It’s always felt like someone arbitrarily came up with a general timeline of when we’re all supposed to reach certain milestones in life. First kisses, first jobs, first time traveling alone: The list is endless. But if you fall outside the relegated time period for these “firsts” for some reason, you’re considered late to the party. Behind the curve. And it’s time to toss aside this archaic timetable, but also time for us all to reach out to everyone who has felt like they’re not keeping up with some so-called “norm,” and say, “Hey, we’re all doing what we need to do when we need to do it.” That being said, here are the 12 situations you totally understand if you’ve been lumped into the late bloomer category.
1. Being told to be patient for “your time” is annoying yet true. The problem with this fairly wise assessment is that when you hear it, it feels like a brush off. Like your yearning for certain things to happen in your life is being dismissed by someone who doesn’t understand how you feel. (Image via via GIPHY)
2. Sometimes you’re more appreciative after waiting. After college, I felt like I was the last person to find a full-time job. I was frustrated that my life wasn’t “beginning” in a professional sense like all of my friends. I didn’t have a commute, a spot for happy hour, co-workers who would become friends. But when I did accept a position months and months after most of my friends did, all the previous lackluster interviews made me feel very confident signing my contract. And many of my peers were starting to second guess positions they had been raving about in the very recent past. (Image via GIPHY)
3. College isn’t necessarily “the best years of your life.” Before I left for school, all I heard was, “You’re about to embark on the four best years of your life!” I heard it over and over again, and I believed it, because so many people had said it, it seemed like it HAD to be true. But if it were true, what would be the point of life past age 22? If those four years are the best you’ll ever have, that’s actually a really depressing statement. I loved college, but I would never call it the best years of my life. Good news: You don’t have to either! (Image via GIPHY)
4. You form strong friendships faster because you know yourself better. It took me a long time to figure out how to put myself first without feeling like I was being selfish. Doing so takes a learned confidence that comes from growing into yourself and, once you do, it makes it easier to weed out what friends you want in your life. You’ll have the kind of friends who accept you as you are and as you evolve, not solely because you lived in the same town. (Image via GIPHY)
5. You feel like you’re the last person in the world to do ______. Travel abroad, have sex, get a drastic haircut, find the job that makes you feel fulfilled. Whatever fills the blank for you that makes you feel like you’re behind the curve is something all of us late bloomers understand. You are not the last person, I promise. And even if you are, you’re doing whatever it is at the right time for YOU. Don’t live your life on anyone else’s timeline but your own. (Image via GIPHY )
6. There’s a nagging insecurity in the back of your mind about your lack of life experience. Again, this is something we all have felt. How lagging behind other people might be detrimental to us in our pursuit of experiencing life to the fullest. Just because someone else snagged a job you didn’t feel ready to apply for, or your friends are dating tons more than you, just means you’re experiencing life at a different level. It can be so hard to remind yourself that your life is not lacking when you compare yourself to your friends, but it’s important that you do. (Image via GIPHY)
7. Certain things are not the big deal you believed they were. I felt like I kissed a boy years later than my friends. And… I found it to be kind of gross. While I was relieved to have finally done it, I was also disappointed that it wasn’t the life-altering occurrence I had hoped it would be. This is something that would repeat in my life in various ways. So many things are not as heart stopping as your fevered imagination hopes. However, side-note, I did end up enjoying kissing boys a little later on and that was a big deal. (Image via GIPHY)
8. You get to learn from your friends’ mistakes… sometimes. Watching my friends job-hop or date people who weren’t right for them initially gave me a sense of “well I’m going to be smarter than that!” Little did my Judgy McJudgerson self know, we all make our own mistakes in all aspects of our life — and whether we make them sooner or later, we will make them on our own time. But that also means we get to commiserate with our friends about shared experiences. (Image via GIPHY)
9. There’s a lot to be said for the “good for her, not for me” Amy Poehler mantra. Sometimes watching things happen to everyone around you can inspire a little (ok, a lot) bit of envy. It’s natural to wonder why, when you’re working hard in your job, opportunities seem to pass you over and go to others, and you feel like you’re not moving forward and upward. But follow Amy Poehler’s advice and keep doing your thing, because the right next step will come along when you’re ready for it. (Image via GIPHY)
10. Risks feel bigger. There are two sides to this: rewarding and frightening. When you’re a teenager and in your twenties, you constantly have the excuse of youthful inexperience when you try something new. As you get older, there’s more weight to your decisions, and if it’s your first time attempting something, there tends to be more at stake. (Image via GIPHY)
11. Your accomplishments or milestones can get glossed over by those who’ve already reached them. Falling in love for the first time was met with a chorus of “finally,” and finding a job I loved came years after everyone else, barely making a ripple to those who had been moving up within their dream jobs while I searched for mine. It’s okay to tell your friends and family, “Hey, this is a big deal for me,” because it’s likely they don’t even know that you’ve been trying to confidently not compare yourself to everyone else’s achievements. (Image via GIPHY)
12. Late bloomer is kind of a ridiculous terminology designed to make us feel inadequate. I’ve always referred to myself as a late bloomer with a smirk, but it really is a label that perpetuates inadequacy. And late bloomers are not inadequate. No one cool ever shows up to a party on time, so maybe we should call ourselves Fashionably Late Bloomers. (Image via GIPHY)
Calling all Fashionably Late Bloomers to tweet at us @BritandCo in solidarity!
(Featured photo via Getty)