Monday, November 28, 2011

A Positive Role Model?

Sunday evening my mentee and I were in my room watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta. During a commercial break she asked me where were my boyfriends,why didn't I go out.

I just stared at her. I didn't know what to say.

I must be a sad sight: a woman over 30 at home every night, watching reality TV.

I used to be much more social. I would attend events or functions several times a week or go out dancing on the weekend. I was a member of professional organizations and was involved with my alumni and community groups.

Today my life is work, Jazzercise and volunteer projects. (I do go to church on Saturday nights).

Hmmm, what happened?

"I do need to go out," I finally said to her.

"You need to do," she said.

I laughed. I've done Match, I told her.

"What happened?" she asked.

"I didn't find a match," I answered.

But I had to wonder what kind of example I'm setting for my mentee. I could teach her how to get into college, how to write an essay for a scholarship or do a cover letter for a job interview, but I can't teach her about love - lasting love.

I've failed at relationships. When she sees me, she sees a college-educated professional alone on a Friday night (and Saturday night too), a single woman.

I once read an article (man I wish I could find it) that basically said Condoleezza Rice and Oprah were not good role models because they put career before family.

I want to be a positive influence. But am I a good role model for my mentee? What is my life teaching her?



SingLikeSassy said...

This is deep.

kendra said...

so you're "less-than" positive because you don't have a man? whatever. you're showing her a healthy, well-adjusted, spiritual, funny, independent, strong female. don't fall into that crazy "you're less than because you're not in a relationship" thinking; don't teach your mentee that mess, either.

BPC said...

You can not be down on yourself because of something that you have no control over. If we could control that, we would all be married and in happy relationships. You have been a positive role model. However, you would not be a good role model if you send her the message that a woman is "less than" or unsuccessful if she is single and in her 30s, 40s -- whatever. Plus, there are a lot of single black women in their 30s and 40s, so that means that it's not you in particular. There is nothing wrong with you. You really have to stop that.

uneek said...

I think you are teaching her not to settle for less! You are also teaching her to be strong and to put things in order, just in case! I also think you are in a good position to teach her some of the mistakes you may have made. These are honest/positive advise you can give to her.