“Time and tide wait for no man and I ain’t got time to shake your hand…”
At least that’s what Dianna Krall tells me when I play her CD. I’m sure someone will try to inform me that “Hit That Jive Jack” was originally done by Nat King Cole, but I like her version best and since this is my blog… Never mind, I’m not even going to hold my breath that any of you have heard either version. The point is, my heart has always been in a hurry. I’ve always felt like life was running faster than I could. That’s quite a stressful concept to live with when you are a late bloomer and hyper-aware of time.
As a child, I was always the mature one, never got in trouble, was smart and polite and all of that. I hung out with my mom and her friends more than I ever hung out with anyone my own age. I remember at seven years old being part of their late night card games, and often holding my own if not outright winning playing spades or rummy. I learned their sarcasm and humor and took it to school where no one got it. I figured I was ahead of the game and so grown up already.
Fast-forward several years and I was still hanging out with adults, but I was trying to fit in with my peers. It just never seemed to go well. I didn’t think the way they did, I didn’t enjoy the same things they did, I would gravitate toward the chaperons, the teachers, the parents or older siblings, depending on the situation. All this time, I still had it in my head that I was somehow ahead of the game.
It didn’t occur to me until I was in my 20s just how much I was NOT my age. I didn’t party. I didn’t date. All that time thinking I was ahead of things turned into watching all of my peers getting married and having kids and careers while I wasn’t. I kept expecting it to just happen, any day now, but life took a detour and I lost a few years. I was a late bloomer. My psychologist during those lost years told me that 36 was the magical age when everyone catches up with each other. Well, I’m 37 and I feel more behind than ever!
But I know that even my lost years weren’t really lost. I’ve learned a lot from them. And I’m getting my life together as far as the career is concerned. Well, I’m trying to, anyway. Just today, I began building the office I’ve wanted for a while now. It isn’t finished and it isn’t perfect, but it is exactly what I need at this time and it’s functional! I’m blogging this from my new computer which is perched upon my makeshift desk. While I was loading up the bookshelves, I found a magazine I forgot I had tucked inside a folder. It is a Ladies’ Home Journal from January 2009 with Mariska Hargitay on the cover. Care to guess the caption?
“What you can learn from a late bloomer”
Of all days to find this! So, I took a few minutes to re-read the article. She was 33 when she landed a recurring roll on ER prior to hitting it HUGE with Law & Order: SVU, 39 when she got married 42 when she became a mother. She said, “I’m so grateful I was given these opportunities at a point in my life when I could really handle it all. I got my gig late, got married late, had my kid late – and none of it came a minute too soon.” Of course, she also admits in the article, “I used to think, am I such a late bloomer that I blew it?” As much as I admire her, and agree with her, I really didn’t want to see once more instance of someone telling me to be grateful for something not happening sooner.
I can look back on my life and see how much I wanted something, even in recent years, but I wasn’t really ready for it. I know that a lot has changed for me and in me; and, I feel that I’m really ready for it. But just about the time that my brain is in full blown “must-do-all-the-things-before-it’s-too-late” mode, I get reminders like the Mariska article, or the facebook post my pal Matthias made this morning from a prayer book:
“All that you have within you, all that your heart desires,
all that your Nature so specially fits for you —
that or the counterpart of it waits embedded in the great Whole, for you.
It will surely come for you.
Yet equally surely not one moment before its appointed time will it come.
All your crying and fever and reaching out of hands will make no difference.
Therefore do not begin that game at all.”
I am a firm believer in “it’s never too late” and yet I know that sometimes it is too late. Had Linda Ronstadt waited to pursue singing until she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and unable to sing, it would have been too late. I’m forever grateful that she followed her heart and made an impact on the music industry over several decades that can never be erased. But that was her calling. She had to work for it, but also, it came to her.
Mariska didn’t blow her chances at love because she waited so long, it was ready for her when she was ready for it. My lost years have not cost me my future, they helped shape me for it. The same goes for my backwards growing up of being both ahead and behind the curve. Time and tide wait for no man, but maybe we don’t have to chase them down. We may not have time to lose, but if it is meant to be, we won’t be able to lose it when the timing is right. So, somehow, it makes sense that I am both an early bloomer and a late bloomer and the dreams that I’m working towards will also come to me… the tide will turn, my ship will come in, and I’ll be ready.