Where’s the Miyagi to my Grasshopper?

I need to find a mentor.

If you Google “quarter life crisis,” most websites worth their salt will tell you to find one. Someone older, in your field, who’s willing to email you advice and occasionally meet you for coffee if you’re lucky enough to live in the same city.

But I’m not picky. I can email this person from a coffee shop and pretend.

Where do you seek out such a person, though? I don’t speak to my former professors unless I run into them at the grocery store (awkward) or social functions (less awkward). One former internship supervisor is my husband, another is insane, and the last is going through his mid-life crisis and a lot of coke. Serious writers and podcasters don’t live ’round these parts, and I pay my therapist, so I don’t think she counts.

Maybe you’re supposed to send out tweets and emails until you get a response. That’s worked a bit. I have a reasonable level of acquaintanceship with some top-notch podcasters based on begging advice. Is that the new mentorship? 140 character conversation?

I’ve changed my mind. I want the coffee after all.

Maybe I’ll take out a personals ad: “Protege seeks mentor. Creeps need not apply. You bring the advice and patches on a tweed jacket. We can meet me at the coffee shop that was once a car showroom. I’ll be the one with the rose between the pages of Infinite Jest, with the eyes full of naïveté.

Sincerely,

A little lost twenty-something.”

Liz Furl

Liz Furl is hanging out in a loft in Rochester, NY doing one of the following: 1) Working on her podcast; 2) Writing for FTS and/or other websites clamoring for her talent; 3) Watching her cats be general idiot nuisances; 4) Plotting to leave the soul-crushing grasp of Cubicle Land; 5) Devising ways to take the world by storm; 6) Slowly detoxing from iPhone games and Netflix; 6) Drinking some cheap wine or expensive beer, possibly combined with any of the above. You can find her at LadyBitsPodcast.com, @LizFurl on Twitter, and even on Facebook, if you ask nicely.

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