Sweating the Small Stuff: Late Bloomer Edition

It’s about once a year that I write a post, probably with this exact title, lamenting the fact that life is getting me down. I’ve sunken into the depths of anxiety and worry about the future, my finances are a fiery Hindenburg set on a sure course for disaster, my apartment is chaos, I’m stuck in a job that I hate but not because I hate the job but the people I toil and sweat for are the worst, I’m getting fatter by the minute, I have a flat tire. You know, present-day Job.

Well, check this off the list for 2020 because the day has come and it’s today.

But as I retreated to the shower, my best defense against this malaise, I had the rare flicker of a sane thought amidst the roil of despair: no, things aren’t that bad. It’ll be fine.

Whoa, where did that come from? You know where? It came from being in this moment already and knowing how to get out of it. It came from the reinforced realization that sometimes you just have bad days and life collapses in on you a little bit, but use your actual eyes to see that you’re up and moving about the cabin. There’s answers everywhere. Choose one.

It’s that gut voice again. Glad to have you back, buddy. Because my brain voice is out of control but the gut voice is always that low calm, that grounded tentpole. It lives to reverberate as long as you’re listening for it. Now that I know what to listen for, it makes it easier to hear.

I do know, deep within, that I’m at the point of needing to take a risk. I’m so sure that it’ll be worth it but that stupid brain voice, that yappy incessant thing, keeps talking me out of sanity because of something. Fear? I don’t know. Quiet, brain voice, Gut is trying to say something.

I’ve seen a lot today (coincidentally?…) about the idea of late bloomers but in a different sense than we usually think of them. Example of these were Roget, who started writing his Thesaurus in his 60s, Frank McCourt who wrote his first novel at 61 and won the Pulitzer Prize at 68, and others who contributed their magna opera (that’s technically correct in Latin…I looked it up) at ages and times in their lives we might consider very late today. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be my story. I distinctly feel like my best is yet to come. How could it have come earlier? I was young and, ergo, stupid and impatient, and cocky, and…young. Who wants to see a magnum opus come from that? Ugh, gross. I only hope my greatest work doesn’t end up being on a platform like Tik Tok or something. Hopefully the written word will endure…hopefully.

As the steam of my shower was coalescing all of these thoughts, I got a lot calmer. One little step today kept running through my head, over and over like a mantra. That’s right. What’s the one step I can take today? Maybe it’s writing this down and marking that progress for myself if for no one else…and dreaming about what tomorrow’s step might bring.

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