Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's About Bloomin' Time


Hello Dear Readers,

Were you a late bloomer or an early bloomer? In my experience, early bloomers are easy to spot: they are those people you occasionally meet who always find some excuse to talk about the good ol' days--i.e. high school. These are the former jocks, cheerleaders, the old popular crowd of the great Alma Mater. Maybe even some of the "brains" who received top marks in every assignment, were well-liked by everyone (especially their teachers), and voted Most Likely to Succeed by their peers. The Brandon Walshes of the world.

Late bloomers tend to be more difficult to spot, because unless you've known them for their entire lives, they seem to have always been this awesome. Many people hit their stride as adults, and as a result of their not-so-satisfactory high school experience, they often have a down-to-earth humility which is admirable. Once you've been picked last for gym team, you're not bound to forget the experience. That alone can make you more sympathetic than your early bloomer cohorts. However, the treatment you receive in your youth can mean your confidence takes a beating.

Anyone who follows this blog will not be surprised to learn that I consider myself a late bloomer. I envy the idyllic adolescence of early bloomers, but I've been a bit saddened by the ones who can't seem to move past their first taste of success. If high school represents the pinnacle of your life, what is there to look forward to in the future? Is being captain of the football team really as good as it gets? For some, perhaps.

When I was a kid, quite a few people called me weird. Now my so-called "out-of-the-box" thinking is appreciated and even admired. I was always picked last for gym teams, and even hid on dark stairwells to escape participating in team sports. (The Cat Ate My Gymsuit was one of my favorite books at the time.) Now I'm regularly referred to as an athlete, a description that still startles me (and makes me very proud, because it was so hard earned). I was always a writer, but back then, I couldn't get a summer job working at my small town paper. Now I've written for some of the best and biggest papers in the country. Pretty good for a late bloomer. ;)

There's still so much I haven't accomplished; so much I have left to do. I hope I get the opportunity to do it all. In retrospect, I suppose it doesn't matter if you bloom late or bloom early, just as long as you keep blooming.

And know that your best achievements are still around the corner. Gives you something to look forward to.

Were you an early bloomer or a late bloomer? What was your high school experience like?

6 comments:

  1. I dont' know what I was. When it comes to athletics, I was an early bloomer. You weren't. But I would disagree that you were a late bloomer when it comes to "thinking" -- you were probably an old soul and "forward thinker" (as you referred to yourself) from the start. You didn't look at the world the same was as others. I was that too. And in that way WE were the early bloomers.
    In high school you are rewarded by being an early bloomer athletically and a "late" bloomer in terms of independent thought -- conformists ruled high school. I may have been a good athlete, but I was never quite IN... because I didnt' quite think like other people. I knew it then, but couldn't put my finger on it. Do I make sense??

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  2. Hi Kim! Thanks for your comment. And yes, you make perfect sense.

    I never thought of it that way before--being an early bloomer in terms of thinking, but I did feel like an old soul. I remember feeling nostalgic when I was in Grade 9, and my English teacher at the time telling me that was highly unusual. My friends often said that I talked "like a grown up". I thought they meant my voice was deep. I didn't realize until years later that I was using words a lot of them couldn't understand! I wish they'd just said, "what do you mean?" I wasn't trying to sound smart...I wasn't aware that I was different from anyone else.

    You are so right that the conformists are rewarded in high school. Even when I realized that, I resisted any attempt to make me conform. I don't know if that was because it was "cooler", in my mind, to defy authority, or because I knew that any attempt on my part to be someone else would fail. Maybe a combination of both.

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  3. *sigh...

    Always picked last for team sports, HATED-HATED-HATED any kind of physical activity, never in the cool crowd as I wasn't a risk taker who would skip class or break curfew...

    All things said I'm pretty proud of how this "later-bloomer" turned out... ;)

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  4. As you should be, Lisa! You're pretty darn awesome!

    Thanks for commenting.

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  5. Late commenter, late bloomer for sure. You could not pay me enough to endure High School again - it was just rotten! :-p ha ha

    Great post Holli!

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  6. Thanks, MM. Sorry to hear that. My own experience wasn't so bad, but it wasn't good enough for me to EVER want to relive it. Things are much better now, I'm happy to say!

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