Kissing, Piercings and Hustlin’-Conversations with High School Girls

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Yesterday I went back to high school. I talked to a group of high school girls that were learning about jobs and careers. It was my duty to represent ‘the woman entrepreneur.’ That title freaked me out a bit because I’m still slowly getting used to the fact that I no longer say social worker and everyone thinks “wow-what an honorable career choice but however do you buy groceries with your small salary?”

marriage advice relationship blog entrepreneur

I don’t know about you, but I was not at my prime during high school so I was feeling a little bit of pressure to walk these halls and be among unknown Portland high schoolers.

I did what I thought best and attempted to dress like Pretty Little Liars in hopes these girls would think I’m cool.

IMG_9382No one said a thing. Didn’t they know that I usually wear the same t-shirt 3x a week?! I put on a freakin’ dress with boots like all the cool girls do, jeez.

As I waited to be escorted to the classroom, my eyes surveyed the hallways and I had a fleeting moment of anxiety thinking back to how tough I found my first few years of high school. So glad I’m not Billy Madison and have to repeat it.

Here’s a little number I found in the school hallways yesterdays…

marriage advice relationship blog tips for teensGirls Group from yesterday…if you’re reading this you must still not drink alcohol until you are of age because it will screw up your life.

For anyone reading this over the age of 21, let’s all make an agreement to start incorporating ‘sauce’ and ‘hooch’ back into our vocabulary, agreed? Or maybe a combination of ‘sauce juice?’

The girls were split into smaller groups for the first part and rotated between myself, a woman engineer who works at the Forest Service and a woman who works for the county in transportation.

Favorite Conversations Had:

Girl: So…you’re like rich right?
Me: What?

Me: What are you thinking about for a job?
Girl: Hustlin’
Me: So you’re going to put $$ signs on your resume instead of bullet points?
Girl: (silence)

Girl: Since you work with your husband, do you like kiss a lot at work? Do you still think he’s cute?
Me: Um….we try to keep that outside of business hours. No he’s not cute…he’s dreamy.
Girl: (Crinkles nose)

Girl: So you own 2 businesses and how old are you?
Me: I’m 27.
Girl: Why do you have gray hair then?

Girl: I want to be like a lawyer and then maybe a CEO
Me: You can do both! You can be a lawyer and then open your own practice! That’s so great!
Girl: Oh. That seems like a lot of work…but I bet I can do it
Me: (got a little teary and overly proud of her and wanted to hug her and told her she can do anything)

The three of us ‘career women’ then get in panel format and have them ask us questions:

Girl: So, how do you like get a job with tattoos and piercings because my mom says I won’t be able to but two of you have your nose pierced, she has a tattoo and your ears are gauged.

Engineer: You don’t want to work for a place that doesn’t let you be who you really are. If you find yourself trying to change who you are for a job and it’s not in a positive way, do something else. 

Me: Yeah! What she said! And well your mom is little right so you should respect her wishes and wait until you’re 18 like I did. You’re also in luck because we live in Portland where it’s acceptable to have tattoos on your throat and work in a coffee shop or the library.

This sign was on the nurses office:

marriage advice relationship blog quote from HPWhat a cool nurse-even if you can’t smoke in her office.

It was quite interesting and invigorating to give these girls insight into how if you have an idea, concept or strong passion and you don’t find a job you absolutely love-you can create it. We have choices and no matter what we choose to do with our lives, we need to enjoy it.

1) Did you like high school?
2) What would you tell your 15 year old self about jobs/career based on what you know now?
3) Are you in the career you thought you would be?

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  1. Amanda

    July 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Haha. High school girls’ perceptions of the world can be so hilarious, sad or inspiring. Good for the one with dreams to be a lawyer AND a CEO! Woop! I wonder if the other girl thinks that she can major in hustlin.’ Haha. What a career choice.
    I’m not in the exact same job itself I thought I’d have in high school, but it’s still in the same field, so I’m proud of that. I do think some of the activities and teachers I had in high school played a large role in that, so I’m really thankful for the experiences I had back then. Although I do wish maybe I would have worried more about the bigger picture rather than trying to be cool and fit in.

    • chelsea

      July 30, 2014 at 11:52 am

      It was definitely all of those things yesterday, Amanda! It was totally amazing to hear a young girl with dreams of being a lawyer and a CEO! I bet a lot of us wish we had focused more on the bigger picture than just trying to fit in-that was me!!! Glad you had some good teachers to help you on your path 🙂

  2. Debra

    July 30, 2014 at 9:26 am

    1) I loved high school! I think I was there for the social aspects though rather than academic. 🙂
    2) I would tell my 15 year old self that you can be anything you want and yes you can go to college. You are not limited to school teacher, nurse or secretary!
    3) I am finally in a career that I love! Not sure I could “pay for the groceries” if it was the only income I depended on but what the heck, eating is overrated anyway….right?

    • chelsea

      July 30, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Ha! Sounds like probably 93% of all high schoolers-that social aspect is pretty intense as a teen (and even know now). Love what you said to your 15 year old self Debra! You don’t have limitations-love it. So happy you have found a career you love now…even if the paychecks aren’t always the biggest (still know how that goes) 🙂

  3. Paula Howley

    July 30, 2014 at 9:57 am

    That was pretty funny Chels. No more kissing at work. Get your job done you slacker.
    And ease up on the hootch. HOOTCH?????? Holy cow, I think that was passé when my parents were in high school.

    1. I hated high school so much I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. well, actually, I would because I would really hate my worst enemy if I had one. It was an awful time filled with angst, depression, bullying, self doubt, apathy and that’s just the teachers!
    2. I would tell myself to get into writing and the performing arts and never leave because that’s the only thing that will ever make me happy.
    3. I didn’t even think about that stuff back then Chels. High school was a very tumultuous time for me. All I cared about was the next party and the next boy. My family life was a mess. I was a mess. The only thing I considered with anything resembling seriousness was psychiatry.
    Paula Howley recently posted…Public Presentations For Kids

    • chelsea

      July 30, 2014 at 11:59 am

      Bahaha. I know…seriously slacking with the make out sessions over here. I can really only ever think of ‘Turner and Hooch’ whenever that word appears! Haaa those teachers with their angst. Yeah…high school was not my favorite either. Writing and performing arts is excellent and so happy you found that out for yourself, Paula! Makes me smile.

  4. Danielle (@TheLifestylePrj)

    July 30, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I love that after confirming that you owned two businesses, the next question was asking why you have grey hair. Um. Because I’m only 27 and I own two businesses damnit!! (is what I would’ve snapped lol… which is probably why it’s best that I don’t revisit my former high school) Next year is supposed to be my 10 year reunion in fact but I probably won’t go. I didn’t have a particularly wonderful nor terrible time in high school but luckily I had the foresight to know that university and life in general was about to be so much better!
    Danielle (@TheLifestylePrj) recently posted…When Travel Goes Wrong

    • chelsea

      July 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Haha that totally should have been my response Danielle because it’s SUPER stressful! So glad you had excellent foresight into knowing life was so much more than high school and thank goodness that is TURE! Well I’m sure you’ll get some good stories out of your reunion if you decide to go and let’s be thankful we don’t have to go back to those years!

  5. Barb

    July 30, 2014 at 10:45 am

    High school…I was in it more for the social aspect. In hind sight…that was not a good choice. I was an ok student, but could have been a top student. As far as telling myself about career choices… Don’t just go along mamby pamby. Find what you want to do and go for it! Make your choices based on your passions, not on chance/non-direction. I am not in the career I thought I would have, although, I am not sure if I had any idea of what that might look like from my high-schooler’s eyes. I left it to chance and am trying too make up for lost time now.

    • chelsea

      July 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      If only we could shake our 14-18 (and probably beyond) selves and say “balance work with the social aspect!” Love what you said about making choices based on passions and not chance or just going along with things. I’m definitely not where I thought I would be either but it sounds like you have found something you feel is more worth your time so that’s great!

  6. Heather Hawkins

    July 30, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    1) Hell no. I lived for speech and debate and survived through the rest. I was smart. I was different. I didn’t know then that if you can learn to be kind through that, everyone hurting you will look like assholes. But I didn’t know that yet. So I was mean back so I was the mean, smart, different girl.
    2) You’ll be okay, kid. Ignore the advice that you KNOW is stupid or from people that are “middle of the road” safe people. The best advice comes from someone who is down on their luck and desperate to help keep others from travelling that road, or highly successful people that came from nothing. the middle of the road people are good people, but you weren’t born to play it safe. Safe is comfortable, yes. But its too safe and no one ever dies saying “thank god I never tried to hard and always made a slightly higher than average income at a job I didn’t like.”
    3) I am.

    • chelsea

      July 30, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Ahhh yes very good point about still being kind despite assholes-but ugh kids are mean! That was good advice to your 15 year old self…in fact I’m telling my 27 year self to listen to you! And quit playing it safe, Chelsea! Thanks for the unknowing pep talk, Heather! So glad you are doing what you want to be-that makes me happy to hear!

  7. Donna

    July 30, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    1) I enjoyed high school, and wish I’d taken better advantage of the opportunities available.
    2) My 15 year old self? Don’t be so cautious, take chances, don’t be afraid of failure, trust yourself, and perfectionism is not an attribute. Wait, that’s what I tell myself now!
    3) I didn’t spend much time thinking about what I’d be when I grew up. I went to school to be an accountant – ended up working with streets, sewers, and other public infrastructure – and think law school after retirement might be cool.

    • chelsea

      July 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      I didn’t even really realize there were opportunities until I heard about what other people were involved with in high school so I feel ya Donna! Yup-taking your advice to your 15 year old self too and kicking me into gear-i like it! Why is it so hard to not be cautious?! Ugh. Ohhhh you would be a badass lawyer Donna-doooo it!

  8. Mae

    August 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Oh my gosh this post had me giggling, but I absolutely loved it 🙂
    Just the thought of going to high school again scares me! I love the answer the lady gave about not wanting to work for somewhere you have to change yourself for…loveeee it.

    1) Did you like high school?

    I did the first two years, than as a junior all hell broke lose. I had a really tough time and got bullied like crazy, I ended up doing my senior year online.

    2) What would you tell your 15 year old self about jobs/career based on what you know now?

    What you think you want to do now might not be what you end up doing so don’t expect too much. But push yourself to the limit and you can do whatever.

    3) Are you in the career you thought you would be?

    Not even close. I thought I wanted to be a nurse or vet tech, I am now a receptionist for a John Deere company. Actually if I were where I thought I wanted to be than I would still be in college and playing volleyball.
    Mae recently posted…Currently Me:Episode 1

    • chelsea

      August 7, 2014 at 11:15 am

      It was quite hilarious to hear what kept coming from the girls, Mae! Yes, that woman was super smart to give that advice of not working for a company that doesn’t accept you as you!

      I’m so sorry to hear that your bully got so bad you had to do senior year online 🙁 people are jerks sometimes. It’s interesting that we typically don’t end up exactly where we think we are going to be-especially what we thought in high school! I have always been envious of people who can play volleyball…because I’m so terrible at it!

      Thanks for your comment Mae!