There is a quote floating around out there that says something to the effect of: God puts people into your life for a reason and season. I think there are lot of people who read that and think of people, friends, neighbors, teachers – who have moved on differently in their lives for whatever reason. You graduate or move or break up and you expect to leave certain people behind. I would say the relationships you sometimes look back fondest on are mentors. You think to yourself – I should go visit, or write an email to my high school French teacher. And you never do. And you think they don’t notice. After all, they get it, right?
I’m a grown up now and have had the pleasure of being on the other side of this relationship – the mentor if you will. And I’m no dummy – I know kids grow up and move on and blah blah blah. What I didn’t realize is how upsetting it is to be on that side. As a mentee, you feed off of the creativity, the energy, the care and concern you receive. Once you move on from that place in your life and that person, you have stored up what they taught you and continue to feed off of it for years to come.
On the other hand, the mentor has let you feed off of all of those things, simultaneously energizing and exhausting them. And when the mentor loses someone with whom they have had a special relationship, all that energy that was focused in one direction, is left making one agitated and jumpy.
I think the hardest part though is going from someone relying on you so heavily to not at all, and realizing that they have simply outgrown their need for you. They have stored parts of you up forever but don’t need the interaction they once did. It’s both painful and beautiful to behold.
So now I think back to all the people who mentored me and I hope I left this kind of hole in their heart. I know there are people leaving holes in mine right now and if I keep doing what I set out to do, they will continue to leave holes for the rest of my life.