Mentor Me

I was stuck on what to write for today, but thankfully, the sometimes-reliable DailyPost provided me with a topic today. And that’s about mentors.

I’ve always been, to some extent, a fairly independent person, in that I tend to ask people here and there for help, and then try to figure things out for myself. Rarely, though, do I submit myself to being heavily guided by particular people.

I never really had a mentor until grade nine. As a bit of context, entering into high school was almost like a soft reset of my personality. And this was not for the better in any way. In middle school I was a lot more social, and always hung out with a large group. Having been separated from a lot of those friends into high school, I tended to shrink back. Sure, I made a decent number of friends, but I was so painfully shy that I could have had the most sedentary high school existence.

I owe my not sedentary high school existence, first off, to my making a solid choice. Early in my grade nine year I heard an announcement for the meeting for my school’s first production of the year, a sketch comedy night. Despite having hesitations, I attended the meeting. I was totally frozen in place for its duration, but eventually I started to really loosen up, and that was thanks to my very first mentor, Eugene.

Eugene was only a few years older than me, but he seemed to me so filled with wisdom and experience. He never treated me like an underling, he treated me, cheesy as it may be, like a son or a younger brother. He kicked me into shape and allowed me to have enough confidence to play some ridiculous roles, the most memorable of mine playing Ashton Kutcher in a spoof of Punk’d.

One the sketch comedy night performances had wrapped up (toward the beginning of November) I stopped hesitating to participate in plays and the like. Towards the end of November and maybe the beginning of December I auditioned for the school’s major play, which was actually three mini-plays directed by senior students.

That was when I met my second mentor, Kenan. He wrote a play called “Dude, Where’s My Script” which played on the Breakfast Club formula to (in my opinion) hilarious effect. While Eugene certainly had a sense of humour about himself, Kenan was far less reserved. Some could call him crude, but he was just extremely heartfelt with everything that he did. I got an extra dose of confidence from him. Without him I definitely would not have been able to dance on a table near the end of the play.

I think, towards the end of my high school career, I became a mentor to at least one person, perhaps a few others. I’ve always assumed the leadership role when no one else will take it, so I guess I must sometimes do things right enough to have someone consider me a role model. I don’t want to overstate my role here, though. For all I know no one ever looked at me that way.

My final mentor was when I began my first “real” part-time job at the beginning of my university career. Jesse was an experienced employee at my workplace, and while he wasn’t my boss or anything, I did feel like I learned a ton from him. Without his help I probably wouldn’t have been able to make my transition from the cash line to the sales floor.

So while I don’t always have mentors, when I do, they’re pretty damn helpful.

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