Mentor

How come you didn’t go back to university to get your Law degree when Mr Smith finished his degree?

I was gutless. I was gutless.

What do you mean?

I didn’t have the courage.

But why?

I will probably… never find out the answer to that question!

That’s sad. That is so sad.

But it worked out well, I suppose.

And you’re happy, right?

(Pause)

Yes.

 

There I was admiring this amazing human being, who was my English teacher and my mentor in Year 12, only to find out that her career aspiration was never fulfilled or rather, she had the intellect but lacked the tenacity to pursue it when she was younger.

I remember when I asked her to be my mentor. I wasn’t in any of her classes. I met her briefly and talked to her a few times because she coordinated the debating teams.

Would you be willing to be my mentor?

(I was expecting a “NO, because I don’t know you!”)

(Genuinely surprised) Oh, I’d be honoured… But I don’t have you in any of my classes!

Yes… but you’re the kind of woman that I aspire to be.

She smiled whilst instinctively placing her right hand over her chest – a nice gesture of appreciation.

A few moments later, that smile turned into a cheeky grin. Suddenly without effort, she hints exactly why she should be my mentor.

Well, that’s because you don’t know me. (laughs)

And she was right with one thing – I didn’t know her. But somehow I knew that she should be my mentor. It was intuition, instinct or gut feeling, whatever you want to call it. It was an irrational decision but it’s something that I will always be grateful for… that I was crazy enough to do it.

She is not some fictional character in a novel. She is not perfect. She is human and humans are flawed. She’s been through a lot*, you see. She has scars to prove it.

I remained in contact with her for various ashamedly selfish reasons but number one in my list is that I see her as my mentor for life both literally and figuratively. Plus, I feel like we’ve become friends too. So what if she’s sixty something?

It was an immense privilege to meet her. It worked out well indeed!

*I will write more about her story in time.

Do you have a mentor? Share your story with me!

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