Thank you for that warm introduction, and thank you for allowing me to the privilege to speak to you today, the Class of 2012 Milan Graduates.
When I was asked to come speak and hopefully inspire the next generation of graduates at Milantoday .I found myself in a world of reflection. What do I say? What can I truly contribute? How do I not get the “Oh this is a good time to go to the restroom, thought”
Upon reflection, I decided to share MY story. My mom use to say, “Terry, the more things change the more things stay the same.” My mom was full of metaphors and quite frankly I often didn’t understand what she meant by them until much later.
What I believe she meant was simply to learn from the past,(it’s not so different ) and build on that… That’s truly how we move forward.
So what is my past? I still get asked all the time, why did you want to become a cosmetologist? I still can’t tell you why, I don’t know.
I grew up in a very small town inNew Hampshire. For those of you that are geographically challenged that’s the state wedged betweenMaineandVermont.
I grew up with a single Mom, when that wasn’t the coolest thing or the norm. We lived with and in my grandparent’s home .A single wide trailer. My uncle also lived there. He was a quadriplegic. Oh yeah and as if we weren’t crowed enough whenever any of my grandparent’s children (all 12 of them) had any family problems their kids ended up at our house. We lovingly called it the family half way house.
I didn’t have a single role model in the beauty business. If you’ve ever been to any small town on the east coast, then you realize make-up isn’t a must, or the fashion for that matter.
So once again, I have no idea “why” but I can tell you I knew it was what I was going to do since Junior high.
Fast forward to 12th grade… I graduated high school and all of a sudden lots of people had an opinion on what I should do and who I could be. I heard things like: “Your grades are too high. You don’t want to go to cosmetology school. Go to a REAL college. You won’t make any $ as a hair dresser. And my favorite, I guess you can’t get into a good college.” YIKES!
Everyone was telling me what I wanted to do was WRONG, not good enough! It was sublevel.
I was so confused. It’s all I ever wanted to do!
So what did I do? I did what so many of us do. I listened to the “Nay –Sayers” and I didn’t go to school. I went to work instead.
I was working for about a year, when I ran into one of my high school classmates and she was on cloud 9. She had just graduated from Cosmetology school! WHAT? Her grades were as good as mine and she could have gone to a “real college”. I repeat WHAT?
Unfortunately, we often believe in site instead of faith. The little voice in my head had already told me years ago what I should do
but I chose to not listen and follow in site. I had forgotten that I am the author of my life. I am solely responsible for the writing of my life book… no one else.
Gandhi once said “The future depends upon what we do in the present.”
I decided that day to always live by faith, not by site; to take back my right and to be the author of my life. I wrote the first addition of my “book of life” that year. And I started living my life as if it had already come true.
I became a hairstylist that next year. I then worked towards and became a platform artist. I have managed a few salons, been a business coach, an Author twice, a business owner 3 times over. I currently own a 2 and half million dollar salon and spa and still going strong. I look forward to my next phase of accomplishments.
So I may not know why I stepped into Cosmetology school for the first time so many years ago now .But I can definitely tell you what has kept me in it all these years.
Every day for the past 20 something years I have lived by this one quote. If you would allow me, in closing, I’d like to share it with you on this beautiful afternoon.
I’d ask respectfully if you would indulge me by closing your eyes and allowing the words to resonate with you and only you.
The Quote is titled:
Our Deepest Fear:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to manifest the glory of God. That is within us. It is not just in some of us: it is in ALL of us.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Once again my name is Terry Folawn. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be in your presence, this glorious Sunday afternoon.
Congratulations! Welcome class of 2012 to the Professional Beauty Industry!