We’ve all heard the phrase “late bloomer.” Generally, it is in reference to someone who comes into his or her own after a season where the societal norm says otherwise. We all know one, or perhaps are one.
Personally, I’ve almost come to resent the phrase. It connotes that something was missed; something is behind. But I beg to reason that for a “late” bloomer, a more fitting phrase might be a “timely” bloomer. Because someone chooses to explore tact, patience, or took a little more time, doesn’t make him or her late.
Whose idea was it about this late bloomer business anyway? According to who? I think there’s something to be said about someone who has taken time in his or her life to just be. So many people have never had the experience of just being. Or better yet, I tried something, I'm this now.
I remember as a high school student, I was convinced I wanted to be an architect. Convinced. I was in an architecture program for aspiring architects, taking several technical drafting and computer classes. I submitted drawings and models to contests and even interned. And I enjoyed it. I never aspired to anything else. I figured if I like it, what’s the problem.
Then I got to college. Thumbing through the catalog of classes, I saw listings for courses I didn’t even know existed. Classes like basket weaving, Arabic, organic chemistry. (All classes I took, by the way--- don’t ask…)
And because of that, it took me a few more years to truly acknowledge what I wanted to do with my life. I believe no knowledge is wasted knowledge. And in the grand scheme of things, what is a couple years or a few cracks to find purpose?
No love lost for those who found early on their paths—but that’s the easy part. But to those who have tried a few things, done a few things, discovered a bit, taken a little time-- hats off to you. You are not a late bloomer; you are an explorer. People regret what they don’t do, not what they do. Do I miss basket weaving? By no means at all, but I’d much rather live knowing I gave it a shot than look back wondering.
A part of this human journey that we call life is exploration, definition, assessment, and repeat. Now, this doesn’t give us license to be disrespectful or reckless, but this does give us permission to try and reaffirm and embrace our own journeys.
If you discover your love for photography at 30, that makes you no less great than someone who began at 3. Same is to be said about dancers, doctors, or divers. You are not a late bloomer, you are an adventurer, you are a thinker, you are a human.
Be inspired to know it’s not too late. It’s not too much. You can do it. Whatever you want to do, you can do it. You can dream again. You can do that thing that you set out to do. It’s within your reach and it can be yours. Basket and all.
It’s never too late.