I am a late bloomer. A super-duper late bloomer; as in J.K. Rowling late bloomer without the money. It has taken me a long time to come to this place of acceptance in part because of a book I read by Rich Karlgaard, Late Bloomers, The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement. This is not a paid promotion for #richkarlgaard, yet it is probably one of the most important books I have read in a long while.
Listen to me people, read this book! No joke. Buy it, borrow it, or get it from your local library. I think every parent, teacher, professor, guidance counselor, principal, employer, boss, middle-manager, coach, musician, adult, teen, grandparent, you get the idea, should #READTHISBOOK. The rates of depression and anxiety among young people in the United States has been steadily rising for the past 50 years. The statistics for depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and attempts have increased exponentially in part due to the influence of early achievement. I think it’s time to bring back the positive of being a #latebloomer.
A late bloomer doesn’t always mean someone who blooms after 50 years of age, either. It can be the 22-year-old who barely graduated high school only to enter culinary school and become a world famous chef. It can be the ordinary person who fails at every job they’ve ever had only to become a huge success as an entrepreneur. It can also be the person who holds a hodgepodge of ordinary, average jobs only to find success in something as simple as real estate. I know plenty of remarkably successful real estate agents who are making barrels full of money, but who enters high school saying I want to be a real estate agent?
We don’t hear much about the late bloomer unless it is someone like J.K. Rowling, or Ken Fisher, founder of Fisher Investments, Morgan Freeman, Janet Evanovich, creator of Stephanie Plum and author of several books. She struggled with her writing career in her 30’s and didn’t begin writing thrillers until her 40’s and now has over two hundred million books in print worldwide! Scott Kelly, the record-setting astronaut with more than 500 days in space finished in the bottom half of his high-school out of sheer boredom. You could say he is a late bloomer in the astronaut world.
When I was growing up, being a late bloomer was not a negative thing. It just meant you would mature a little later but would eventually find your way. No one worried about it or labeled you as a failure. Far from it. Our parents, aunts, uncles, school counselors, etc., didn’t push too hard. Sure, they had suggestions and sometimes they laughed at our dreams, but they meant well. There were a few rebels, like me that laughed at their suggestions, too, but it was all okay. It seemed to work. In fact, many students can benefit from taking a break from high school to college to figure things out. Whether they travel or work for a little while. It doesn’t matter, and the benefits are noteworthy. Some of us “think” we would like to work in an office only to find we hate sitting behind a desk unable to enjoy the outdoors. And vice-versa. Some of us think we want to work outdoors only to realize, no, that’s not what I want. It’s worth it to test these waters. Some of us get caught up in a life we didn’t expect only to discover well into our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and beyond, our true life’s passion. It’s okay because I’m sure there were lessons learned while we were taking care of life. And that is the true beauty of a late bloomer.
I never thought I’d be a lifestyle model and actor at this age. Honestly! If you had told me that when I was 20, I would have laughed and said, yeah, right! But I am, and I’m working! Steadily!! I’m loving life like I never thought I’d love life at this age. I am so busy learning new things all the time. I can’t get enough. I’m like the proverbial sponge soaking it all up. I have more confidence now than ever before, and I directly attribute this to all the different “jobs” I had prior to embarking on a lifestyle model/acting career.
I attended a prestigious secretarial school after high school because that was what I wanted for a career; to be a secretary. Think Mad Men. It was considered esteemed to be a secretary. I worked in a few very prominent and high-profile businesses, as well as some ordinary offices. Then I chose to marry and raise my children. After my children were older, I went back into the Administrative Assistant role (new name same BS) only to realize how much I disliked it. Okay, I hated it. Long story short, someone with some influence commented on my silver hair and asked if I’d be interested in modeling and having some photos done. Since it was always my dream to model, a dream I dabbled in ever so slightly at a much younger age, I said, sure. And here I am as a wiser, much more confident LATE BLOOMER #lifestylemodel #actor.
I’m also a late bloomer Christian. Yes, you heard that right! I was raised Catholic and while I attended church, I never quite got it or felt it was fulfilling me. The last 10 years of so I have been on a spiritual journey. I’ve tried it all, trust me, but it wasn’t until I was introduced to Christianity and Highlands Church in Scottsdale that I found my peace. The day I walked into that church, I cried. Honest to goodness tears. I felt a peace I have never known. I attend church regularly, volunteer on a ridiculously small scale, attend Bible Study one night a week, and pray regularly. I’m not saying this to toot my Christian horn, but again, I’m soaking it all up like a sponge and I couldn’t be happier. I may be late to the game, but better late than never.
I could not be more grateful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way and am still learning. I was fortunate to be able to spend quality time raising my sons into the most wonderful men they are today, not that I take all the credit. Late bloomers bring much more to the table than the early achiever. I am not saying the early achiever isn’t genius or extraordinary. They are, but there will be lessons the early achiever hasn’t had time to learn. They also have a higher burnout rate than us late bloomers, just so you know. Another fact, late bloomers are better at “surviving” than early bloomers. Late bloomers know how to juggle, shift, accommodate, pivot, because we’ve had to; not so much for early bloomers. As I continually say, #imjustgettingstarted. Rock on, late bloomers.