Jesse Stoddard

Life After High School: Interview with Kimberly Griffin

Today’s interview with Kimberly Griffin is part of my ongoing blog-to-book project: Life After High School: Secrets To A Successful Life By Those Who Have Had Twenty Years To Think About It (or) What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. If you missed the last post, click here, otherwise, you can start at the beginning here.

Because Kim is too humble to brag on herself, I want to at least mention before we start that Kim spent quite a few years as the receptionist to Steven Spielberg, among other amazing entertainment industry jobs. It takes someone of good work ethic, high intellect, and talent to be able to claim that position.

Kimberly Griffin

Lake Balboa, CA

My Life In High School

Kimberly Griffin AHS 1996

Who were you in High School and how did you feel about it?

I was a transplant from two other high schools, the last of which I loved, and thus I hated being forced to move to Anacortes. I was so pissed that I didn’t realize we lived on an island, for nearly 3 months! (AHS was the least friendly of my 3 high schools if you can believe it.)

The product of a nomadic family, I’ve perpetually been the “new girl” since I was 5yrs old. While that did force me to be a social person and make friends quickly, I didn’t really have a specific group that I belonged to.

My close friends and I had connections to several of the typical groups. Playing sports and being involved in the arts and student government classes lent a hand in the well-rounded association we had with our peers.

What did you think your life would become when you graduated?

Lordy. I thought for sure I’d be married with 3+ kids by the time I was 30.

…And that I’d be on to my 4th career by the time I was 50. (Filmmaker, Lawyer, Anesthesiologist, Politician.)

Time goes by slowly when you’re a kid without a smartphone and the Internet! Lol. (Science has indicated that kids have a higher level of serotonin, which is supposedly linked to the perception of time.)

Needless to say, this here life goes by a lot faster than I’d planned on! =P

My Life After High School

Kimberly Griffin headshot

What happened in your life to you, for you, and by you in the last twenty years (how have you used your time and who have you become)?

College and real life struggles, chasing dreams, getting clarity, getting comfortable in my skin, discovering that it’s the journey, not the destination that matters, learning to value what I already have, and discovering what really makes me happy.

My Life Lessons

What were the major life lessons and wisdom that you gained during your journey over the last 20 years?

  • Run for president while you know everything
  • Life only goes faster
  • Smart people know when to quit
  • You can’t make someone love you and you can’t bring someone worthy into your life until you love yourself
  • There are three voices inside of us—listen to the one that whispers
  • While you can’t control anything you can have control in things
  • All you really have in this life is yourself and your shared experiences
  • It’s not about waiting out the storm but dancing in the rain
  • Everybody gets put in the barrel so have some compassion

Letter To My High School Self

If you could write your 18-year-old self (or however old you were when you graduated) a letter, and send it back in time, what would you say? What lessons or wisdom did you learn? What encouragement or warnings would you give yourself?

Slow down!

Enjoy what you have around you. It goes quickly. Go to community college, allow yourself this time to grow and learn. You can still go to University later. Get some financial understanding—you ain’t got none!

Learn to ask for what you want. Blue collar integrity is great but go get some white collar smarts. You live on a gorgeous island, surrounded by artists! Forget about trying to fit in with your peers and search out the amazing illuminated people in your community!

You want to grow up so badly—you will! And then you’ll be an aging adult for the rest of your life! So stop being in a hurry to get there, lol.

Be patient with people and stop being judgemental. While you’ve had a pretty amazing life up to this point, you haven’t had enough life experience to make any sound judgments about people.

Speak up for yourself! You don’t have to take what’s handed to you.

Everybody feels lonely. But people don’t know what you need to make you happy. Only you can figure that out, so ask for it!

Be patient with boys. It takes them longer to figure out they want a partner, let alone what kind of partner!

College loans aren’t free money—they have to be PAID BACK!

Invest in future you. You’re on the edge of developing technology. Learn about business and finance. And take shop classes! You’re actually quite business minded and good with mechanical reasoning!

Stop wasting your time with daydreaming and naps. It’s wasting your time to be creative! And do it now, while you don’t have many time-sucking responsibilities! Ya got talent, kid!

Not that you can help it, ’cause we won’t know a lot about it until later but eat simple foods. No more processed crackers, bread, chips, candy, etc. This stuff will REALLY hurt your body down the road, thanks to the chemical crap they put in there.

That just about does it for interviews. In the next post, I will analyze and conclude.

Are you from Generation X? I want to hear what you think! Please comment below and participate in the conversation about What They Didn’t Teach Us Gen Xers In High School. What do you wish someone told you when you were eighteen?

Picture of Jesse Stoddard

Jesse Stoddard


Please share this post to your social media! Feel free to use the links below… And further down is a place to leave a comment if you are so inclined.