Growing up I have very vague memories. Not just because this was pre iphone days but because it all feels like a blur. There are several factors to help support why I was so foggy but the two most prominent points are:
We moved a lot. Seriously, starting from 3 years old until I was about 10 we moved once a year. And at 10 I moved countries so I barely recall my childhood homes and other details in between.
I was sick a lot. And by a lot, I mean all the time. Every holiday, season change and every other time in between.
Before I dive too deep, I did have a great childhood and as grave as I make it sound now, it really wasn’t all that bad. I enjoyed moving because I got to have a new room, make new friends and I would compare each teacher's syllabus all the while trying to figure out why we weren’t all learning the same things at the same time. And as for being sick, I can’t recall the first major time I was sick but it seemed like even if I just had a cold or the stomach flu, it would take me so much longer to recover than other kids. I wasn’t ever hospitalized for anything other than just dehydration, tonsillitis or a broken bone so that still keeps me in the range of normalcy. That being said, I can remember that there was always a bitter tasting medicine from the pharmacy with my name on it in our refrigerator. The solution to all my health problems was only to be found in a prescription for the span of the next two decades.
What I do remember about growing up in the 90s (I was born in 1987), was how quickly technology was changing along with our culture. Everything from our first microwave, our first tv with a remote and the beginning of the internet is ingrained in my mind pretty vividly. Meals went from being home cooked to only coming out of packages or a drive-thru the older I got. I loved all kinds of different sodas, candy and starchy snacks like chips and bread just like any other kid. The problem was that anytime I had these foods, I would grow anxious, irritable and would have some sort of a physical reaction including indigestion or I would non-stop vomit. So it’s clear that my gut was never really given the chance to build a proper immunity as a kid. To no one’s fault but lack of information at the time as we were constantly evolving. All I know was I just felt out of my body all the time.
At 10 I started to breakout but that wasn’t the only prepubescent changes I experienced at that time as I also got my first period. I experienced the fluctuation of my hormones in bouts of deep depression, crippling anxiety, fatigue and inability to focus. This didn’t really line up well for having just moved countries and diving into an english school for the first time (up until 5th grade I was in a french only school). The breakouts and intense imbalances didn’t stop for over a decade.
I believe that everything happen for a reason and my health journey has been proof of that. I never really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up because I had such vast interests. The “what job suits you?” quizzes always were perplexed with me. I’d get everything from funeral director, translator to accountant and nothing made me look less forward to my future if any of those careers were to be my calling. What reigned true was that I am a creative that appreciates structure and I want to help others. What could prepare me more to help others and provide genuine empathy than my experience with my health and skin.
After my first semester in college in 2005 I decided to attend the Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to obtain my education on esthiology. I waited until the summer of 2006 to start with every intention to go back to school once my training was done. What I didn’t expect was how taken aback I was when I realized how much opportunity came with such a simple associate degree. I could teach, start my own business, work with doctors, write a skin column, create a brand etc. This was what I was looking for this whole time all wrapped up in one simple program. The most important part of it all was that everything I had gone through was finally making sense. It all had a purpose to lead me to where I was going which was to heal people's skin and educate them on how to discover their self worth.
So now during my 11th year as an esthetician it’s become an extension of my being to help others tune into themselves. When we are foggy, as I was most of the time, we can’t tune into our intuition to know what we need to get better and live our healthiest lives. After I started to shed the layers of my unhealthy first 19 years of life I was able to reconnect with myself so I can make the changes I need. Discovering how to heal myself through nutrition, supplemental support and self care has helped clear my mind enough to listen to that voice that tells me what is best for me. When I can help others find that voice again it makes me realize that my struggles were all worth it. Using your skin as a guide to what is going on internally isn’t something I couldn't have understood if I didn’t experience it first hand.
Next time you get frustrated with your skin or other aspects of your health remember that your body is working so hard for you to communicate exactly what it needs. In order for you to listen it can be as simple as putting away the phone, taking a deep breath or go into nature. When we disconnect we can truly reconnect.
I hope this inspires you and I’m grateful to be able to share some of my story as to how I found my way to being a holistic esthetician and therapeutic skin coach. Comment if you have any questions for me below. Thanks for reading!
With love and gratitude, Hayley (aka your therapeutic skin coach and journal junkie)