“I’ll make this guy be my mentor.”

I give Massimo 1000% credit for being my mentor, but I never thought, “I’ll make this guy be my mentor.” I didn’t care if he wanted to be my mentor or not. I attached myself to him like a parasite and sucked out every bit of knowledge and inspiration I could. When people look for mentors, they often think it’s something that’s done to them, but it isn’t. You don’t have to ask permission; you don’t even have to know the person. These days, you can read so much online. I’ve read things on The Great Discontent that make me think, “Oh, shit. That’s true!” And I learn from it. In effect, the person who said it is being my mentor for a moment, even though I’ve never met them.

The idea is that you should waste as little time as possible on being crazy in your outward appearance—the way you dress, the way you live, the way you behave—and instead use that energy to be as revolutionary as possible in your own mind. Maybe that’s the justification I use for this tame, dull life I live here in the suburbs: I’m revolutionary, even though I look boring. Although, I am sort of boring, so maybe I’m telling myself that to feel important?

Michael Bierut on The Great Discontent.