A Parting Isn’t Such Sweet Sorrow – Memoirs Of An Ex-Hairdresser

“I adore you”! You do? Why? Self-doubt seems to be an epidemic of massive proportions and at some time in our lives we all suffer from this soul suffocating disease. You may be surprised at how many people actually feel like they are not worthy of love, a chance, a future and peace of mind. Chaos is the main symptom of self-doubt, chaos that resulted from a childhood with the absence of freedom and innocence and chaos that is transferred from others whose insecurities are passed off as yours; why shouldn’t you feel as bad as they do right???

For me, self-doubt stems from my childhood and the day I came home after passing a really important exam; with a skip in my step I was really looking forward to sharing the news with my dad. I only got one question wrong in the exam I worked so hard to pass, so imagine how I felt when he ignored the fact that I achieved my goal and all he could say was, “Why did you get a question wrong”? I was a girl who hung on her dads every word and wanted to make him happy but it seems I did fail and for any child this is crushing.

I am able to reflect on things in a more positive way now and I think that secretly he was really pleased but as a child you don’t  have the insight to understand what people are really thinking yet you are convinced by their words which are even more damaging. Doubting your abilities affects your future and you are vigorously thrown off course wondering if the dreams you built up in your head are as realistic as you imagined them to be.

So what do you do? You become a hairdresser…well that’s my story! Yep, you cut, create and become a counsellor to the patient sitting in the salon chair. I look back on those days with fondness as these women that came in to be beautified gave me so much writing material with their life stories; how could I have known that then? As I cut and coloured I would go off in a world of my own, always thinking. You see beneath all that doubt and peroxide I knew there was something else waiting to be unleashed, it’s called self-belief.

That self-belief manifests as long as you keep moving, attempt to understand and knowing when to walk away from something that makes you feel like doubt is creeping back in. My journey from hairspray to harmony was a sticky one but it was eventful and those moments meant something even the ones that I’d rather forget.

Writing is a form of movement and as I write this I am reminded of my first client as a budding hairdresser. Gilda Cohen played the midget in the 1980 classic film The Elephant Man. She was so small that I had to lift her on the salon chair; that’s what you call customer service! Funny how I once supported an actress and now I find myself supporting the film industry by writing reviews, that I hope, will encourage others to watch too. I wouldn’t have believed it if you had told me that’s what I’d be doing…I believe it now.

© Michelle Sotiriou 2013

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