I've recently come to the conclusion that I am a late bloomer. It explains a lot of things about my life and all the discoveries I've been making in the last year or so. Often when I blog about something I've discovered about myself or about life, I get comments from other lovely bloggers who had reached the same point - except they are in their 30's and 40's while I was further down life's path before I worked it out.
I think women of my generation grew up putting their needs second (or third or fourth...) to the needs of those around them. We took our identities from our roles of wife, or mother, or business person, or whatever else came our way. We often gave very little thought to who the 'real' person was underneath it all.
Now that I've had a few years of adjusting to empty nesting and to a life that holds less external roles, I've finally taken the time to look inside and find out who the real Leanne is without all the hats I've worn over the last 30 or more years of adulthood. The surprising thing is that I quite like "me" - I might not be to everyone's taste, but I am a woman who is finding her feet and her place in the world and enjoying the process.
I am so grateful to have discovered blogging in this journey of finding myself. It has given me a place to put down my thoughts and to connect with so many other women who are finding themselves and liking who they are blossoming into. A mature bloom is a lovely thing to behold and is often something worth waiting for. I'd like to think that this is just the beginning of opening out and enjoying the sunshine of life. I love that it isn't too late to enjoy my moment in time - I'm still healthy and relatively young, and there's a lot of life waiting for me to jump into and experience.
Perhaps the younger women of today have benefited from an abundance of self confidence and the ability to take ownership of who they are much sooner than I did, but I think I appreciate each new discovery that little bit more because it has come later in life. I certainly don't take for granted the freedom I have now to put my needs first and to claim my slice of life and my moment in the sun.