts on a case by case basis until, towards the end of my third year, I'd be doing most everything a full stylist does. The reason why this is more attractive to many girls than going to an academy is that it doesn't cost them anything, we actually get paid throughout the apprenticeship whereas some acadamies can charge up to $100k for a year's course. You also get a lot of hands on experience and get to know the ins and outs of working in a salon in real-time in a way you just can't in a controlled classroom environment. Your skills also often become much more refined by the time you're a full hairdresser because you have so much experience.

That said, I would MUCH rather just pay the money and go to an academy if I could and be done within the year. Sure, I might not be as skilled as someone who spent 3-4 years in an apprenticeship, but I'd still have my trade certificate, I'd still be cutting hair and I bet that I *would* be as skilled as them after being in the industry for 3-4 years except I'd get to be doing it with full qualifications. Unfortunately I don't get this opportunity in Moranbah, so I'll have to be happy with my apprenticeship. Lucky for me the people I work with are really fun! It's not that I'm not grateful to have been offered this apprenticeship, because I am. I know this is what I want to do in the long run and this is the venue to get there...I'm just impatient and wish I could reach my end-goal sooner rather than later!

At this stage in my apprenticeship I'm just doing general reception and house-keeping in addition to some shampooing. That's as far as I've progressed after 2 months. They did tell me that for the first 6 months I'll be mostly cleaning, so I'm not complaining. I knew what I was signing up for. I'm just, as I said, impatient. I feel like I've spent so much of the past 5 years on hold and I'm ready to get started!

Something I haven't thought about much that I feel a bit worried about is how hairdressers are percieved in the USA. Something I love about Australia is its egalitarian culture where, very literally, a hairdresser has as much respect in the community as a doctor or lawyer. It's easy to forget that it's not that way in Texas, that without a degree you're a somewhat lesser member of society. Nevermind that so many women get degrees they barely use before quitting their jobs to stay home with their kids. They'll still be better than me because they went to college and got a degree they can sit on "just in case" one day. It's the American way! lol I'll have to brace for that because I used to be in a similar frame of mind so I can empathize with why people react the way they do. I think part of me was always too afraid to they call it cosmetology over there? I can't even remember anymore...anyways, I was always afraid to pursue this field because it is seen as lesser in the US. It's a job you must only do when you're not smart enough to go to college. I only ever considered it as something to do to pay my way through school. How silly is that? But if I'd gone to college and gotten a degree in something useless like art, I'd be cool because I'd have a degree. (but where's my job?)

I feel confidant that this skill will mean I'll always have a job because people will always need their hair cut. This industry is so huge I can go as big or small as I want. I could rent a chair in a local salon, or break into the wedding industry specializing in up-dos and formal styles, or who knows? Maybe I'll have my own salon one day. Maybe I'll have a mobile business where I cut and color hair in your own home-- no fancy salon experience but also no need for a babysitter and I could come at 2am if that's what worked with your schedule. Who knows. I love that this is also a super flexible job where you can easily only work during school hours when your kids are older and still be home in time to pick them up. It has positives all across the board! I know this is the right thing, even though I'm feeling impatient right now. I also officially have to wait at least 3 years before we try for babies now so I'll prob be 29 at the youngest before I'm a mom. That was the original plan anyways though, so God knows what's up!

So, long story short, my job is a lot of cleaning at the moment but it won't last forever. I'm nervous about what people will think of me back in Texas if we do end up moving back that way some day, but acknowledge that this is the right thing for my family's and my future and that we'll possibly be even more secure job-wise than if I did get a degree. I'll never know for sure, but I'm really enjoying this work and that's enough for me!

On the diet front, I've lost 20+ lbs! I'm still 60 lbs overweight. That's not 60 lbs I have to lose to be my dream weight, that's 60 lbs just to get out of the "overweight" range. ::sigh:: I'll keep on truckin!

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