They say transparency is the new black. Well I’m going to try it on for size, let’s see how this goes…

A few weeks ago I decided to embrace a couple of my biggest fears: writing, and one of my (past) biggest stumbling blocks: being a “late bloomer”.  In an effort to explore, grow, and build in accountability I decided to take a writing course. Below I share with you one of my writing assignments. A simple essay in which, of course, I discuss a few of the blissful points of being a late bloomer.  Please tell me what you think.  I can’t wait to hear about the late bloomer bonuses you’ve experienced.

***

The only thing I ever did early was go gray. The early gray highlighted how green I was at everything else. Perhaps it was innocence, perhaps it was naiveté, but I was deaf to the sound of life calling. When I finally heard it, I was late to the party. Years late.

I got my license at 22, had my first beer at 23, moved from home at 25, experienced my first kiss at 26 –you get the picture. I’m what you call a “late bloomer”.  And not of the stereotypical glamorous variety. I’m not a Grandma Moses, Cezanne, or even a Susan Boyle. We can’t all be superstars, and I’ve made my peace with that. Because celebrity or not, our late arrivals come with hidden bonuses. By the time we achieve our little blossoms of success we’re set up quite nicely to receive them. That license at 22 came with a car, my first beer was in Paris, and my first kiss was on my own terms.

As much as our culture promotes and worships early wins, late bloomers have proven there is nothing wrong with taking time to find our calling, passion, and eventually success.  We’re onto something good here. A quick scan of triumphant late bloomers tells you they tend to be more persistent, curious, and mindful of what really matters in life.  And, because they have acquired more life experience than their early achieving counterparts, they respond to the highs and lows with more awareness, grace, and appreciation.

But still, the questions beg to be asked, why are they late? And more importantly, what are they late for? Whether we are early, average, or late bloomers, we each have our backstories that place us on our current path. Some use the stories as excuses, and some use the stories as a launch-pad.

Late bloomers use them as a training ground. Without knowing the exact science, they seem to have a knack for cultivating their visions, passions, and talents just long enough to deliver and share the beautiful bloom that results.  Seen through this perspective, it would appear that late bloomers aren’t really late at all. Perhaps just a little unexpected.

By definition, a late bloomer is someone who comes into their own later than their peers. By definition, there are a lot of us in the world. Perhaps even you have a few buds of unexpected gifts waiting to blossom.