Advice from a Blue Collar Girl

A guy asked me out recently. (Oh. Stop. It can happen.)

Anyway, when he found out I was a horticulturist, he quickly lost interest.

I’ll quote him:

“I didn’t realize you were a blue collar girl.” he said, pausing to consider the ramifications of this on his personal life.  “I thought you graduated from Furman University.” Silence, while he pondered this newsflash a bit more, rubbing his chin a lot like my divorce attorney did. He concluded. “I don’t really want to date a blue collar girl.” 

What I am about to tell you may be shocking to some of you. Hold tight.

My response:

“Oh good, because I didn’t realize you were a complete a**, but now that I know you are, well, I don’t want to date you.”

I know. We can’t all be as classy as I am.

At any rate, if said a** only knew. I’m not just a Furman girl, I’m a Cornell girl. That’s right. Ivy League. The only ivy league school that has a horticulture program, because ivy league schools don’t teach blue collar programs. Except Cornell, so, of course, I love them, because I wear my blue collar proudly.

So now, I’ve finally reached my topic. I’m going to give ya’ll some career advice. The dating advice was a freebie that I just threw in.

I’m currently enrolled (again, yes, I know) in a permaculture class at Cornell. It is kicking my blue collar butt.

My non-date was correct. I did graduate from Furman University, no shabby chic, DIY school either, but I have to be honest, Furman has nothing on Cornell. Cornell puts Furman in the pre-school, kindergarten department. Hey, it’s all relative, and I’m still proud to be a Furman grad, and very happy I did not do my undergrad at Cornell, because I feel sure I would have wandered off to Woodstock looking for the Janis, and who knows where I’d be now.

But, I have learned these things from school, and from my blue collar job, which I am passing on to you now. You’re welcome. 

1. There is no shame in hard work, blue collar, or whatever collar you wear. Be proud of your job, and your hard work.

2. You can work in the pouring rain, melting heat, blowing wind, freezing cold, and baking sun. You think you can’t, but you can.

3. DayQuill will get you through even your sickest days.

4. Don’t wait to be brave to do something. Bravery comes with doing, not waiting (or reading a self-help book).

5. Get over the idea that you should be at the same place someone who has been doing their craft/job for decades is.  Stay focused. It will come. Don’t compare yourself to others. Just persevere.

6. And, while we’re on that subject. Perseverance is the number one thing needed to succeed at whatever you’re doing: work, career, family, marriage, hobby, gardening, writing, etc.

7. Most people quit way before the finish line; some quit when it’s in sight. Don’t quit.

8. Your body, no matter the age, can do way more than you think. Push yourself.

9. Training matters. Not every job or every person needs a college degree. In fact, despite Cornell being my fourth college, I am not an advocate of college for everyone. But, I do think training is important. Take lots of extra-curricular training classes to improve your job skills, and add to your resume (it is all about the resume these days).

10. If you can’t do it, hire someone who can. A good professional is worth every dime. You might save some pennies trying to do it yourself, but in the long run, you lose way more than you gain. For instance, I am now going to hire someone to design and maintain the blog. That way I can write, and stop trying to figure out technical stuff I haven’t a clue about.

Finally, there is a season to everything. Ask yourself what season of you are in. For me, it’s a season of new beginnings and hard work. A lot of 12-14 hour days and few days off. For you, perhaps it is a season of slowing down. The next season is around the corner, as sure as spring is almost here. Acknowledge it, and live this season of life.

Advice from a blue collar girl.

3 thoughts on “Advice from a Blue Collar Girl

  1. Comparing is my greatest weakness and sets me back every time. When you start your career at 50 yrs. old and you know you only have so much time left to “make it” you can get a little panicky in trying to catch up. It’s like climbing that mountain this summer and trying to keep up with the crowd….I was the last one. They’d stop to rest and I’d finally catch up hoping for a rest and they’d take off again, Consequently never getting a break. Ugh! But I made it to the top and down again. The views were spectacular by the way…but next time I’ll take the car! LOL

  2. I loved your comeback to the jerk who said he didn’t want to date a blue collar girl. How pompous of him.You did good to dismiss him straight away. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

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