I couldn’t find the words last week. I wanted to send out a blog post, which as you all know I haven’t done since September due to various reasons. I wanted to send out my availability. I wanted to send out a message of hope. At the end of the day, I just didn’t have the words. I didn’t want to flood you all with messages about getting a facial because last week it felt trivial. “No one will care” I said to myself, until I realized how false that statement was. Many of you relied on your appointments with me last week to follow in exactly what I advocate, putting yourself first and embarking on self care as a means of coping with stress, anxiety and grief. Then it hit me, I not only have a huge responsibility to help people get through their own personal health and skin issues, but also in creating a safe space to be able to help others heal. 

This was my 3rd presidential election as an esthetician and I remember when I was 21 when Barack Obama was running for the first time in 2008, I was living in Wisconsin at the time and I was told I couldn’t have an opinion on the matter. This was because I was a legal resident at the time and not a citizen. At that time, I was use to keeping my opinions to myself because the rebuttal seemed to always lead back to my age. At 21 and a non citizen, I had experienced just another example of a lifetime of prejudice for being different on paper. No other part of me was different. You would never be able to tell that I’m from a different country unless you asked. So I bite my tongue when I was told I couldn’t have an opinion. 

Now at 29, I was in a flood of tears by being able to cast my first ever presidential election vote. Many people know how much I value this right and how I’ve looked forward to it for a lifetime it seems. The outcome was not what I had hope, expected and frankly it still feels like I may wake up from this unusually long nightmare. But at the end of the day, time still moves forward. The sun rises and it sets. To me that was the most incredible part of last week. The familiarity of this was how I experienced loss a few months ago when my grandmother passed away. Time didn’t stop for me to grieve, so I had to follow my heart and actively work on my self care. Processing this election turn out is going to be the same for many of you as well. With that being said I make this promise to you that unlike my experience as a 21 year old esthetician in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I will give you a space to grieve, rejoice or whatever other way you’d like to express your opinions and views. Having experienced the very prejudice I hoped this country was moving away from I want to do my part to break the cycle. You are safe and you will be heard with your time with me. 

Regardless of your opinion on the election outcome there is probably a little bit of existential anxiety on your behalf. Living in LA there were so many people protesting that it made me feel like how can I give back? What is my part in this? Here are a few ways to participate, even if it’s quietly. 

EDUCATION: Some documentaries that have struck a chord with me are “13th” which is on Netflix and “Before the Flood” which is on Hulu and National Geographic’s website. Once I watched those two documentaries, I signed up for a Carbon Tax as well as monitored some of the organizations I didn’t realize I was supporting which were hurting the environment as well as using incarcerated men and women for free labor. 

DONATE: There are many organizations that will experience a huge loss from the budget cuts under our new presidential elects’ plan. Donate, share on your social media or simply read up about what each organization really represents and how it values your community. Here is a great list to get you started. 

PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY: With all forms of social media out there, I’m sure you have experienced or been exposed to unhealthy political charges debates. I simply “liked” a profile status and realized that my interaction led a person from another state that I knew in high school to comment on a former coworkers post. These people did not know each other yet they were engaging in a fight filled with name calling. I stepped in and blocked the initiator of the argument. The last thing I want to do is isolate someone or take away their chance to speak but it also made me aware that I needed to tighten up my privacy settings. 

At the end of the day, this is not something we can let divide us. I meet and interact with so many beautiful and amazing people every day. The melting pot of people in the country is what makes us great, we need diversity, we need to have differences. We can only grow from learning from each other. The most right winged conservatives even extended their congratulations to me for voting and this made me hopeful. Even if we don't agree we can always listen and be there for each other. I promise you that I will be here to help you if you need an ear. 

With so much love and light, 

Hayley

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