My whole life I’ve wanted a mentor. For many they can be found in the respectable adults around them – parents, extended family, family friends, regular upstanding folk. I don’t know, it just seems that they’re there to be found. And yet, I never seemed to find one for me.
Sometimes I think about how good it would have been for me as a child to have a person in that place in my life. I’m not sure if I needed a mentor more as a child or more now (I muse, as I sit here chugging a pint sized gin and tonic.)
I am not even sure which sort of role I would have needed such a person to fill. Sometimes I think a father figure – one who could instill in me a sense of discipline and hard work, determination and toughness. Someone who would give me tough love but love nonetheless. Someone who would guide me and protect me, and teach me the ways of the world.
Sometimes I think it should have been a mother. Someone who would teach me the ins and outs of being a good woman and a good human being. Someone who would show me through example how to be the second in command in a family and never give up. Someone who could model feminine virtues, yet be a strong bad-ass when the time called for it. A person who could steer me through adolescence, and who I would aim to emulate through adulthood, and maybe eventually, parenthood.
Sometimes I think it couldn’t have been either of these, because if I’d had it I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I should, as I do. It is only in not having those examples that I can truly appreciate the difference they could have made in my life.
Who would it have been, then?
Perhaps just somebody who I really respected, both for the achievements, and for their demeanor towards life. For their intelligence and their resilience. Maybe, just someone I could talk to – an older friend, an older sibling, a caring third party.
Is there a certain age at which you are too old for a mentor? I certainly hope not. I know that as we get older we become set in our ways, and even as I see that beginning to habituate itself into my life, I know that I can still learn, and still grow, and still change – when the determination is there. But I know that it would take a lot more for me to trust and respect a potential mentor today than it would have ten or fifteen or twenty years ago.
And yet it is probably now that I most need to have that sort of guidance in my life. Which means I would have needed to meet that person years ago, to be at a place where I could trust them enough to allow them to lead me in any way.
So I suppose that leaves me at a sort of impasse. Not that I will surely never find such a person, but because I worry that even if I eventually do, it may be too late.
Oh well. At least these gins and tonic are delicious. It’s all in the lime.