I’m feeling rushed these days, and I’m not entirely sure why. It might have something to do with the holidays though.

I’m trying not to spend too much money on gifts, but I still want to give gifts. So I’m spending more time – browsing and shopping at thrift stores then making and creating at home.

It feels really rewarding, but I’m discovering that being mindful and more thoughtful about gift-giving requires a commitment, timewise.

So, this desire to be mindful and frugal at Christmas… I’m only just learning to do it well. Surely, I’ve had the intentions for a long time but it’s only now that I’ve started doing something about those thoughts.

In fact, I feel like I’m a very, very late bloomer.

Being at the beginning points of figuring out how to do the things I’ve thought about, or longed for, for so long.

It’s hard sometimes to look at myself and not compare, so I’m trying not to do so. But the term late-bloomer – it comes as a result of comparison – the sense that I’m a little behind my peer group. That I’m blooming late.

Here are some of the things I’ve been noticing about myself, things that have been making me think…. I wonder what will resonate with you?

I’ve always been a big thinker, a big observer. As a result, I’ve held back a great deal on what I long for, what I truly desire.

My heart has always sung the truest notes when dancing, writing, creating. I longed to go to art school, dance school, anything creative. But I was too afraid to try. Instead, I got two academic degrees, because I knew I’d do well (and of course, I was interested in the subject matter).

Only now am I letting myself sing those happy and joyful songs through my dancing, writing and painting. Regardless of what other people think. Regardless of whether I make money or not. Regardless of what I think (and thank goodness for that!)

My heart has always longed for a relationship, for a loving partner. Instead, I’ve spent my time single, and confused about it.

Only now am I understanding the deeper currents that have kept me alone, and only now am I coming to terms with that.

My heart has always wanted connection and deep friendship. I spent a long time being cripplingly, paralyzingly, constantly blushingly shy. Letting that limit my fun and ability to let go and play (a key component of friendship) by feeling unwanted, by being ‘responsible’.

Only now am I seeing how I have incrementally changed that dynamic in myself by stepping into the things that have been most challenging for me, because of that desire for connection, and how that has healed my shyness and slowly opened me up to more play.

My heart has always led me towards the personal style I’ve wanted – pretty, feminine, dresses and hair and smiles and makeup. And yet, I’ve spent so many years denying the fun of that, and instead wearing ugly, frumpy awkward ill-fitting clothes, too afraid of the attention that would come my way by dressing the way I wanted to.

Only now am I feeling ok with being seen, as I dress however I please, and have fun in the pleasure of it.

My heart has always wanted to speak up, to jump in, to participate fully, and I’ve watched myself watch and wait, uncertain and unsure. I have seen a quiet nature, combined with shyness, create a persona that isn’t quite me.

Only lately am I feeling the aliveness of letting myself be me – feeling free and light and happy, being ok with being both quiet and confident, quiet and also able to be part of the group, quiet and content with all facets of myself, as they express themselves.

My heart has always wanted to inhabit myself, fully female, fully feminine, and to understand men from that vantage point. Instead, I’ve suppressed and limited my femaleness, and also felt confused and fearful of men. I’ve ignored the cyclic nature of being a woman, not understood the deep and profound ways that moon cycles and procreation have on being a woman.

Only now am I discovering my feminine self – and not a moment too soon, with a daughter entering puberty. Only now am I grieving that the women around me were not equipped to teach me this and grieving a culture that has not been capable of guiding women towards themselves. As a result, only now am I discovering the beauty of my male friends and family.

Only now! Only now.

This late blooming business. There is a bit of exhilaration, a bit of shame, a bit of acceptance, and a bit of chagrin.

For all the intellectual speed and early blooming I’ve had, for all of the major life milestones I crushed beneath the force of my will in my 20s, the deeper blooming, the physical embodied senses and the experience of levity, these have been a long time coming for me.

Because of this, I really am curious. What have your experiences of early, late, and right on time blooming been? How has that affected you? What sorts of awakenings have come your way?

You know, this feels like a conversation that’s only just started; I know I have more to say.

Until next time,

Janelle

**ps -** I just love sharing. Stories, ideas, art. I’m also working hard to make a living as a creative person. If you enjoy what I do, please share it – with friends, family, anyone who might appreciate my approach.