04 Oct Late Bloomers Finish Strong
When you were 6, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I always admired those folks. The Tiger Woods’ of the world, whose talents seemed evident from the beginning. Stitched into their DNA – God given. Maybe we’re each gifted with that sort of blistering talent – but some of us don’t discover it, or use it – until much later in life.
That’s me. I’m your classic late bloomer – but I’m OK with that. I wonder what I’ll discover I can do when I’m 60!
A friend once predicted I would come into my own at 40, and sure enough, he was right. Back in college, there was a sign on my door that read, Future Journalist Inside. I’d always loved to write, and since I tended to break out in hives in math class, now it seems clear I was destined for a creative vocation. But even though I seemed to recognize my gift way back then, it took time before the crops yielded.
After college, in the wake of the early ’90’s recession, I couldn’t find that put to use with my hard-earned Communications degree I financed 100% on my own. So I ventured into sales and stayed there until I “retired” from corporate America to raise my brood. I had always written about them in my journals, and with so much fodder for inspiration, I was invited to write a column about my adventures in Christian parenting for my church’s newsletter. I developed a small and loyal following, and before I knew it, people were asking me to edit their resumes and draft Bios. And, along with the continued expansion of my family, the journalist in me was born again.
That newfound energy and confidence spurred me to hang out the proverbial “shingle.” With a shaking voice, I told a few friends in business I was a freelance copywriter, even before I managed to secure a paycheck. I scored a few gigs writing brochures and web copy through a couple fortuitous referrals, and also managed to get a few original pieces published in a local magazine. Before long, more referrals came in; I had enough work to busy me while the kiddos were at school and I landed my own column in my hometown’s newspaper..
Today, my business as a freelancer has thrived. As a copywriter, journalist, columnist, and editor, I spend my days writing some things for which I have passion – and others that simply draw a paycheck. Either way, I love every word I get to write and devote myself wholly to each one. I consider myself blessed to be able to use the gift God gave me – but that I didn’t figure out how to harness until later in life.
The moral of my story? It’s never, ever too late to become what you wanted to be in college – or what you never knew you always wanted to be. After all, my hero, Erma Bombeck never wrote a word until she turned 35. And I’d say it worked out pretty well for her!
But enough about me – what’s your story? Did you bloom early in life or are you still planting seeds in hopes of a plentiful harvest? Do tell!
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1