My ten-year-old mind definitely considered myself a late bloomer. It didn’t matter that I got into secondary school shortly before my tenth birthday. Or that I had reached all my childhood milestones with relative ease. All I knew was that, by the time I was admitted to secondary school, some of my classmates had been seeing their periods for up to a year!
Within the next two terms, these same classmates returned wearing bras and bearing curves everywhere. I, on the other hand, was still as straight as a stick figure with nary a curve in sight. So in that sense, I considered myself a late bloomer.
I wanted to be like my other classmates. It did not matter that I was younger than most of them. I simply wanted to be a big girl too, wearing sanitary pads and bras. When more than a year had passed by and I still didn’t belong to the club of big girls, I started wearing pads and bras for nonexistent periods and breasts. Lol!
Three to four years later, I started needing bras and having periods that lasted a whole seven days! I had always been a little tall for my age, but all of a sudden, I was the tallest girl in my class. Everything came in abundance and the only thing I didn’t and would never have was wide hips and a heavy bottom.
Within a year of becoming a ‘big girl’, I was tired of belonging. I didn’t just belong, I stood out. And very few teenagers really want to stand out (they’d much rather fit in.) So, I, who was previously a late bloomer, started to slouch and wear oversized shirts to disguise my height and breasts.
My mother and aunts had to teach me to accept the body I had. They taught me to walk tall and teasingly reminded me of the time I had been in a hurry to grow up. I learned about waiting for the right time to date, have sex, and work towards achieving my dreams. They also taught me that it was okay to stand out and be different, as long as I was doing nothing wrong.
I turned out to be a bit of a late bloomer in other areas too. Like consciously learning about and accepting my creative side, and getting along with people. But I learned that it didn’t matter how quickly I got there as long as I did.
To Every Late Bloomer
If you’re a young girl/lady struggling with being a late bloomer, this is for you. Be happy with your journey and stay optimistic. Everything will happen for you at just the right time. And if you’re truly worried about puberty and periods, you can always see a doctor to allay your fears and help you with your struggles. If it is in other areas of your life you seem to be lagging behind, be assured that it will happen. Every good thing will come. So, in the meantime, love and accept yourself. You will be just fine.