Quinn CochraneHairstylist - Salon Sorella and Day Spa
Quinn's Story :
The longer way ‘round, because success doesn’t always come from a box marked conventional
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to help people. I have this memory of making a time capsule with my girlfriends as kid and writing down what we wanted to be when we grew up, the usual teacher, nurse and even professional baseball player came up, but I wanted to be a psychologist. It was a child psychologist back then, maybe because of my experiences as a child, but over the years it hasn’t changed much…I have a deep longing to be a therapist.
After a few years of questionable choices, road blocks and self doubt, I met a woman that set me on a journey, one I am still stumbling through today, the journey to the centre of myself I call it. We were chitchatting while I applied her haircolour, when she asked me a question about my relationship and I instantly welled up in tears. Instead of dismissing my reaction, she touched my hand and helped me regain my composure. It took me awhile to get up the courage to make and actually attend my first counselling session but the next few years changed my life for the better and forever.
Her words “but who’s going to save you?” ignited my courage to leave an abusive relationship, her encouragement led to me taking my first coaching workshop and going college years after dropping out of high school in the 10th grade. I’ve been slowly working towards my goal since I was 18 years old, with triumphs and set backs, hard work and a few hiatuses but I’ll get there one day.
The birth of my daughter reawakened my call towards helping others, I applied and was accepted to university when she was only a year old, deciding I’d do it one course at a time since I’d recently started back to work. I completed my first course, but continuing was too much at the time, post partum depression had a frim grip on me and managing my mental health and my other responsibilities took precedent over following down that path just yet.
Besides, I like my job, I get to make people feel good every single day. I meet and talk to the most interesting people, build relationship and collect stories; it’s my favourite part, hearing all their different life stories. If you keep a client long enough, you get to be there with them through their highest points like births and marriages and support them through their darkest times like the loss of a loved one. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people, learn from some incredible talent and fundraise for causes that mean so much to me because of what I do right now. People share a lot with their hairstylist and those relationships and stories are the reason I will do what I do until I reach my lifelong goal.
Ignoring your calling, that nagging feeling drawing in a certain direction is futile, I’ve tried. It really is like the metaphor I learned in Mindfulness training “you can shove a beach ball underwater, but it will always come up down the beach somewhere.” Time and time again I’m realigned with what I’ve truly wanted my whole life. This past year while attending a celebration of life for a friend’s sister taken far too soon by ALS, it hit me squarely in the face once again. The message she left behind, planning her own celebration? Do what you can with the time you have, don’t wait… because nothing is guaranteed. She completed a degree after her diagnoses, what excuse did I really have left? I text a few loved ones on the way to that celebration of life and in the days following, I signed up for my next course towards getting my degree.
I never wanted my past to define who I was, but maybe I do? Because I don’t think that woman, I met nearly 20yrs ago nominated me for INSPIRE because I’m doing anything extraordinary, but rather maybe because no matter how many times I’ve fallen, I get up, dust myself off and keep going. And if the only thing I leave behind for my daughter and those who come after her is to embrace life as perfectly imperfect, persevere and follow that whisper that sometimes turns into a roar, then I’ll consider my purpose in this life fulfilled.