16. One Girl. One Journey – And Life Changes – Once Again

4 years later, after so many challenges and struggles, I became a licensed hair stylist. Then I was promoted to the manager of my sister´s salon. I had developed a good clientele and was happy. I felt confident and secure. My family was all around me, my little girls were happy and I was feeling healthy. Strong. I did it. I had a career. Now, I could relax and spend time working on my music. I felt like things were finally heading in the right direction.

But, my husband wasn´t happy professionally. A year later, we took a 5 year duration posting in a remote location in Northern Ontario. It was the only way for him to get a promotion to Sergeant. I left my job, my family, my home and everything safe behind me. And my girls left their friends behind, their swing set, their family, school, favorite teachers, their life. To move somewhere no one wanted to go.

I decided that I would open my own salon. So, for several months before we left, I created a plan in my lined notebook. I planned everything down to the exact dollar, the supplies I´d need, and how I was going to do it – in a romote location. In 1996, about three months after moving, I opened a salon in my home, and two years later I expanded to a 1500 sq. ft. spa salon. I kept myself very busy in the first three years. But, around the fourth year, things started changing. My staff began betraying me – providing services for friends for cash – in my spa, my equipment, my products without permission. Hairstylists built their own salons in their homes and took their clients with them… it was so discouraging. I treated them so well. I remember one time, at Christmas, I gave the staff a beautiful gift basket full of tons of little presents inside (about $150.00 worth), and invited them to a Christmas dinner at the best restaurant in town. They had a feast enjoying lobster, shrimp, drinks… after dinner, I asked them if they wanted to go out to enjoy the night – it´d be fun! They all said thank you but they were tired. I said OK, and we all walked back to our cars. I got in mine and turned around to wave and saw them all standing around talking. It was weird. In my gut, something didn´t feel right. I drove around the corner and pulled up along the main road behind them. My heart dropped as I saw them all laughing and jumping into one car. I followed them to the most popular and only bar in town, and watched them all get out and go inside. I sat there for a while, thinking about the last few years… how I tried so hard to accept the changes that happened, how I tried to be positive despite the betrayal and after a few minutes, hurt and sad, I turned around at went home. After that, I kind of lost my desire to continue with the salon. Everytime I saw the ladies I remembered that moment and I couldn´t pretend to like them anymore. I just went to work, did my job, enjoyed my time with my clients and went home. My husband wasn´t very understanding and I felt distanced from him too because of it. He seemed to continually defend them when I tried to talk about it. Wasn´t it I who he should have supported? So, I felt even more alone. I became very homesick and depressed. I felt like I was never going to pursue my dreams. I was continually living my life for someone else´s dream. I felt alienated and alone. Lost without purpose. And I missed my family. My old life. My home.

I bought a piano and spent alot of my spare time writing and singing – when no one was there. I wrote and wrote and sang and sang.

In the fifth year, we had to make a decision. To extend his duration posting for another promotion, or move. There was no decision. We moved to Barrie, Ontario Tuesday, July 10, 2001.

I vowed the day I landed in that city, I was going to focus on my music.

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