A Late Bloomer

by Carol Hess on October 20, 2011

I took the concept of being a late bloomer to a whole new level.  I spent most of my considerable number of years on this planet not even knowing there was such a thing as blooming.  I just knew I wasn’t all that happy.  You don’t know what you don’t know.

Then, when I finally discovered blooming and realized I wasn’t doing it, I didn’t have a clue what to do about it.  And so began the years in the self help section of the bookstore and in the chair of the personal development workshop.

Lonely Years

They were lonely years. None of my friends seemed to be searching for what I was searching for.  Nor could I put into words what it was I sought.  All I knew was what I had wasn’t enough.  I wanted more.  More of what I wasn’t quite sure.

My quest for more was a strong one.  It was as if there were an unseen hand planted firmly in my back, pushing me forward.  I did what I normally never would do.

I went to workshops, weekend retreats, and even a 6-week program at a yoga center all by myself.  I lived in a summer house one long, cold, ridiculously snowy winter.  Every morning I broke the ice on the cats’ water bowl in my bedroom.  And what seemed like every afternoon but probably wasn’t, I was up on the roof shoveling snow.

Backwards Energy

One year, a newfound workshop friend suggested I go to massage school.  So I did, just like that.  Just like that, I packed up my cats and moved 1,500 miles away.  That’s when I found out I don’t belong in Florida.  An acupuncturist told me every energy meridian in my body was flowing backward, but I would be fine as soon as I got back north again.  He was right.

I went on a crystal dig with a shaman who looked like a male Whoopi Goldberg.  Every time I looked at
him, I couldn’t help but laugh.  It was embarrassing, but he was very cool about it.  I worked with a faith healer in Mexico and discovered all my college psych courses didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the power of the mind over the body.  I did a firewalk.  I studied the Medicine Wheel.  I consulted psychics, numerologists, astrologers, energy workers, shamans, and plain old psychotherapists.

In other words, I turned over every stone I found, looking for the answer to a question I hadn’t even formulated.  And, in the meantime, I started to bloom just a little bit.

Good Little Girl

The quiet, good little girl who had hidden behind her mother’s skirts when meeting a stranger had disappeared.  A somewhat noisy, not always well-behaved, rather outgoing woman had taken her place.  When did that happen?

The dedicated people pleaser who didn’t know she had needs, much less how to get them met, was starting to disappear.  A more authentic woman beginning to own her place on the planet was emerging.  Two significant medical challenges showed that woman she was stronger, more resilient, and more courageous than she’d thought.

And that brings us to today.

Today’s Quest

I’m blooming – finally – although I have my days when I remain curled up tight and not even the most persistent ray of sun can get me to open and blossom.  My quest for answers these days centers around issues of self care, earning a living with writing, being of service, creating the kind of life I deserve, empowering myself and others.

For the most part, I like where I am now, even though the number of unknowns in my life scares me shitless sometimes.  And I really like the people coming into my life.  I no longer feel like I’m all alone on this quest.  There are lots of us seeking answers, aren’t there?

I haven’t quite accepted how long it took me to get here and how much I still have left to do.  There
is a giant clock ticking in my head that is saying, “Hurry up, Carol!  You haven’t got that much time left!  Hurry up or you’re not going to get it all done!  You’ve got to make up for lost time!”

And then I remember who is really in charge of my life.  It’s the One who has been pushing me forward
firmly but gently all these years.  The One who has placed in my hand every single stone I’ve turned over.  The One who loves me no matter what and knows there’s nothing late about my blooming.  I’m right on schedule.

Do you consider yourself a late bloomer?  Where has your quest for answers taken you?  What’s the
question whose answer you seek?

by Carol Hess


Categories Carol's Musings, Personal Empowerment, The Art of Star Polishing

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Evelyn Kalinosky October 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I’ve always been a late bloomer, but better to bloom late than not at all, right?!

I wasn’t blessed to get to know you until just a couple of years ago, so I missed out on your many adventures, but I have been around to witness your growth, your strength, your willingness to search and fight for that woman inside of you who is the absolute right version of who you want to be. Really, Carol, you’ve always been that woman – you just didn’t know it or perhaps, you couldn’t own it then, but she’s always been there. Keep on blooming – it’s a wonder to behold!!



avatar Carol Hess October 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I think we are both amazing flowers that have been well worth waiting for, Evelyn! And thank you for your kind words that mean so much coming from you, another woman who has fought and continues to fight in all sorts of arenas for the absolute right version of who she wants to be. (As always, you expressed it beautifully.) You have inspired me to keep blooming no matter what — a well-timed inspiration on this day that’s being a tad challenging.


avatar Gloria Thomas October 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

Thank you, Carol, for reminding me of all I have to be grateful for :), that is, an understanding of “the One” that works for me, people and community in my life, and finally, accepting that human beings, including myself, do have challenges and triumphs. Thanks for sharing the thoughtful account of your self care journey…



avatar Carol Hess October 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I think those challenges and triumphs we all experience are what make us human (and humane), don’t you, Gloria? I’ve discovered that sharing them with others make them easier to bear (in the case of the challenges) and that much richer (in the case of triumphs). It’s so lovely to have you joining the conversation, Gloria. Thank you.


avatar Sandi Amorim October 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm

From one late bloomer to another…HIGH FIVE!

And now that we’ve found each other, here’s to many, many years of blooming and seeking together!



avatar Carol Hess October 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

That sounds great to me! Maybe the Powers That Be save the best for last. That’s this late bloomer’s story, and I’m sticking to it. And thank you, Sandi, for really pushing this post out there. I appreciate it (and you).


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