Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wanted: Mentor


I've realized something recently, and I don't like it one teensy weensy little bit. I have Youngest Child Syndrome, and it doesn't work as you approach 40. You're used to always being around older people, observing what they do, and making decisions based on what worked or didn't work for them.

One day, you wake up and realize that not only is every professional athlete younger than you are, half the world is, too. At the same time, you realize that the people older than you don't really know as much as you thought they did. In fact, I'd say one's relationship with the outside world goes something like this:

Ages 0-10: Wah!
Teens: Where are the Cheetos?
20s: The world is so screwed. Why are people so stupid?
30s: Whoops. Things are complicated. There's a reason things are the way they are. I sympathize with people.
Your 40s: William Goldman was right. Nobody knows anything. What now?

This is why I've decided to advertise for a mentor. You learn in developing screenplays that every main character/hero must have one. Yoda. The dude in Karate Kid. The guiding force. Wisdom personified. I already have the "romantic interest." I have plenty of "drinking buddies." I suppose I have a few "antagonists."

I need to complete my character arc. Help me, Obi Wan. You're my only hope.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Plenty of drinking buddies"?!?! Turn in your shamrock, young man, the Celtic Union will be wanting a word w/you.

cookielady said...

please stop with the "in your 40s" already!....you're not there yet and if you were, I'd be almost 41.

anyway, I might have a mentor for you.

Marc Conklin said...

Sorry, that was supposed to read:
Wanted: more drinking buddies

Marc Conklin said...

Hey, Cookie Lady, I'm just trying to avoid mid-life crisis here. Oh crap, maybe I'm already there.
Wanted: Harley
Wanted: Aerobics instructor

Mike said...

What was the problem again? Excuse me, but I missed it. Age? Race? Gender? Social status?

Hmmm...Remind me next Thursday. I have a mentor story for you and it even surprised me as it unfolded. Sometimes it's a matter of not so much forward thinking but--hey, who was there "back when." Not so much looking around now, but thinking about what got you to where you are in the present. Look folks up. Ask questions. "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." [I love that piece of bullshit.]

Sometimes the best mentor is just yourself--old photos, journals, notes, diaries, letters...sift through those occasionally. I'll bet you'll hear a mentor calling. A matter of quieting things down and listening to whatever. New agey shit like that.

I don't know. I've just read this over and realized I'm dead tired. My mentor = sleep.