I’ve never really had a mentor. My mother is amazing so in a way, that’s always seemed like enough.
But I’ve never had that woman.
The one who spoke my language and made me brave. The one who may not even know how much her words or life or the way she kicks her shoes off and walks humble steps before me admitting when she loses it and does all the yelling or wishes her house was more Pinterest-worthy or owned but opens the doors anyway, or burns red-faced shame when the mothering gets tricky and the kid with the smile that melts your heart makes you wonder if you’re doing it all wrong because for goodness sakes, did he just do that in public?
The woman who reminds the just-a-moms that what they do is sacred, even when they’re feeding their children cereal for dinner, or googling ways to get Vaseline out of hair and carpet and wherever else toddler fingers managed to roam.
And sometimes she’s the one who’s gone before you, linking up voices and then lives and then souls.
Because this kind of sisterhood doesn’t just happen.
It takes someone willing to go first. To write scared. To say it’s okay if we don’t get it right, or perfect, because there’s beauty in doing it anyway.
There’s glory in the good enoughs and the this times and the I choose. There’s blessings in the you too, and the I know, and the come anyway.
To love community even when women have hurt you. To live community even when you have to admit that it’s hard not to line up and compare, even when your size 10′s never have anything cute and your calves are too big for knee high boots, even when you’re not really sure how to do that thing with your hair, or you’re too tall or too short or too potato shaped. To live community when you’re never sure if you belong and it’s the scariest thing in the world to step out anyway and you look down and thank God there’s someone who went first and left their size 10s right there for you. Because you can follow.
And sometimes she asks you to just show up anyhow. To just come, and she leaves the door open.
And she tells you that you were made to write. And you, you do something crazy. You start to believe her.
You start to see yourself as someone who has words pent up in their soul and pouring from their pen. And maybe it’s this brave woman, this mentor, this one who did it first, that makes you brave enough to risk it all and do it too. Because maybe that’s all we ever need in a sisterhood like ours, someone to leave the link open and invite you to join. Maybe all it takes is five minutes and a whole lotta brave to believe it for real.
To our fearless (okay not always, but some wise woman once said, it’s not brave if you’re not scared) leader and my mentor in all this crazy writing stuff, to the visionary behind the place that taught me to write, to risk it, to say it anyway, and invite others to do the same, Lisa Jo Baker.
In honor of your book coming out, let me just say, I love you, friend. All of this and so much more.
I you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s 5 minute Friday. A place we come to celebrate with words and story and everyone is invited. Five minutes just might change the way you feel about being a writer, it just might make you brave. Five minutes on the prompt: Write. Don’t overthink. Don’t edit. Just go and then, the best part. Link up with this community, the best on the internet in my humble opinion, and make it your goal to make someone else just a tiny bit braver too.