As part of a month long challenge to blog daily, I am joining some hilariously real women in #reverbbroads11. Today prompt: What is the one thing you finally did this year that you always wanted or said you were going to do, but in your heart of hearts never thought you would actually do? (Suggested by Amy, 2bperfectlyfrank.blogspot.com)
I have had some phenomenal, and I mean mind-blowingly awesome, mentors in my life. They challenged me. They supported me. They made me laugh when I felt like crying and pushed me to keep moving. “Thanks” to these people is just insufficient.
But this year, I was able to change roles. From being a mentee, I was able to mentor others. Some were more formal relationships. Others just happened. Others would not necessarily be bound by the definition of “mentor/mentee,” but I was able to listen to some wonderful young professionals in student affairs. I was able to hear the strength in their actions that they weren’t recognizing. I was able to connect them to other people, jobs, resources that fit with what they were trying to accomplish. I was able to ask the next question that they might have been too focused to see.
And through the process of watching them figure things out, I lost my ability to focus energy on the piddly, inane things that I would generally complain about in a given day. When I am spending energy on others, I lose energy to whine. Well, damn. That was simple.
There is a piece of me that feels the need to apologize or excuse my skill in mentoring. I am fighting that urge. I am working to listen better, support more, and high-five regularly. I am thankful for the wonderful people who helped me see myself as a mentor, even though I am convinced I am still to young to be one.