On Being a Late Bloomer

Before I write a blog post, I generally start with an idea I've thought of while driving or bathing. This was meant to be a post about body issues that linger into adulthood. I was staring at my thighs in the bath when I thought, "Yeah, you should do a body issues post again." Because I was looking at my thighs and thinking, "You should work out more," but also, "Damn. You look good in a bath."

I never would have thought that 3 years ago. I also didn't take baths as regularly then.

Adulthood. True adulthood. What a thing. What a funny, funny thing. I've thought I was an adult for going on 13 years now. I remember sitting on the floor at the edge of my bed on my 20th birthday in my Sophomore year apartment at The University of Georgia. I was mourning my teens, even though I HATED MY TEENS, it was such a transition, "You will never be a "teen" again. You are in your 20s. You're an adult now."


I've been rounding up my age forever. I've always looked forward to being a year older. The moment I turned twenty, I was 21. Twenty five, I told people 26. But now I'm 33, turning 34 in a few months and rounding up seems... unnecessary. My life has finally caught up to my age. When you realize you and everyone else have no idea what in the world is going on, accept that as fact, get comfortable with it and proceed, being present becomes a lot easier. And being present makes needing to be a year older irrelevant.

I fell in love with a woman at 31. Up until then, I'd spent the majority of my life feeling detached. From myself. From my body. I didn't understand desire. Being desired. Desiring. I could not wrap my brain around that very basic human emotion. I blamed my thighs. I blamed my arms. I blamed my double chin and my wonky bottom teeth. But then I met her and I didn't once think about any of that. I thought, "Oh. This is what everyone is talking about." And I sunk into it. And I learned. And I grew. A lot. I discovered what I think a majority of people learn in their teens and early 20s. Lust and desire and heartbreak are incredibly painful BUT they make you feel alive and more like a human. And, in experiencing it all also came an appreciation of my body. For what it could do and offer. (Yeah, in a sexy way.)

Listen. I could delve deep into the psychology behind the body detachment that existed before my "coming out" (a term I deeply resent and despise for the sheer fact that one ever has to "come out" at all...another issue) and maybe I will in another post. But for tonight--

I'm a late bloomer.

I didn't intend to write something this personal. I didn't really plan on ever discussing my sexuality because who cares? I set out to write a post about body issues. But, in writing this, what's struck me is recognizing the freedom I have experienced from the surprise of finding a fuller and more realized version of myself. Understanding desire put me in touch with my body in a new way. It's given me a deeper appreciation of my double chin and of my thighs. They are me. And I think what I can say to myself now at 33 is: Don't be afraid. Don't rush yourself. You will continue to see more of You everyday and it will be amazing.


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