Magnolias always seem to bloom later than I think they should. As soon as I notice the days lengthening, my impatience for summer has me searching their lush green leaves for signs of the fragrant gifts to come. It’s June and the blossoms have made their formal debut. I’ve already made myself dizzy from breathing in their essence.

I’m impatient with myself, too. I already feel like a late bloomer. People often call me an old soul and I had just turned 17 when I started college, so since then I’ve been determined to take advantage of my head start. When I graduated, I was so sure of my purpose in life despite the path itself being misty and dimly-lit. I thought I could skip the “lost 20-something” stage. But here I am, about to turn 25, and my so-called dreams have lost their shimmer. I’m not who I thought I was. I’m certainly not who I thought I should be. Instead, I’m someone different.

I’ve been grieving this ever since my realization in March. But it has also felt like a long, slow exhalation of relief. As spring turns to summer, I’m settling into the fact that I don’t have to live up to the fantasy version of myself - the badass female Oscar-winning director (which sounds exhausting, frankly, knowing the film industry). Instead, I can be myself. The version of myself that I am right now, sitting at my desk, typing this out on my iPhone. I’m the lost 20-something who is just starting to know herself, who likes writing in coffee shops, who loves her soft cat, who is sometimes motivated but usually slow-moving, who spends too much time on Twitter and not enough time swimming (even though she loves it), who goes to sad movies alone because it feels so good to cry, who loves her city but still isn’t sure where to call home, who nurtures succulents on her windowsill and a sourdough starter in the back of her fridge. Maybe I’m not a late bloomer. I’m just anxious for summer and forgot to enjoy spring. Each season has its own vibrant blossoms, so drink them in, drink them in.

what if we already are
who we’ve been dying to become
in certain light i can plainly see
a reflection of magnificence
hidden in you
maybe even in me
– 'Four' by Sleeping At Last