Beginnings can sometimes be difficult, and life can be full of revelations; for example, unlocking ancient doors of wisdom to accepting the existence of God, the purpose of human life, or the reality of the inner child. How about writing a book? Where does one begin? It began for me early one crisp autumn morning while I was taking my daily walk before starting work at the salon. Taking a brisk walk clears my head and helps me to meet the challenges of the day. On that particular Saturday, my biggest challenge was convincing myself that I had made the right decision when I chose to become a hairdresser—a choice more befitting than fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. But was it the right one?
This narrative doesn’t shout; it whispers. Therefore, you must listen carefully. The more you listen, the more it will speak to your heart. I choose to illustrate this through the eyes of a child; one who lives with pain, sometimes joy, but now with a clear view of life. We must peel back the layers within ourselves to seek, discover, and heal that wounded child who lives in each of us, who cries out, but to whom we may never listen. It was on a sunny October day that this story came to life and needed to be told—so I wrote it.
All that week, I thought about ways to resolve the conflict swirling around in my head that was precipitated by the previous Saturday’s routine conversation with my first client of the day; a consultation that started with the three words I dread the most: “just a trim.” For most people, Saturday is a day to sleep in, play hard, spend quality time with family and friends, or sometimes do things that are pointless. Not if you’re a hairdresser! Saturday is Showtime! The energy is buzzing and we get in the groove. The day you call Starbucks coffee, we call lunch. You know, that kind of day, when your hair isn’t listening to you, and you should be listening to to your hairdresser. On that particular Saturday, I consulted with a new client who voiced a comment that, in retrospect, made me question my decision to even think about entering beauty school.
Being an early riser, I arrive at the salon at the same time every day. Dressing for success, being physically fit, engaging, and following a well-structured routine, have repeatedly been of paramount importance to me. Over the years, I consistently refined my physique, savoir-faire, and my innate ability to connect to women. That morning, as I stood in front of the mirror getting ready for work, I remembered how often women had complimented me about my abundant red hair, expressive brown eyes, and other traits that they found aesthetically pleasing. Now in my early fifties, I still carried the keys of a successful career in my back pocket and I was already having another record year.
An excerpt from Layers the novel