I used to fret a lot about apparently being a late bloomer, about not having found my calling. I think I get it now.
It’s not about us late bloomers you see. There is nothing wrong with us.
I studied those early bloomers a little. And often they started working on their ‘thing’ really early in childhood. They had parents who were artists, so they were surrounded by artists and went to artschool and had connections in the artworld, or they grew up in a place where whatever-it-is-they’re-good-at was the whatever-it-is-people-did-there. The athletes from Kenya for example who had to walk/run to school daily, that sort of thing.
So for the early bloomers things work out that way. They go with the flow of their childhood surroundings somehow.
The late-bloomers have a different kind of story. As little babyseeds they were catapulted into environments where they couldn’t grow so easily. The cacti landed in the rainforest, the tomato plants in the middle of the atlantic and the banana plants somewhere in a small Welsh village spelt without any vowels. So first things first, get out of there!
A big part of late-bloomer childhood then, is spent finding ways to get out of whatever it is they find themselves in.
Getting out involves figuring out what the problem is exactly and trying to define who you are and what you need. It truly is a whole other ballgame. And then, once you’re out, you can start growing your own kind of life.
It seems like a huge disadvantage at times (and grossly unfair) but when you get out and find your own place, you’ve got a mass of experience with “getting out of somewhere”. I suspect that that experience is somehow part of the late-bloomer calling, but I haven’t really figured that out yet (being a late-bloomer after all).