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Becoming a Mentor

I’m so mind blown that I haven’t made a blog yet about this. No wait, no I am not. Being the perfectionist that I am, I can completely see why there was no sense of urgency. But since I strive on transparency and I truly enjoy documenting the process. I think today seems like a great day to start. Why did I decide to become a big sister?

Girl’s Rising Big Brother Big Sister Program Spoke to Me. I am always looking for ways to give back and make a difference in the lives of others.

Well, I had inquired about becoming a mentor at least 2+ years ago. The application was completed but I was stopped dead in my tracks when it came to asking for letters of recommendation. I believe that I asked a frieind who I thought for sure would drop everything to do so, had indeed not done so. Then followed by one other person who’d said yes but not followed through. I think at that point I didn’t even bother with a third request or just subconsciously forgot since I was hurt by the entire experience to give it up for several years to come.

This time around, something after being in Lisa Nichols’ suite, made me realize how much I wanted to work with youth and how little experience and connection I had with any youth at this point in my life.

Geez, the only real experience I had was trying to parent my younger brother. So we can imagine how that went over...

Moving on.

Thank god for life coaching, I got out of my own way and made sure to get my referral letters done in order to complete my application.

I was torn between two girls. The 16 year old was my immediate choice because I so desperately wanted to save her from depression and be her guiding light. The other, I just couldn’t walk away from, something about a 12 year old, being selfless enough to be giving back to the community already. Winner!

After receiving what felt like a pretty simple interview. I was just encouraged to report any harm, assist where I was needed, commit to two times a month and oh yeah, do not lecture, advise, or coach. Just show up and be responsible. Ew. All of that aside, I knew my presence would speak volumes and make a difference in itself. I couldn’t WAIT for the first “date” to come. I scheduled it 4 days from first being officially matched.

We committed to learning how to make Ice Cream Cake within one year or our relationship together. All while learning how to cook together! HOW FUN!? So our first date I decided was to go get her favorite, Pizza! I found a gluten free dairy free place that met both of our needs. I quickly sat down and nervously ate half the pizza because I realized I did not even know what to say. I mean, I of course drilled her with deep intellectual questions anxiously awaiting a riveting response.

To my surprise this meek little flower of a middle child politely kept quiet and slowly ate her way through each slice.

Urrrrrrhhhhhhhhh. My breaks came to screeching halt and reality hit me hard. HELLLOOOOO? You are eating Pizza with a 12 year old! Besides myself. What the hell did I talk about at 12?? Boys?? I was lost. Luckily she quickly points to going to get dessert and then I begin flying by the seat of my pants looking for a dairy free option. She’s tired of sitting and talking so she asks to just start walking around.

I’d promised myself one sunset a week. Perfect! Two birds one stone. She sounded interested in a sunset. So our first date was Pizza, boutique hopping, and Sunset Cliffs.

Can you tell I have only planned romantic dates? Oh gosh.. Blew it... 7:30pm and her mother calls I am sure worried about the return of her child. Lol

Time to plan the second date.. Ummm.. Let’s make pizza! Oh wait, it takes me 30 min to get to you, then bring you back another 30. 1.5 hours in the car... ? Maybe we just drive to a pizza place? I called ahead and confirmed another dairy/gluten free pizza place, I am in!

I buy her her own personal pizza and she hops behind the window and is in the kitchen making her own pizza with a man who speaks equally as good spanish as her. I hadn’t planned much else but we stopped to get Garcon washed and then dropped her off.

TODAY! I followed her lead. She wanted to make lunch, bake something, and then take it to Balboa Park to eat it together with our fresh made OJ!

How freaking simple????? So beautiful..

I found myself stopping to not interject anything negative or fix any sort of error in her baking or cooking. I melted her with compliments and jobs well done. I let her take the lead and gave her opportunity to add whatever she saw fit to the occasion.

She does not give much reaction or excitement so I just went with the motion and stayed present as it unfolded organically.

We finished baking brownies, pizza from a scratch kit, Orange Juice and off to the park despite the rain.

I bought her a book about a 9 year old and an 11 year old “Live to Give”. We sat in my car in the park as it rained to decide how we were going to give back to the community. Our next “date”will be making food and giving it to the homeless.

I am so excited that I can show up and be a part of such a really intelligent little girls life. That in our free time we can both give back and do things together that not only fill us up, but that also make a difference in the lives of others.

Learning today, instead of filling up the silence with noise and probing question, to just sit back and enjoy the moment without cancelling out those beautiful moments of thoughtless presence. This will take time and patience to continue to evolve our relationship into something so beautiful. One step at a time. As for tonight, I will continue to celebrate her thanking me for an “incredible day” as a success!

I barely feel like I even did anything exciting?

But it serves as a friendly reminder to just BE. It is indeed just being a friend and a mentor for a beautiful and blossoming little heart of gold! I am so grateful and excited for this journey that we have together! I will learn such great things from her as she will I hope, from me.

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