In my last blog post, I shared about a very personal process of closure I am still walking through right now.
MentorCONNECT, the global nonprofit that consumed so much of the past 9 years of my life (and truly, the two decades preceding those), is suddenly no more.
Or it is no more on a tangible level at least. The mechanical guts of it has mostly ceased to exist, thanks to a series of calls and emails to various vendors informing them of our dissolution.
But in my personal guts, MentorCONNECT is still very much alive.
Last year, well before I would get even a hint of what is happening now, I watched a movie called “Lucy.” In the movie, which starred Scarlet Johansson as Lucy, some very bad people did some very bad things for money and Lucy got caught in the middle.
As the film unfolds, Lucy begins to work out the details regarding where she still has power to choose and where there are unchangeable facts to be faced.
She does this with tremendous dignity and efficiency. She doesn’t waste any time (mostly because she doesn’t have any time to waste, and she knows it).
Her life as she previously understood it is ending rapidly, and what lies up ahead is utterly un-knowable.
In the background, Morgan Freeman serves as narrator and then as co-creator in supporting Lucy’s inevitable transition.
As the film concludes, Lucy has achieved what has to be the biggest “bucket list” experience ever – she is nowhere and everywhere all at the same time.
I am not there yet with MentorCONNECT….or, more accurately, MentorCONNECT is not there yet with me.
MentorCONNECT is still in some tangible places, like in the old bookmark folders on my computer and in the now-broken, no-longer-hidden links pointing to nowhere on the internet.
MentorCONNECT is still on my hard drive as well as up in the “cloud” (on a totally unrelated side note, I find it so interesting that there can be many “clouds” in the real sky but only one “cloud” in the internet sky).
MentorCONNECT is in the first book I ever published and also in the second. It is on my websites in its final resting place form – a placeholder/memorial website offering resource links for those wondering how MentorCONNECT could be here one day and gone the next and where they can find support now that we are gone.
MentorCONNECT was founded to offer the free gift of mentoring for eating disorders recovery to strangers around the world who needed it.
Through a global network of recovered persons (mentors) and recovering persons (mentees) plus a truly amazing group of volunteer leaders, we reached out to people living in places I had to look up on a map and provided at least some support where no support had existed previously.
What we offered was never perfect, although the memories of our critics are thankfully less sharp now that their target is safely out of reach.
But what we offered was always so much better than no support at all, which was what I endured during the first decade of my personal battle with anorexia and bulimia.
Mentors saved my life. Mentoring changed my life. Becoming a mentor was at one time a “bucket list” goal for me – I never ever would have believed I would ever become that healthy or that strong to give back to others. When it started happening, when I started mentoring for real, I didn’t trust it at first, or me.
And in all the years leading up to and throughout MentorCONNECT’s birth and growth and demise, I have NEVER been without a mentor myself.
Offering mentoring to others was arguably the hardest challenge (save recovery) I’ve tackled to date in my 46 years here. It broke me down, unfolded all my layers, revealed my most horrid, base character defects and flaws, healed a few of them and left the rest bookmarked for further work later.
Founding and leading (and now dissolving) MentorCONNECT also convinced me I am fundamentally worth working on…even on the days when there feels like there is still far too much work to do.
The loss is keenest in the mornings. I wake up and everything hurts. I can’t remember what I did yesterday – too much hula hooping? Too much wine?
Oh that’s right, something died….something very very dear to me. It is in a better place now and I’m still here. SUCK.
And I am in very good company. The refugees and rebels in Syria, and Africa, and in so many other places. The constant clashes here, there and everywhere over every infinitesimal difference that could ever possibly come between us.
Gender, culture, color, cash, size, shape, age, weight, haves and have nots, the so-called “lucky” and “unlucky” ones – every time one of us gets hurt, we all get hurt.
Poet Laureate Warsaw Shire says it best:
“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
Today’s Takeaway: It helps ease the grief to write. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, and listening. <3