To celebrate National Mentoring Month, Girls Write Now mentees Gia Deeton and Jada Fitzpatrick share public thank you notes to their mentors.
4:16 pm, The Hungry Ghost Cafe, Brooklyn, NY
The N train was delayed again, and I rushed to the door of The Hungry Ghost Cafe. After pulling on the door, I remembered that I’m staring directly at bold white letters that say ‘push’. Every Thursday, I go through the cycle of leaving school as fast as I can, sitting around at home for half an hour, followed by scrambling over to Brooklyn to see my writing mentor, Lindsay. Even though I was only a minute late for our 4:15 meeting, I felt a little guilty. Lindsay always gets there first, and she always looks so comfortable with her raspberry lemonade and a peanut butter cookie on the table. I always feel like she’s been sitting there longer than she says she has. She saved me a seat, and beamed up at me when I came in the door. Her smile is always there, even if I come in completely red from the cold or soaking wet on rainy days. We caught up a bit before anything else, and that always heightens my mood. Since the day we met, we’ve been able to have interesting and enjoyable small talk, which is rare for me, especially when talking to adults. The first few minutes of our meeting have grown to an even higher level of interesting small talk, about how our days are going and her parent’s dog, Robbie. On Halloween, she tried to persuade her parents to get Robbie a lion mane for his costume. Before the conversation got too interesting, we began our ritual of a ten minute free write.
Having a mentor not only makes me happy in the short term at our meetings, but it gives me hope for the long term as well. Befriending a successful person who works in a field in which I’m interested is really meaningful to me, especially because at one point in her life (probably more than just one point) she was a confused teenager just like me. Lindsay is both my friend and an inspiration, helping me with my writing and personal issues. Our meetings started out at the same cafe every week, then to cupcake stores, and now we visit a zine library and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for a special (and top secret) project. On my own, I would never have the motivation to research a project like this, and I wouldn’t have come up with the idea in the first place. With Lindsay as my mentor, I know I’m becoming a better writer, and a better person than ever before in my life.
I’m going to be extra cheesy here and say that words cannot describe how much you mean to me. I could not have asked for a better mentor/second mother/friend. Throughout this year and four months or so that I have come to know you, we have created a bond that is unbreakable.
Remember that time we went to Coney Island and I tried clams for the first time? And then we rode some roller coasters and the ferris wheel. What about all of those trips to the museums searching for creative influences? Or even recently when you went with me to get my nose pierced, despite how much you tried to talk me out of it. You are the coolest person ever. Every adventure with you is a valuable learning experience. It is moments like these that I will forever cherish.
You’re always there for me, you give me advice like a mother, and we talk like best friends. I can honestly say that you’ve been with me every step of the way. I thank you for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You’ve been my backbone when I was fragile; even when I don’t want to talk you always make it clear that you are there for me. You’ve shown me what it means to be a remarkable, goal-seeking woman, and how to never give up despite facing adversity. If it weren’t for you, I would never have applied and been accepted to The Princeton Journalism program this summer, or taken the opportunity to partake in other great opportunities. You’ve taught me to not fear rejection, that “no” is not the worst answer that I can hear. You’ve shown me that it is okay to write something “bad” and that there is always room to improve. “It is better to write something bad, than to write nothing at all.” It is pieces of advice like these that you have engrained in me.
As I conquer the next journey of life – college – I hope you will continue to stay in my life. You’ve made an impression on me that will never go away. I thank you. You’re one of life’s biggest blessings and for that I will forever remain grateful.
With much love,