In his book "Old Masters and Young Geniuses," art researcher, David W. Galeson, documented the phenomenon of the late bloomer. It took those late starters a while to create their unique vision in the arts. Until then they were in an experimenting mode. Suddenly, it happened: They got it just right. Those include Alfred Hitchock and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Well, that's the professional side of late blooming.
There is also an emotional side. The first time I ran across it was in the book by Philip Roth "The Human Stain," which was made into a film. The narrator, a writer, wakes up one day in middle age and discovers he has been living his life all wrong. So, he chucks the path he has taken and moves into a run-down cabin in the woods. There he struggles to figure himself out.
Now, I am encountering that epiphany about our lives among those of us over-65. Last night in a support group I attend, a woman, about to celebrate her 70th birthday, said that she is just recognizing all the mistakes she has made. Like the rest of us, she was wondering why she couldn't take stock of her life before her seventh decade.
It took about 11 months after I relocated to the Southwest from the East Coast rat race before I could relax. Then it dawned on me that what I had been chasing since high school - conventional success - had always been a lousy fit for me. Instead, I had to create a more holistic life, and this time, on my own terms. I couldn't cut and paste from other models.
How's that coming? I feel the way I did before the pressure of high school. As a very young girl, I was determined to become a writer. At age 11, I swung by the local printer and asked how they would be able to publish my book. After I wrote it, that is. I believed in myself. It was irrelevant that the family harped on me for being socially awkward, chubby, and lost in my own world.
I am looking forward to reclaiming those old parts of myself. Where will this lead? It doesn't matter. I am figuring out me.