I love my late bloomer lifestyle. I’ve take my time and I make decisions when I want to. And because I’ve been blooming late for all of my 32 years, I never feel left behind.
Just in case you wanted to doubt my status as a late bloomer, I’ll go on the record as a 32-year old woman who has never been married. I’ve never had a kid. I’ve never owned a house. I’ve only recently found the career path that’s best for me. And I’ve dabbled in a lot of things, studied different subjects, and just kind of experienced life at my pace.
I have never jumped into something, whether it’s a job or a college major or a relationship. I take this late bloomer lifestyle seriously.
So while some folks like to show off all they accomplished early in life, I’m here to brag about what I haven’t done.
(Note: I think it’s stupid to compare yourself to others. So, I need to acknowledge here that “late bloomer” is a relative term, which inherently requires comparison. I just want to state this because no one should feel like they need to look at others as guideposts. And to be clear, in order for me to be okay with being a late bloomer on ALL THINGS, I can’t lead a life where I do care about what others are doing. I’d go crazy.)
Late Bloomer Lifestyle Fact
It’s easy to feel left behind when your friends are hitting milestones at different times than you. Sure, there are moments when I feel like I should be married and have kids and a mortgage. But mostly, I feel an immense amount of gratitude that I don’t.
Because if I did, I wouldn’t have half the freedom I have now.
I wake up in the morning and start writing immediately. I don’t have to wake up another person. I don’t have to get anyone ready for school. (I do have to walk a dog, but I wake up too early for her liking, so she likes to sleep while I work.) As a writer who also happens to be a woman, I’m all too aware of what a luxury my singledom is.
When you’re a woman who doesn’t have to care for others, you’re in a unique position to work on what you want to work on. Traditional institutions, like marriage, don’t typically serve the dreams of women.
Now, this doesn’t mean that every woman who does have kids and a marriage and a mortgage isn’t in a position to work on their art. But It does mean that I’ve got more time to do it than most women my age. And while I freely admit that I would change my situation under the right circumstances, I absolutely will not under the wrong ones.
Because here’s an important secret of the late bloomer lifestyle: There’s an immense amount of joy that comes from missing out.There's an immense amount of joy that comes from missing out. Click To Tweet
You heard me. But how about one more time for the cheap seats:
There’s an immense amount of joy that comes from missing out.
If you live your life with the fear of missing out on things that you’re not a part of, then knock that shit off, like yesterday.
If you fear that you’re missing out on something, that means that you’re thinking about alternatives to where you really are, which means you aren’t present in your current moment. And if you’re not present in the current moment, you can’t appreciate what you have, who you are, and what you’re doing.
And if you can’t appreciate it, then you don’t see the value of where you are.
The fear of missing out only leads you to make choices that ultimately don’t serve you. It makes you choose to rush to catch up. It puts you in positions that you’re not ready for. It puts you smack dab in the middle of a crowd, when you haven’t taken the time alone to realize what you really need.
Fear of missing out is a liar. It tells you that you’re supposed to be somewhere else, with another person, doing something different. And worst of all, fear of missing out won’t let you take the time you need to bloom.
The Joy of Missing Out
Some of the best Friday nights I’ve ever had were spent sipping chamomile tea on my couch with my dog. (She didn’t have any tea, though, not for lack of trying.) My favorite weekends are the ones I spend by myself, working on my writing. The best workouts I get are hours I spend on my yoga mat in the comfort of my own living room.
And while advertisements and social media posts would have you believe that you missed the best party ever, or you can’t get fit without overpriced group fitness classes, or that you need to be in constant contact with everyone so you’re never out of the loop, it’s all bullshit.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s a pillar concept of the late bloomer lifestyle.
The time you spend alone working on yourself is the most important time you’ll ever spend.
I can’t emphasize this enough. In fact, why don’t I say it again for the cheap seats?
The time you spend alone working on yourself is the most important time you’ll ever spend.The time you spend alone working on yourself is the most important time you'll ever spend. Click To Tweet
(Just a little reminder: You’re supposed to be here. So be present in that moment, and figure out why you’re here.)
The more time you spend trying to catch up to others and drowning your inner thoughts in the company of others, the more you numb what it is that you are inside. Then once that’s numb, you ignore what you really want to do. And while it all looks well and good on the outside — you’re meeting those very important milestones like marriage and family and career and homeownership! — on the inside, you’re not happy.
(That seems really evident to me. Like, how do people get to that point in their life? Did they not have punk rock in your neighborhood while you were growing up? Because, dude, if I got it in Edmond, Oklahoma, then you totally should’ve found a bunch of bands that told you to shun establishment ideals and just live your life.)
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with finding a job you love at a young age, or getting married young, or working at a job that isn’t your ideal job, or having kids before you accomplish a dream. Sometimes you get lucky when you’re young and find yourself in a good place. Sometimes you find love when you’re young and you’re ready to get married. Sometimes you have to take a job to pay the bills until there’s something else. Sometimes you have kids and they make your life whole so you can accomplish your dream.
But there is something wrong with forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do just because you feel like you’re supposed to. And doing something you feel like you have to do just because you’re “a grown up” isn’t valiant or dutiful. It’s dumb. And what’s more, it’s selfish. You’re doing something just to make yourself feel like you belong without thinking about the long term consequences.
Don’t put yourself in a spot that you’re not ready to be in. Don’t hit a milestone you don’t want to hit. The only person you’re really hurting is yourself, but to be fair, at least you’ll be in good company, right? Just you, and all those other folks who never learned the joy of missing out…
Late Bloomer Lifestyle 4 Life
What about you? Do you rush to hit milestones and rites of passage? Do you like sitting alone and figuring out what you’re meant to do? Are you team JOMO or team FOMO?Late Bloomer Lifestyle: The Joy of Missing Out Click To Tweet