Every child has the right to choose their career, and they have the right to live their dreams. ~ Adam & Eve 1000 BC
I once heard an inspiring story on the radio from one of the best hairdressers in Cork.
Tracing his childhood path Joe said that as a pupil “he was poor in school and indescribably awful in maths”. However, this was not because he was dull or unserious. Nope..but because he was UNINTERESTED..he said that as a child he was fascinated by hairdressing. Apparently, he wanted to learn how to use a few tools and skills to make people look better.
So at 15, he dropped out of school despite all the pleas from his parents to at least complete the junior cert exam. But he broke his mum’s heart. And that was back in 1974. The embarrassment of having a son who dropped out of school let alone one who aspires to be a hairdresser was too much to bear for his parents. It wasn’t a job associated with males back then in Cork. In London yes, in Dublin perhaps, but definitely not in the rebel county of Ireland.
Joe stuck to his gun. There was no place to train for his dream vocation in Cork. He had to break his mum s heart a second time by leaving for Dublin to be a trainee hairdresser.
He accepted that he felt bad for hurting my parents but also stressed that they have their lives while he had his. In his words “I knew exactly what I wanted to do and that was what mattered most to me”.
And off he went to Dublin living on €4/week while he trained. He subsequently moved to London to work. A decade later he came back to Cork and set up his shop. The rest is now history. Joe is one of the pioneer male hairdressers in Cork and owns the popular Joseph’s Hair & Beauty salon in Glasheen Road Cork. He is a huge asset to the community and does a lot of charity work. Need I mention how proud his parents would be now?
This story got me thinking. At 15, I was a fresh fun seeking school leaver with only one life goal set by my dad; to study medicine. I can’t remember any other ambition that I seriously considered. Even though I would later think of Architecture. Probably because I could draw, but then it never really germinated because I couldn’t disappoint my dad.