A major factor in my decision to leave modeling was that the fashion business as I knew it was changing. Clients began booking very last minute. I might find out in the evening that I was leaving the next morning on a 6:00am flight.
I had anxiety and insomnia and the extreme lack of routine would put me over the edge. I became more anxious and had even a harder time sleeping. I also knew that if I wanted to pass on inner beauty to the next generation that I had to heal myself. I needed the guidance of healers, teachers, therapists, a Psychology degree and a Counseling degree to learn about inner beauty and not just outer beauty.
So I “retired” from modeling at a time some people thought I was crazy. The year I left I’d had my most lucrative year ever. I heard from photographers and models, “But why are you stopping now? You’re making so much money!” At the time I said my brain was dying. And it was. But the rest of me was as well. I really needed to pull myself together.
Even while I was still modeling, since I was twenty I studied how to feel better myself and practiced a ton of different modalities- hypnosis, therapies, shamanism, energy work, hands-on healing. This was my prime education for being a counselor.
Two things I learned and may be of HELP TO YOU:
1. I would encourage you to think of how you’ve been able to help people because of what you’ve gone through. For example, when I needed to learn how to release anxiety and insomnia, I was then able to relate to and eventually help others with anxiety.
This is a way of looking at past difficulties and actually feel like they were worth something. Our difficulties are our education. This way of looking at our pasts also reduces self pity and the feeling that life has been a struggle. We can chose to adopt a perspective that our difficulties have been part of our education and now we can help our friends, families, kids and even clients.
2. Continue to prepare yourself for where you see yourself going in life, not just where you are. What interests you? I encourage the models I counsel to read and study what interests them beyond modeling and fashion.
If you like plants, study landscape design. If you like music spend some of your time expanding your knowledge base of music. It’s easy if it is something you like. You may not become a landscape designer or a music producer but you’ll have the best garden around or you’ll be the go to person for play lists for important occasions.
In this way our difficulties become our education and what we learn becomes our gifts to share.
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Be well and have fun, Susan