Wednesday July 7, 2021
Since I’ve already confessed that I never knew mentoring was ‘a thing,’ I simply grew up like most people, doing all that is expected of us. I had a similar routine just like my neighbors’ kids and my cousins:
- woke up each morning
- brushed my teeth
- ate breakfast
- got ready for school
- returned home
- did home work
- went outside and played or read a book
- had dinner
- got cleaned up
- went to bed
- and repeated it all the next day…
After completing one school, I moved on to the next level at another school, and so on. Upon graduating from high school, I went on to college to get a degree so that I can make money and become a grown up, which is what everyone did, right?
I ended up working in different hospitals and communities. I relocated often. I got a chance to see that other communities existed outside of New York City, where people were living great lives. I guess moving to New York City (NYC) from the Caribbean, as a teenager, had that kind of effect on me; there were so many boroughs with their own characteristics and so varied in culture, that I had no sense of life beyond the boroughs of NYC.
I’m one of those people who considers herself successful though I’ve never been promoted, even though my patients have frequently told me how much they appreciated the level of expertise I’ve shown in their care, and my coworkers would say how much they admire me, and even my managers would tell me how great I’m doing. And, I’ve always advocated for my patients and my coworkers, often unknown to them. And when I feel someone is teachable, I readily impart my knowledge. I’ve initiated, planned and executed many projects/events.
READER BEWARE, these activities might not have received the attention of bosses who would provide opportunities on how I can apply my abilities, etc. for further advancement, but, they sure resulted in a great deal of personal fulfillment and pure joy for me as I’ve watched the surprise and excitement of many. Perhaps however, if I had a mentor, I would be fulfilling many more of my other professional dreams.
You see, I never understood that to be promoted, you had to have a strategy, needed to work on being seen and the significance of professional networking. I didn’t realize that promotion will not just come to me. So, I continued to work hard at my patients’ bedside, taking care of their needs each shift. I remember enjoying and feeling so empowered after attending many conferences, but unclear or unaware of how to effectively carry through on ideas I came away with.
Slowly, I was realizing that mentoring is ‘a thing,’ and a really important thing and I began wishing that I had mentors during my ascent into adulthood and beyond. I think it’s great when a person could reap some of the benefits of another who had climbed that metaphoric mountain before and willing to teach the pitfalls to avoid in order to successfully get to that apex of success. I wondered why this mentoring thing wasn’t emphasized more during our early learning years, because not everyone has family members to teach them what to avoid and what to do!! I wish that financial assistance programs would require a PAY FORWARD philosophy to achieve this, thus changing the lives of many.
Now, as I’ve stated, I have never received an award, a plaque, been given a promotion, received ’employee of the month,’ cited for the work I’ve tirelessly done over the decades. I guess I’m not exceptional nor have done outstanding work to achieve these symbols of success…perhaps what I am is ‘average.’ And I’m okay with how I’ve been viewed, if that’s what it has been, because average people are accomplishing exceptional goals after scaling the sides of their metaphoric mountains, reaching their apexes and living very fulfilling lives. So, I celebrate being AVERAGE and I hope you will too, and will live a bountiful life.
In this blog, I will continue to write about all the average things I have done and continue to do. And, I will dedicate this blog to all of you who are viewed as average, and are doing great work every day while responsibly contributing to the society in which you live.
More to come…