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Hello, my name is Amanda Benavidez. I am 39 years old, and I live in Greeley, Colorado. I am a wife and mother of 3. I am a multitalented artist and business owner.
My salon, Platinum Style and Aesthetics, is a team of 6 amazing artists. Among my gifts and talents, I have developed proficiency in cosmetology, specifically in men's cuts. Using my hair-cutting trimmers, I create intricate picture designs that enhance the overall style. Additionally, I excel in specialty color techniques, adding a unique touch to my clients' hair. My dedication and skill in this field were recognized when I achieved 2nd place in the barber competition at the state level.
Another aspect of my expertise lies in tattoo makeup, where I specialize in tattooing realistic hair on men. I meticulously create thousands of ink hair follicle impressions using a tattoo machine, resulting in a remarkably natural shaved hair look. This process takes several hours, which is quite simple for me with my hyper-focus abilities. I write music and rap and sing them myself. I write excellent poetry thanks to my brain full of pictures. Most of all, I am super creative with endless ideas and visions, and I feel as though my brain possesses a natural, built-in mapping system.
My disabilities became my superpower.
As a kid, ADHD and dyslexia were my disabilities, but as I grew, what I considered disabilities, in fact, became my superpowers. I experienced the loss of both my parents when I was just six years old, which forced me to mature and adapt to life's challenges at a young age. I had to learn important life lessons mostly on my own since my grandmother took in my two sisters, three cousins, and me. It was a difficult situation, especially considering that all of us were under the age of 12 at the time.
School was difficult for me in many different ways with my ADHD and dyslexia. I struggled greatly with reading, punctuation, spelling, and putting together words, as well as separating them. I would even mix my words up when speaking due to how fast my brain constantly thinks. To this day, I can't tell the difference between my lowercase 'b's' and 'd's' unless I see them in a word. I often times write my numbers and letters mixed up, and I can't follow a book, line to line, without losing my place as I read. Ask Siri Maps how many times she tells me to go right, and I go left by accident
As a kid, I was also extremely hyperactive and had a very difficult time paying attention and staying on task, yet I hyper-focused on things that intrigued me, like video games which I could play for hours on end. As a result of my hyperactivity, I was often asked to sit in the school hall for discipline throughout my elementary years. Since my parents passed, I didn't have anyone to defend me and speak on my behalf that my behavior wasn't due to rebellion but it was due to my learning disabilities. I couldn't do my timed math tests because my brain was too focused on the timer instead of the math questions. I still struggle greatly with times tables.
Middle School and above
As I approached 6th grade, I was so academically behind that I had absolutely no self-esteem; I could barely read, write, or pay attention to learn. I felt like I was a bad kid since I was in the hallway of the school the majority of my school days, so I turned to a heavy alcohol habit from the age of 14 to 21 years old.
I have never been officially diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, but these are learning disabilities that run in my family. My father had ADHD, and my maternal grandfather and several other relatives had dyslexia. Additionally, my oldest daughter has been officially diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia.
I didn't realize my learning disabilities were the cause of my struggles until I got older and researched my symptoms. This was when I recognized that not only did I have substantial learning disabilities; dyslexia, and ADHD, but these disorders were also the very cause of all my super abilities! I learned that half of NASAs employees are dyslexic due to their super abilities and out-of-the-box thinking. Forbes magazine taught me that 40% of self-made millionaire entrepreneurs are dyslexic!
It's easy for me to do hard things, yet hard for me to do simple things. For example, I can draw a very detailed flower in the hair of my client's head, but I can't make a round tortilla. I lose my phone and small items everywhere all day. Something as simple as socializing is difficult for me; I have to mentally prepare myself before socializing events, and I'm mentally exhausted after the event from trying to be normal. I can't do small talk, but I can talk about things that intrigue me all day long. Subjects such as business, creativity, and my faith have the power to hold my attention and spark conversations that can last for hours on end. I can't spell or read too well, but my brain has become super good with poetry and rap. I very rarely watch TV. It's hard for me to keep long friendships or to fit in well, but I love to make people who are different feel included.
My husband, kids and family have been my biggest supporters. They're my blessings. I have energy for days, but caffeine is my kryptonite and sedates me. Since my brain is in a constant creative mode, I am now in the process of writing a children's books for kids with learning differences.
I got sober when I was 21 and hid away, breaking communication with old friends and coworkers. During this time, I greatly educated myself even more in my poetry, rap, and music skills and added multiple certifications to my cosmetology and tattooing career. I eventually went to work for myself and opened my business in 2018, which was very successful. I am now 39 years old, and I've grown to love myself for being different. Over the past year, people have started contacting me, asking about my ADHD and dyslexia and how they became my superpowers. Schools are reaching out to invite me to guest speak to their neurodivergent students. Children want to meet me and are inspired by my artistic talents. I feel like a superhero because business owners love to pick my brain for ideas on how to connect their dots and grow even more. I am no longer the kid who failed to learn. As my self-esteem grew, so did my art and career. I absolutely love being different now.
Recently this year, I decided to come out of my cave and hire a team of 6 amazing artists to add to my business. I hired; barbers, estheticians, tattoo artists, cosmetologists, and permanent makeup artists. We are a salon of multi-talent located in Greeley, Colorado. I have over 15 certifications and skills. I may not have been too good at school, but I thrive in the world of business and creativity. Today, I also help other people discover their gifts and talents and give them ideas on how to turn them into a business.
My name is Amanda Benavidez, and I will leave my mark in this world by turning my disabilities into super abilities and helping others come out of their caves and do the same!
Here is a poem I wrote when I asked God what it looked like when he created me: