A few years ago, I turned 40 and fell into The Mother of All Ruts.

I realized that 40 was “just a number”, but the number made me stop and think:

Is this it?  Is this all there is?
Because THIS is not what I had envisioned for my life!

My biggest dreams – becoming a critically-acclaimed actress and a best-selling author – had been abandoned for more “realistic” endeavors.  And Mr. Right was a no-show.

What the heck happened to my Happy Ever After?  It was time that I created my own damn fairytale.

What I really wanted to do was traipse around the world like that Eat, Pray, Love chick.  But her publisher paid for her to find herself, and I didn’t have that luxury.

Instead, I started a blog called Diary of a Late Bloomer.  To stretch myself, I launched a 365 day project within the blog called “The Year of Living Curiously”.   Each day for a year, I lived one curious and soul-scintillating mini-adventure and blogged about it.

While working full-time for The Man.

While raising a 9 month-old puppy who adopted me during one of my mini-adventures.

And… in Under the Tuscan Sun fashion, I traveled to Europe for the first time and promptly fell in love with an Italian.

It was the craziest year of my life.  It was the best year of my life.

Next came The Year of Play, a much saner and more manageable blog project:  52 playdates per year; 1 playdate per week. My inner child, trapped in a cubicle for the previous four years, jumped for joy.

I was quite content with my life.  Until…

Working for The Man started to wear on my soul.  The Man decided that our growth and profits were not enough.  Enter The Reorg.

The Reorg starred the weaselly Transformation Guy.  The Transformation Guy stomped all over our kinder, gentler corporate culture and threw it into the trash.  (He didn’t even have the decency to recycle.)

I escaped the horrors of The Reorg by daydreaming.  Incessantly.

I wondered for the 51,144th time in my life if I should follow my dreams of becoming a writer.

I felt giddy in my soul. I envisioned a new blog — a Late Bloomer Revolution — a movement where women could support one another in following their hearts, passions and dreams with an “It’s Never Too Late” attitude!

Until Reality crept in and spoiled the fun. Again.

Reality snickered, “Those golden handcuffs need to be sawed off if you want to escape from here! Did you forget about your six-figure career? Six weeks vacay? A matching 401k? Health insurance???”

I bravely countered, “Ha! Are you forgetting The Reorg and that slimy Transformation Guy’s agenda? Our two telecommute days were slashed, and I’m going to have to do four times the work to achieve six-figures this year! And all of this after a great performance last year! Not to mention that my soul is slowly dying. When I was a young child, I didn’t dream of festering in a cubicle day in and day out. I yearned to be a writer!”

Reality shut me down with more fear-based thinking: “Who are you to complain in this economy? And you are boring me with the woo-woo, warm-fuzzy fulfillment talk. Writers get paid squat. You’ve never been the bohemian type, and now you’re going sacrifice and starve for your art at 44??? You can explore your passions in your free time along with rest of us. You need to be realistic. GET BACK TO WORK!”

I slinked back to my cubicle and plastered my nose to my computer like a good little Corporate American.

Until one day my soul suddenly slapped reality to the curb with a pushy “Snap out of it!” (My soul obviously borrowed Cher’s cojones that day.)

I then experienced the most (not-so-)eloquent revelation:
REALITY BITES!

I had seen the movie 20+ years ago, but I am a Late Bloomer, people!! It took awhile for that concept to sink in.

I didn’t want to be a statistic of regret someday.  I had no choice but to feel the fear and do it anyway today. My soul and sanity depended on it.

I flitted, I floated, I fleetly fled, I flew… away from the shackles of Corporate America.

As I write this, I am 44 years young.  Five weeks ago I took The Leap so that I could start The Late Bloomer Revolution. I am finally honoring my deepest dreams.

I’m not too late. I’m just in time.

*****

Top photo credit: © Sam Breach 2014. Please check out her website. She is amazing.

Thank you for making me look bloomilicious, my creative and über-talented friend!