Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Image Transformation: A Personal Story

By Katherine Lazaruk on Apr 21 2010 • Filed under Image Intensive

About ten years ago, I realized that the life I was leading just wasn’t working for me. I had left a job (temporarily) that I hated, but couldn’t see my way to whatever would be next and would be profitable enough for me to support myself. I was doing something in my spare time that I thought I loved, but the harder I tried to make it work as “work,” the less I enjoyed it.

My relationship was stormy at best, and downright hellish at worst, and I grew to despise myself, my partner and the world I had created for myself. I was obsessed with ‘might have been’ and ‘if only.’ I was living on credit, laughing less than I had ever laughed before and feeling downright awful. I looked broke, felt broke and was just plain tired of being what I kindly refer to as a ‘schlump.’ I don’t know if this is an actual word, but for me it embodied all that I was at the time.

A singer and theatre actress, I happened to be in a store that was owned by an acquaintance who had generously sponsored me for performances by lending me fabulous jewels and costume pieces in return for credit in the program or a mention from the stage. I was looking at some items and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

“Who is that person?” I wondered. I was shocked to see I had become this unkempt, unhappy person wearing a too-large jacket and carrying a backpack roughly the same size as my body. I had hit bottom. At that instant, I knew that this was not who I wanted to be and that change had to be in the wind soon if I was going to survive. I marched across the street and bought myself a jacket that fit, a scarf that had some colour and a lipstick to go with the scarf. The owner of the makeup counter, a hairstylist, was working there that day and he said, “I have a haircut to go with that lipstick.” I was on my way to work (living on credit had finally caught up with me and I was back at my hated job), so I promised to return later. He was there when I arrived, but about to leave when something in my face must have stopped him. He made a phone call to rearrange an evening commitment and sat me down in the chair.

Emerging from the afternoon’s experience, I walked home a different person. Suddenly I was in charge of my life, or at least I felt in charge. I had made a successful change and in that instant, decided to change everything else as well. I drove the bad relationship off the cliff. I stayed in the hated job, but began doing serious soul searching, counselling and writing to find my next direction. I continued to improve my appearance and continued to look for ways to effect positive change.

The result after ten years? I’m now happily married, own my own business, know where I’m going and understand where I’ve been. I didn’t know that this would be my end, but I made a good decision about the start.

If you’re asking yourself, “Is this all there is?” I encourage you this month to make a start and find that catalyst for change. Mine was a new jacket. Have the courage to discover yours.


  1. I can relate to this story because about a year ago I started to feel the same way. I actually left a job that was paying well with great benefits.
    My breakthrough came through God’s grace and good networks. Today I have my own business and living my full passion of being an entrepreneur.

    Kind Regards
    Allison Henry

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