Adolescent @ 30? Still slow to change...

I'm kind of a late bloomer:

  • I started public school (after homeschool) in 8th Grade.
  • My voice didn't begin changing till I was 17.
  • I remember arguing as a teen, that racism didn't really exist in America anymore (easy to say when your entire community is white).
  • I didn't get my driver's license till my senior year of high school.
  • My first kiss was at 18...
  • Didn't need to shave till my freshman year of college...
  • First serious girlfriend at 20...
  • I didn't realize Christians could be Democrats until I was 24 (that's when I began learning that life is painted in a lot of shades of gray).


5 years later - at 29 - I'm wrestling with vegetarianism. Am I late to the game, again? My friend Becca became a vegetarian at 16, and continued for 17 years. While she eats some meat (humane, free range) now, she certainly "got it" early on.

My good friend Scott, an evangelical along with me, identified himself as a Democrat in high school - and I was so disappointed in him. I thought he had rejected the "truth" of both our families of origin, merely for the sake of being rebellious. I didn't question what I was raised with, because it sat quite comfortably with me. I could demonize "the other."

I don't want to infer that I am inferior to Scott or to Becca because I didn't "come around" as soon as they did. More importantly, I don't want to infer that you are inferior to any of us for having different beliefs or worldviews. All of us are on our own journeys.

The point I want to make is that stubborn tardiness seems to run in my blood. I've been convicted of plenty of things in my life, that I chose to ignore for years and years. Right now, my issue-at-hand is animal cruelty - an issue I've been aware of for a long time. Four or five years ago, I was confronted with my own homophobia and began to dissect and work through that.

We're all in process. We've all got an awful lot to get through. I'm not self-loathing or anything. I just seem to be late to the game, more often than not.

Wait up! I'm coming...

"O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes... then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance."
Exodus 34:9

7 comments:

Existential Punk said...

Pete,

My philosophy is better late than never!

i did not fully come out as queer until my late 30's - 37 to be exact and i am turning 40 in April! Had i wish i'd come to terms sooner and not wasted so much of my life inthat way, yes! But i learned so much on my often painful and lonely journey.

There is a GREAT childrens book i love and relate to so well called "Leo the Late Bloomer" by Robert Kraus:

"Leo isn’t reading, or writing, or drawing, or even speaking, and his father is concerned. But Leo’s mother isn’t. She knows her son will do all those things, and more, when he’s ready. ‘Reassuring for other late bloomers, this book is illustrated with beguiling pictures.’—Saturday Review"

So, you are just fine my friend!

EP

camsview said...

Yay for shades of gray! That's about all I see anymore... It could have something to do with being color blind, though.

abshreve said...

I too see myself as a late bloomer. I was expressing my concern with this recently (to someone who's opinion I hold in high regard) and how I felt like I'd wasted a lot of time. He looked at me and said "there's no such thing as wasted time in God's eyes. He uses it all as part of the journey, even if you don't realize it at the time". Not the most revelatory thing I've ever heard but it gave me peace about where I've been and where I'm heading. The thing I'm learning to love about faith is that as I continue to seek God, He continues to reveal Himself to me in new ways and open my blind eyes.

Love ya bro!

Shreve

Peter said...

My friends, I'm so blessed by your comments. Thank you, to each of you - for grace.

Aaron, BRO (from way, WAY back), awesome advice:

"there's no such thing as wasted time in God's eyes. He uses it all as part of the journey, even if you don't realize it at the time".

Pretty revelatory dude, truly. Maybe not intellectually - we all "get" that. But cognitively? In practice? Well, we have a hard time being so gracious with ourselves.

Thanks for the reminder(s)!

Al said...

Pete, I'm sure you can see how I am in the same boat as you, only a couple decades later! Or maybe it is my second childhood.
I, too, sometimes think I missed a lot by being so slow in catching up to the past, let alone the present or future. At the same time, I am grateful that I am at least moving forward, even if it's late.
Just tell yourself that you don't just jump on any bandwagon that comes along, but you carefully consider things before you jump on board.

Becca said...

The truth of the matter is that it takes experiences of your own to be able to face other people's, (or animal's), truths; To be able to see things in other ways. I grew up in a "liberal" household, and went through my own time of questioning by becoming quite conservative for a time in my teens. I wouldn't change that though, because it gives me a perspective that I respect, even if I often disagree with it. I never really knew Christians could be liberal, until we came to Berea...and its given me alot of positive things to think about.

Emily said...

Sorry I just caught this post from a month ago. Anyway -- I totally feel you on this! I did not go vegetarian when I was 16 the way most of my vegetarian friends did. No, at the time, I was a firm omni(carni)vore. And then I went vegetarian much later, now that all my friends are firmly stuck in their ways. I felt a little silly . . .

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