The Late Bloomer

Image of a woman's head with clouds of butterflies and flowers surrounding denoting the flourishing of ideas

“There is nothing better in life than being a late bloomer. Success can happen at any time and at any age. You can have a spiritual awakening and discover a new side of yourself. And best of all, love can happen at any age.”  – Salma Hayek, Actress

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”  George Eliot, Novelist

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Before I wanted to be a writer, archaeology spoke to me.  By Grade 7, I decided this would be my future profession.  However life got in the way, as it does.  I wrote all through school, for various jobs and only published recently.  However I never lost my interest in archaeology. One whiff of an archaeological documentary or book and I’m inexorably sucked in like krill gulped down by a blue whale.

Once, while I was working at a municipal job, a client came to the counter for a permit.  He was retired and we got talking.  He said he was an archaeologist and had started only after retirement.  He chuckled and said he was a late bloomer.  I was amazed!  What was this possibility?!

He told me that volunteer opportunities abound and now that I look into it, I see there is no end.  No end to opportunities, and no end to interests.  Hmmmmm…..

The phrase ‘late bloomer’ usually refers to children or adolescents who develop their capabilities later than is considered average.  For instance, there may be delays due to learning disabilities, or the onset or duration of puberty.  Some well known late bloomers include Albert Einstein, who had speech delays, and entrepreneur Richard Branson, who has dyslexia.  According to Ken Evers, writing in the Harvard Business Review, Mozart falls into the category of people who had a tough time during their teens and into their twenties. 

‘Late bloomer’ also refers to people who have interests and talents that emerge or become apparent later in life.  In today’s extroverted world where success is gauged by how fast and how soon a person makes spectacular achievements, people who must cope with life situations are left behind, and later achievements are often overlooked.

Have a look at Debra Eve’s wonderfully inspiring website.  It’s full of stories about late bloomers, their interesting lives and their accomplishments.

Aladdin's lamp in the desert - what will emerge?

I think we can all allow ourselves to be late bloomers.  Life is all about change and development, anyway. Whatever stage of life we’re in, we can follow the breadcrumb trail of our interests.  We can investigate ideas and opportunities when they arise, one small crumb at a time.  If we do this we will eventually have a plateful to work with.  Who knows what will emerge and flourish?

For anything to grow, you must plant the seed.

Have I engaged as an archaeology volunteer?  Not quite yet – but there’s still time!

A compass on a vintage map - what direction to take?