Cool breeze wrapped its arms around my face while brushing aside my fringe. It made me smile. The winter air smelled great and it wasn’t a familiar feeling.
When I stood there and looked back, my life seemed surreal.
I clearly remember the day when I was about to meet her for the first time. I was told that she would be my mentor who would help me navigate life.
In that meeting I realized that she was a woman of few words, but when she spoke it was worth listening to.
Navigating life was an alien concept for me. To plan the route I had to understand the map. And to make it an enjoyable journey I had to understand relationships.
Initially, I thought I understood relationships if not life. We would all agree that at one point of time we have used the word “like” and equated two different relationships whenever there is more than one characteristic that is common in two different associations. Few examples are: “She is like my sister” or “He is like my brother”. In the beginning, it may seem harmless, but instead of equating characteristics, if we compare relationships life becomes messy. It diminishes the unique fragrance of individual perfumes.
Let me explain what I mean by equating characteristics and not relationships by putting into words my journey of understanding life and my relationship with my mentor.
Life is a road map of new experiences. She isn’t my mother but she would lovingly wipe the dust off my knees, whenever I have a rough and nasty fall.
Life is a rock climbing session. She isn’t my father but she would personally tie me into a climbing harness of courage and ask me to climb the rocks of avoidance and face my fears.
Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown and question papers are not set. She isn’t my teacher but she would make sure that my analytical skills help me pass the exam with flying colors.
She created her own irreplaceable position with her infectious positive outlook, giving a slight push when required, patting my back whenever I achieved a milestone and taking my growth as her responsibility when she was never obligated in the first place.
Relationships are not a color palette where you mix two colors to create a new one. Relationships are rather those reactive yet beneficial chemicals that are stored in their respective stock chemical containers.
Now that I have understood this, I no longer compare the still introspective winter air with the playful and motivated summer air.