I suppose that I would have to call myself a late bloomer. This being defined as a child whose potential in some or all aspects of school work develops later than is the case for the majority of his or her contemporaries. I can still remember my mother chiding me that I had not yet reached my full potential so I should work harder, study more and pay more attention.
It's not that I was not as smart as the other kids, I just had other things on my mind, which got me the label "day dreamer." School for me was something that I had to endure in order to get to where I wanted to go. Oh sure, I had some fun and I learned a lot, not all of it from a book, but life has allowed me to bloom at my own pace. And the thing that ended up happening was that I had being achieving stuff all along, I just did it my way. I don't hold it against my parents for asking me to work harder, after all, they only wanted the best for me and they encouraged me with a lot of love.
Even so, I had my own way of doing things and it was usually at a slower pace than the rest of the world. I must tell you, however, that there are others that were considered late bloomers, at the very least by their parents if not the world.
Most of know about Ben Franklin and his many accomplishments, but did you know that his father originally wanted him to go into the ministry? Unfortunately, Ben's father could not afford to send him for the years of schooling that were required to be in the clergy, so he sent him instead to apprentice with his brother James at the newspaper. He and his brother did not always get along and finally, Ben ran away at the age of seventeen. Later on, Ben's girlfriend started talking about marriage. Ben did not feel that he was ready for this commitment and she then married another man while he was gone on a trip. Ben fathered a child with a woman that he was not married to. I suppose that the people of that era could have judged him and not listened to him, but he kept going at his own pace and achieved so much. He finally passed away at the age of eighty-four and his funeral was attended by some twenty thousand people. He may have been a late bloomer, but bloom he did.
Some other examples of late bloomers include, but are not limited to:
Rodney Dangerfield - He sold aluminum siding for years while he struggled as a writer and comedian. He didn't get his first big break until he was 42.
Al Jarreau - The famous jazz vocalist didn't release his first album until he was 38.
Julia Child - Her first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was published when she was 49. Her television debut came a few years later when she was in her early 50s.
Charles Bukowski - The famous novelist/poet worked at the post office for years. He was 49 when his first book was published.
Laura Ingalls Wilder - Her first book, Little House in the Big Woods came out when she was 65. It was the first of her 8-volume Little House series.
Stan Lee - He was in his early 40s when he created Spider-Man and most of his other legendary super heroes. His partner, artist Jack Kirby, started drawing The Fantastic Four when he was 44.
Colonel Sanders - Didn't franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 65.
Robert Duvall - He was 40 when he acted in The Godfather.
Raymond Chandler - The famous novelist published his first short story at age 45. His first book, The Big Sleep, came out when he was 51.
So the next time that you think you are doing just fine, but somebody tells you that you are not living up to your full potential, just remember all of these people who have made life a little better for us just for them being here. You could be next, just as soon as you bloom.