If you're like me and considered to be a late bloomer, there's good and bad news... The good news is all those additional years of experience have gleaned invaluable wisdom and strength. The bad news... you're late!
So how to tackle this one? The truth will always set us free and my truth began very young in boarding school when I was noticeably the only 14 year old boy whose voice hadn't yet broken and not a single hair on my legs! It was devastating self-esteem decimation!
It doesn't get any worse than being 15 and finally visiting the luxuries of home on a brief reprieve from school, only to be greeted on the phone by "Hello Melanie dear, can I speak to your mum please!" Melanie being my very feminine oldest sister! You get the picture.
On to college in the States (then an 18 year old young man with full hormones intact and maybe requiring a quick shave once a month) and time to declare what to do with my adult life. It seems to me there are two types of people in the world; those who have always known what they wanted to become and the rest of us who spend every moment eliminating our ambiguity. I was clueless. Loved biology and tennis... hey, how about Sports Medicine? Genius.
Cut to 3 years later with a Bachelor of Science degree from Pepperdine in hand and still no clue as to what I would do next... More eliminating career choices and then on to grad school. Made sense at the time; I'm smart and introspective, I had already tried to rescue several damsels in distress, why not get paid for the imposition?
So, 18 months later, armed with a Master's degree in Marriage, Family & Child Therapy and certified as an alcohol/drug counselor, I ventured off into adult life (otherwise known as an internship) fully ready to blossom. Or not...
Another 16 years of ambivalence in my thriving private practice ensued and at 39 years old, still no closer to figuring what I wanted to do when I grew up. Sound all too familiar? How about getting married at 37, failing dismally, divorcing at 40 while my friends and college buddies were already busy fathering several teenage kids in college, themselves having a pristine vision of their futures mapped out!
I truly believed that the rose had bloomed at last when I closed my practice in 2004 to follow my dream as a Kabbalah teacher full time at the Kabbalah Centre in LA. I loved teaching and I felt very blessed to have been given the opportunity to find my hidden voice as a 'Kabbalistic raconteur' and it all made sense... all the tiresome delays and hindrances to my path of fulfillment, the forks in the road and the many milestones that had shaped my decisions until that very moment.
Discovering teaching and managing to free myself from the cave of private practice was truly a Godsend. It's as if all those years of introspection and observation were percolating inside me and, fully brewed, poured out through my classes and workshops. Though, it wasn't just the teaching, I would spend my days meeting with students and guiding them through their challenges, using Kabbalistic teachings as I learned them from my teachers and we developed very close bonds and friendships that I deeply cherish.
But truthfully, another 5 years ambled on, diligently living my 'dream' and yet, something was still missing...
You know the expression 'putting all your eggs in one basket'? Well I had gathered all mine and made a basket case of my meandering journey! I was confused. I would hear myself teach concepts that were astounding, but was I truly so committed to be on this mission to change the world and bring about it's entire redemption? Those are lofty goals indeed and a voice deep from within kept gnawing away on my ear, imploring me to be honest with myself.
Insincerity is an agonizing way to go to sleep at night and it returned with a ruthless vengeance each morning as I attempted to counsel the students I had grown to respect. So, it was from that agonizing consternation that I took heart from my late blooming core and decided the cliche must be true... it's better late than never!
There's something both energizing and menacing about a truthful moment; it compels us to forge ahead with abandon into uncharted territory, with only the oars of our wisdom and seasoned self-confidence to propel us forward.
That moment was the realization that I did not aspire to becoming righteous. The relief brought me to the clarity I have now about why I believe I came to this world.
I don't believe I personally came here to change the world nor attempt to save it. Rather, my purpose comprises assisting the many circles of folk who surround me by helping them make sense of the world; it's universal laws and conundrums, the paradoxes and injustices, the axioms and paradigms, hurts and pleasures, indecencies and inconveniences and above all... that it's never too late to change!
So you see, there is good and bad news after all...
The bad news is you're late in the game. The good news is all those additional years of experience, the hindsight, healed wounds, mended fences, forgiven enemies and earned self confidence and trust have gleaned invaluable wisdom and strength.
If, as a late bloomer you've been told that you've missed the boat, then they're right. That boat has sailed. But consider this... would you rather travel with the masses on a packed cruise ship with predetermined traditional sightseeing vistas or brave the seas at your leisure in your own private yacht into uncharted seas?
Late Blooming... Moments of Truth by Jamie Greene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.