Are You a Late Bloomer?
I know I am. At a recent gathering of my Zoom book group, my mature women friends were discussing The Prime of Miss Jean Brody and reminiscing over their prime years. It was then I realized, in my early 60s, I haven’t reached my prime yet. While many of my friends are retiring and winding down, my true career path is just beginning.
So late bloomers, take heart. It’s not all bad. Here’s a few things I know about reaching your full bloom later in life.
It’s never too late to do what you love
I’ve had three astrology charts done and they all say the same thing: that I will have great success later in life. The question has always been: Just how late in life?
Julia Child didn’t find success in French cooking until almost 50 when Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published. Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when her first book, Little House in the Big Woods was published. Or will I find creative success in my 90’s like Grandma Moses who didn’t start painting until age 78? All of these people, and millions of others, are proof that you can start a new career, a passion or creative pursuit at any age and find success.
Better late than never
Sometimes our true calling gets put on the back burner or delayed. I’ve had different careers including video producer, television editor, marketing writer and employee communications specialist. But only recently have I pursued a creative career that is all my own.
The thing about late bloomers is they never give up. They are resilient. They learn from their mistakes and move on. I wish I’d had the courage to pursue a more authentic career path earlier. But I’m not beating myself up for mistakes of the past. Instead, I’m grateful. When I look at all the years it’s taken to get to this marvelous place in my life, I’m grateful because those years — filled with challenges, love and learning — have brought me to this beautiful place in my journey. Everything was a building block to this moment. I’m more confident, more financially secure and more focus on what I want to accomplish. So does it really matter how long it takes, or if the road is an easy one or a straight one, if you enjoy the journey and it leads to where you want to be?
Later in life success is a blessing
As late bloomers, we have the advantage, because we’ve had the time to enrich our soil to grow stronger roots that will support our beautiful, blossoming selves. What I’ve noticed about friends who’ve experienced great success early in their lives is that they didn't always have the time to built a strong, internal foundation. Their focus is often on recreating what they had in the past rather than building towards a better and brighter future.
I love that the overall trajectory of my life has gotten better and better. Of course, there have been setbacks and bumps in the road: illness, a lawsuit, a recession. We’ve all had our share. But being a late bloomer means building each year towards the most rewarding part of your life.
You discover the true definition of success
The other thing that happens as we progress in years, is we become wiser, and our definition of what success is changes. External recognition becomes less important, and success is more defined by our internal gratification and happiness. And like happiness, success is often a personal choice on how we view the world and our place in it. As the Buddhists say, “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”
Achieving an external measure of success without a foundation of self-awareness and self-confidence can be challenging. Achieving success based on your own values is nirvana.
Trust in divine timing
Being a late bloomer is a great way to develop faith. Faith is knowing no matter how long it takes or how many setbacks, the Universe has your back. Wherever you are on your life’s journey, learn to give less importance to deadlines and the pressure to achieve certain goals by a certain age. Trust life and trust yourself. Know that you are on your own path and on your own timeline to achieving your dreams.
Embrace your late bloomer-dom! Let me know in the comments if you’re a late bloomer.