It has been six months since we started this journey and looking back, it feels like a life time away already. A life time that I don't want to end and I am positive this is going to be more than a six months journey. It is going to be a life time experience the seed of which were planted six months ago and that is why in a way, it has been a bit difficult, finding the right words to write another article since the first I wrote when we started this program.
I have played words over and over and none has felt right to me until I decided to go back and read our chats for the past six months, word for word and the emotions which engulfed me left me so overwhelmed that I just decided to let the words flow because quite frankly, there's never going to be any perfect opening to what I want to write. So here is what I have come to appreciate in this special sister I am privileged to have as a mentor. A sister who has held my hands for this past six months, showing me in so many different ways how we can be unique but still in this uniqueness, find strength in us and each other and thus making us stronger together.These six months have helped me see that a mentor is so many things rolled in one.
From the very beginning when she said call me "sister", she's been a sister through and through. It has been a thrilling moment to discover just how much in common we have in so many things. And this discovery helped to solidify our relationships. Being miles apart didn't stop us from growing to love and appreciate each other. I am glad that in a mentor, I found a new sister who couldn't hesitate to go the extra mile for me.
Stella has been a great teacher and it is not as much as in replicating the traditional teacher role but by just being able to listen and break down certain concerns I raise which always lives me feeling happy and encouraged and fired on.
A mother hen and protector she also wore this cap with pride and in each instance where these caps surfaced, I feel the love and fierce desire to protect me across the screens, miles away.Two incidents stand out. One was when during our discussions in the first few months, we spoke about my health and the challenges which sometimes ensue. The words she spoke as we ended our session for that day has remained with me. She said: ' I know you are a big girl, and I know you have probably been doing this, but please, keep taking care of yourself'. These words went straight to my heart not because she's the first to say it but because of the tune and manner in which she said it. I read love, I read genuine concern and care and I could imagine hearing her speak as I read the words and felt her hands engulf me in love. You see, it was not like she thought I couldn't know what is expected of me and as a child, I have to be constantly reminded of that. I read it more like " I know you got this, but I want you to know someone else is rooting and clapping for you, pushing you on to keep fighting".
Another incident was when I had an encounter with a taxi driver. For me, I was just recounting another of the many incidents I call my 'Taxi Adventures' on Facebook. For her, the protector came to play when she read the Facebook post and we had a soulful talk on safety tips when taking a taxi ride alone and with a driver that looks suspicious. Those tips have gone down into my many safety tips and I couldn't be more grateful.
When you have a mentor who also encourages and listens to your fears , your views and concerns, then you are blessed indeed. Stella has been nothing but encouraging. When I had to do my first MC duty on the Ambassadors Thriving Thursdays calls, she had to make an appearance to cheer me on despite having another program that same time. I felt excited like a kid whose parents appeared just in time for their role in a school function and I was beyond encouraged and the 'I am proud of you' text which followed afterwards was the icing on the cake. She always listens to any thought I bring up, never minimising them and gladly holding space for me... it could be these are good, maybe we can make them look better or these are just amazing, carry on and let me know how it goes. Always encouraging and supportive.
I found a loyal foodie and gist partner. Yes, we covered a lot of mentoring activity just keeping it cool and calm. No classroom 'Yes Ma' atmosphere. We were just two sisters, two women, holding each other's hand and making sure being the queens we are, our crowns are well adjusted to carry on queening.
She's just been awesomeness itself. What could I say? So much and yet so unsure of how to proceed because it could feel like not being able to really convey what these six months of Stella's awesomeness has meant to me. Her post on our mentoring journey was something else entirely.
Like every journey, there's always an expected end even if we may really not want that end to come. But it is always inevitable that it sure would come. We will soon come to the end of our six months mentorship program and my life has truly been richer. We did miss some sessions because of health, work and other unforseen situations but we always made sure to catch up and so, I would say in most ways, our weekly sessions were steady and eventful always. I am glad that in these six months, we have developed a bond that will not be ending anytime soon and that is indeed a beautiful thing to hold on to.
When we started this journey, I was weary, sometimes even sad that I would not be able to hear. Sometimes even worried if we will survive six months of texting without hearing each other. Stella got to hear me when I made my elevator speech in which she was so moved by it. She got to hear me when I did my MC and during the TT calls I could talk while she was present. I don't even know the sound of her voice and that made me feel sad sometimes. However, I felt something profound when I re-read all our chats for the past six months and I am forever grateful that we chatted instead of talking because reading through the chats was like reading through a novel carefully written just for me. A novel which is made richer by humour, tears, laughter, empathy, L.O.V.E. and every human emotion imaginable. I felt them all reading through the chats again and I am going to treasure this. It is going to be like a well read novel that even if the pages are worn with age, it still stays valuable. The good thing is, this doesn't wear or tear. I just need to back up and it stays with me always. Six months soon to go, looking forward to a life time to come.
Thank you Jill, Dawn, Manasa and the World Pulse team for a special gift in a mentor. I couldn't have asked for a better person.
Thank you dear sistar-mentor for being who you are. For the love, for the encouragement, the prayers, the cheers, the laughs. For Believing in Me. For holding my hands and creating space for me. For your valuable time and sacrifices to make sure we have our sessions turned to special moments and for just being you...STELLA! I feel blessed and honoured to have you as a sister and mentor. I know with you taking your side by me amongst the many powerful amazons who continue to stand by me, we will certainly remain stronger together.