As I was getting my bike ready for my commute home tonight, I saw a little boy who couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 at the oldest, riding his bike with training wheels, accompanied by his parents. He sounded so happy and proud, riding his bike and staying upright. He kept saying “sooo Cooo-woollll!” (That is my best phonetic spelling of his cute little voice and kid talk. You get the idea.) He had on a green shirt and green pants, and I think his bike was green too!
I’m not sure why but the sound of his voice and the joy it contained stuck with me. Enough that I thought to myself, I need to write about this. Hopefully it will help someone to smile when they read it. Too many times as adults, we forget what it’s like to take so much pleasure in something so small and elementary as riding a bike and realizing how much faster you can go on a big-boy bike rather than a tricycle. I know I’m guilty of that too, and I wish it wasn’t the case.
In my writing class today, we were told to think about mentors for writing–who do we think of as one, either formal or informal? I’m not sure why, but rather than thinking of writing mentors, I started thinking about people who are mentors in my life for other reasons. I have so many, and they probably don’t even know it. I think of mentors as being role models who also support you in your growth and endeavors.
It won’t be surprising to many of you that my younger brother is a mentor to me in many ways. He’s a great runner but really, he is a mentor to me because of his positive attitude and his unwavering support and encouragement. He’s also a mentor because of his ability to inspire me to reach out beyond my comfort zone, even if I don’t always do it on the same scale as him. There are so many examples I could give about him, I could go on forever.
Another mentor is someone that I met in my online digital photography class, and we have never met in person. Yet, she is completely supportive and I have found myself sharing some personal experiences with her (about my grandmother, etc.) and she doesn’t make me feel like I am over sharing. She doesn’t make me feel weird for saying I want to move to the west coast and start up a job in a completely different field from which I’m currently employed. She also takes amazing photos of a gorgeous coastline and recognizes beauty in the ordinary. I don’t know why, but with the mention of the word “mentor,” she immediately came to mind.
Another mentor of mine is a friend to whom I turn for support in my financial goals (and others as well.) She keeps me on the straight and narrow and is like an extra conscience because when she gives me advice or we’re just talking, she always gives it to me straight. And, we cheer for each other as we reach milestones.
Finally, a friend of mine who lives across the country on the west coast constantly amazes me with his ability to do little thoughtful things for others. When my ex-boyfriend broke up with me, he immediately wrote me a quick note and put it in the mail. Yes, the actual mail. It’s an amazingly warm and fuzzy feeling to receive something like that. That is just one example of his heart and caring attitude. I aspire to be as thoughtful as him.
I just felt the need to write this, to thank these people for helping me to achieve my dreams, in big and little ways. Do any of you have someone who you consider a mentor, even if they don’t know it? If so, tell them, because that wold be soooo Cooo-wow wooolllll! 🙂