How We Build Friendships: Parallel Mentorship

Stranger party that didn’t copy is everyone brings someone others don’t know. Instead of your spouse as your date. Fuck, I live with him. Why exactly do I want to drag him everywhere and talk to him all night at a party or wedding. I hardly speak to him at any social event. That is reality. I am confident in my relationships vs. acting like a jealous two year old.

No, I don’t go to events he likes and I don’t. Sometimes he takes neighbors, sometimes one of my or his work girlfriends. So, they like it. I do not. He always asks me first if I want to go; once in a blue moon I say yes.

She’s Poised

Reading up on one of my favorite writers (Sheila Heti) this week, I stumbled upon this interview with her that is an excerpt from the book Should I Go to Grad School?: 41 Answers to An Impossible Question.

The interview is replete with thought provoking advice, but one line of thinking in particular that stood out to me considered the idea of “parallel” mentorship. In describing why she valued the idea of graduate school, the interviewer explains that she thought it might be a good place to meet “parallel” rather than “hierarchical”  mentors – people to learn from who are peers, rather than established and successful.

I love Sheila Heti’s description of how she found collaborators and formed relationships with them–not by going to grad school–but by following her grandmother’s advice and throwing regular parties:

“My then-boyfriend (later husband, later ex-husband) Carl Wilson and I began having parties every two weeks. And with my then-new…

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