I’ve been told many times in life that I’m a late bloomer. When I was in high school, I didn’t mind being told so; I actually reveled in it, thinking it was one of my more defining characteristics.
Today, the term doesn’t stick so well. Being 25 and still unsure of what I want to do with my life means I'm the last within my circle of friends to start a career. At this point, being a late bloomer has proved to be more of a stressor than anything else.
As I see other people my age chasing after their dream jobs, doing the nine-to-five grind, or moving locations for new beginnings, I’m still trying to discover exactly what career would make me the happiest.
Despite the headache associated with feeling like your life is somehow off track, not knowing where you're going doesn’t make it the worst thing in the world.
I’ve spoken to people of all ages who still believe they are not yet doing what they are meant to do in life. And, in all honesty, that’s completely, 100 percent fine.
Baz Luhrmann mentions something similar in his song, “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen”:
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
So, what is the rush weighing so heavily on our shoulders to get to the end goal of being settled in a job, of meeting the person with whom we'll share our lives, or of knowing the ending before the beginning? Every job, every experience and every person we meet are what make up our lives.
The moments we are currently living are part of our journey before we arrive at the final destination.
I forget sometimes how young 25 really is. The belief that I should already know the layout of my life is highly irrational and, in some ways, removes the fun of figuring myself out.
For example, from not knowing what I want to do, I’ve been able to take many jobs that suit my different interests.
From the restaurant industry to non-profit work, I’ve gained great experience and met some interesting people along the way. This isn't to say my friends who are more settled have not had the same opportunities.
But, sometimes, it’s harder to experience other fields of interest when your single job consumes your time.
How you feel about where you are in life is defined by you and only you. People will always have things to say about your decisions, and society will continue to enforce “rules” about the correct way to live. Your friends and siblings will have careers or get married before those elements ever cross your mind.
It's all a part of life, the things over which we have no control.
The one thing over which we do have control is how we decide to feel about our lives and ourselves. There’s no point in beating yourself up because you don’t know what you want, or because you have not yet discovered your dreams.
It all comes together with time, with the moments that exist between the starting point and the finish line.
It takes courage to admit to yourself and others that you’re more complex than you thought and you don’t yet know who you are. Life has a way of bringing us exactly what we need at just the perfect time. Start believing where you are is the only place you are meant to be.
Be happy to be where you are and who you are: a late bloomer.
For what it's worth... it's never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you're not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again. — F. Scott Fitzgerald