At the end of last year I was offered a position as a mentor. I would be mentoring youth and parents that come from challenging backgrounds. Coming from a challenging background myself, with the understanding that we don’t make it out for ourselves but for those that need our help making it out, I figured why not. During training I had to face a lot of realities that I’d ignored, or overlooked regarding my childhood. Realizing that I had much to learn myself about dealing with the aftermath of a not so perfect upbringing I began to have reservations.
The last part of our training was a surprising turn of events when I received full disclosure of the dangers of my new job as well as the brick cement walls that were in place that I would have to overcome. I reluctantly took my first case anyway. And sat on it. I was so afraid of messing up that I was strongly considering turning in a letter of resignation. But for some reason I did not. Instead I contacted my supervisor to set up a meeting.
Boy that got the ball rolling, and she ensured me, encouraged me, and confirmed that I was the perfect person for my job. Because I’d faced and conquered a lot of the issues my clients were going through, who better to help them through? My job is to empower them as I have had to empower myself. During my struggles, I wished I had someone to be there for me to show me there is a light at the end of the tunnel but I am grateful to have the opportunity to be someone else’s light.
The hardest part for me will be to let go once the time has come that I know they no longer need me. Sometimes life takes us through hell and high water to prove that fire can be good and learning to swim is something we all should know. I can’t erase my past, but through it I can etch in stone a greater future for me and those that I am called to. That way, nothing is in vain!