On late bloomers

Here in Brisbane, one of my favourite times of year is mid-August, when the jasmine on my patio blooms. It has the most exquisite, sweet scent, and it accompanies the cool, sunny days that characterise the end of winter here in the subtropics. It’s in full bloom in early September when my kids have their birthdays, and a few weeks later the flowers are falling off and the leaves are turning brown. I prune it back and wait another year.

But this morning, mid-October as the gardenias are budding, I found some late bloomers. I inhaled their scent hungrily, then took this photo.

I was a late bloomer in every sense of the word. I stilled played with my dollhouse in the first year of high school, until one of the other girls told me that it was lame. I was puzzled and sometimes horrified by the things my teenage peers talked about and did. I gained a reputation for being the biggest “dag” in my grade (if not the school). I flunked almost everything at high school and spent a very long time working in fast food jobs and typing jobs.

In fact, I’d say that I didn’t really blossom until my mid-twenties. I went back to school and finished my senior, got into uni, started writing books, and haven’t looked back. It seems to me there is so much pressure on children/teenagers to decide on a career and embark on a course of study that some of them are just not mentally and emotionally ready for. I hope my kids—who show signs of being late bloomers themselves—can go at their own pace, make a few mistakes, then find something that they are genuinely passionate about when the time is right for them. After all, there is that lovely surprise of finding a late bloomer, blossoming prettily on the dying vine, long after the crowd has moved on.

8 thoughts on “On late bloomers

  1. Great post, Kimberley 🙂 It mirrors everything I went through and often beat myself up over. With your insight and attitude I realise it’s all about perception. So maybe it’s time to accept I was and possibly still are a late bloomer – and how special are they 🙂

  2. You always offer people hope. Such a wonderful quality. I like to think it’s never to late to have a go at something you love. I did my Honours year in history with an 80-year-old. He was so enthusiastic! We all admired him for still being open to learning and curious about life.

  3. I agree totally on late bloomers. I want exactly the same thing for my daughter. There’s so much more pressure on children these days than when I was growing up. Had no idea you have two blogs. You should have been a Gemini. I cannot keep up with you, Kimberley. xx

  4. About the late bloomer and inability to focus on the school thing ( which also leads to social problems while in school )…I didn’t realize until I was well into adulthood that I suffered from ADD, which explains many things, but well after the fact. I read a book titled :Driven to Distraction” which explains many of the symptoms and circumstances surrounding Attention-Deficit Disorder. There is a list of 100 symptoms, and if you have some of the symptoms, there is a chance you have ADD. I think I had about 99 of the symptoms. ADD goes far beyond not being able to pay attention, and will ruin your life if not attended to. People with ADD are often labeled as lazy, chronically late, depressed, volatile, and unaware of social conventions. If you or anyone you know ) including your children ) have any symptoms of ADD, get them help NOW. A social worker is a good place to start, and I definitely recommend reading the book. Your library should have it. Cheers!

  5. Kimberly, that book title I left you is ‘Driven to Distraction’…somehow a smiley face got in there 🙂
    It looks nice, but is a little confusing.

  6. I am reading “Wildflower Hill” and loving it!!! Won it off of Goodreads and I must say that you are one exceptional author!!!!! Can’t put the books down……..I must pick up your other books……….thank you. Joanne B

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