“You idiot.”

I had just finished reporting to my mentor my glee from asking my now-wife, Sharelle, to “intentionally hang out.” 

You read that right. Who asks that?! 

My mentor, Ryan, was absolutely right. During the previous evening’s events, I had failed to actually use any kind of clarifying words as to what I was asking her. 

How would you clearly ask someone out without actually using the words dating, go out, or relationship? Or even any of the old phrases our grandparents used back in the day like courting or going steady? 

Yeah, I didn’t know either. 

My many meetings with Ryan were always life-enriching experiences, even when they required pointed statements like “You idiot.” Ryan always knew how to communicate in a way that spoke directly into my life. 

And because of it, I was able to go back and use proper English to ask Sharelle to go out with me on a clearly defined date. 

Yet our mentorship went so much deeper than dating advice. Ryan was able to identify choices and behaviours in me that I was otherwise unable to see. He would lovingly speak in a way that directed me towards becoming who I was made to be.

Read about another mentor: Mentorship shaped me slowly

Check out the Summer Mentorship Program P2C is offering

My many meetings with Ryan were conducive to me becoming who I am today—still not a finished product, and still not without a need for mentors. 

How to find a mentor

If you’re where I was, fresh out of school and navigating what to do with your life, give yourself the greatest advantage possible: find a mentor. 

Ideally, someone older than you. 

Someone who radiates who you want to be.

Unlike asking someone to “intentionally hang out,” it is perfectly fine not to use the term mentor. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t. No one ever feels adequate to be a mentor. 

So instead, ask them to go for coffee or wings. “Hang out with me” carries far less intensity than “mentor me.” 

In Ryan, I saw a version of myself that I dream I will one day be, and so I pursued him. 

I’d ask him to meet up (keeping the language light). 

Hang out with me” carries far less intensity than “mentor me.”

And there I would ask questions of him that would begin to show me how I just might become a little more like him. 

Read more: Mentorship is modelling a life of faith to everyone

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