What will I be
This has been a question for all of my life.
When I was in Grade School I was introduced to the story of Grandma Moses. Though she had been a hard worker and creative all of her life, she started painting and became famous after she was 78 and lived to be 101. And had produced over 1600 paintings.
As a youngster, this was amazing. When you are aware of very few people that had even lived that long, to be able to begin an artistic career and become famous and stay productive was inspirational.
Fame is not, in and of itself, important. But, it means that people seek out and are affected by your work.
And it is never too late to have an effect.
As a child, I took hope from the story of Grandma Moses. Although I also had an affinity for “live fast, love hard and die young”. The hope and I survived and there were points where I knew that being a late bloomer was still a possibility.
“Late bloomers” are those who start to make their mark later in life. These days that is after 35 or 40. (Seems a bit young to me. But I’ll be 70 soon, and when I was that young I still felt like a kid.)
I have always been interested in the Arts. My Mom told me, in my teens that I shouldn’t be an artist, “You’ll starve to death!” But I continued experimenting while trying to be “normal” by writing, drawing, and creating quietly in private. I read poetry and art books and dreamed. I showed my art and writings in very limited venues. I suppose the fear of “starving to death” and being/doing the ‘wrong’ thing has held me back.
Blooming late is not easy. When I was younger, I thought that doing things after I was ‘retired’ and and ‘settled’ would be easier than it is. Trying to survive on a fixed income that is too small to easily cover bills is anxiety producing.
But here I am. And I love writing here and make at least enough to cover my membership. Writing for an audience is exciting.
I have a dream. I want to produce good writing. Possibly books of my essays and poetry (with illustrations or art). I want to have an effect on ‘the world’ if you will. Even if it is just a small part of it.
Blooming late is better than dying before I’ve explored all of my possibilities.
What do I want to be when I grow up? The future is vague as it has always been, but I have an idea and the ability to move forward on this pathless path. I’m just getting started.
I’ve always been a late bloomer, so I never feel like, ‘Oh, I’m gettin’ older; I guess everything is gonna stop.’ I’m the opposite: ‘Oh, I’m just getting started.’- Megan Mullally
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Dana Sanford ~ 1/10/2019