I have one coworker at work who actually knows things about my personal life. For all intents and purposes she is my platonic work spouse… that person you joke with, vent to, and generally have around to make the workplace tolerable. Well, being the overly open person I am at times she also has a vague idea about my polyamorous and open relationships. She seems to think it is based on sex but she did ask a comment that struck a cord, she asked if I was a “late bloomer” when it came to sex. I don’t think it takes away from my philosophical and social choices but yes, I was a late bloomer by modern standards.
I lost my virginity at 23 to my ex-fiance. I only really drank alcohol once in high school, and probably would have been arrested if not for Officer O’Keefe recognizing my car and knowing that I was a police explorer. I didn’t smoke weed until well after the army and “harder” drugs didn’t enter my system until I was about 28. So yeah, I was a late bloomer, but I am happy for that.
As someone who was able to experience as an adult both the conservative life and the libertine life I feel I am much more capable of figuring out what works best for me. It also gives me the perspective to not judge others decisions with how they decide to live their life. My views on relationships, politics, anarchy, peace, and love come from life experiences outside of the city I was born in. What people do with their mind, body, and spirit is not for me to decide and I think being a late bloomer has helped with that. I don’t think these experiences would have happened if I went the traditional route of “growing up”.
This is particularly true for my drug use. I can safely use a variety of drugs because I have the experience and knowledge to act responsibly. Altering ones mind through drugs is best done when you are mature enough to know what normal is. There have been a few cases of serious damage due to the use of MDMA but this has little to do with the substance and a lot to do with people using them without knowing their bodies well or how to get help. When I was 15 I wouldn’t have known how to handle the effects, I just wasn’t mature enough.
I think this same principle applies to relationships. I look at people who graduated with me and most of them are married, with kids, and living a life that makes them incredibly happy but seems awful to me. I was almost in that same position and it makes me wonder if I would have been satisfied with that traditional life. I am incredibly happy now with my freedom, my partners, my friends, and my adventures.
So, yep, I’m a late bloomer and happy I am. Each year of my life I have grown more, learned more, and experienced more. Some accuse me of never growing up, I hope that accusation follows me until my last breath.