Confessions of a Late Bloomer
In most minds, the term late bloomer means either a person who is eternally immature or just plain lazy. With me it has a deeper meaning; aged like a good wine, the longer you leave it in the bottle, the better it gets. See how good I am at lying to myself? We all know that even a bottle of good wine can eventually go bad if you wait too long to open it.
Confession Number One : This Late Bloomer is a master at kidding herself. No doubt because I entered the world complete with a built-in set of blinders. While growing up, my friends would chatter excitedly about all the freedom they would have when they grew up; drive a car, live on their own, get that dream job, date anyone they wanted. I would smile and said, “Me too” because I thought that’s what I should say. But, I didn’t mean it. I secretly held onto the hope that I could live at home until I was thirty or forty.
The big world scared the shit out of me. Drive a car? Pay for insurance. Live on my own? Rent increases. Get that dream job? Only if you’re an outgoing extrovert who can sell herself (not shy little me). Date who you want? Not after the stream of stalkers I attracted in middle school and high school. But, I was trouper. I adjusted my blinders and walked straight into life (knees shaking). That courageous decision garnered me a Pinto, (I’m not kidding), a Preschool teaching job that I loved, but paid less than a garbage collector’s salary, a boyfriend who was NOT a stalker (until he showed his true colors after a few months), and an apartment I could only afford with said boyfriend’s help (who held that over my head every time I threatened to leave).
It took forever (isn’t nine years forever?) to convince myself that I was better off without him AND that Pinto. Late Bloomer or slow learner? You pick. I was determined to prove that I could find an apartment for myself without his financial help. To my dismay, the only place I could afford was a dumpy studio apartment with bars on the windows across the street from a Liquor store that had bars on the windows. I went back to my Dad’s place where my furniture was stored and sobbed into my beanbag chair. Which brings me to . . .
Confession Number Two: Will someone please take care of me?? As the youngest in a family of three motherless daughters, it is understandable that I would have this desire. However, when I tried living with my Dad, or sisters, or that string of pathetic/loser roommates – my only wish was to be alone. It dawned on me that it wasn’t that I couldn’t live alone, just that I didn’t earn enough money to make that possible. Sooooo, back to college. But, on the way, I found Dream Guy and thought . . . this. could. work. And it did. He took care of me and (bless me) I found out that I wanted to take care of him. That’s how real love works when your partner isn’t a stalker. I got married, continued my education, had a child, and lost myself for a little while in the Land of Parenting. Which brings me to the next confession.
Confession Number Three: After all that, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Eventually, my son was driving, my marriage was solid and all of the sudden, nobody needed me anymore. My job had become routine and still paid slightly above poverty level. What should I do with all this time on my hands? My mind screamed, Paint, Draw, Dance, Act, Write! I’ve got that artistic theme going, can you see that? I wanted to do all of the above. But nothing happened (crickets). So, I tried meditation. This practice opened up doors in my mind that had always been closed to me. The gentle mental rain soaked into the soil of my fertile mind and all of the seeds that I’d planted along the life’s highway began to sprout. Now, blogs, short stories, books, and paintings bloom in my mind. The creativity keeps flowing. And I love it.
My Last Confession : I still haven’t bloomed. Blossomed, yes, but I’m still growing, learning, and experiencing more adventures than ever before. I no longer regret that all of this didn’t happen when I was younger. I’m eternally grateful that I took my time to figure things out and slowed down enough to enjoy the inspiring people who’ve remained at my side and those who’ve passed through my life along the way. I’m not sure if I’ll ever reach full bloom, but life has given me such wondrous gifts that I now look forward to every single day, because I truly don’t know what will happen next. And isn’t that the kind of story you want to be in? So, as I always say, late bloomers are aged like good wine.
You know, I like this one much better:
Stop and Smell the Roses
Those little moments are blooming everywhere . . . so keep looking.
Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment and let me know what you thought.