Jessica B. Teal
15 MAR 2012
Paul Mitchell Entrance Essay
I could make this essay as cliché as they come and talk about how being a single mother is so challenging, about how boot camp was so hard, or how a bad divorce changed my views on everything in my life… but instead, I’ll appreciate all of those things, and grasp my goals from a different challenge. That challenge is: loss. Some of my biggest goals were awknowledged through the death of my best friend, which in turn led me to this road at Paul Mitchell St. Louis. All of the above mentioned have shaped me, and for that I am grateful, however, the person who helped me realize my dreams of pursing art through cosmetology is no longer here, and with her is where my goals began, and my promise is fullfilled.
Before I explain my goals, disappointments and accomplishments, let me give you a brief explanation of my best friend. Her name was Amber Morris, I called her battle, as she called me too. We met in boot camp in 2006, hence the nickname, and were inseperable - literally. She was more than a best friend, she was my sister. She moved everywhere I did, married when I did, we had babies 3 months apart, planned for school together, divorced at the same time, fought eachother over everything and loved eachother more than we knew how to do any of our fighting. Two weeks before Feburary 19, 2010 we had a fight over my spontaneous choices. After her divorce she moved back home to Iowa, got enrolled in Iowa School of Beauty, got her own place and started really living. I however was not as decisive. I wanted to travel and only live for daily experiences… not really work towards long lasting goals. I needed instant gratification to make me happy. She only wanted the best for my daughter, Emmalie, and I. I saw her as just being judgemental of my latest decision to randomly visit Europe and I became defensive. Then the gloves were off and we were in one of our petty fights. All she kept saying to me was, “settle down! Get your own place! Go to school and let someone love you again.” I argued that just because her life worked out for her didn’t mean mine had to go the same way. Little did I know that is the sillest thing I’ve ever argued.
I think my biggest disappointments are obvious. I should have been the bigger person. I should have listened to her reasoning because it was nothing more than loving advice. She knew where my heart was before my life with my husband, when I had already inquired to a Paul Mitchell locally. I even started school in Fort Smith Arkansas at a small academy before I was called up for a deployment to Iraq. Eventually I was sent home, and started all over. When I was on a break with my ex husband I enrolled in San Diego Paul Mitchell, and when he came home from deployment I moved back to New York making it impossible for attendance. Finally he and I seperated for good, and just as life started getting back on track she was gone. It’s taken me 2 years to get my head on right since she passed. I blamed myself for so much. She was in a car accident on an icy road and in seconds taken from me. Just weeks before I could have been the bigger person and said I was sorry, and not only have my best friend a couple weeks longer, but also maybe realize where my heart truly was 2 years sooner. It was all in love and adoration that she asked me to settle down, and I was just running from - everything. Its easy to see how many disappointments came from this. Not only in refusing to be an adult and ruining my friendship in her last weeks, and for walking away from school for my daughters father, but in myself for not seeing the point of all of her reasoning… and not listening to the person who knew me better than I knew myself. My biggest disappointment was giving up.
Its been 2 years, and they’ve been grueling, challenging, yet wonderful years of healing and living. In those years I’ve finally gotten my plan. I did as she wanted and reeped the benefits. I immediately moved home, got my own place, started working, got my own car and started making decisions as a responsible adult. I knew I wanted to go back to school however, I had to get to a comfortable point where I knew I could focus and do it for all of the right reasons. Recently those right reasons have been more apparent than ever. She was only a couple hundred hours from graduating Iowa School of Beauty, and being accepted to and graduating from Paul Mitchell St. Louis would be in honor of her. I see cosmetology as an art, and an amazingly fun way of being creative and expressing myself. I want nothing more than to graduate Paul Mitchell at the top of my class and pay my dues as expected in a local salon, and eventually move up to editorial work. Another friend and idol of mine, Natalie Burke, has attended Paul Mitchell and worked for Kelly Cardenas and now travels all over the world as a freelance stylist. I highly respect her and her career, and often watch the steps shes taken to get where she is. I want to make more of my career than simply sitting in a salon 8 hours a day doing highlights and perms, I want to make art out of it, and to have that art resepctfully documented.
I think it may seem slightly ambitious, however, that’s why I chose Paul Mitchell. I think Paul Mitchell has the ability to teach me what a local, small town school, could not. PM keeps up. It stays on top of the trends as well as instilling the basic fundamentals. Not only is the name respected for the quality, it is respected in the work force. I fully intend on taking my school time and maxing out every test, being at the top of every list, and as an added bonus, a perfect attendance goal. If this is the choice I’m making, its going to be the best decision I’ve made in my entire life, and I will make sure of it.
As it seems, I've written this essay backwards, because this is the part where I finally get to my greatest accomplishment. THIS is it. Following my dream and honoring my best friend are accomplishments. I've had many bumps in the road to get to this point, and conquering them all are accomplisments in themselves, but being true to myself is the best accomplishment I will ever make. Amber knew where my heart was, and sadly it took losing her to figure that out too, but now I know I can go into it wholeheartedly, with no regrets, and only goals. I am proud to say that I knew her and that she taught me as much as she did in the few years I had her around… she is the reason I write this. Without Amber Morris I question if I would still be scared of everything I was so sure of before all the major changes in my life. I feel like I finally get a second chance to make things right, and I will not ruin it. Paul Mitchell is where I feel like my new life begins, and all of my regrets end.