The Agony and Ecstasy of being a Late Bloomer

grow upI’m what you call a late bloomer.  I didn’t go to college until I was thirty-eight (that’s how long it took me to get the courage).  I didn’t find my soul mate until I was forty-five (I had years of countless relationships and two failed marriages).  This year I will be sixty-two, and I still haven’t completely figured out what I want to be when I grow up.  That truth has yet to be revealed to me.

At a time when most women my age are bouncing their grandkids on their knee, I never even got around to having kids.  Instead, you could say that I’ve been in a perpetual state of my own pregnancy—that is, eagerly anticipating the birth of ME.

Throughout the years, there have been countless false alarms–times when I’ve been absolutely sure and convinced that I had found my “thing” only to discover that my “thing” just wasn’t quite right. Some may accuse me of being fickle and lacking in commitment. But the truth is, my interests are wide and varied, and I have a low threshold for boredom.

False alarms can be exhausting for pregnant women—my mom told me so, because she experienced many of them when she was pregnant with me.  Apparently, there were weeks of going back and forth from home to the hospital, only to be disappointed that I wasn’t quite ready to show myself to the world.

And it’s been no less exhausting for me on my own journey. I’ve often thought that I could have saved myself a lot of bother if I had just settled for something… anything.  There’d be no more second-guessing myself, no more agonizing about who I am, and what I’m meant to do in the world.  No more purging what disagrees with me, no more agony of leaving the security of good paying jobs. No more drifting from this to that.  No more crying on my bed in a fetal position wondering why I can’t be like other people and figure this thing out.

But in spite of all of that, getting myself to settle for less has never been an option for me.  The soul wants what it wants, in the same way that the sun just has to shine.

Once you find yourself pregnant, the child has to be born.  It’s just a matter of time.  And in the same way, we each have our own incubation time of figuring out what wants to be born.  Some of us just take longer than others.

As I look back on all of those years of trying this and trying that, I’ve mistakenly thought it was all about finding work that best fits me. But what’s really been going on, what I’ve really been trying to do all of these years (and continue to do) is to find ALIGNMENT with who I really am.

Attaining alignment is knowing what I love, and how I want to feel.  It’s knowing what I don’t want.  And it’s allowing myself and giving myself permission to live in that space.

Try not to get discouraged if the years are rolling by, and you’re still waiting to bloom. Keep on walking down the path that feels right to you; keep on doing the things you love; keep on purging what you don’t want or like.  Keep following those precious breadcrumbs.  And as you do these things, know that you are one step closer to discovering what you want to be when you grow up.  What you really want to be is ALIGNED with who you really are.

 

7 Responses to The Agony and Ecstasy of being a Late Bloomer

  1. Jade M. Griffin February 7, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    Thank you Linda for posting. Your post couldn’t come at a more perfect time. I needed to hear this. I have often felt like a late bloomer; which I am. Your article made me feel proud and accepting of it in this moment. I realized there is nothing wrong with being a late bloomer and there is nothing wrong with going through my many different avenues that got me to where I am now. My life had to take on the path it took on the get me here and it did have many short stops and starts and that is ok. I love when you said that what we really want is to to be Aligned to who we really are.That really resonated with me. Thank you for your post and thank you for sharing your journey. It is very helpful. It was definitely synchronicity.

  2. Linda February 7, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    thank you Jade! Reminding ourselves that we’re not the only ones going through this, is comforting. Keep moving in the direction that feels right for you, and the path will find YOU.

  3. Kerry February 9, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

    Hi l
    Awesome post…i was having a terrible moment where i thought i was the only one that didnt have a clue about where i was goin in life!
    As you say knowing yourself helps in knowing what you want. You might not know straight away but you work through things to figure what you dont want.

  4. Linda February 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Thanks, Kerry. That’s all you have to do–pay attention to what feels hot and what feels cold. And as Liz Gilbert says: Your passion will find you.

  5. Peter Brennan March 3, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

    great post

    i think the important thing to remember is that everything is unfolding at a pace that we can handle.

    and everything is happening for reason…no matter what stage of our life it happens.

  6. Michael A. Stilinovich May 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

    Hi Linda,

    I have read many spiritual, motivational and self help books and somewhat like a many other folks it is hard to kick the negative thought train it seems no matter how hard we perceive to try. And maybe there in lies the key is in our perception. Well after reading your essay it occurred to me that perhaps I will try to do affirmations pertaining to thought control. For instance, keep repeating to myself many times a day how “I control my thoughts and I replace all negative input with positive outcome”.

    I’m also almost 60 and have an interesting story to share but for now I’ll keep you posted how these affirmations work for me. It seems everyone has a different way to get there and I believe, or I should say I know if you are persistent you will.

    Oh and by the way I love your philosophy on life as you now see it.

    Thank you and God bless, as I know we’ll meet soon.

    Sincerely,
    Michael A. Stilinovich

  7. Linda May 20, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    thank you Michael for your comments. You and I have 60 years of conditioning, and so changing the way we think isn’t going to happen over-night. But if you can notice how you are thinking without trying to change it. Notice where your mind wants to go. It’s just a pattern that has been formed over the years. You can break that pattern by watching it and to know that you are separate from the thought.

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