“Taste all fruits before you decide” was advice a psychic gave a friend of mine many years ago, and it was right on the money. In his case, the advice seemed to apply to his desire to come out as gay, but it’s true for anyone. Life really is a banquet and you don’t know how much of a banquet it is until you’ve tasted more than just a few samples.
I got married just before I turned 21 and with that experience under my belt, I saw the folly in marrying young. Early on I saw that I hadn’t tasted enough different kinds of fruits to make an informed decision: I was just too young. And in fact, we divorced. Some 27 years later I married the same man again, but this time? I’d had enough life experience to be confident in my decision.
A couple decades ago I remember my mixed feelings when a young woman I knew was planning to marry shortly out of college. She was mature for her age, but she hadn’t had much life experience. I wasn’t her mother, so I didn’t feel comfortable giving her advice, but I did think she was too young to take such a big step. She did marry, things went well for a long time, and then they didn’t. It was nothing in particular, really, it just wasn’t working any more. I had to wonder what would have happened had she waited. Maybe nothing would have been different, but then again, what if she’d tasted more fruits and had decided on a plum instead of a pomegranate?
Of course, anyone can make a bad decision at any time. You don’t have to be young to make mistakes, and don’t I know it.
But one thing I’ve learned the hard way is that it takes the fullness of time to really know how to make a decision that stands a chance of working out well. Any kind of decision: a job, having children, marrying, a move. It’s a no-brainer that the more life experience we have, the more assurance we can have that our actions are sound. But who listens when they’re young?
I’m always a little bemused–and frustrated–when the young people I know think they know everything, when in fact, they don’t know jack.
Oh, I’m not so old I can’t remember those same know-it-all feelings and some of my actions based on them. But when I compare two young people, similar ages, one who thinks s/he knows everything and the other who asks questions, gathers data and is open to input? I can immediately see who will have the smoother road and I’m usually correct.
There are still parents who pressure their kids to settle down and get married young. To follow the traditional path that they’d taken and their parents had taken.
Traditions can be a wonderful things. But sometimes they don’t stand the test of time, because it’s a different world, one in which young people have more options than ever before. It’s a world in which some of the old life milestones have shifted a bit in both timing and content. All around me I see a world in which young people can make their dreams come true to an extent that their parents and grandparents couldn’t.
This is a world in which the advice “Taste all fruits” is as applicable as it was all those years ago when my friend first got it.
I’d love to know what you think. Did you taste enough fruits before making major life decisions? Are your children doing it any differently?