Up until recently, I’ve always been frustrated about being a late bloomer. Growing up with ADHD, I’ve always felt that my condition set me apart from my peers— in a not-so-positive way. As a result of this feeling, I’ve always felt that I needed to keep up in certain areas of my life as to not feel left out or different from others. In other words, I felt that I needed to overcompensate for things so I could project to my peers, teachers, relatives, and other people that I am normal (according to their standards), and that I could keep up with them in any way, shape, or form. Back then, I felt that being a late bloomer meant that I was stupid, socially inept, and strange because I didn’t get to experience (and learn) a lot of the things that people my age were expected to do or have.
But over the years, I learned that life is not a competition or a race. Day by day, I am embracing my late bloomer status. After years of resistance, I have learned to embrace the fact that it takes a little longer for me than the usual to get used to many things. I have also embraced the fact that it’s okay for me to start my career as a writer a bit later than what I have expected. My own personal rhythm in life is a bit different from other people, and that I shouldn’t fight it just for the sake of being like everyone else. Being a late bloomer doesn’t mean that you’re inferior, it means that everyone’s growth runs in different directions, and that it’s perfectly okay.
I just hope that society allows people who are “different” to embrace themselves and go with their own pace, rather than forcing them to conform and uphold standards that would be difficult to bear. I am also hoping that everyone would be given a chance to define success on their own terms.