Today we’d like to introduce you to Evelyn Gonzalez.
Hi Evelyn, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m a makeup Artist and Hairstylist. I grew up in Long Beach, California. At the age of 11, my mother moved to North Carolina with my four sisters to give us a better way of life. My mother was a single mom working day and night to make ends meet. As a child I suffered from anxiety and depression, I was never treated for it. As I got older, I had a rough life growing up, at the age of 16 I started living in what is called “La Vida Loca”. I dropped out of school and started working. I struggled with drug addiction and partied most of my teenage life and that was my way of coping with my depression and anxiety. I hit rock bottom with my addiction and didn’t know how to overcome it. I felt hopeless, I isolated my-self from the people that loved and cared for me the most. I carried this emotional roller coaster through-out my adulthood feeling guilty and blaming my parents because of my past. As an adult, I understand that my parents weren’t the ones to blame; they didn’t know any better either. I did my research and got the help I needed.
I moved back to California at the age of 19, that’s when the spark for makeup began. Life is like a roller coaster. One day you are up and the next you are down. In 2013, my mother still living in North Carolina was diagnosed with Leukemia. I got on a plane and flew back to North Carolina and was with her through it all. I had so much faith that my mom was going to be healed. Happy to say my mother is a tough cookie and she is a cancer survivor. During my mom’s cancer treatments, I had a little bundle of joy in my stomach. I found out I was pregnant before I flew out to take care of my mother. My husband and I were so excited when we found out. I took advantage of my time in North Carolina and continued my education at Durham Technical Community College to receive my GED. One of my motivations was my daughter who I was soon to give birth to. If my daughter were to ask me “mom did you graduate from school?” I can proudly say that I did”. My husband flew out to North Carolina for the birth of our first child. I was full term in my pregnancy, and I wanted to give up going to school. I had two more tests to pass to receive my GED.
Thankfully my husband was by my side supporting and cheering me on. His words were “you can’t give up knowing you are almost finished, just take the tests”. So, I did and passed both on one try. I was so happy and full of joy that I had accomplished my goal. We flew back to California one month after we gave birth to our 1st born “Bella”. We lived with my sister for a few months and quickly moved into our 1st apartment together. Once my daughter turned one year old, she attended an early head-start. I had so much time on my hands I decided to go to trade school at Downey adult high school for Medical Billing and Coding. I completed the program and did an internship at a Radiology facility and got hired. But my heart was in Makeup. I took an 8-week makeup course as well as hairstyling and received certificates for both. From there my makeup skills got better and my career as a professional makeup artist blew up. But I didn’t stop there, I wanted more out of my career. So, I decided to go to school to become a Cosmetologist. To be honest, fear and worry crossed my mind.
Now a mom of three kids all under the age of ten. I was worried that It will be too much for me to handle and that I would get overwhelmed and stressed juggling with my career, being a mom and going to school. Either way I went for it, sure enough it was not easy. Just when you feel like giving up is when you must push through, your breakthrough is just around the corner. I can proudly say I’m a cosmetologist now. I’m a hard-working mom bettering myself every day and learning new things as I continue my career as a Makeup artist and cosmetologist. Everything I’ve went through was for a good reason, God has been preparing me through it all. I hope I can inspire others with my life story, to help others who are struggling and help overcome whatever it is that they’re going through. It’s never too late to start and/or pick up where you left off. If you are going through a tough time know that it will pass, it’s a temporary situation and/or feeling it doesn’t last forever. Life does get better after the storm just has to keep on pushing through. The pain or circumstances we go through are for a reason they teach us something it makes us stronger and wiser too. Giving up on my hopes and dreams is not an option. I remember doing my eyeshadow so nice one day and asked my sister more than 5 times if she liked my makeup, I was so proud of my-self I leave you with this God’s timing is always perfect.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wanted to make a change and break those chains of my past generations. Changing my old ways was not a walk in the park for me. I struggled a lot trying to become a better version of myself, living a crazy life was all I knew. I gave myself the nickname “LOCA” and tattooed it on my knuckles. I was young and didn’t know any better. I used to be ashamed of it and worry about what people would think of me if they saw it. Would they treat me differently? Would they think I’m crazy? Would they think I’m a no-good lowlife and not respect me? I didn’t realize the pain I was causing myself by thinking the way I did. I was criticizing myself, and it’s true the only one who can make you feel bad is yourself, your own thoughts. I’m not perfect. I still struggle with my inner self, but I know I have the tools to overcome them. I accept who I am and who I’ve become. Each day I try to be better than I was yesterday. My past does not define who I am today. I still have the tattoo on my knuckles, I can look at my tattoo now and say that I’ve come a long way, this tattoo has a story to tell.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Makeup is not supposed to change you, it enhances your individuality. I love doing makeup and making women feel good about themselves. Sometimes we need a little boost and when I apply their makeup not only do they look beautiful but feel beautiful. You look at yourself in the mirror and automatically your self-esteem goes up, you feel more motivated and confident.
If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Stay humble and always be kind to others, you don’t know what someone has gone through or may be going through.