Long time readers know that this bitch is a mentor. My mentor relationship began prior to my blogging – I was matched with a fantabulous 11-year-old girl with a whole lot of drama and unlimited potential. Over the years I’ve shared a lot about my mentor experience…a bunch of ups and a lot of downs.
I’ve also withheld a lot of stuff to protect my mentee’s privacy.
Over a year ago I stepped back from having an active role in my mentee’s life.
I did so with context – I let her know that I could not continue to support her as she made decisions that put her life at risk nor did I think my active support was helpful.
That step back was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I’ve worried…but I truly felt that distance was the right thing.
And all the while I’ve continued to believe that my mentee was capable of pulling through and landing on her feet.
Last week, as I recovered from my volunteer work in Alaska and tried to come to terms with a painful political loss, I received the following text.
“Hey Pam this is [my mentee’s name]. I’m graduating 2day & starting college. Thanx 4 everything that u have done 4 me! I could not have done it without your help!”
A picture of her in her cap & gown holding her high school diploma followed.
I’m rarely at a loss for words, but…whew.
Being a mentor was not about me…I get a lot out of it, but it’s really about my mentee.
And knowing her…knowing what she has overcome and worked through and the thousands of challenges she has met…knowing my mentee makes that text one of the most inspiring and empowering messages I have ever received.
Great things don’t always happen when we volunteer…and it ain’t always easy or pretty or a living Hallmark card.
But amazing things can and do happen when we get involved in the lives of others…when we take the time to listen or give advice…to care or fuss or care and fuss.
Amazing things happen every single day…and, if we’re lucky, we see them for what they are.
Thank you to all ya’ll who have offered encouragement, advice and support over the years.
My mentee is a high school graduate.
How ‘bout that shit?!?
Sounds like a fantabulous beginning to me…