Thursday, June 14, 2012

Were You a Late Bloomer?

Magic by J. Binford-Bell

Facing my 49th high school reunion. And not joyfully. As I have written in this blog before high school was painful. If I had to pick a theme for those years it would be Bill Cosby's words of God in his skit Noah: "How long can you tread water?"

Leaving aside the "events" of high school, which would have been rough at any age, there was just me and who I wasn't. I felt so not ready to be there. And I was so not there in so many ways because my focus had to be on home and taking care of my family. But I was also so painfully shy, full of fear and 16 going on 80. A told a counselor decades later that I felt as if I lived behind a plexiglass shield about three inches thick.

Mother said I was a late bloomer. I replied that by the time I bloomed the rest of the garden would be under a foot of snow.

College saved my life. College and being a military brat. I learned what a force march was way back in the second grade from my father the Lt.Col. You just keep putting one foot in front of another until . . . well until you arrive. The question is recognizing you have arrived. And sometimes that is only seen in the rear view mirror as you move on to the next destination.

I was not sure what it was about college that changed everything for me. No, I was not the star on campus, though I was way more popular than I had been in high school and didn't care about that like I thought I would. I was a great student though I was also like a pig in a truffle shop. I gobbled up knowledge without regard for my major and drove my advisers nuts. Mother would say I bloomed. I think I just came into my own. Like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz I finally realized I did have courage. And I learned to play!

I called college my second childhood though in reality I don't know that I had a first. I am not sure I have peaked yet but I know I am never going to entirely grow up. What artist does? I am secure in who I am most of the time but I am enamored of the quest be it for knowledge or perfection in my art or some new way of expressing what is inside of me. I am a seeker.

And my 49th high school reunion, the first I will have attended, will be about healing the wounds of those years. I used to say I wasn't going to one until I was a best selling author. But success is not a Mercedes, or being too thin and too rich. Success is in being me.


  1. Winning is about an instant, you are about your lifetime and from what I see you are one fantastic voyager. Keep brushing and clicking your impressions of life and sharing them with us. Your unique expressions are pearls of great price. HBR

  2. Thank you, HBR, for the wonderful comment. I like you insight about winning being an instant. Dad always raised us to be troopers so I guess I was trained for the voyage and not just the event.

    And it is always nice to know that my reflections upon life are read and appreciated.


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