Saturday, May 07, 2011

My Journey With Mentors

Have I told you that I read? A lot? Growing up I was the kid who had a book everywhere. I'd read anything, anytime. I remember reading in front of a fan on a warm summer day in my living room. I remember laying in my bed reading all night, secretly. I love books for the knowledge, the escape, the mind challenges and the relaxation. When I'd go to our condo in Arizona, just out of college, I'd read constantly. I'd buy 6 books and pack them in my suitcase to take with. While I was there I'd buy another 5-6 books to read the rest of the 10 days. Once I ordered books online to be delivered to the condo so I wouldn't have to pack them.
Currently I'm reading Ashley Judd: All That Is Bitter And Sweet. I'm about 1/3 of the way through it. She is currently talking about meeting Archbishop Tutu and how he was and still is such a mentor to her.  She talks about how he was one of the people who inspired her to activism while she was in college at Kentucky State. 

Although we are born alone and we die alone, mentors are important in our lives and if you look, you see them everywhere.
  "...they have gone ahead to where we have not yet been, perhaps not even in out dreams, and they look back at us with the love born of wisdom, grace, mercy and compassion to give us hints as to have our own experiences with integrity."
I have to admit, that up until now I thought the whole mentor thing was hokie.  A bunch of crap.  It felt like a parent who wanted to control you.  I'd get paired up at different jobs with a mentor and I'd resent that they thought they knew more than me and could teach me something.  I'd get the opportunity to work with someone on a project, but not listen to their experiences because I knew it all.  But when I read her words it was like a light bulb went off.  I realized that I have mentors everywhere and that it's natural.

My motorcycle mentors are Pete and the motorcycle club.  My work mentors are the agents who I work with.  My cooking mentors are the blogs and recipes that I find online.  My weight loss mentors are the bloggers that I read every day.  MY life mentors are my Grandmas and my family in general.

I read a lot of blogs in addition to my books.  For well over a year I've been reading PriorFatGirl.  And I think that what I like about her as a mentor to me is that while she helps me find my way, she readily admits that no one way is perfect.  She admits that the mistakes she's made are natural and ok for me to make.  She leads the way, but doesn't demand that I follow her exactly.  I've seen it with TwelveInTwelve also.  She's human and on her journey and shows you her way, but doesn't demand that her way is the only way.

I was so humbled reading those words in Ashley Judd's book.  I realized that for all these years I've had so much knowledge in my path, but I haven't been taking advantage of it.  I'm now going to take full advantage of those who have gone before me. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, Michelle, I am so humbled reading this post! Thank you SO MUCH for thinking of me this way. I'm just a regular girl, trying to live a healthy, active, lifestyle. I'm so amazed that you think of me in that way. But thank you. And just know that I'm ALWAYS available for questions, ANYTIME. :) You can do this, Michelle. You're stronger than you think, and I believe in you - 100%.