Confessions of a Late Bloomer

Dear, Reader,

Ever heard the great saying: I’m sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come? Well, that’s me to society. Let me elaborate:

In my adolescence, I was notorious for being tardy – so much so it often overshadowed everything else I did do in a socially acceptable way. From high school to church and special occasions, there I’d be walking in later than was expected collecting all the shame as I was pelted by judgment from adults and peers alike. Sometimes I wish I could’ve been the adult in the room that noticed I wasn’t late because I was rude, I was late because I didn’t want to be there – at least not in the ways that were expected.

And although the story of a teenager seemingly fumbling time because she didn’t yet realise she wasn’t really feeling the set up sounds a little unfortunate, that’s not where it started for me at all.

Late To The Party

I was also late to my first social circle; the family. I was born a good nine years later than my sister and with extra assistance from the doctors because despite everybody’s efforts, including the efforts of nature herself, it was very clear that I wasn’t eager to be here.

Ironically, my relationship with society seems to still move that way with me retreating often and refusing to participate until I don’t have a choice and something I care about is at stake.

Late to bloom

Physically, I gained height pretty early and everything else? You guessed it.

I was the stem that superseded the other stems only to curiously not open any petals. A bully’s dream material for jokes. Of course, I was simply making sure my entrance was memorable (I assumed that my body knew what I know – it’s not just when it’s how). Regardless, despite the unbothered demeanor I’d already developed by the tender age of ten, it was a time peppered with the fear that I was going to fall ‘short’ because of how often we, a bunch of pre-teens, would compare body parts in the change room after tennis practice.

Now, I’m not one for frequent pettiness over matters of a life gone by but the last laugh does feel particularly soothing as it leaves my throat.

Early to Greatness, Still “Late”

Though I was great at school and often in leadership roles, it took me a while to understand the importance of being assertive while doing life – even when life made it clear thick skin was a prerequisite, I often succumbed to aggressive calls to tone it down.

To make up for my lack of interest in being here I turned to art and literature and before I knew it I was singing, dancing and writing and doing speech competitions and all of that made being here somewhat sensible. That and the fact that life always brought by something or someone interesting and I guess that developed my fascination with love and romance . My passion for life was in fact a passion for creating.

Hard head, Smooth sails

In the same fashion of la résistance, I forged my own path in terms of career often clashing with people who thought they knew what was best for me. I was slow to realise people simply did not do what they wanted to and often did as they were told & wanted others to do as they were told too.

That was where I drew the line. Of all the challenges that came with life, the one where I grew bitter towards others because I didn’t honour myself wasn’t one I wanted to have to work through in the future. I thought my resistance, though done as respectfully as one can resist, was a vice until I learned that a lot of my heroes sincerely put their foot down and often.

As a result my head strong nature has given me both the best and not so best of life. Overarching, I can confidently say it’s mostly been the best because it’s clear to me the only way I will give society a chance is if it’s giving me quality.
Quality people, quality relationships, quality money & quality everything else.
I said, if I’m going to be here then I’m going to take my time, enjoy each day’s perks to the fullest by all means  and insist on quality and longevity.

Though I am now mostly always on time, it was falling in love with my version of life & showing up where I actually wanted to be that made that possible.

From a connoisseur of life’s pleasures,

Published by Nona Zuri

Life is a pretty long journey and I've found that telling our stories helps us remember why it's all worth it. I was born in Durban & have been blessed enough to live in a variety of South African towns and cities. & to travel abroad to places where some of my favourite stories were based. In my spare time you can find me horse riding, hosting brunches or dinner, baking or enjoying rose on a vineyard.

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