If every human is born to tread a path unique to themselves – unique in distance, in significance, in complexity – then I believe in the “late bloomer”.
I was a late bloomer. There were times when the isolation of my “pre-emergent” days seemed overwhelming and confusing, and on more than one occasion I doubted the value of my life entirely. My individuality seemed more a blight than the shiny, luminous flowers thriving in the gardens of other people’s lives….okay, the botanical metaphor is a bit much, but in truth it takes as long as it takes for each of us to grow through our lives, to come into our own. There’s virtue in my philosophy, too. I blossomed at the birth of my daughter and again at the birth of my son when I was nearly 30 years of age. For me, what seemed an eternity of oblivion settled out like fog and I began to see the looming prospect of a life lived fully, creatively, gratefully. My parents, perhaps the only consistent witnesses to my unfolding, were made more human when I asked about their evolution. The significance of their struggles embarrassed me a little, and I felt short-changed that none of my hardships had involved “…walking for miles in the snow with no shoes…”; but I grew to appreciate the gift of embellishment. Looking back, I’m thankful for the days of dormancy, the winter’s conditioning of my character; because without such hardening, I would have little appreciation of the things yet to come and the inability to practice these virtues in my own life, much less the lives of others.
Every day I’m presented with new opportunities to plot not only where I am on my journey but where my fellow travelers are on theirs – where they’ve been, where they’re going, if their hand needs holding or their hosannas need shouting to the firmament. I celebrate the individual. I think it’s sad that we cast and are often times caught in wide nets. So much is required of each of us. I hope to never abandon the purpose of my life to the pace of my life. My philosophy requires a discipline that I don’t really, fully possess, but it’s my belief nonetheless. So I say, be observant late bloomers, take it all-in, your time of transformation is imminent.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.