If you live a colorful life like me, you’d need a mentor to keep you sane and to comfort you and it doesn’t have to be your partner all the time.
Don’t get me wrong, Tim and I can delve into any conversation and find a solution at the end of it. However, there are certain issues that I don’t feel like discussing intensively with him. For example, my career decisions, although he played a huge part in my shifting doesn’t mean that I’ve told him every little thing that went through my head when I made the decision.
I was having such a hard time over the past week, dealing with family issues, my new career path, and preparation for the wedding. On top of that, I was deeply worried about my former workmates and the last workload I left. It was overwhelming.
Then, my former boss sent me a text message earlier this afternoon. We didn’t have the chance to talk about my reason for leaving the company when we saw each other last week but I know she knew that I was leaving. For some reason, we’ve always had an unspoken understanding, so even if I didn’t tell her anything, she knew something was up. When I received her message this afternoon, I broke down and told her everything, feeling whatever glue that’s been keeping me together over the past weeks melting away as I typed my replies.
Telling her all the underlying reasons made me feel lighter. Talking to her made me feel like my thoughts and decisions aren’t irrational and her assurance makes me even more comfortable to confide in her in detail as compared to when I discuss things with Tim.
Having a mentor like my former boss has helped me a great deal in staying with my previous company and in keeping me sane despite the whirlwind of changes we faced over the last two years. I’ve learned so much from her, not just skills needed for work, but a great deal more when it comes to dealing and interacting with people and life in general. So when she left her post to transfer to another department, I felt a little lost. I was able to pick up myself but it wasn’t the same.
I’m not saying that her transferring to another department was my reason or excuse to leave my post, no. I’m just saying that having a mentor like mine could help a person a great deal when it comes to career and personal growth and after she left, I felt like I’ve reached my ceiling. I know I still have a lot of things to improve on, but it wasn’t what I wanted anymore.
Tim knows and understands my career dilemma but not as much and as in-depth as my mentor does. She saw how hard I worked over the years and we’ve developed a relationship in the workplace that Tim and I simply don’t have. I really believe that having an outsider’s perspective on situations like mine can be a really good pillar of support, career-wise.
I believe that partners tend to spoil each other, or follow the other’s lead, or even have the capacity to persuade the other to stop doing something for reasons that may seem irrational or impractical to people outside of the relationship bubble and if you’re like me, you might also be trying to appear stronger than you really are in front of your partner. I’m an emotional person, but I do my best to compartmentalize my emotions when it comes to my career and other life decisions, I always try to make the most rational choice which isn’t always easy, so not having Tim as my mentor greatly helps.
That is why it is okay, and better in my opinion, to have a mentor outside of the relationship. It’s not about letting other people dictate your life, but it’s for you to have a different support system and a wider perspective of the world outside of the romantic relationship that one has with a partner.