Last week I listened to Srinivas Rao interview Rich Karlgaard on the The Unmistakable Creative podcast about Rich’s new book Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement. Rich and I grew up in the same hometown, we graduated high school one year apart, and my step-brother ran track with him. Listening to Rich talk about his dad and growing up in Bismarck, North Dakota brought back a lot of memories.
I’ve always identified as a late bloomer, so Rich’s message really resonated with me. Whether it was getting my Bachelor’s degree when I was nearly 30, running a marathon at 60, or writing the memoir I’m currently working on, I’ve always bushwacked my own path.
This month it’s been a challenge getting back to my memoir after writing fiction for NaNoWriMo. To get in the mood, this weekend I dug out old journals trying to mine some of that material. I came across a writing assignent I had submitted on November 23, 1999 in response to a writing prompt called the Book of Life by Eldonna Edwards, who was teaching an online writing class. (This was written a little more than a month before we buried the time capsule mentioned in my previous post.)
Our assignment was to imagine our lives as a book, picturing who would play our characters in a movie, then writing the chapter headings relating to the story. This is what I wrote:
The book of my life would be creative nonfiction. A well-crafted piece of work with dashes of poetic verse, sprinkled liberally with humor, the story would open on the Dakota plains. If made into a movie, my parents would be played by an earnest Ben Affleck and a troubled Claire Danes. My traumatized teen would be played by Drew Barrymore (remember, this is 1999), up through my searching 20s, where the story would move to Southern California. I would be played in mid-life and later years by Meryl Streep. My husband would be played by Kevin Costner and my daughter would play herself.
Title: Late Bloomer, A Coming of Age Tale
- Fun, Frolic, and Carefree Days
- The Isolated Early Years
- Teen Turmoil
- Searching for Answers Outside Myself
- Military Missions and a Failed Marriage
- Believing in Myself
- The Wonders of a Blind Date
- Life is Good at 30
- A Decade of Family Fun
- Hope, Dreams, and Unexpected Emptiness
- Life Sucks at 40
- Climbing Out of the Pit
- Moving and Other Chaotic Choices
- The Phoenix Rises
- Timeless Mother – The Crone Years
I have no recollection of this assignment and others written during that email class, but I’m glad I kept them (and thank you Eldonna!). When I wrote this, I was at the beginning of Chapter 13…and seven months later I would move to Michigan with my family where other chaotic choices ensued.
Late Bloomers. It’s a way of life.
Blessed are the late bloomers, who believe in themselves, follow their intuition, and trust that the journey of life will take them where they need to be.