Late Bloomer

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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.

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the perks of being a wallflower

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On the recommendation of an amazing friend I read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. I’d never read it before, though I wish I had, particularly when I was in high school, though I wonder if my conservative self would have made it through the pretty innocent sex scenes in the book. I somehow doubt it.

I really enjoyed it for two reasons. First, it’s a pretty good book with some interesting insight into “wallflowers”, something I think accurately describes me from time to time. It is much easier for someone like me to sit and observe a situation instead of becoming involved. I certainly think a certainly level of observation is necessary for an introvert like me but it is easy to get lost in that. Life is to be lived, not watched. I struggle with this constantly but I find it getting easier as I get older and am able to cast off any stupid social concerns.

The second reason I enjoyed it is the important one to me. This is a book that is important to a friend of mine and she even sent me her copy in the mail to read. It was filled with highlighted passages from her reading and it gave me a glimpse into her personality… it was a bonding experience, almost intimate to read this and see what was important to her. I am someone that often gives away my books with notes written in them, but I give them away for two reasons: I think the person could benefit from it or the person is important to me. I feel like I received this for both of those reasons and for that I am very grateful.

Introverted

For some reason it really surprises my friends when they hear that I consider myself to be a fairly strong introvert. That doesn’t mean I don’t like people (quite the opposite actually), but it does mean that group situations kind of stress me out and I hate approaching people. Small talk is generally obnoxious to me but I would gladly discuss serious issues with pretty much anyone. My introversion is something I am trying to learn how to deal with, particularly my nervousness about talking to strangers.

Being so adverse to initiating conversations makes me a horrible networker and makes finding friends in a new area difficult. I just can’t seem to smoothly start talking to someone without a real catalyst that is deeper than where someone works. I played in a Kickball league for over a year here in DC and really only talk to two or so of the hundreds of people I met. I don’t know, it sucks.

It particularly sucks when it comes to meeting ladies. Guys are supposed to initiate but I never do. Instead I end up waiting for girls to approach me. I am also TERRIBLE at telling if someone is interested, flirting, or whatever. I try all kinds of little tricks to logically analyze the interaction but these usually just leave me more confused.

Anyway, one of my goals for my bike ride is to approach more strangers as I encounter them on my travels. I actually may start doing that now. Logically I know there is no harm if someone gets weirded out by me saying hi but there is a ton to gain if it goes well. I need to find that balance of logic and emotion in a way that controls my irrational fears but also allows me to show my human side.