The true definition of an apprentice, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “is a person who learns a job or skill by working for a fixed period of time for someone who is very good at it”. Usually, the apprenticeship lasts for a specific amount of time and that mentee is bound by a legal agreement. Although I did not sign paperwork for my indefinite membership, I am under a self-imposed contract that requires feeding my mind quality food that is good for my soul. The most valuable life-skills cultivated thus far, such as focusing only on things I can control ( myself) and mentally deleting the things I can’t (everything and everyone else on the planet), character, integrity, and self-acceptance were all developed over time under the guidance of an expert in the field of life.
I met my Christian mentor and became an apprentice upon my entry into the Al-Anon program almost a century ago. Al-Anon is a support and discussion group for the relatives of people suffering from alcoholism, usually operated in conjunction with Alcoholics Anonymous. Gayle has a Master’s Degree in Theology and we meet up as often as our busy schedules allow (usually every other month) for my personal tune-up sessions. When I am struggling on taking the next right action within any area of my life, she is on speed-dial, text or email for guidance. I need the continuous support for sanity.
Through Gayle, I have been able to shed the old, worn out excuses (what happened to me in childhood, my past mistakes, painful decisions my parents made when I was a child, unfair practices at work that resulted in collective anger) from my past in order to move forward. Gayle challenges me to be the best version of myself and leads by example. I will always be a work in progress when it comes to allowing my past to refine, not define me. Because setbacks are always possible, I will forever be an apprentice. I never know when crazy might just show up on the horizon and it’s hard to tame her alone!