Mentoring the Musenerd

The one role I never anticipated having in my life is that of a Mentor. I’ve never been a parent so the obligation didn’t seem to ever be slated for me. That. of course, changed when I took on my young apprentice/muse, Dirk. And then I realized something strange: it’s not a role assigned to you. It’s one you fall into because of age, experience and acquired wisdom – knowledge gained by living a normal periled life and surviving it.
I can remember – (way back when) – I was his age, and the trauma I felt when things went wrong. In the disastrous blinding heat of the moment you think you’ll never survive; nothing will ever be right again, and all is ruined. That’s, of course, until a few years later when something similar happens again and you calm your heartbeat, take a deep breath and realize… yep…been here, done that…made it through. Mentoring can only be done by those of us who have “made it through”. And that’s how we can help those younger than us when they hit the same turbulence.
The extraordinary thing I learned about mentoring is that it is another lesson for us. A retrospective lesson. At least it has been for me.
I’m still a very flawed individual in spite of having made it through many calamities. I find I still have the same impetuous “young” temper, impatience and intolerance for things that defy what I’d like to have in my life. But NOW, I have the realization that I can step back and teach myself new lessons: like patience, acceptance and perseverance. To never give up; never give in.
When my life came apart a few years ago I had to start over. That’s a hard lesson. To not have money; to give up things.. to do without other things; to reduce your lifestyle to the basics because of the drastic transition.  At first, I was angry as hell. I like nice things like everyone. The American way is designed to make us keep wanting nice things. We want to add to our life…not subtract from it. And the more I subtracted,(and it was A LOT), the more inwardly bitter I became.
Luckily I had a friend, a trainer who was a Buddhist. And though I’m not religious in the least I do believe every religion has something valuable to teach us. And what my young Buddhist friend taught me was to believe that every challenge was a test; every roadblock was a guide to the path we were actually supposed to be on.
I could no longer afford to go to restaurants. I was overweight anyway and a diet was in order. I had to give up Netflix and trips to the movie theater. It was time to buckle down and write those books I’d been putting off for years. I no longer had a home – traveling broadened my abilities to tell stories; be self-sufficient, even become fearless in approaching situations I was unaccustomed to. I could no longer afford the luxury of relaxing with the wine I enjoyed – exercise was a substitute to burn off the excess energy…and get back in shape. Being poor made me richer in the things that would round out my character and help me complete the things I’d always wanted to do. I have twelve books to show for that. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for over fifteen years. For every single thing I had given up I’d been pushed in another direction… and it made me a better person. I can swear to that – honestly.
I don’t think I could have been as effective a mentor as I am right now at this very moment if I hadn’t sacrificed so much. Now I can actually say with complete conviction… be patient…it will all work out.. if it doesn’t work out…move in another direction. Don’t get upset; don’t complain and trust that you have what it takes to make it through… that’s what will make you a better person…

4 thoughts on “Mentoring the Musenerd

  1. Your narratives and sense of humor combined with accomplishment have meant a great deal to me as I have been traveling a similar path ( not quite as dire, but containing my own very narrowly bypassed cliffs – literally, but metaphorically) and I am still going forward. There have definitely been times when I tried very hard to give up and end it. You have helped me to hang in there and try. Thank you. I look forward to new vicarious adventures and life pointers and laughs and love. ❤️💜🌈

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that ‘mentoring’ is an opportunity few of us achieve. I’m so happy you found Dirk and was able to befriend/help him – as he has helped you.

    My mentoring has happened b/c my eldest granddaughter slipped into depression and self-harm; but she talked to me! I am so happy she was able to ‘tell’ me things; I can’t tell her what to do (no-one can!) but I am relieved that I am there for her – I’d like to think in the same way you were ‘there’ for Dirk (I know it’s not his real name, but I am so happy you found someone who could help you too!)

    Total **hugs** for you both ❤


    • he was in a real panic (still is) about the idea of having to move to Houston for a job… he really had his heart and mind set on us being able to accomplish this… the economy was just against us… and the bottom literally dropped out of the ebooks… so I was doing hand to mouth every month to stay above water… when he told me his friends did Patreon to help pay their school expenses I said… we have nothing to lose..let’s give it a shot…. I’ve been driving him around everywhere to do job hunting so he can stay…but it’s like having the Tasmanian Devil in my car when he’s this upset…
      Anyway..thank you again and again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s