Today I experienced one of those moments when you have no other choice but to step back and reassess. When you realize that the path you’re traveling is not getting you anywhere. Let me start at the beginning. A week ago I bought a car. It was used, like 160k miles, 18 years old used. The mechanic at the lot where I found it told me that it was in great running condition. So I bought it. I did this with my mother’s money. Why her money and not mine? Because I haven’t got any. I own a hair salon that looks profitable, but isn’t. I work for an amazing hair product company called Matrix which allows me to travel all over the country bringing education and inspiration to hundreds of other hairdressers, which sounds very lucrative, but it isn’t. This isn’t the time when I’m going to unload about all of that, but just so we’re clear, the well is dry and my money tree is without leaves.
So I asked my mom if I could borrow the cash from her. She said sure no problem, I’ll just owe it back to her. Great! so like I said I bought a car. Then it was Christmas. And with 3 children, amazing twin 9 year old boys and my incredible 4 year old daughter, Christmas can become nothing short of a second mortgage. Myself, like most parents, want to be able to get everything on my kids lists. Also like most parents, I can’t. My wife Amber and I also own a business helping to educate people on the benefits of improved health and wellness using Young Living Essential Oils. Is this a money making enterprise, sure. Could it be better, definitely. The possibilities are there with YL to make over $100k per month. We however, are making about $400. So if you’re counting, thats three jobs between the two of us, and I actually also teach cosmetology students two to three times per week. Yes that’s 4 jobs for two people but somehow we aren’t turning a profit. I believe that this is a result of me keeping too much to myself.
I always knew, always said I was a writer. I wrote a novel called Blooming Where Planted that detailed my childhood addictions, my cutting habit, my parent’s divorce and my broken home and so much more (check it out on amazon) but the novel didn’t take off a propel me to the New York Times Best Seller’s List and now I’ve got boxes upon boxes of copies in my garage that have, until today, reminded me that storytelling wasn’t right for me. God has been telling me for years that it was though. No matter how talented I become as a hairdresser, no matter how many awards I win or magazine editorials I get featured in, my bottom line never goes up. So many things have weighed on my heart and I’ve kept it all inside so that I look polished, professional and successful (the things I’m supposed to inspire people to be). The people that have read my book all want a sequel and I haven’t written one for two reasons: 1. There’s so much to say that it would be too damn long, and 2. there’s a 109 box pile, each holding 48 copies of my first book, reminding me that writing won’t take me anywhere.
I called this story, this very first entry into Becoming Adam Sculnick ( BAS), “Defining Moments” because The entire BAS project is a result of the following moment: The mechanic I spoke with on the phone this morning after my car blew a tire on the interstate yesterday explained that the car isn’t drivable (a story I promise to tell, sooner than later) and in fact won’t be safe to put another mile on for less that $5100. And that’s after the over a grand we already spent, still my mom’s money, to fix the tire problem. And, (yes there’s another “and”) he didn’t even finish the inspection. The $5100 is the point where he stopped inspecting to call and ask if he should bother. I told him not to bother.
I was a broken man when I got off the phone. here I am, happy as a pig in sh!t that I survived Christmas, got my kids most of the stuff they wanted and, though I didn’t exchange gifts with Amber, had a great holiday full of memories and joy that Amber and I loved every second of and now I’m in debt to my mother for the cost of the car, the cost of the tires and I can’t even drive the car. My motorcycle has a bad tube in the back tire so I can’t drive that either making us a one car family.
That broken man sat on the kitchen counter sobbing and his wife, my shining star in a sea of darkness, said the following: “Adam, you are destined for greatness. You always have been. The car didn’t work out. Lots of sh!t hasn’t worked out. But you are a great father, a loving husband, we are all safe and healthy, and you know what? you have so much life to tell the world, so much to say and you bottle it up because you think you’re supposed to be a certain way. Those books in the garage were the best thing you’d ever done and maybe the reason they didn’t sell is because you weren’t supposed to tell your story that way. Maybe you needed the power of social media and the internet to be a platform to tell your story. “
So this is my moment. The defining moment when it occurs to me that I’d probably never write that sequel. But that all the excitement I get out of being on stage doing hair and being behind the chair talking to clients about their hair and being their shoulder to lean on is a residual love that is stemming from the deep down directive that my soul has always had to be a story teller, to influence people to grow and to heal and to be better than before. Maybe I’m supposed to keep telling my story. Maybe the changes I’m meant to help happen aren’t with having bad hair, or wanting to brush up on haircutting skills. Maybe this whole time, the reason I’m not succeeding is that I’m fighting the wrong fight.
I see now that the vulnerability I had in writing Blooming Where Planted all those years ago was a precursor to this moment. A beginning to BAS where I can reach out and connect with people having similar struggles to what I’ve had, or any struggles at all that they may feel ashamed of or embarrassed by, and help them to feel less alone, to feel less incapable as a result of their truths and to begin to feel empowered of those very same truths.
I’m not quitting hair, nor am I quitting working with essential oils. But to define myself by those labels isn’t helping. I am more than the sum of those things. I have stories to tell. Wounds to reopen in the name of healing rather than hiding. Guilt to get off my chest. Fear to be free of. I want to get back to helping people the way I believe I was meant to, to change people’s lives by allowing them to see in themselves that its ok to have scars, physical ones, mental ones, emotional or spiritual ones. God knows I’ve got mine. And with any luck the longer you stick around, the more you’ll feel better about yours. -Adam