Late bloomer. I have lovingly called myself one for a long time. Better late than never. Better to have chances to change and bloom than to have run out of chances, to have run out of life itself.
Slow learner. That’s me too. Not in my formal education. I have always been a good student in that respect. In terms of my informal education though, I have been slow in developing understanding about myself—my thoughts and feelings—and how I function best and most contentedly. This self-understanding is inexorably woven into how I live among and treat others as well.
Both labels can be disparaging when given by someone else. When applied to self, it is more honest reflection than anything. Each term is actually full of potential and hope when it is broken down. No matter when a person or a flower blossoms, it can be a beautiful sight made more glorious by the patience required. Even a slow learner is still learning, and these gradual lessons often stick far better than the quick ones.