I’ve notoriously been a late bloomer to many things in life; I’m hoping “writing success” becomes another item on the “Late Bloomer list” and one day my kids will read this list as encouragement. I have a goal of making it onto one of those lists of people who weren’t successful until their 40s, like Stan Lee and Vera Wang and Julia Child and Henry Ford, who was 45 when he invented the Model T car in 1908! How about Laura Ingalls Wilder? She published the first of the “Little House” books at age 65 in 1932. [Incidentally, I should clarify when I say “success,” I am referring to financial success.]
So far, in life, I’ve experienced mild degrees of financial success and great degrees of non-financial success. I’ve met and married the love of my life (after taking a detour, I corrected it). I incubated and delivered two humans into the world. I’ve found apartments, packed and moved, painted walls and ceilings, built furniture, renovated bathrooms, used crutches for six weeks while I lived in a walk-up, built a dozen websites for various businesses, did taxes, got a mortgage, legally did all of the paperwork for my own divorce, and took my 4-year-old to Disney World for a week ALL BY MYSELF. I’ve also written every single day for the last 218 days.
Dear Universe, Please let financial success land on my “Late Bloomer List” … it can fall right after losing my virginity, getting obsessed with Mad Men in season four, believing in myself, crafting a dream, and pursuing it. I still haven’t caught on to Breaking Bad or Snapchat.
I started the 365-project first and figured I’d discover where it took me rather than setting out on a predetermined route. I simply knew I had to write; every day above all else and do it to prove to myself I could. I would get up every day and write a series of words which weren’t there before.
It seems I go through life like New Yorkers cross streets: with a destination in mind, with no particular path, just following the green lights.
I tend to do things out of order. So what?
When you’re young, each year brings new opportunities. A new grade at school, a new license to drive the car, a new karate belt to achieve; but in your 40s, what does a year mean? Next week my birthday arrives bringing with it the chance to introspectively inspect my list of accomplishments; my yearly life audit. I seldom veer from the standard form: Where did I think I’d be? Where did I end up? Where am I going? Am I happy?
I thought I’d be more financially stable by now but I never thought I’d have a storybook romance. I’m not sure where I thought I’d be because I never dared dream beyond my reach. Part of my fairytale love means having a partner who is my springboard and my safety net, someone who doesn’t tell me in which direction to go but helps me read my compass and figure out where I’m truly meant to go. Mostly I am grateful to be happy and healthy and alive to gripe about more wrinkles, gray hair, and how “good things come to those who wait AND WORK HARD.”
I’ve recently come to realize how my compulsion with running out of time and maximizing every second of the day is closely related to my generalized anxiety disorder. I always assumed I simply had one of those personality types where I crammed as much life as I could into every minute. I feel the need to keep going to diminish the annoying loud ticking in my head, perpetually reminding me of my finite time. Yes, while I hold gold member standing in the “It’s Never Too Late Club,” I also hold a platinum membership in the “Perpetually Doubting Myself Club.”
This year I made a commitment to relinquish control and screw the questions by living all the answers. At the very least I’m not wasting time NOT writing anymore. Better late than never.