When I was in middle school the word “sketchy” as referring to someone or something who is kind of “off” or “creepy,” made its way into the vocabulary of my classmates. It wound around the school becoming the latest popular slang term. It was completely over my head.
I would hear my friends using this term and it took me months to be able to mostly understand what they were talking about. It took me even more months to figure out how to use it correctly myself. It felt like an eternity of tail and error and near misses until one day, it was like my mind flipped a switch and I just got it. It felt like a miracle.
Now that I’m older, know myself better, and have looked into different learning styles, I understand that my brain is not generally hardwired for quick auditory processing. It’s just not how I’m made.
I am a visual and kinetic learner. This means that I learn best when I can visualize (either literally or in my mind) what it is that I’m learning, or even better, if I’m going through the motions of doing the task myself.
It explains why it took me more than a year to understand the correct verbal usage of a word in passing (not given with context in the form of verbal imagery). And also why I got a 2 on the spoken part of my AP French exam, even though my pitch perfect hearing means I have a fabulous accent. 🤷🏻♀️
It also means that depending on the situation, it can take me months or even years to process something fully.
When I became a parent, I thought my child was going to be one of those kids who did something once, and then would just keep doing it (I don’t know why I assumed this, but I guess we all assume something of our children).
It took my son 4 months from the first time he rolled over to do it again. He scooted rather than crawled from 8 months to 16 months when he began walking. I have since learned that he is not the kind of kid who throws himself into a new experience, or physical activity until he is good and truly ready. He will sit forever observing until one day he gets up and goes and does whatever it is he’s been watching someone else do for weeks. And usually he’ll do it pretty well the first time he tries.
Why is all of this relevant?
It’s relevant because it’s taken me approximately 30 years (from the time I could read) to understand that I want to be a writer (and hopefully a published author).
I AM BLOOMING SLOWLY, and I’m willing to bet that a fair number of people feel the same way about themselves. And they wish (like me) that their brains/lives/etc could figure out how to just speed up already.
But you know what?
I am also blooming right on time.
So are you.
To bloom is to come into oneself fully and completely with love and compassion. (Which doesn’t always stick around and maybe comes and goes)
Often times this coincides with finding a passion or a calling because your mind (I believe) and your heart have to be open to what the universe is holding out for you. You have to be in a place to recognize what is in front of you, and then reach out for it.
It is often this reaching out which is the hardest part. It inevitably requires either incredible innocence, or enough life experience to overcome fear. Too many times people let their fear prevent them from moving forward, or blind and deafen them to what the universe is offering.
Often times this fear comes in the belief that we SHOULD be doing something else that some external force is telling us is our calling (parents, spouses, teachers…). We let ourselves be pushed by others because it can be the easy way out.
Yet often it means that we aren’t listening to our own hearts, that we are ignoring the opportunities for letting ourselves bloom.
The fact that we get to bloom at all, this is a gift!
I’m agnostic so I’ll call it a gift from the universe, or luck. Feel free to attribute it to whatever you like, but it is a gift.
So many people will never bloom, and yet our society seems to take it for granted. We have an obsession with it, maybe because it seems so attainable and yet out of reach at the same time.
In our ever quickening world, blooming requires remembering to slow down, to listen, to look, to process; ourselves and the world. It requires hard work every day.
I won’t bloom quickly now that I think I may have found my passion or my calling. I’m just at the beginning.
Which means there is so much learning, and trying and doing and the mistakes that come along with that, ahead of me. There is so much that some days it’s daunting.
But then I remember that it’s worth the hard work and some days I just can’t wait to open my soul to the sun and bloom!