My forever inspiration….Judy….
Tonight I went to my former hairdresser’s Celebration of Life. When she started doing my hair she was 60, I had just turned 21. She died at a young age of 71. Judy was incredible. Judy walked me through the pregnancy of my first child and how incredibly scared I was. The shock of finding out I was pregnant AGAIN less than 2 years later (again scared to death). She was supportive in my reasons to leave my children’s dad, then watched me have an affair, marry that man, and then helped me walk through the agonizing death of that same husband who committed suicide. She then encouraged me through the courtship and marriage of my current husband Gary.
In the 12 years that Judy was my hairdresser she heard many MANY stories about my life as you can see. Constantly walking me through the weathering of storms. And clearly, as you can imagine just from the above, brief description, she held my hand through a lot. She wiped my tears, hugged me like a second mom/grandmother. I NEVER once felt judged for anything I did even though I knew that she knew some paths I was/had taken were wrong. Judy would listen, nod, and give gentle words of encouragement; gentle words of wisdom. If I could describe it, I would describe it as playing the “devils advocate, with the heart of Jesus.” So tender and loving, but always speaking the truth even if wasn’t what I wanted to hear; It’s what I needed to hear. She ALWAYS spoke truth in love and prayer.
Tonight, as I reminisced in my head all the accounts of my life I had shared with Judy, I had what some would call a “come to Jesus moment”. You see, Judy loved fiercely. She never judged; 12 years I spent with Judy. In 2009 I became a nail technician. In that time I started working in a salon with my dearest friend Tina. I decided it was time to “try someone new” (as I recently heard from one of my own long-time clients). With Judy I felt like I had reached the end of an era. I made an appointment to go talk with her. As I told her I was going to try Tina, she looked at me with the utmost love in her beautiful eyes and told me she understood, would miss me so much, asked me to please come visit, and gave me the most beautiful and fierce hug I will never forget.
As I walk in the same shoes, as a nail tech, being a “sober man’s bartender” for lack of a better term; experiencing and embracing my clients lives; I’ve come to realize I have not extended that same grace to my clients who’ve left. I’ve had several clients leave, all for different reasons. Two specifically were very painful, as I loved them fiercely, and walked with them through many journeys in their lives. I have to wonder…..why didn’t they come to me as I had Judy? Was it because they thought or knew I would be upset? As I sat tonight pondering my most recent encounter with my friend/client Tricia, I realized maybe she didn’t think she could tell me. After prying enough, through what I knew was coming, she told me she wanted to “try someone new” that it wasn’t personal, she loved my work, and that she still wanted to be friends. I wasn’t Judy in that moment. I wasn’t the heart of Jesus. I was angry, I felt betrayed, I took it personally because she had been with me for 4 years. We spent time together outside the salon; just like Judy had with me. I was with Judy THREE TIMES longer than Tricia has been with me. To top it off I ranted on Facebook about it leaving out her name. I know she had to have seen it and it probably really hurt her. It probably solidified what she thought might happen if she’d just told me the truth. I do believe I would still have been hurt; but less hurt had she come to me in person; however maybe she didn’t know this.
I want to be a Judy. See….if things didn’t work out with Tina, Judy would’ve taken me back in a split second. No awkwardness. I made it awkward for Tricia to ever possibly come back. But what I want her to know is that I learned tonight that no matter how much you care for someone; they may decide it’s the end of their era with me. Maybe they’ll be back. Maybe they won’t. But it’s my job to make sure everyone feels as though they would be welcomed back. I plan to apologize. I don’t know what will happen. But whatever does happen…..I’ll be ok with it. I know I messed up after tonight. I feel terrible.
Tonight I gained perspective, moments of clarity, and knowing I have the ability to make new choices and become wiser. I hope she can forgive me, that we can have that dinner and drinks she originally suggested. I hope it’s not irreparable. However; if it is….I’ll gracefully take the blame. 99% of this could have been avoided if I had approached it with a “Judy” heart.
I think I might make a sign for my shop that is always in my sight that says “approach this from a “Judy’s heart” knowing that means no judgment, no hard feelings. I plan to attempt this in all aspects of my life. Not just my business life. Many people have extended grace to me when I’ve messed up. It’s time to have Judy and Jesus’s heart and do the same…..