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On Mentoring: “A Very Special Episode”

January 16, 2012

My own mentor, my brother. Proper background checks were put in place after this mentor dumped an ant farm in my bed, forced me to drink vanilla extract and renamed me Nicotine.

January is National Mentoring Month. 

Did you know that?  Oh, you didn’t.  Well, perhaps that’s because you were off celebrating National Bath Safety Month.  Or National Blood Donor Month.  Or National Oatmeal Month.  All causes worth celebrating, all worthy of a promotional month.  Especially the oatmeal one.  I like it in cookies.  But, alas, National Cookie Month is not until October.

So rather than nosh on a bowl of oatmeal, I got to thinking.  Could I help promote National Mentoring Month on my blog?  Could I help urge people to mentor?  People who do not include drug dealers and van-driving “modeling agents”?

I know!  What if I were to have a “Very Special Episode” on my blog, much in the way of the sitcoms of yore?

[Editor’s Note:  Very Special Episodes were a public service announcement gimmick on the Must See TV of the 80s.  Typically, this involved your favorite sitcom characters suddenly breaking from their normally upbeat, amusing selves to play out a very serious (termed “special”) issue for the viewing audience.  I.e. Mike who most weeks tells fart jokes is this week telling how he was offered drugs.  It made parents squirm.  It made children sick.  It was brilliant.]

Let’s give it a try.

***

January is National Mentoring Month.  You might gather by my blog that childhood is near and dear to my heart.  I like to think I remember a lot about being a kid.  More than the average Jane.

I remember a lot of stuff that was great.  And I remember a lot of stuff that sucked.  And I remember a lot of stuff that I try not to remember because that’s how much it sucked.  (Three words:  Ski Slope Nose)

Five years ago I decided to become a mentor.

A few months prior to that decision, I had lost a baby.  It was late into my first pregnancy.  I was in a dark place.  But after many months of grief, I was tired of thinking of just me and my pain.  I knew my life would go on, things would improve, my future was still bright.

Fortunately, the worst of my adolescent problems was being horribly awkward with epic bad hair. I could've used a mentor to help with my Ogilvie home perm.

But I knew there were loads of other people, like kids, who didn’t feel the same.  For kids, pain feels permanent.  They can’t imagine ten weeks from now, let alone ten years.  They can’t imagine themselves in college, let alone living outside of their banged-up neighborhoods.

So I filled out a personality and interest survey and was paired with Megan.  Megan was 13.

I specified to the mentoring agency I’d prefer to be matched with a teenager.  I was surprised to learn that most applicants requested to mentor younger kids.  Why is that, I wondered.  And then — oh wait, yes, that’s right — I remembered.

Teenagers are scary.

They’re temperamental, they spontaneously self-combust, they don’t think you’re funny, and they notice the stitching on your jeans.  (Mine isn’t white.  I hear that’s bad.)

But they’re also weird and awkward and hilarious.

Megan was not exactly what I expected.

I expected to walk in and see a teenager flip me off. 

When I picked her up, she immediately divulged how excited she was, how she’d been thinking of it all day.  She was beaming.

I expected a teenager who spoke in code, grunts and only on the subject of hairspray.

We went to a coffee shop and she talked so fast my ears bled.  At one point, she interrupted herself to tell me how nervous she was.  Then she laid out all her “issues” for me like an open book.

I expected a teenager who looked like Marilyn Manson.

She wore a Beatles shirt I wanted to borrow.

I expected a teenager who would try to steal my purse.

I wanted to steal her Beatles shirt.

But a few things were just like I’d expected, just like I remembered.  The clunky social behavior.  Painful.  Like watching a grainy old VHS tape of yourself performing in the school rendition of CATS.  But worse because, in addition to that horror, you’re also left with the sudden realization that you once appeared just like this to someone else.

Now Megan is older — 18.  I talk to her now and I’m struck by her maturity.  Was I like this?  I don’t think so.  When I was 18, I couldn’t even call in a pizza order.

I almost miss the clumsiness of her younger self.

If I had thought of it at the time, I would’ve saved her old voicemail messages.  They always went the same way.  The same tone.  The same cadence.  In the way of a bad 80s pop song.

Hey Angie.  This is Megan.  Give me a call.  Bye.

Hey Angie.  This is Megan.  Give me a call.  Bye.

Hey Angie.  This is Megan.  Give me a call.  Bye.

And then one time,

Hey Angie.  This is Megan.  I got your card.  Bye.

And then one other time,

Hey Angie.  This is Megan.  I have a cold.  Bye.

But for two years then it was right back to,

Hey Angie.  This is Megan.  Give me a call.  Bye.    

What I’ve discovered these past five years?  Being a kid today can really suck.  There’s everything crappy we went through, and then throw in a bunch more.

I’ll be the first to admit it.  It isn’t easy to be reminded of the wounds you once licked during those angst-filled formative years.

When Megan’s best friends said she was weird, when they stopped talking to her, my stomach balled-up in a familiar way and I clenched my jaw so tightly it ached.

When she lamented it was Hit a Girl in the Boobs Week in her class, I bit down on my lip and protectively folded my arms across my chest.

When she asked to hear another round of Hannah Montana, I left the room and attempted to shoot myself with my finger.  And then I did it again out of spite for my Debbie Gibson craze.

When she told me a bully had texted her, that he’d asked to meet her alone at his house, I dug my fingernails deep into a table.  And then I gestured wildly.  Like a Westside Story Jet.

They’re just like all kids.  They can annoy you and get under your skin.

My other mentor, my old friend Michelle. Proper background checks were put in place after this mentor told me that all the cool kids rode merry-go-rounds and wore jelly shoes with socks.

They can take a lot and then forget to say thanks.  They can call too often and then don’t call when they should.  And much like your own annoying kids and siblings, you still love them despite all this.  You laugh at their quirks and you smirk at their hairdo and you hope they don’t notice your decade-old cell phone.  And you pretty much want to beat the crap out of every kid who hurts them.

Two weeks ago Megan left a message on my phone.  I could tell by her tone she was excited.   I know what that usually means.  I crossed my fingers that this guy wasn’t a creep, a creep I’d just want to beat up in a few weeks if he stopped calling and dumped her.

I was relieved to learn it was something else.

She had found out she was getting the scholarship she’d hoped for.  She couldn’t wait to share the news.  She called me as soon as she’d heard.

In a year she’ll be going to college.  Ah, college.  I remember those days, too.  And when that happens, I’ll actually look forward to reliving those memories.

Although, wait a second, not all of them.  I’ll be damn sure not to let her have as much fun as I did.  (Three words:  Purple-Colored Vomit)

***

Now this is the part in the “Very Special Episode” where I should talk directly into the camera in a somber manner as my fellow cast members look over my shoulder sympathetically.

And I’m also supposed to give you a place where you can find out more information.

http://www.mentoring.org/get_involved/become_a_mentor

241 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2012 7:00 am

    Good for you, Angie. This was a great post! I mentor, as part of my job, and I prefer teenagers to the younger kids. Once you separate them from the herd, they are great to talk to for all the reasons you described above. Your very special episode was very special indeed.

    • January 16, 2012 11:16 am

      Thanks, Paprika, for indulging me in my very specialness. What a rewarding job you must have.

  2. January 16, 2012 8:01 am

    Since this is a very special blog post, I can’t make a comment in my normal bizarre fashion so here goes with a different type of comment…..ahem……I really thought this was well-written (natch. And I just figured out what natch stood for a few months ago) and poignant and awesome. It made me think about being an early teen (gruesome, gruesome times). Never ever want to be back there.

    Props–do the kids still say props?–for mentoring someone.

    • January 16, 2012 11:13 am

      Thanks, Speaker7. I feel like I’m watching Wizard of Oz and you just now pulled the curtain away from the great and powerful Oz to reveal the tiny warm person living underneath. Actually, that was from Aliens.

      Every time I dream I’m “back there” (usually I’m trying to finish a final for a class I’ve never attended), I wake up in a sweaty mess and then shout a prayer of gratitude that I don’t actually know Justin Bieber’s favorite color.

      • January 16, 2012 2:56 pm

        OMG!!!! Congratulations on FP! You’ve deserved it for every single post you’ve written so I’m glad to see it rightfully bestowed in its proper place. Remember the little people–mainly people who have numbers in their names–when you strike it big.

      • January 16, 2012 3:03 pm

        Thanks, Speaker7. I appreciate that coming from you since your blog is among my top two favorites. You used to hold the title of #1 but then you went and did away with your great drawings of turds so I had to move you down a notch. More turds please.

  3. January 16, 2012 8:14 am

    You are aces.

    • January 16, 2012 11:06 am

      My urban slang dictionary tells me to say TA.

      • January 16, 2012 9:33 pm

        Congrats on FP! I knew it was only a matter of time :)

      • January 16, 2012 9:40 pm

        Thanks! I think somehow it has to do with the company I keep around here ;)

  4. January 16, 2012 9:05 am

    I enjoyed reading this and I love that you are involved with a mentoring program ( I really would have needed one as a teen, but chances are I wouldn’t have been half the joy Megan was, because I would have been to busy pretending that I couldn’t be bothered).

    Not sure, if this is something appropriate to address in a comment (probably not), but reading that you lost a child made me sad (for you). I’m sorry you had to go through this and I think it’s very inspiering that you found it inside yourself to pick yourself back up out of the muddle of grief, hurt and anger.

    • January 16, 2012 11:04 am

      I felt weird throwing in the losing a child part but thought it was important to note I didn’t go into this experience without some depth of understanding.

      You could’ve used a mentor to take you to a Backstreet Boys concert ;)

      • January 16, 2012 11:33 am

        Actually yes! Well, I could of used one to keep me from going (good taste and all), but also I could of used one to keep me from pushing myself through the masses of hysterical pre-teens and teens to the front of the stage, only to be smushed against it and faint in the process (which I probably did to other girl on my way to the front).

        I regained conciousness in the hospital after hearing two songs of the stupid concert and couldn’t even show of my special “I heart Nick T-shirt” ;)

        So yes, i could have used a mentor there – on the other hand all the 20-odd other girls with their respective I heart Nick/Kevin/AJ/Howie Tshirts could have used a mentor, too ;)

      • January 16, 2012 4:31 pm

        I just saw the freshly pressed?!?! Congrats, way to go Angie! Yay this is fantastic – so thrilled, that all my fav’s are being recognised by the goods that are f.p. now – Enjoy the ride ;)

      • January 16, 2012 4:33 pm

        Thank you, thank you! I appreciate it, truly.

  5. January 16, 2012 9:17 am

    I’m sorry about your miscarriage. Good for you for taking lemons and making lemonade! There can be nothing better than making a positive difference in a child’s life.

    • January 16, 2012 11:00 am

      Thanks, Peg. It’s pretty cool to give back in a way that doesn’t feel like “work”. Not that it’s always pure joy. I wish I could find a paying job where all I had to do was hang out and have fun with someone ;)

      • January 16, 2012 12:39 pm

        Hey, FP! Woot, woot, woot! Couldn’t happen to a nicer blogger (or a more important topic).

      • January 16, 2012 12:39 pm

        Thanks, Peg! I know — I’m super pumped that this will help bring attention to the topic of mentoring. And then the teeny-tiny selfish side of Angie adds to that “yay for me”. (And then 1981-Angie would add to that “did I win anything like candy for this?”)

      • January 18, 2012 12:19 pm

        You have exactly the same number of “likes” as comments – 148. What a coinkydink!

        OK, the fact of the matter is that I’m sitting at my desk, trying desparately to work up the enthusiasm to tackle year-end taxes, especially the mind-numbing production of W-2s.

        I KNOW I have to get going on this and stop frogging around with the interwebz, so I came over to look at your blog because the expression on Little Angie The Avatar’s face always seems to be saying “Well, duh!” to me. Thanks for the affirmation.

      • January 18, 2012 8:19 pm

        Peg, this is bizarre but I noted the same amount of likes/comments early yesterday, too. Is there a math equation that would make this even-steven outcome seem obvious to a normal-brained person?

        Ah yes, I believe you are referring to 1979-Angie. With her odd gaping mouth, cowlick and tired/droopy eyes, I can see where you’re coming from with “well, duh!” But I’m personally seeing more of a “keep your damn mitts off my Pop-Tarts” type of thing. That’s probably just me though.

  6. January 16, 2012 11:41 am

    Good for you, Angie. For mentoring, for refusing to wallow for too long, for sharing. And for not knowing Justin Bieber’s favorite color you get extra points. With enough points you get the Beatles t-shirt.

    Many years ago in my deep dark past, I had to LOBBY for one of those Commemorative bills, so that it could pass Congress. You can tell how low I was on the totem pole, but yes, 1985 (or was it 1986, I forget) WAS the OIL HEAT CENTENNIAL. You can thank me later.

    Some day I will look back on my career and stick my head in the sand.

    • January 16, 2012 4:37 pm

      Thanks, Elyse. Your own 15 minutes of fame will be here soon enough. Crap, I just noticed your comment now. For some reason I didn’t see it before. The Oil Heat Centennial — sweet. You have no idea how long I’ve searched for the person responsible for helping with that special day.

      • January 16, 2012 5:38 pm

        The Oil Heat Centennial was actually an entire YEAR so I am seriously cool. Even if I don’t get to be at the table with the FP’d girls, or get a mug, or jelly shoes, or, or, or …

        Congratulations!

      • January 16, 2012 7:46 pm

        When you get FP’d, we’ll all go down and get some commemorative tats, as Lisa/publikworks suggested. That is what I hear all the kids call “cool” these days.

      • January 16, 2012 7:49 pm

        Sounds great. Then we can get our hepatitis treatments together, too. Misery loves company.

      • January 16, 2012 7:50 pm

        Haha — well played.

  7. January 16, 2012 11:56 am

    Great post! Good for you. My former job was as an “intervention specialist” for 11 and 12 year olds. All anyone (young and old) needs is someone (someone good) who cares about them.

    • January 16, 2012 12:29 pm

      Thanks, WW! That’s great to know this new tidbit about you. I agree on the last part completely.

      • January 18, 2012 3:14 am

        Congratulations on being FP’d!
        EVERY POST IN YOUR BLOG IS GREAT!
        Yes, I am yelling that because I want all the new people visiting to hear me.
        I’m glad you were FP’d for the “Very Special Episode,” but I really hope folks read the regular HILARIOUS programming! The won’t want to miss a single post.

      • January 18, 2012 7:49 pm

        Thanks, WW (that’s what I always call you, is that okay?)! I LOVE THAT YOU’RE SHOUTING ABOUT MY BLOG. SUPER! I, too, hope people read beyond this post since it doesn’t reflect the style/tone of most of my writing. But this is a great cause to promote and I’m happy to be on FP just the same. Thanks again for your support!

  8. January 16, 2012 12:23 pm

    love this, and good for you for reaching out during a difficult season. i mentor also, and consider this the “sowing seeds” stage. thankfully, we live in a small town, and with social media, i can keep up to what they are doing. great post, angie!

    • January 16, 2012 12:31 pm

      Thanks, Simple Life! I knew from your past posts that you work with people who are in difficult situations. Someday I hope you’ll write more about your job (obviously privacy is an issue though) because you write about difficult things in such a beautiful way.

      • January 23, 2012 1:50 pm

        What a wonderful post and Most Deserving of FP!!!!
        You have pushed me over the edge and I will be a mentor by the spring! I do not have any school aged kids and this sounds like the perfect opportunity for me to give back. I am looking forward to re-blogging this and reading your other posts! Thank you and enjoy!!!

      • January 24, 2012 8:56 am

        You made my day! I hope it goes well for you. I’d love to hear how it goes when you get matched :).

  9. January 16, 2012 12:26 pm

    Congrats on being FP’d!
    This was an awesome shout-out for those much needed programs!

  10. January 16, 2012 12:29 pm

    More people need to read this (thankful for Freshly Pressed), then more people need to do this. Not pretend to shoot themselves with their fingers — but mentor. It’s an amazing experience, and it’s probably more rewarding for the mentor than the mentee!

    :)

    • January 16, 2012 12:34 pm

      I so agree! Thanks, Mikalee. I hope having this FP’d helps get the word out! My weblink provided at the bottom allows people (by putting in their zip code) to find a mentoring agency in their area.

  11. January 16, 2012 12:41 pm

    Great post, Angie. My nephew’s father died when he was 6, so my sister looked into mentoring, big-brother programs for him. We has “adopted” by a gentleman, now 6 years ago, who has gone so far as to set up a trust fund for his future college education–an amazing experience for the entire family, as now the man is like father to my sister. Our father died when she was only 13.
    And congrats on FP!
    Kathy

    • January 16, 2012 1:47 pm

      That is an amazing story, Kathryn — I think your nephew (and sister) got about the best mentor any kid could hope for. I appreciate you sharing this.

  12. January 16, 2012 12:54 pm

    Amazing – thank you for, on a greater scale, being a mentor to us, as well – bringing this NEED to our attention and sharing your experience/debunking myths!

    How apropo that your important message and account of your ACTION are “Freshly Pressed” on the day which commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the ultimate advocates for reaching out and embracing another person.

    You’re an ally in helping to fill in the “holes”… this is related to an allegory, shared on the link below. Looking forward to hearing more about and learning from your continued mentoring experiences.

    http://beyondthefaceoffacebook.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/voices-carry/

    Keep talkin’, Keep healthy,
    BFf .

  13. January 16, 2012 1:03 pm

    One addtional mention –

    upon reread, I just noticed the caption under your “merry-go-round” (ironically, the huge, 80’s retail clothier) photo, and how you consider, and set the example for us, that any of us can be a mentor to another person, in many, various capacities – it doesn’t have to be something considered, “formal,” “through an organization,” or only towards a “stranger,” for example.

    That’s a refreshing, empowering, and optimisitic thought – I apprecitate that! :)

    • January 16, 2012 2:28 pm

      That’s hilarious — I totally missed that on the merry-go-round caption (not to mention I completely forgot about that store). I think I might’ve purchased a scrunchie or two there. Good eye :)

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  14. January 16, 2012 1:05 pm

    I’m glad you learned from my mentoring mistakes, sis. :D

    • January 16, 2012 1:49 pm

      Well, there was the time I thought about trying to convince Megan to bite on aluminum foil (“because it tickles, that’s all — it doesn’t hurt”, I recall you telling me). Then I thought, no, that’s a horrible idea — I need to learn from my brother’s mistakes.

  15. January 16, 2012 1:12 pm

    Awesome post! Funny, hip, socially aware and just plain fun!

    • January 16, 2012 1:58 pm

      Thanks! I’ve “seen” you around the blogosphere before — thanks for stopping in :)

  16. January 16, 2012 1:14 pm

    Congrats, Angie!!! Yay! You’re Freshly Pressed!

    • January 16, 2012 1:51 pm

      Thanks, Paprika. Since you know, what all do I get for being in this cool club? Did they send you a t-shirt or a keychain or anything? ;)

      • January 16, 2012 3:43 pm

        You get to hang out with us at the cool kid lunch table now. If they send you a keychain or t-shirt, mine hasn’t arrived yet :)

        I’ve been doing some detective work and I think WordPress rotates FP’d blogs through the relevant category on their recommended blogs page. I’ve gotten a few new subscribers that way and didn’t even know it existed.

        Enjoy the spotlight!

      • January 16, 2012 4:06 pm

        Thanks again, Paprika. I’m so inept on these sorts of things — what “recommended blogs page” are you referring to?

      • January 16, 2012 5:25 pm

        I had no idea about that page either until The Middlest Sister told me that’s how she found me. I had to ask her what it was so I am happy to pass on my new found knowledge. If you go to the WordPress logo menu or from the home page you can select “Read blogs”. Scroll all the way to the bottom of that page and it will say recommendations. You select that then select the category and they have about a dozen blogs featured. It seems to be that the blogs that are recommending are ones that have been FP’d. It also seems that the blogs listed on the page rotate because I’ve noticed that it isn’t always the same blogs listed over the course of a day.

      • January 16, 2012 7:48 pm

        Very interesting. I had no idea about that. I guess I’ve never scrolled down that far and instead just sorted through the tags. I’m glad you told me. I’ll start checking in down there.

      • January 17, 2012 10:35 am

        I only have one tag, so it’s right there in my face. Plus, Russ from Reasonably Ludicrous told me about it. :D

      • January 17, 2012 10:46 am

        Ah-ha. I think I need to do some spring cleaning in the tag department. Thanks for recycling the tip :)

  17. parentingalive permalink
    January 16, 2012 1:16 pm

    Oh wow, I love it. Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing, and I think you did a great job on “supporting National Mentoring Month.” Really, you did.

    I’m so sorry to hear you lost a baby. I, too, know what that’s like, from many different angles. I know grief, I know pain, very deeply, and like you, have had to remind myself, “I’ll get through this, I know I will.” Sometimes though, it’s really hard. I’ve had 12 deaths in my family in 3 years and moved 4 times but the loss of the baby was the most personally devastating and the hardest to work through. It also gave me the greatest gifts.

    Would love to follow your journey – congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Maybe you could come follow my journey, too, since we’ve walked similar roads, and we could encourage each other.
    Blessings, Megan
    http://meganaronson.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/grim-reaper-girl-part-i/

    • January 16, 2012 1:57 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Megan. I’m so sorry to hear about your many losses — and so many that were untimely. And, yes, pregnancy loss is one of the worst. I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without an amazing group of cyber friends on babycenter.com.

  18. January 16, 2012 1:16 pm

    I’ve been mentoring on and off since my high school days (I’m 31 now) and I have been mentoring a little girl for the last two school years. She is in fourth grade and she is so wonderful and inspires me everyday to be better – for myself and for her!
    I’m glad you promoted National Mentoring Month

  19. January 16, 2012 1:20 pm

    Before moving, I used to work on the adolescent units of a psychiatric hospital. During my training, all I heard about was how difficult the adolescents were to work with . . . people literally made a face when I told them what units I was assigned to (you know the face, that “oh jeeeeezzzz, glad I’m not you” face). Like you, I discovered that all I had to do was remember what it was like to be 13 or 15 or 17. Sounds simple, but most adults just can’t offer that level of understanding to a teenager. They get too caught up in control, and in the process, alienate any relationship they could have formed. I miss those kids everyday (yes, even the ones who started fights in my groups or threw things across the room)! Mentoring is an amazing community resource and one that the hospital used often when trying to transition kids. So glad this post was freshly pressed!!

    • January 16, 2012 2:04 pm

      Thank you! And yes! They definitely keep you on your toes at that age. When my mentee was younger, I would just laugh and laugh (after she had gone home) about all her “Meganisms” of the day. I hope that 1988-Angie was that endearing. But I’m pretty sure I was just a giant brat.

  20. January 16, 2012 1:50 pm

    Great way to bring light something so special. Great article and writing!

  21. January 16, 2012 1:58 pm

    Having taught teenagers for ten years, I know exactly what you’re saying….how wonderful, surprising, and exasperating they can be. Believe it or not, having been out of the high school classroom for over a year, I can say that I honestly miss the little boogers sometimes.

    Thank you for a very eye-opening, thought-provoking, gut-splitting post. It made my day…and made me think I might actually go adopt a free range teenager of my very own. :-)

    • January 16, 2012 2:09 pm

      Ha! Your comment made me laugh out loud. Specifically because I adore calling people/kids/animals/inanimate objects “boogers”. “Free range” — eek! Should they ever be? I’m hoping mine won’t drive or date until they’re 22.

  22. January 16, 2012 2:04 pm

    Hi I stumbled upon this post via WordPress’ random posting of popular posts that I rarely read and I’m glad I stopped to read this one. It was delightful. The part about the Beatles shirt actually had me laughing out loud…but more importantly the role you played in this young girl’s life made me smile. I read that you’ve found as I have that with mentoring you kind of do get back what you give. I was interviewed on this recently, I hope you’ll check it out: http://mindyhardwick.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/author-interview-with-joanne-c-hillhouse/#comment-1863

  23. January 16, 2012 2:07 pm

    I was a mentor for a very busy girl, we never met in person as this was an email-only mentoring program. She didn’t seem like the type that needed someone to talk to, but I was there to answer her emails between her language classes, violin classes, and other extra-curicular activities.

  24. January 16, 2012 2:13 pm

    Really great material. I’m a mentor who is always looking for my next mentor. There’s always more to learn and just enough to give. Thank you, Angie.

  25. January 16, 2012 2:43 pm

    I love this post. Had to say that, I’ve been mentoring for years – mostly younger college students (17-19), and sometimes older. I love it. I love watching my mentees grow up, finish school, and go out to live their lives. It’s great for me, and I always learn a lot with every person I mentor, and I hope that it is half as good for them (they tell me it is, so I generally assume that they’re not lying to me). Glad to see that there are other people out there trying to pour into the lives of younger people!

    • January 16, 2012 2:52 pm

      Thanks for sharing this! I love hearing about others’ experiences.

  26. January 16, 2012 3:20 pm

    What a great public service announcement!! I really enjoyed reading your own journey to becoming a mentor, your own reflections of yourself as a teen. As someone who works with teenagers (I’m a therapist) I’ve found these kids to be my greatest teachers.

  27. January 16, 2012 3:41 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences both mentoring and being mentored! What a great blog to be featured on Freshly Press! Well done!

  28. January 16, 2012 3:43 pm

    You have totally done your job in promoting mentoring month, I am so starting to research programs around where I live!

    • January 16, 2012 4:06 pm

      That’s wonderful to hear — you made my day! (Well, in addition to the Freshly Pressed thing ;))

  29. January 16, 2012 4:32 pm

    I have a sixteen year old girl that is my mentee I suppose. Your post made me smile and fill with love feelings. It’s wonderful to hear you are still in touch. That’s my biggest fear…that she’ll move on and forget. Although, if her life is good that’s all that really matters isn’t it? People come and go from our lives and hopefully we each take a little piece of each other on our journey. Thanks for this post.

    • January 16, 2012 4:43 pm

      Thanks for your comment! I just had coffee with my mentee on Sunday — it’s great when they’re old enough that you can just go have a fun chat session with them like they’re actually real, full sized people. No wiping noses necessary :) As much as I dread the teenage years with my own kids, I do look forward to that part of it.

  30. January 16, 2012 4:39 pm

    Truly a wonderful and worthwhile read on a great unselfish service to others.

  31. January 16, 2012 4:54 pm

    Get out! I go away from the computer for one measly day and you go and get all Freshly Pressed?! (now I have to go back and read the post, I was so excited for you I forgot)

    • January 16, 2012 4:58 pm

      Thanks, Darla — you are the best! I appreciate your constant support.

  32. January 16, 2012 4:54 pm

    You’re a natural wonder, Angie. Congratulations! No one deserves this more.

    • January 16, 2012 5:00 pm

      Thanks, Lisa! I so appreciate it. I asked Paprika above if you get any type of koozie, keychain or mug for this and she wasn’t sure. Did you? If not, let’s make our own, shall we?

      Freshly Pressed coffee mug. Get it? I’m lame :(

      • January 16, 2012 6:29 pm

        I didn’t. I really like the coffee mug idea. What do you think about a Freshly Pressed iron-on transfer for t-shirts? Or, I know, tattoos?

      • January 16, 2012 7:44 pm

        There you go! Tats. I’m on it.

  33. January 16, 2012 5:32 pm

    Angie, this was so poignant and powerful. Simply excellent. Just think of the difference you made in her life! Really, it boggles the mind. I am so sorry you endured the pain and loss of losing a baby. I’ve struggled with miscarriages, infertility for a few years. How incredible that with that dark time in your life, you’ve managed to emerge from it and shed some light and create a difference in another child’s life in profound ways! I had tears reading this (and a bit of laughter too) Thank you for posting about mentoring and the link. This post truly is worthy of being FP (all your others were too…)

  34. January 16, 2012 5:37 pm

    My wife and I have been mentoring a 13 y/o girl from our church for a couple of years now. We didn’t do it through an agency or anything like that. She just wanted to come to our home and spend time with us because we just showed her some attention. She now spends most weekends with us. She lights up the very space she is in. We love her. But she lives in a dark place and sometimes we fear for her. It’s hard sometimes. She never shows stress but we know she stresses. The family is dysfunctional and it’s a uphill battle. But we will fight it until we no longer can, which I hope is never. Thank you for this blog entry–I’m glad it was pressed so a lot of people can see it. In this dark world, it’s nice to know other people care.

    • January 16, 2012 7:46 pm

      Aw, that’s super nice that you do that. I like hearing stories like these. Keep up the great work. I know it’s hard when you can tell the rest of their world is falling in around them but you can be that steady rock beneath them. Way to go.

  35. January 16, 2012 7:31 pm

    Thanks for letting everyone know it is National Mentoring Month! I worked for the Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership for two years and I am a six year mentor myself to a wonderful young man. Mentoring has changed my life in ways I never expected. My mentee is now 19 and I still love the “u busy” texts he sends when he needs to talk. I thought he would ditch me when he left school- but we’ve just become better friends.

    Hats off to you and your mentoring work!!!

    • January 16, 2012 7:43 pm

      Thanks, Katie — I appreciate hearing about your own experience, and a good one at that. I’m glad to hear he’s keeping in touch. Of course that would include text messages :) Great that you got a chance to work in mentoring as well.

  36. January 16, 2012 8:00 pm

    Inspiring. Thank you!

  37. January 16, 2012 8:28 pm

    I’m convinced…thank you for your blog. I was toying with the idea about mentoring, and although I’m not exactly sure what I have to offer a teenager, but I would imagine it would be both a fulfilling experience for the both of us, and considering I have a difficult time relating to my own daughter maybe by mentoring someone else it’ll help me in that aspect as well.

    • January 16, 2012 8:32 pm

      You’d be surprised at how much a kid really gets out of simply hanging out with a level-headed adult (which many don’t have in their own worlds). I also got inspired by watching the movie About a Boy. It’s a great flick worth the watch. Hope you decide to look into it!

  38. January 16, 2012 9:45 pm

    Excellent episode and very well written. I like the commercial breaks a lot!

  39. January 16, 2012 10:21 pm

    Wow, I’ve not long ago started mentoring a 12-year-old and this post has popped into my view on “Freshly Pressed” at a perfect moment, where I am thinking “Aarghh what have I committed to?” … You’ve just refreshed my brain and made me think of all the reasons I decided to do it in the first place. Thanks!

    • January 17, 2012 7:51 am

      Don’t worry — I’ve had those very thoughts before, Sandi. I compare it to any relationship with kids. The payoff isn’t there right away and there are days when they drive you nuts, especially at that age. It goes better if you learn to laugh at things. Way to go by the way!

  40. January 16, 2012 10:23 pm

    I love it when people surprise you. You expect something and they are nothing like you expect. :-) Great post, I very much like your style.

    • January 17, 2012 7:54 am

      Thanks — I’ll take that all as a compliment ;)

      • January 17, 2012 12:18 pm

        Sorry if that statement was vague. :-) I meant what people expect teenagers to be like and then they surprise you.

      • January 17, 2012 2:05 pm

        Oh, I gotcha now :)

  41. January 17, 2012 12:08 am

    #1-Mentoring–great. Have done other things like foodbank, etc., but was just thinking about the commitment of foster children etc. What a selfless act.

    #2 Is FP a blessing or a curse? Let me know when you get done with your 7,000th comment response.

    • January 17, 2012 7:58 am

      Thanks, Les — you never cease to amaze me. I really, really think you’d be a swell mentor or foster dad. My husband and I have thought of doing that once our kids are out of the house.

      #2 — Good question, I’ll let you know when my blog goes back to crickets.

  42. January 17, 2012 1:31 am

    lovely….

  43. irishlottoresults permalink
    January 17, 2012 6:39 am

    Truly Inspirational, made my day reading this! Thank you Angie.

  44. January 17, 2012 7:26 am

    very well written nice post. As part of the job, i was also a mentor to my teammates. National Mentoring Month is a nice concept to be followed.

    TechSmartLife

  45. January 17, 2012 8:03 am

    Thank you for sharing.

  46. January 17, 2012 8:38 am

    Hugest congratulations for making a difference in somebody’s life – such a special thing!

  47. January 17, 2012 9:17 am

    I’m so glad you shared this story. I loved it. Good for you and good for Megan and her scholarship!

    Also, congrats on being Freshly Pressed! You deserve it.

    • January 17, 2012 9:53 am

      Thanks — you and I can someday swap stories from our volunteer experiences ;)

  48. January 17, 2012 9:23 am

    A great post, I admire you. Good luck.

    Congratulations on being freshley pressed.

  49. January 17, 2012 9:51 am

    Thank you for sharing this inspiration. We’ve all walked this road, whether intentionally or not, as “mentor” or “mentee” but you remind us of the wonders that come from connecting with another person. Congrats on FP and please keep writing, you’re very comfortable to read.

    • January 17, 2012 9:56 am

      Thank you, Bountiful Giving. You’re right on that — I’ve definitely worn both hats and there are many great mentoring relationships that don’t come about through a formal agency set-up. I appreciate you stopping in.

  50. rose permalink
    January 17, 2012 10:16 am

    What a great post and subject to be Freshly Pressed on Angie :)

  51. January 17, 2012 10:36 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and mentoring story. I mentored a girl who was 15 and had gone through 4 mentors. For some reason, she gave them pure hell. Until I came along. She would blast her Maryln Manson music in my car to try to upset me, but I hung in there. Eventually, she knew she couldn’t do anything to make me run away from her. She ended up being the sweetest girl (who did have issues) and from what I learned later on life, she joined the Army and turned out pretty cool! This was when I was in my early 20’s.

    • January 17, 2012 10:43 am

      Good for you! I know it’s tough with some kids. They often push you away as a test because they’re used to people bailing on them. It’s an easy way to keep from getting hurt. I’m glad you stuck it out!

  52. January 17, 2012 11:25 am

    Great article. Our young ones need mentoring greatly. Too many kids are babysat by the T.V.

    • January 17, 2012 2:09 pm

      I was babysat by TV to some degree. I grew up aspiring to be Chrissy from Three’s Company. Grand.

  53. January 17, 2012 12:46 pm

    National Bath Safety Month … lol
    what’s next International parallel parking month? ;)

    Cheers and congrats
    -Ron
    How To Be A DJ
    http://www.beadj.ca

    • January 17, 2012 2:06 pm

      I would gladly celebrate that month — I love to parallel park :)

  54. January 17, 2012 2:44 pm

    Nicely done! Congratulations! Yes, more people should be mentors.

    Blessings,
    Delana
    http://nineyearpregnancy.wordpress.com
    http://delanasworld.wordpress.com

  55. January 17, 2012 3:23 pm

    Great post. Funny, touching and with a “very special message.”

    Thanks for sharing,
    Stacey
    http://thebumplife.com

  56. January 17, 2012 3:30 pm

    Very uplifting! :) As a parent, I realize the importance of trying to be the best mentor I can be to my own children.

    Love your blog! :)

  57. January 17, 2012 4:12 pm

    Thought I’d add to the bagillion comments and say this is great and good for you! She is blessed to have you.

  58. Cafe23 permalink
    January 17, 2012 4:35 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!! Well told! :D

  59. Eva McCane permalink
    January 17, 2012 4:38 pm

    i’m not an official mentor, but i do coach high school girls. and i have to say, that some of the relationships i’ve built have been the most rewarding. i feel like a big sister to each of them, but with a little extra respect and authority :) great blog and thanks for sharing!
    http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

  60. January 17, 2012 5:20 pm

    This is the kind of post that needs to be read more and FP’ed more. Thanks for writing it. It was beautiful to read.

  61. January 17, 2012 5:28 pm

    Love the Perm. I’m going to youtube Punky Bruster.

    • January 17, 2012 8:09 pm

      Aw, man — how’d you know? Punky is practically my long lost sister. You’re in for a treat!

  62. January 18, 2012 5:31 am

    Thanks for promoting the importance of mentoring. I mentored a boy for around three years through a program called Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was a very rewarding experience and reinforced my desire to be a father one day.

    • January 18, 2012 8:09 pm

      I also went through Big Brothers Big Sisters. I hesitated to mention the agency name as I know there are other mentoring agencies out there that do a great job too. I’ve had a fantastic experience with BBBS. Thanks for your comment!

  63. January 18, 2012 6:16 am

    Kids have always scared the b’jeez out of me. I admire anyone who can mentor and pass on both experience and knowledge. I think this is why some of the old Mediterranean families worked so well. No matter how old everyone got the kids and parents could always rely on the grandparents and/or great grandparents for support. Now they are just looked upon as child minders. And, for the record we all had scarey hair at sone stage.

    • January 18, 2012 8:12 pm

      Thanks! Kids are scary, aren’t they? My dog would completely agree with that assessment.

      There is scary hair and then there is hair that makes you pee your pants in terror when you see it. That was mine.

  64. oliviabusyby permalink
    January 19, 2012 1:52 am

    Thanks for this post. I mentor as well and just did 2 posts on mentoring; not knowing it’s National Mentoring Month. Take a look at my blog when you get a moment.

  65. January 19, 2012 6:02 am

    Loved all the examples you put forward! So true! Brought back a lot of memories,too.

  66. January 19, 2012 6:48 am

    Great post. I love freshly pressed for enabling me to easily locate great posts like this. You’re very brave to put your hand up for volunteering to mentor a teenager indeed.

    • January 19, 2012 12:51 pm

      It does take a bit of bravery, doesn’t it? Once you get past the scary part, it’s pretty fun.

  67. January 19, 2012 11:20 am

    Great post! Thank you for sharing!

  68. January 19, 2012 12:59 pm

    What a great post!!!! *-love

  69. January 19, 2012 5:30 pm

    It’s hard to be mentored when you’re home schooled so my main mentor was my brother and he mainly beat me up when I was younger, but now he really does help me when I need it now that I’m older. I’ve mentored a lot of people in my career and dealing with the Spa/Salon business, but not as much in personal life. I think that’s awesome that Megan has a scholarship but probably is a little bit scary thinking about how much older she is and how she’s going to college.

    • January 19, 2012 8:50 pm

      Yeah, I got beat up a lot by my mentor/brother, too. It is scary thinking about sending any teenager off to college. I’m already fretting about my own children leaving and that’s years away. Eek. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

  70. January 19, 2012 6:04 pm

    Great help from this blog! Thanks a lot for the information I needed.
    You’re very brave to put your hand up for volunteering to mentor a teenager indeed.

  71. January 19, 2012 6:05 pm

    Reminds me about alot of things. Things I remember fondly or sometimes cringe at when I see my own children go through those awkward moments, scary uncertainties or joyous adventures.
    Life is funny, I often think to myself “if I knew then what I know now” life might be defferent. Then I think maybe I can pass on my wisdom on to my children so they can avoid much of the stupid things I endured, suffered and could have avoided. Why fret when you know tomorrow will not end. Why cry when you know you can change things. Why suffer a heart break when you know a heart can heal and things will change. then they dont listen and i get upset….

    • January 20, 2012 9:30 pm

      Ugh, awkwardness. Having kids is like going through it all over again. Yes, if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve had a much better time.

  72. January 19, 2012 7:31 pm

    I laughed and loved at the same time! Expertly written.

  73. January 19, 2012 11:46 pm

    Angie, I just ran across your blog and this is a really, really lovely post. I manage a program at an low income high school in a not so great part of town. I feel like every day is a roller coaster – I remember so very clearly how awkward I was in high school and then these kids have added problems – maybe babysitting all their siblings while trying to get their own homework done, maybe sleeping on the couch in a living room because there’s no room anywhere else, and for some, not even knowing where their next meal is coming from. There are days when I want to take all 280 home with me to my one bedroom apartment and cook them a good meal and read them fairy tales. But that’s a little creepy, so I don’t.
    Sounds like you get more out of mentoring than Megan does. I feel the same. Those crazy, obnoxious kids get me every time. (Almost. There are times when they are being genuine jerks but those are few and far between.)
    I’m sending your post to my co-workers!

    • January 20, 2012 9:34 pm

      Thank you! If you are managing a program at a low income high school, you’re the one who’s really on the front lines of it all. I just get to hang out and have fun once in a while. I appreciate your comment.

  74. thepostic permalink
    January 20, 2012 12:20 am

    I agree with you COMPLETELY! I actually wrote my own mentoring piece after talking with a teacher I met. It’s amazing how easy it is to provide someone with positive reinforcement where they previously had none. Mentoring is truly an amazing thing!

    You can read my post on mentoring at http://thepostic.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/project-2012-week-one/

    • January 20, 2012 9:35 pm

      Teachers can be great mentors. Thanks for sharing your post — I’ll check it out.

  75. January 20, 2012 8:25 am

    Hey Angie!

    I must say thinking back to my teenage years was like you said some great and some sucked, but hey, we all grown up now and its seems like we turned out pretty great.
    Mentoring seems like alot of hard, dedicated work, well done. This was a good read.

    Thanks and congratulations.

    • January 20, 2012 8:46 pm

      Hi! Thanks for reading. Yes, it’s a wonder we don’t all turn into wild hooligans after going through those tough teen years.

  76. January 20, 2012 8:52 am

    Kids are very strange organisms. Very, very strange. I’ll never understand them, but my life is better being around them.

    • January 20, 2012 10:26 am

      I remember my mentors , how patient and kind they were towards me . How they allowed me to express myself with out critical judgement. Listened, encouraged nd were htere for me when I needed them to be. Not enough can be said for a good mentor. One who takes the time . A mentor who knows when to let go. Knowing they have been given a space and time in someones life that was really needed.

      • January 20, 2012 9:42 pm

        Sounds like you had some great mentors.

    • January 20, 2012 9:37 pm

      They’re like aliens from another planet, are they not? Back then, I’m pretty sure I lived on the planet Ork just like Mork. Which is why I wanted those rainbow suspenders.

  77. January 20, 2012 10:03 am

    Ahhhhhh! You teleported me to the TGIF days with this post! Very special, and thank you for sharing that. I often work with young people from 11 to 24, and find the revelations very fulfilling in what I learn from them. Know that you’re not even a little bit alone in the path of taking the responsibility back of interacting with, learning from and nurturing these young souls!!!

    I imagine often what the world would look like if everyone took on the responsibility of engaging with at least one young person in their community who wasn’t their blood family…

    • January 20, 2012 9:00 pm

      Wasn’t Must See TV the best? So much specialness back then. I couldn’t agree with you more — I also wonder how much different things would be (lower prison populations, decreased teen pregnancy, higher graduation rates) if more people would mentor kids in need.

      PS I love the name Oak!

  78. January 20, 2012 12:35 pm

    This is an awesome post! I love mentoring…disciple-making as I call it. It has had such a huge impact on my life as women have poured into my life, and I hope I can do the same for the ones coming up behind me. These relationships can last a lifetime and have a lasting impact.

    • January 20, 2012 8:43 pm

      Thank you — it is a pretty valuable thing to have someone in your life you can depend on.

  79. January 20, 2012 12:43 pm

    it’s amazing how when we take the time to listen to others they can blow our expectations away! love how kids can constantly test our assumptions, when we are open to it. great post

    • January 20, 2012 8:42 pm

      I agree — thank you for taking time to read and comment.

  80. January 20, 2012 3:23 pm

    I’ve interviewed dozens of people for newspaper feature articles and hear repeatedly how they wouldn’t have achieved their level of success without their mentors. You are so right in pointing out the importance of sharing our love, knowledge, talents, and expertise with others. Thank you

  81. January 20, 2012 4:11 pm

    I tried mentoring twice with little success. Apparently I come off as too parent-ish. I am glad it worked out better for you and your young friend.

    • January 20, 2012 9:13 pm

      You’re right; it doesn’t always work out perfectly. I think the match-making end of it is really important. And I’ve been known to be too “parent-ish” sometimes — bawling out Megan for not attending class was probably not one of my best mentoring moments. Although maybe it was.

  82. January 20, 2012 5:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Angie! Beautifully written and recollected. I love how you sought comfort outside of your own pain, and in turn created a beautiful experience for Megan. I am sure that the both of you learned a lot about your selves in the process. I will definitely look into being a mentor. Teenagers just want an attentive ear; someone who listens without judgment. I’d be more than happy to be that someone for someone else.

    • January 20, 2012 9:40 pm

      Thank you — you made my day! If you do decide to mentor, I hope you’ll share that experience on your own blog one day ;)

  83. January 20, 2012 8:29 pm

    Reblogged this on slowingtheracingmind and commented:
    There are days when I read other people’s work, and I think, “Wow, this would make a great post…I wish that I had written it!” This is the first time that I have made the jump to simply posting someone else’s blog post in place of my own, but it has so much value – I have to do so!

    • January 20, 2012 9:03 pm

      That’s great — thank you! It’s an important cause and I’m happy to get it circulated around. Thanks for reading.

  84. January 20, 2012 10:37 pm

    Mentoring is hard work especially when the mentee maybe isn’t so endearing. A commitment to stick with it no matter what is the secret ingredient. The child has to know the mentor’s not going to cut and run whenever things get a little unpleasant. Jan Wilberg http://www.redswrap.wordpress.com

  85. January 21, 2012 3:23 pm

    Fantastic Post! It really hits home. Everyone needs someone & i’m glad that Megan has you. Inspiring. i try – we (myself & husband) try to be good mentors or at least be someone whom the international students we know can come to for anything… when i was studying overseas, i was & still am ever grateful for my adopted family & grandparents ;) so i’m paying it forward…

  86. January 21, 2012 10:55 pm

    Reblogged this on Assumed Guilty.

  87. January 22, 2012 2:59 am

    Fantastic post. I’ve been a youth worker for over 20 years and have loved every moment of it, even the parts that sucked. There’s nothing better than investing in the lives of teenagers and watching them grow and become productive adults and follow their dreams.

    • January 22, 2012 7:56 pm

      What a great way to contribute your time. 20 years — wow.

  88. January 22, 2012 3:07 pm

    I simply LOVE your blog. I’m so happy to have stumbled upon it. This post was very touching.

    • January 22, 2012 8:00 pm

      Thank you — I checked out your blog and really liked the style, theme and concept. Definitely a job that comes with a lot of great stories. I met my husband when he waited on me in a restaurant so how’s that for a waiting tables story :)

  89. January 22, 2012 6:21 pm

    Fantastic post! It’s such a coincidence that I came acroos this today, as my friends and I are Youth workers and we’re launching a mentoring scheme in a week’s time at our Church. We’re all very excited and anxious too, so it’s great to see more people have noticed the pivotal necessity for a mentor. *Thumbs up*

    • January 22, 2012 8:02 pm

      There are no coincidences ;). Good luck with your recruiting campaign!

  90. January 22, 2012 8:22 pm

    I absolutely love the way you write. Your honesty. Your humor. It’s the kind of stuff us English teachers know people a born with and try our best to bottle it and infuse it those less fortunate.

    • January 22, 2012 9:17 pm

      Thank you! Wow — you were a part of Teach for America? An amazing program. I love that it was started by someone so young.

  91. Andrea Ritter permalink
    January 22, 2012 9:02 pm

    Reblogged this on Andrea Ritter's Blog and commented:
    “For kids, pain feels permanent. They can’t imagine ten weeks from now, let alone ten years. They can’t imagine themselves in college, let alone living outside of their banged-up neighborhoods.”

    The smallest acts can make the biggest impact…

  92. January 22, 2012 9:13 pm

    I can relate! I taught high school. The kids are awesome (as long as you’re not trying to get them to write a boring essay or read a boring book! lol). So glad you are mentoring! And congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  93. January 23, 2012 12:25 am

    “They can take a lot and then forget to say thanks”

    So very true! I have been mentoring since last May and I don’t think I’ve been thanked even once.

    It was pleasant to read your “Very Special Episode” as I haven’t really heard the stories of other people who mentor. I have never really talked to any of the other mentors with whom I volunteer. It is good to know that many of the themes are common, especially when it comes to teenagers. :)

    • January 28, 2012 7:58 am

      I don’t remember how good I was with manners back then but I probably wasn’t much better. One reason why my kids have had please/thank you shoved down their throats since day one. Good for you for mentoring!

  94. January 23, 2012 8:53 am

    Wonderful post! Have never been a Mentor… most of my mentees have been people I’ve worked with; usually 1/2 my age.
    Oh wait, there’s my 20 yr old daughter, who looks like me, is witty and charming and has a wickedly morbid sense of humor… Hmmmm….
    (Purple colored vomit? Ick!!) :)

    • January 28, 2012 7:53 am

      Yes, purple-colored vomit is the classy side of college binge-drinking :(

  95. January 23, 2012 10:11 am

    Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  96. January 23, 2012 5:44 pm

    Great and funny! I’ve read some of your other posts and enjoyed those as well. You certainly deserve being FP. I’ve never mentored but I’ve volunteered regularly at my kids’ school for years. It’s always the ones I least expect who hug me at the end of the year. You never know who you touch or how you affect someone when you reach out. It’s great “work” that you do. Teens need all the support they can get.

    • January 24, 2012 8:54 am

      Thank you! What nice comment to receive :) I appreciate you stopping by.

  97. January 23, 2012 8:56 pm

    Great job! I mentored a girl in college but may give it another go now that I am older and wiser. You made a great point that even folks that aren’t tough cases still could use mentor outside their circle of parents and teachers!

    • January 24, 2012 8:55 am

      That’s great to hear! I mentored a kid while I was in high school and I was definitely not mature enough to handle it. Much better the second time around. Thank you for reading.

  98. January 23, 2012 11:28 pm

    As a mom to one teenage girl, I felt like I was reading about our family. Thanks for letting us know we are not alone in our dramas.

    • January 24, 2012 8:57 am

      Ugh — I was such a handful for my parents as a teen. Brat is an understatement :). Good luck getting through the drama. I’ll be there with my daughter in 10 years.

  99. January 24, 2012 10:30 am

    Angie,
    I really enjoyed reading your posts! Mentors are very special people :) Keep up the good work!

  100. January 24, 2012 2:57 pm

    Reblogged this on The Amber Light's Blog and commented:
    This is a great post about mentoring and being a teenager! I love her sense of humor and that she grew up about the same time as me so everything is very familiar.
    I have been thinking about being a mentor for a few years now. I had been feeling I was ready this year and here is a message from teh Universe to say “Sounds good!”
    Have a great evening and enjoy the laughs and memories this will bring!

  101. January 24, 2012 9:04 pm

    this was great! i mentored through the big bro/big sis program when i was in college – did it for about a year and a half or two. can i be honest? i sucked at it. then again my mentee was like 8 so maybe she thought our time together was well spent. as i look back – i know i could have done more. since then i’ve had many mentors and have a little more experience mentoring. it’s such a humbling experience. to know that someone values and seeks out your thoughts.

    great post – hope it encourages others to mentor. even if it’s through the local school where they have lunch with a middle-school kid.

    • January 26, 2012 4:25 pm

      That’s okay to be honest about that — because I can tell you with 100% certainty that I would’ve been a rotten mentor back in college. The worst. Well, not “worst.” I wouldn’t have bought the kid liquor and dropped her off at the mall by herself or anything trainwreck like that. But I’m sure I would’ve been irresponsible about follow-through and somewhat apathetic about the experience. You really have to be in a good place with yourself to be there for someone else.

      Thanks so much for reading.

  102. January 26, 2012 9:52 pm

    There’s a national OATMEAL month??? RAD!

    • January 27, 2012 6:41 pm

      I know, right? I can’t believe no one got time off work for that.

      • January 27, 2012 8:10 pm

        If we had celebrated the Oil Heat Centennial, we could have had A WHOLE YEAR OFF. I’m just sayin’

      • January 27, 2012 8:51 pm

        Oh, you’re right! Why do I want to say this is all your fault?

Trackbacks

  1. January is Iowa Mentoring Month » Iowa Grounds
  2. Love Shak, Baby » You Can Be a Mentor
  3. January–National Mentoring Month | slowingtheracingmind
  4. On Mentoring: “A Very Special Episode” « bestfriendsnd

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