Morpheus, My Mentor

To my delight and embarrassment, he said, "Tell her to get some courage and come over here."

It was about 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning, in a quiet 24-hour diner in New York City. There was a man sitting at the bar who caught my eye. I knew him from somewhere, but couldn't put my finger on it. Then the waiter told me that he was an actor from _The Matrix._

Holy crap--it was Morpheus in the flesh! He was right there in front of me, and I couldn't recognize Laurence Fishburne for the life of me. But now I knew, and I really wanted to say hello. Like a giddy little girl, though, I was too scared. I think it's because he usually plays disappointed father/militant roles, and I didn't want to be scolded.

Eventually, my roommate succumbed to my pleading, went to talk to him, and asked if I could buy him a drink. To my delight and embarrassment, he said, "Tell her to get some courage and come over here." One Maker's Mark and at least an hour later, Mr. Fishburne had me on a life mission.

After asking me to very specifically tell him what my life goals were and how I planned to achieve them, I was at a loss for many descriptive words. All I knew was that I wanted to be self-sufficient. Lame answer, but rather than call me out on my lack of life strategy and vision, Mr. Fishburne gave me some advice that I still consider to this day. He very simply--but with a somewhat fierce urgency--told me that I need to write. If anything, I am to write every single day about anything and everything; it really doesn't matter what. He even gave me a deadline and said I have seven years (until I am 30) to work on this task. By the end of that time, if I have stayed on course, I should be able to make the connections and figure out what it is that I am really passionate about. It's really a simple concept, but when Laurence Fishburne, Morpheus, says it, it seems much more important.

The very next day, I wrote about my experience and have been writing as much as I can ever since. When I am gifted with an important task, I aim to complete it. Thank you, Mr. Fishburne.


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