As my March Madness Month comes to a close, so do the wild work weeks and diligent dog days. It’s been a roller coaster. My mentor has been by my side. It’s all a blur now. However, he has been my constant through it all. Every time I call out, he’s there. Today was not different.
As I plow through another presentation with him this morning, he was there to keep me grounded. I’m bouncing off of walls. The last big meeting before Spring Break. I did a presentation four weeks ago, two weeks ago, and twice this week. Out of nowhere, all these presentations came up at once. I am tapped yet energized. I am brain dead yet full of curiosity. I withdrawn yet eager to get out there. I am present yet envisioning what tomorrow brings. These aspirations of mine I bestow gratitude to my mentor for his support and guidance.
A colleague and I have been preparing for this 6 hour meeting for weeks now. For every meeting hour, we put around 5 hours of planning. The Bakery Corner became our local hang out. The food is decent. The wifi is good. They don’t mind if you hang out for long periods of time. With each step I’ve counted on my mentor to guide me. He listens as I reflect. This is new turf for me. I’m vulnerable. I’m taking a risk. Sometimes I have positive ideas to share. Other times, shall we say, not so positive. Mostly, he never wavers from supporting me. Let’s face it; I can be a bit energized. Yet he believes that I can achieve and even exceed my aspirations. It’s wonderful. I love to hear the echo inside my mind. It’s so refreshing. An admiration lens allows new opportunities to come forth.
Yesterday, I was texting back and forth making final adjustments to our presentation with my colleague. We commit to meeting at 7:45 am this morning. 45 minutes before our presentation starts. What time do I leave? They never unlock the place before 7:30. What if I’m late? Nope. Nada. It’s not going to happen. I would rather leave way before traffic kicks in than take the risk of being late. I strive to be early. I’m within the top 10% 99% of the time when it comes to being on time. Today was that 1%. As I looked at the clock. I panicked. The time gap was shrinking. I grabbed this. I grabbed that. I load up the supplies in the car.
The car idles. I pause. “How do I get there?” I pull up my ‘recent places’ and dial the address into my GPS. I glance over the bridge to analyze the traffic. Everyone is moving at a steady speed. Traffic is not a problem. I’m sailing down the road. My projected arrival time is ahead of schedule. I’m good. As I travel in familiar territory, I call my husband. He listens. I ramble off about the day, about my fears, about it all. I share my insecurities. He listens. As I go down the dark, damp proverbial rabbit hole, he shares his life experiences. He connects it to mine. My nerves begin to calm. I’m good. I’m back to breathing the fresh air.
“I have to call you back,” I cut him off. I’m entering unfamiliar territory. I cruise down the prescribed road. I got this. 3.5 miles before the freeway change the sign reads, “45 MIN DELAY N605”. “What did that say?” I mumble. I did not read that right. 2 miles before my exit, the sign reads, “45 MIN DELAY N605”. It clicks. I’m going north on the 605. Crap! My GPS doesn’t work on my phone. My GPS is outdated in my car. Quickly I pick up the phone to call him back.
I need my mentor. “Call my husband.” I command the phone. It goes to voice mail. “I need your help. I need you to navigate me to work.” Moments later, a text comes through. “On the phone with Medicare.” Crap! We all know that takes for every. I have to make a decision right now. Do I get off here? Do I take the risk of doing nothing and sit in traffic for a possible 45 minutes? Boom! I take the exit. “Turn left, then right to the freeway,” my GPS blurts out. Nope, I’m going north. Side streets all the way.
“What would he tell me to do?” I calmly ask myself. I dig into the crevices of my mind. Trust the system. Trust yourself. Get off here and head in the direction. I voice texted my colleague and shared my situation. I took a deep breathe and told myself, “It will be okay”. He’s my life mentor. I applied what he has guided me through before. He’s coached me enough to where I have a plan in place. As I pull into the parking lot 5 minutes late, several liaisons and my partner are standing there locked out. I smile.
The phone rings. It’s him. He inquires if I made it. I exhale, “I did!”
“You’re going to be great! You got this.” He reminds me.
He supports me unconditionally. He sees the ‘Great Oak’ in me Fabienne Fredrick talks about in her TedTalk on “Activating Your Potential to Greatness”. He’s relentless. I’m inspired. He supports me with it all from professional to personal. Together we cultivate the soil to activate the acorn seedling. Mentors come and go as we need them to accomplish life goals. However, this one is a keeper. I am so grateful for my mentor, my husband.