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Jamie Rea

Better Man

A Letter To The Late Bloomers

It’s better to bloom late than to never bloom at all.

 

To the late bloomers,

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably someone just like me. Someone who has always felt like they were just a little behind their peers. Just a little slower to figure everything out. Just a little more lost. Just a little more confused.

Perhaps it took you a while to figure out what you wanted to do with your life. Maybe you’re still trying to figure it out. Or maybe you know what you want to do but trying to make what you want a reality has been far more challenging than expected.

Maybe you’re even thinking about giving up because you feel that if these doors were meant to open for you they would have opened already.

Maybe you look around at all your friends getting married, having kids, buying homes and you just don’t get it – how are they doing this already? How are they prepared for this?

You’re still just trying to find your way and arrive in who you are supposed to be, let alone be in a position to start a life with another human being or bring new lives into the world that are your responsibility to teach and raise.

You’re still trying to learn and teach yourself – how can they be ready enough in themselves to be able to teach someone else anything?

A part of you is grateful that your path has been difficult and unorthodox — It has given you stories. It has bestowed you with hard earned lessons and wisdom that you had to go through the gauntlet of hell in order to unveil.

But another part of you looks around at your peers who have seemingly lived these perfect linear paths and life and career trajectories that seem flawless to the outside eye.

While yours? A long walk through a dark forest.

Your peers’ paths seem like swell jaunts down the yellow brick road.

“But for you? A Tarzan-like vine-to-vine survival swing…vines clenched in your teeth gripping for their life, machete in one hand and a broken compass in the other.”

If you’re like me, you’ve experimented more than a scientist in a lab. You’ve failed more than you’ve succeeded. You’ve tried and quit too many things to even count.

In fact: one of your claims to fame in your friend group is probably your long laundry list of things you’ve tried doing and quit halfway through because it wasn’t for you.

This created a story you created for yourself that you were the person who could never follow through. This led you to believe that you weren’t good enough. You were never worthy. You were incapable. You were a dysfunctional child who could never succeed on a tangible adult level because your lack of follow through, perpetually reinforced your status as a failure…in your own eyes, created by your own admission.

If you’re anything like me, you have been billing yourself as a person with ‘potential’ since the turn of the century. But you’re still there…sitting, wishing, waiting and hoping on that day when your potential will yield tangible results in the world.

If I was meant to succeed wouldn’t I have succeeded by now?

I don’t know. I feel like my window is closing fast. All I want to do is show my friends, parents and peers that I did it. That I made it. That for once, I said I was going to do something and I accomplished it.

I’m sick and tired of being the boy who cried wolf on his life. I’m sick and tired of being a guy with a lot of potential but no payoff. Of being the guy with a lot of plans and ideas but no execution or results. Of being a guy with a whole lot of build up but no climax. Of being the guy with a big swing but no punch. I’m sick of tired of waiting to arrive. I’m sick and tired of being a late bloomer. Can I just fucking bloom already?

If you’re like me, you’ve been angry. You look around at other people’s success in life — in relationships, in career, in life aspirations…and part of you can’t help but seep with envy. You feel like you’re trying so hard and just can’t seem to pull it together, at least not in a complete way where you can really feel confident saying that you’re a together person.

You try to tell yourself that your path is for a reason but you look at others’ paths that seem so perfectly executed to success that you can’t help wonder how the hell they made it look so easy.

If you’re like me, you’ve looked around at other happy couples and asked yourself how it came together with such little resistance for them, such little heartbreak, so few scars, so few mistakes, so many less unanswered questions.

You’ve gone down so many wrong roads of the heart that your heart should come permanently etched with an ‘out of bounds’ sign on it.

You’ve cried enough tears to fill an ocean of despair. You’ve gone to rock bottom of your emotions and back again like a sick, twisted merry-go-round over and over again.

Too many dark nights of the soul. Too long spent searching for the right answers.

Life has not been easy. Relationships have come filled with more hard lessons than you ever wished for. Success has been this elusive butterfly that you just can’t seem to capture. Feeling together and complete has been what your soul desperately desires, but just can’t seem to find.

If you’ve felt any of these things, then you’re probably like me. Someone who considers themselves to be a late bloomer. Someone who still feels they haven’t really even begun to leave their mark on the world. Someone who feels that their time to shine was always meant to come a little later than others.

To begin with, I want you to not beat yourself up anymore. I did this for so many years. It doesn’t do any good. Yearning for time that has passed does not change your past, it just destroys your present and your future.

Additionally, seeing your past as time wasted is going to rob your ability to see the gifts your journey has given you. And boy, your journey has given you many. I can assure you of this.

So, do me a favour, take a deep breath, and do your best to live in the moment, right now. In order for you to bloom into the person you are going to be, it will require you to invest yourself in the RIGHT NOW. The right now is your best friend and the muse you’re going to need in order to create the future version of you that you desperately desire.

Next, I want you to stop saying that you haven’t arrived yet. I guarantee that you have arrived in so many more ways than you even realize or are able to give yourself credit for.

The reason why you’re a late bloomer is because you’re asking yourself the hard questions. You’re not taking the easy path. You’re not leaving any stone unturned.

If you’re anything like me, you always wanted to do what you loved in life. And it probably took you a while, a lot of experimenting and trying a number of things you didn’t love, for you to realize just how true this was for you.

Some people seem like they have arrived in life when they haven’t really arrived at all. They never asked themselves the hard questions or constructed the life of their dreams with precision and design. They didn’t create a life, they just reacted and went along with whatever life they were given.

“Some people are so worried about having their ‘shit together’ in life that they’re willing to have their shit together in a life they don’t love, rather than be a ‘work in progress’ in a life they do love.”

Never forget that.

Constructing a life that you’re passionate about and fulfills you on a deep soul level is extremely challenging. Far more challenging than the path of someone who just took a job that they were given without ever asking if it’s actually what they wanted to do.

So, I want you to give yourself a whole fuck load of credit for choosing a hard, but extremely rewarding road.

But I get you. I understand. I do the exact same thing: I always focus on the dreams that I haven’t accomplished and the things that I haven’t achieved instead of sitting for a minute and admiring my courage for trying to create a life and career that feels good in my soul.

So, sit for a second. Stop focusing on the many ways you haven’t arrived and started focusing on the many ways you have. Admire your fucking courage. You’re a badass mother fucker who is on the verge of doing huge things in life that are going to light your soul on fire and move and inspire people in ways you can’t even imagine.

Think about all the inner work this bumpy path has required of you? The ways in which your character has grown and your interior life has blossomed and grown like a majestic botanical garden full of roses and sunflowers.

Have you gone down so many wrong roads of the heart? Yeah you have. And now you’re an expert on what you don’t want.

Has your heart been out of bounds more times than a professional snowboarding daredevil? You bet. But now your heart has lived. Your heart has been an adrenaline junkie. Its miles are earned. Its scars have come with mad style. Because of it, your heart is now an all-terrain, off-roading warrior badass, that can handle any hard impact.

When you do finally find what you’re looking for you will be able to recognize it with more precision and be able to appreciate it with more gratitude than someone who got it right quickly.

You will meet this person and you won’t want to erase parts of your past. Because you will now know that your past was not only necessary to meet this person, but also to recognize exactly what it was when it found you. Without the pain of your past, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate it with the depth of gratitude you do now. You wouldn’t be able to understand it. The depth of your pain prepared you for the depth of this love. You wouldn’t be so clear about why this feels so right, without ever having to feel what feels wrong. This person will be the sum of your mistakes. The one right to your many wrongs. The clearing within the chaos. The manifestation of everything your pain has taught you about love.

“If you’d wanted to erase parts of your past. You won’t anymore. Because even with all the pain in your past, now you’d live it twice over, because you know it’s what led them to you.”

I remember a big turning point in my journey was 2.5 years ago…I was sitting in therapy, in tears. I’d just gotten out of an awful, toxic relationship and was questioning the type of human being I was. I was unsure about everything. Who I was. My character. My heart. At that time, I was considering stopping writing about relationships for good because I took the disaster in my own personal relationships as a sign from the Universe that this path was not meant for me because of the mess I’d created for myself.

I thought, “Someone who is a leader in this space would not be going through the shit that I’m going through?”

This was a door finally closing on me because I was never meant to open this door in the first place.

Then I realized that the pain and crisis I was going through was happening to me for a specific reason. This was all happening on purpose. I was meant to carry this pain, to learn from this pain and use this pain to help and inspire others.

I wasn’t meant to stop doing what I was doing. I was just meant to continue doing what I was doing in a deeper, more honest, authentic and inspiring way.

This fire was giving me fuel for the calling of my soul. For the work I was meant to do in the future. For the ways in which I would use my own difficult experiences to help cultivate a voice that would be able to reach and resonate with more people than I could ever imagine in my wildest dreams.

It wasn’t the wrong door. It was the right door. The Universe just wasn’t ready for me to open that door yet. It still had more work for me to do to build the key I would need to open that door.

It’s no surprise that in those 2.5 years since, I’ve found my voice. And now I see the doors beginning to open. I see the light beginning to peer through the cracks.

This was another affirmation to having faith in my status as a ‘late bloomer’.

“It was taking me this long because the Universe was preparing me for my destiny. And the beauty of your destiny works in proportion to the difficult of the journey to get there.”

So if your journey has been hard. It means the destiny is going to be that much more magical. So try and release the pain of what has been and try to allow yourself to see the beauty and possibility of what could be.

In order to do this, you’re going to have to surrender.

You have to have faith. You have to trust. In God. In the Universe. In whatever higher being you believe in. I want you to trust that you will find your way when you’re supposed to find your way. That you will see it when you’re meant to see it. And you won’t be able to see it if you’re forcing it and applying pressure with fear. Let go of all your fear. Let it go. Release it. If you’re living in fear you will miss it. You need to step into love. You need to step out with courage. And allow yourself to be completely and utterly free.

If you can do this, man you’re going to fucking bloom. You will fucking bloom! Like Jack and his fucking beanstalk. The clarity you will experience. The magic that will unfold. It will all come together and you will bloom and flow in a way that will make those who haven’t bloomed uncomfortable because your brightness will be so damn intimidating and overwhelming to those who live in the shadows of their soul.

So, understand that this is coming. As long as you can hold onto your faith, trust in your calling and lead with love.

I know that you want to play a victim story. You want to compare your life to others. Compare the difficulty of your path to theirs. Try to blame your shortcomings on circumstance and discredit your peers’ success to good fortune and favourable circumstances. But don’t. Your life is your story to write and the more time you spend looking at the chapters of another person’s life the more blank spaces you will create in yours.

Your story is just taking you longer to write because you’re putting more heart, more passion, more authenticity, more soul fire into every damn word you write.

**********

 

If you’re reading this and it’s resonating with you in any shape or form, then you’re probably someone just like me, a late bloomer. Someone who has always felt like they were just a little behind their peers. Just a little slower to figure everything out. Just a little more lost. Just a little more confused.

And I know it’s hard. I know you’re growing impatient. I know you want your time to arrive. But I just want you to hold faith. To surrender. To trust. Let go of the fear. Step into love and step into your courage.

Trust in the timing of your life. Trust the story that is unfolding. True that your time is coming.

I promise you that the reason it’s taking you longer to bloom than it did for others is because the way in which you’re going to bloom just requires longer to seed itself, to develop, to grow and shape into the form it’s meant to be.

The garden of your soul just requires more water. More fertilization. More weeding out of the bad. More care and cultivation of the good than the rest of the flowers in the garden because the brightest and most special flowers just take a little longer to take form because that kind of beauty requires more time to grow.

So what you’re going to bloom a little later than the rest? It’s better to bloom late than to never bloom at all.

Because the amount of weeds and dead flowers that rot the gardens of people’s souls who took the easy road, the quick fix in life and never allowed themselves the space and time needed to grow their garden the right way, it will make you appreciate the hard path it took to cultivate the beauty you find when you do finally bloom.

 

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