I am shy
She is not
I couldn’t dance
She taught me how to be confident
How to pretend you know how to dance
So I did
She has beautiful hair
I’ve always hated my hair
Now I don’t
I borrowed her book once
Her favorite book
First edition, signed by the author
I accidentally dropped in the gutter
When I told her, she didn’t get mad
She asked me if I liked the book
It was a great book
She doesn’t have a boyfriend
She is the happiest person I know
I know someone will find her
I’m waiting for my someday, too
She doesn’t know I admire her
I’m too shy to tell her
Mentor I’ve Never Met
When I read the Percy Jackson series, I saw a piece of myself in every character. Rick Riordan's representation paves the way for acceptance and tolerance in all religions, races, sexualities, and genders.
I want to write like that. I want to inspire people. I want to foster pride in our differences. I want to help kids like me with mental illness or dysphoria feel pride and love for who they are. I want everyone to feel loved and respected. And so I want to write stories, poems, novels, anything, really, that will create that pride. Maybe I've never met Rick Riordan, but he's touched my mind. I want to capture the same wit, the same shameless individuality, the same diversity, that he has in his characters. If it weren't for him, I might never have taken up the craft. I might never be where I am today or writing as much as I do. I might never have found my place.
So maybe you can have a mentor even if that mentor doesn't know you exist.
I can’t speak for lack of breathing in my seat
I didn’t know what yoga was until I went to rehab, and it sounded to me in 2011 like some hippie-age b*llshit made up by white women to feel connected to themselves and burn off their skinny vanilla lattes.
My college-aged self in 2011, a drop-out with nothing to live for, had nothing to say about bending a body over backwards when I wouldn’t have ever tried that for myself.
Rebekah was a white woman who did yoga. But I didn’t meet her until 2012.
We sat in chairs that dozens of other burnouts and addicts had already sat in. I’m not putting anyone down, at least here; I had been told I needed upper level therapy because my previous talk therapist had told me: I’m not trained in your level of distress.
Damn, okay. Rebekah was sometimes silent in her seat for burnouts, but it was her grace that saved her from my prejudiced boxes that I put everyone in, and her willingness to be there for me in a tangible way is what has made her a lasting role model in my life.
One day, Rebekah pushed back our chairs. We’re doing yoga, she said. It had been one of those days where I had been so emotionally volatile I could only stew in silence, unable to speak because if I had, I would have screamed. Rebekah, out of ideas perhaps for a volley of useless talk therapy, had made us sit on stained carpet, folding ourselves over until I didn’t feel the need to smash my head against a hard object.
One time, a girl with severe anorexia in rehab had said, I don’t want to walk into a room and decide which object I want to kill myself with. She shook in warrior pose, unable to hold herself up.
Rebekah took my shaking hands sometimes, saying breath. A mantra in every yoga practice. But I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.
If I was also looking for objects to hurt myself with, I would have picked her resoluteness to save me from myself.
The chairs we sat in were not made for breathing. They were hard, cement blocks that held up everyone’s vulnerability.
I’ve sat in uncomfortable chairs since. I’ve had to sit with myself. I remember a woman so fierce she broke down my walls, made me whole and everyone around her better for having known her.
One day recently during a therapy intake, I asked a potential therapist if she only did talk therapy. She hesitated, and I could tell she had a slit of a smile through the phone. She said, that’s what therapy is.
But it’s more than that. It’s what Rebekah did. Saving one burnout at a time, creating building blocks for those who can’t speak or sit up by themselves.
parents and mentors
I think i did not have much role modeling as i was growing up. i am not blaming my parents. they had my younger brother to care for, and also believed that the best lessons on what i should or shouldn’t do are best left for me to learn by myself. i will not argue the merits of this approach, which was pervsive in 70′s-80′s literature. but i think there are great issues that i still fail to handle well, as a result. self-restraint being one of them. but i think on some subcononscious level, i perceived some lack of development in me, which i often sought out with others.
i think i was feeling a need in this period for more direction, and ‘transferranced’ this need into seeking and accepting mentors.
i have had quite a few mentors. people who play a role that is way above the mere subject they are teaching, or the more regular role they would normally play. my first mentor, without a doubt, was my grandfather, who introduced me to the love of natural science, music and chess. i’ve written about him a few times, and think that i learned much from him indeed. curiously, his attempts to introduce me to religion is one of the issues i completely rejected at the time. i was very much an atheist growing up . only much later in life, i began to have some kind of a spiritual side, but by then, i was mostly through with mentors..
at school i had teachers that i admired. i would never miss a chance learning from them, and even took time to go to office hours. other students thought i was just brownnosing, but of course it was nothing of the kind. i just had so many questions to ask. (oh, if only i had a math mentor...)
today, i don’t feel such a strong need for a mentor. at least not like before. but i definitely still appreciate some people who give very useful advice, and i think one of the ways i evaluate my friends is along exch
ange of knowledge.
i’m currently struggling to write a novel , where the main charachter or at least one of them, defines her goal in life as being connected to an alien, who mentored her in her youth. maybe one of the reasons i’m struggling to complete this project so much is that my relation to mentors is not fully realized yet.
i hope and pray, that as a parent i will both give my girl sufficiant guidance , but also that she will have the good luck of finding mentors, as i had.
The most impactful mentor I had was my lead Colton, who was like an older brother. I worked with him for a little over a year until he quit. He helped train me in the dining room and helped me get to know the hallways better when we switched to room services. He has given me continuous support, never doubting me, never scolding me nor making me feel inferior, especially when I erred. He knew I was working hard to gain recognition and consideration for a lead server position as soon as one was open and often pushed me out of my comfort zone because he knew it would only strengthen my skills; whenever I struggled with the tasks he'd assigned, he would a,ways guide me through it, giving me words of encouragement, showing me an easier way to go about things. When we had a shortage of people in the morning and afternoon shifts, he respected the fact that I stepped up and worked a 12 hour workday for seven days straight, putting me in dishpit, or as phone and prep for the night shift. i remember cleaning the server aisle and hearing one of my coworkers complain about how I was put on phone duty and in charge of making sure everything was prepped for the morning crew for the fourth day in a row and he told that coworker "if you want to have an easier task, step up and help out the morning/lunch crew, because that's what J has been doing every day for the past week." As a newbie, that was huge for me. we were tight, but not because we were best friends, but because we knew the other would always have our back. We had a mutual respect for each other that allowed us to work so well together. over the course of the year, he would introduce me to the residents, helping me get familiar with their names and their typical orders, with their mannerisms and how to reassure them if they were having an episode. (I work with the elderly, many of whom have early stages of dementia). i have nothing but fond memories of Colton. I miss his "high on life" vibes every single day and work just isn't the same without him.
Life is a Role Model
At an early age, realizing that sports figures, movie stars and politicians were not suitable role models. Leading a life of lies, crime and all for money and power seemed to be shortsighted.
Reading books and stories about Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Will Rogers and Tom Horn. I found they had both excellent qualities and bad. Church was tannish, Gandhi was patient, Will Rogers kept the nation laughing in the hard times and Tom Horn’s last words are you cannot kill a Christian.
It was my father, an Idaho cowboy showed me what integrity truly is. My great grandfathers both successful, honest men who had the respect of the community and one another. One graduated from Harvard, the other only had a third-grade education.
My family fought for this country in every military action, since the Revolutionary war. We have six generations of police officers in our family.
I joined the Army at the ripe old age of sixteen and served in the Army in Korea. I spent four years there. Then I came home and was a police officer for a year.
Lessons learned, acquire a degree in electronics in the Army. Had it with war and crime, I pursued peace. Both men of strong conviction John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, had a dream died, murdered. Walt Disney, a man with a vision and courage imagination can take you anywhere.
I worked for Disney for eleven years, after the family lost the corporation it was not the same. The pressure and stress was a killer. 18 of my friends died from stress-related problems and two suicided. So much for “The happiest place on earth.”
Then I found my role model. Better yet, He found me. He gave his life to me as I might live. He wrote me a love letter, Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth, Yes the Bible.
This journey has taken me around the world and back to serving the cause of genuine love.
His Hebrew name is Yeshua He is the Messiah. You may know him as Jesus the Christ. I have now served him for over forty years. His guidance and instruction manual has given me everything I need in this life. And gives me the direction to the next life, the most exciting journey is to come.
Who I could Trust to be Most Just
How do you know who’s your mentor?
How can you tell where they’ve led?
Who had become most impactful,
urging you, feeding your head?
Who set examples to follow,
showing, not telling, the way?
Here’s how you tell in a nutshell.
It’s one you went to that day …
That day you'd lost all direction,
the day your second doubts won.
Ere you sought solace with any,
your heart pleaded for this one.
This is how I have now named her,
My aunt, so full of esprit.
But pale her exotic fancies,
compared to grace she showed me.
When I was young I only had one Role model:
My mother, simply because she was my mother, she was strong, confident in her own skin and had thick skin, She could verbally stand up for herself, something I had difficulty with.
As I grew older, my role model list grew. I had more then one. All for different reasons.
Take for instance:
My Cousin - The one that uses her mouth to fight.
For her ability to show no fear even when she reeked off it.
My Aunt - The one I easilty talk to.
For having been through hell, and somehow had come out better the other side. Not only had she survived a emotional abuse relationship, and a physical abuse from family, she had found her fairytale ending.
A Crazy cousin
The known by the whole familhy for her crazy and shameless ways. The one who eveyone called Psycho but it never fazed her.
My Carefree Aunt
She was relaxed in her own skin, yet she stands up for what she believes in.