I moved from Greece to England when I was 18 years old.
My english was ok but certainly not fluent in writing or speaking.
And I was attempting to get into college.
It took me three years to pass the exams and get language fluency.
And because of that everyone else in my classes, in my dorms and in my everyday college experience were three years younger than me.
I used to hide my age.
When everyone was turning 21 I was turning 24.
I was always three years late.
Also, always older than all the boys I knew.
And no matter what I did, how hard I worked that ‘three years later than everyone else’ feeling was always there.
Then for a few years that feeling was gone, I had moved to the US, started my own family and things started to feel ‘normal.’
Then he was diagnosed with late stage cancer and died, and I lost a whole decade.
I nearly lost all of my 30s.
I was 30 when he was diagnosed.
We battled the cancer every day for years.
I was 34 when he died.
And I battled devastating grief for years.
38 when I started to get back on my feet again.
I believed for the first time that I could be a builder, a founder, an author, someone who had something to say to the world.
But that old voice in my head came back running.
But aren’t you really behind?
Like at least 10 years too late for anything of this magnitude.
You are about to be 40 soon and you want to start from scratch?
Yes I do.
The faint voice of the new woman would say.
No you don’t.
The loud speaker kind of voice would respond back.
And it went like this for the first few years.
The battle of the voices.
I have been quieting the voice of ‘you are late to the party’ for most of my life now.
I am now 46 years old and I finally learned something that I did not know my whole life.
And it’s not it is never too late.
But it is arrive late, and leave early.
In the last eight years I have lived many lives in one.
I have done work that it takes people lifetimes to do.
And I know that if I was not late to the party I could have never ever become this version of me.
Now I look at my life very differently.
As long as my hands can type, my eyes can see and my brain can guide me I will be creating until I die.
Later than everyone else.
With a language that arrived in my life also late.
But I will always have an advantage, I experienced tragedy sooner than everyone else.
And received the wisdom of it at least a decade or two before most people.
The combination of being late with wisdom that comes from tragedy you can almost step outside of time and space and create from there.
Time is irrelevant to people like you and I. However late to the party you feel, know that the wisdom you have because of your loss adds time to your clock. @SecondFirsts (Click to Tweet!)
You are early.
And always will be.
Here’s to creating until our last breath.
With being very late and proud of it,
Christina Rasmussen is the creator and founder of The Life Reentry Institute, Second Firsts, The Life Starters and Star Letters. Christina is on a crusade to help millions of people rebuild, reclaim, and relaunch their lives using the power of their own minds. Christina’s work has been featured on ABC News, NPR, The White House Blog, and MariaShriver.com. She is the bestselling author of Second Firsts: Live, Laugh, and Love Again, which has also been translated in Chinese and German and is currently working on her second book on expanding the mind in ways that allows co-creation with the forces of the universe. She is also writing her first work of fiction: a science fiction story about a woman on a quest to start over and begin a new life. You can find more information on her website and follow her on FB or Twitter.
Image courtesy of Taylor Ann Wright.