Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of School

I have a clear memory from my childhood of playing beauty shop with my big sister. 
She must have wanted to be the client (as the older sister, it was her right to assign the rolls), which meant I got to be the stylist, and I was thrilled.  I remember it so well.  We set up one of our child-sized chairs from our kitchen set; I shook out a baby blanket and wrapped it around her neck for a cape.  I remember trying to rock the chair on its back legs like it was a hydraulic chair that I was trying to pump up.  I grabbed my safety scissors (remember when they were still made out of metal, not plastic, and they had the rounded, blunted end?) in one hand, and a hunk of the hair from the back of her head in the other.  I twisted the hunk of hair and was just about to put the scissors to it when my mom walked in.  We got in huge trouble.  I tell my mom all the time that this is actually a texturizing technique that we do as hairstylists, and really I was a child prodigy (She’ll reply, dryly, “Think how far you could have gone if you had had family support.”).

My point is this:  Even as a small child, it was obvious that I had watched carefully what went on at the beauty salon, what the stylists did, and I was dying to be one of them.  I pretty much always knew that I wanted to be a hairstylist.  As a result of this, I never went to college.  There was no need for it; it would be a waste of time and money.

As I think about my life now, though, and the fact that I wanted to be a wife and mom in addition to being a hairstylist, and those dreams were sort of ripped from me, beyond my control, what will life possibly look like in the next 20-30 years?  In the areas that I do have some control, what can I do to make a change?  I don’t want it to look exactly like it looks now.  I’m bored.

And so, I’ve decided that I should think about college.

I’m a little concerned about my brain, PTSD has done a number on my short-term memory, and I wonder if I maybe have a little ADD, as well, since I have so much difficulty concentrating. I’m trying to get to the bottom of these things, but I’m certainly not going to let them win, so I’ve decided to start with one class at a community college (creative non-fiction), just to see how it goes.

So, today is my first “first day of school” since my senior year of high school in 1996.  I’m excited and nervous.  Wish me luck.


  1. Wow, congratulations on taking such a big step in your life! Change is hard but it can also be exciting. And what an interesting choice you made for your first class. Is it a "creative non-fiction" writing class or a "creative non-fiction" appreciation class?

  2. @Jean R., Did you know that I'm trying to write a memoir? So I'm taking a creative non-fiction writing class. Just finished the first one, it went great! I'm really going to like it, I think. -Noel

  3. I am a late arrival at college and I love it. It can be a challenge at times but in the best possible way!

  4. No, I didn't know that. That's great! I think you'll do well in the class because you've got a lot of life experiences under your belt.

    I started college right out of high school but didn't finish it until 25 years later with a huge gap of years in between after I dropped out the first time. So I can identify with how it feels to starting school later in life.