See what I look like when I'm exhausted and deliriously happy?
After five months of paperwork processing, waiting (and more waiting), 300 notecards, a series of late nights, trips to the library, hours of internet research, midnight oil spent on an online review site, many pages of State Board rules and regulations to sift through, help from a couple of new cosmetology friends (thanks to Facebook), a notary, lots of encouragement, reading, studying, money and stress, the big day finally arrived.
I had one examination time and four hours of driving ahead of me (two hours both ways). This was my destination: The Ohio State Board of Cosmetology headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.
Lots of people prayed for me and with me during the week leading up to my test day. The night before, in fact, I had an event with the Spa Ministry team from our church. We are a group of beauty professionals who offer free services to the community at various outreach events throughout the year. The timing was perfect, as it took my mind out of my books and to the place I love most: giving facial treatments.
When I arrived at the State Board facility, I gathered my required documentation, checked in, waited nervously with a room full of others anticipating the same exam, made some jokes and sent some text messages. When we were all called in to the orientation room, I noticed an Air Supply song playing on the sound system. I smiled as I thought about my friend, Heather, who is an Air Supply fanatic. Too bad there wouldn't be any music trivia on my exam.
That would be way more fun.
We were all filed through one by one, had our pictures taken and sat at our numbered stations. After everyone was accounted for, the doors were closed, we signed more paperwork, and an examiner gave us a verbal briefing that included examination rules and conduct. At this point, I was biting the inside of my lips.
After a half hour of preparation and instruction, we walked down a hallway to the computer room, sat at our numbered desks, and stared in to our futures.
The moment I started giggling to myself was when I realized the specific prayer several friends prayed for me (that I would know what I had studied and that the Lord would give me instant recall and confidence), had been answered. For the questions that corresponded with the material I studied, I knew the answer instantly. For the questions that pertained to topics I wasn't familiar with, I knew right away I would be making my best guess. Having that realization actually helped take the edge off of my anxiety.
Thankfully, the material I knew outweighed the material I didn't know. I passed with an 89%! Of course, they made us wait to find out our results. So, wait I did - and it was worth it. As of September 14, 2010, I am an officially licensed managing esthetician in the state of Ohio.
When I arrived home, my husband greeted me with our favorite pizza and a relaxing evening. The Gardiners surprised me with a congratulations banner ('Ame' is one of my nicknames, not a typo) and cake, and my e-mail Inbox and cell phone were filled with happy messages from my biggest fans, you: dear friends and family.
Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I am so very blessed, and hope to open a skin care business in Medina this year. If you live in the area, I look forward to getting my hands on you!