They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Apr 30, 2010

AOM, 30 Days, Day Three...

Find a mentor...

What the hell does a 31 year old man need with a mentor?  Well given the fact that I am a 31 year old child I guess I could handle one.

This one also required some thought.  Ugh, me and my thoughts again.  That's never good.

So I sat down and started thinking of what I would want in a mentor.

I came up with a few things, in no particular order.  He's got to be older than me.  Duh, how can you get mentored by someone whom you have underwear older than? 

He's gotta be a working man.  You know the type I'm talking about (they're an endangered species).  The guys that have been working at the same job for 20 some years, getting up before the sun and hitting the road to work. 

He's got to be a serviceman.  For no other reason that if I need or want to talk about the military he's got to know what I'm talking about.  I can't stop to explain every acronym or slang term. 

He's got to be the kind of guy that doesn't shy away from a daunting challenge.  The kind of guy that when there's something that needs to be done, he shows up early and leaves late. 

And I don't want one of those guy's that every thing always seems to work out for.  I want a guy that has weathered a few shit storms in his life.  This is why you can't trust rich people.  You can't trust a man that doesn't have the scars that a real life will put on you.  And the only way you get those scars is if you run headlong into life and the storms that come with it.

He's got to be a family man.  A guy that loves and cares for his children.  I hate to say that I actually have to specify this because it should be automatic.  But nowadays you run into more than a few guys that could care less that they have children and/or wives.  This one's simple.  I want to have a family someday and you can't really take family advice from a lifelong bachelor.

Lastly, he's got to be a believer.  I'm not talking about God.  Though that helps.  I'm talking about in himself and in the inherent goodness of people.  He can't be a cynic.  This is important because I find myself getting more and more cynical as time goes by and this is something that I definitely want to put a stop to.  So asking a cynic how not to be cynical would be counterproductive to say the least.

Then they told me to write down three men that I want to be my mentor.  We'll get back to this one.

Wait, let's stop there.  Because as I read the rest of the task I realized that it was unnecessary.  The rest was about how a mentor could help you grow as a man and figuring out who it would be and asking them and blah, blah, blah.

None of this matters for me because I realized that I didn't really need to ask anyone.  I already had about 25 of them.  You see I'm a member of the American Legion.  And I am a member of Post 1205 in Wood Dale, IL.

There's no shortage of advice coming from all those old farts.  Never could a guy ask for a better bunch of men to mentor him.  They met every criteria I set forth previously.  These are working men, these are men that have been through the ringer.  Some going as far back as Korea, most from Vietnam, some more from the Gulf, and then a few from Iraq and Afghanistan.  And they're all believers, if they weren't they sure as shit wouldn't be members of the Legion.

They have done so much for me without even realizing it.  They've always helped me through whatever the hell lunacy was the order of the day in my life.  They've put up with my shit for going on 6 years now.  They made sure I knew that I was missed and supported while I was gone overseas this last time, and they'll be right there if I have to do it again.

More importantly, in fact most importantly, they've given me a safe place to go and decompress and get through this whole readjustment process.  You see, I haven't exactly had a cake walk since I got home.  Going back to a civilian after a year of that shit is a "daunting challenge".  One that saw my sick time balance go from 110 hrs down to 24.  You know, staying home from work A LOT.  Relationships becoming relationshits and so on.  No need for all the boo who poor me shit.

But there was always that place where I knew I could go and be completely at ease.  Which is a big deal.  Hadn't been completely at ease for an entire year, even while I was sleeping I was tense.  But there's always that place.  Walk in the door and you're guaranteed to know someone there.  They'll sit with and talk to you, and welcome you in.  That's what I needed more than anything.  Hell, they'll even give you your job back just to get you out of the house and back with people that care about you.

For these things I can't thank them enough.

And when I figured all that out, I thought who the hell needs only one mentor when you can have a shit ton of them?  And who needs to ask them when they're already just waiting for you to ask for their help?

So that's that. 

Anyways, tomorrow's task is Increasing my testosterone!  Oh fuck yeah, this should be a fun one.  Especially since I am going to a wedding tomorrow.  Throw a nice increase in testosterone with a hard night of drinking and let's see what she gets! (Woops)


I love you Mom...


  1. love this! and you know the best part???? Two decades from now, some young soldier...will be talking of his mentor... a scruffy old soldier, who'd been to AssCrackIsTan is now sitting at the lodge drinking a cold one with the other old farts, sharing stories of sand and humvees.
    'Pay it Forward'...

  2. Oh, hey thanks for reminding me that I've gotta get old. Appreciate it. HOw's your son doing?

  3. My son's doing well, thanks for asking! I'm ready for him to come home! But as they say; wish in one hand, sh*% in the other, see which one fills up first :) He'll be home soon.
    Remember this...growing old is a requirement, growing up is not!

    Now move on to Day 4!
    love ya!