The term “late bloomer” can describe angsty adolescents, professional athletes over 25, and of course, people who discover or rediscover their passions as older adults.
“It’s not just the condescending phrase—the whispered implication that they should have bloomed earlier.” ~Daniel Coyle
But some people don’t like that term:
“Late bloomers? Late for what? What is it we’re late for? The term ‘late bloomers’ pushes a button for me.” ~CNN Interview
The former marketing exec quoted above had the high-powered job, the house, the car, the clothes—and lost everything in the recent meltdown. In her 40s, she returned to school and found her calling as a therapist, yet still takes umbrage to the term “late bloomer.”
But “late bloomer” began as a gardening phrase, one without stigma. It speaks of witnessing something beautiful on an autumn day. Late-blooming flowers provide nutrition to migrating butterflies. Pomegranates fruit in the fall.
There’s a couple in Corvallis who took their rare late-blooming moonflower cactus (pictured above) camping so as not to miss its show.
The flowers don’t know they’re late bloomers. They’re right in season.
The trick to designing your garden…is making sure you have something wonderful in bloom all the time. ~About.com
That’s the trick to designing a life too, which is why I call myself a “proud late bloomer.”
The wonderful writer and artist Lisa Congdon features my quote above in her newest book, A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives (Chronicle, 2017). I’m so thrilled!