Did you taste all fruits?

February 4, 2015

Gqosgn1422157245“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?




22 comments on “Did you taste all fruits?
  1. Hi Carol! I tend to agree with you that it is really important to try things out and experiment with life as much as possible. Of course “learning” from those experiences is also important. Thom and I actually married when I was 21 and he was 22–38 years ago! And we are still very happily together. But maybe the difference is that both of us and covered A LOT of ground (probably more than I should admit!) before we found each other. We too often comment that we can’t understand it when a couple says there were “childhood sweethearts” and never dated anyone else before marrying! Both of us are quite happy that we saw a lot of what was out there before making our decisions. We’ve also had that same attitude about occupations and where to live. The only real way to know where you want to be and what you want to do is to try things out. ~Kathy

  2. I got married at 25. It was the perfect age for me. I had finished college and started my career. My husband and I have encouraged our sons to not get married early.

  3. Laura says:

    My children are a little more staid than I am. I just hope they don’t wake up at 40 with small children and partners to the discovery they want more and wish they had seen more in their twenties.

    I wish I had traveled more in my twenties but I didn’t have the gumption to set out on my own. Fortunately, I found the gumption.

  4. I was too young for my first marriage at age 23 and chose badly. I made a much better selection the second time!

  5. I’m glad I didn’t get married until I was almost 30. I got a lot out of my system and was mature enough to take the next step. I think more “kids” are doing the same thing and I am glad. Taste the fruits! Enjoy life. Yup. That’s my spiel.

  6. Ruth Curran says:

    One line keeps running through my head – “you don’t have to young to make mistakes”. Now that would make an awesome tattoo wouldn’t it?

  7. Judy Griffin says:

    I love this concept. Such simple advice that makes so sense and is applicable in all aspects of life. For instance, I thought I wanted to work in the business world so that was my major & I worked in the investment management industry for a number of years. After I left that field I realized it no longer interested me so years later I became a Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach. I did marry at 25 but thought I had tasted enough at that time and 25 + years later that was just the taste I needed because it still flavors my life. Thank you.

  8. I agree…and there are so many opportunities now, that we never dreamed of! Our culture really socializes “marriage and kids” as the American dream, when so many people are not suited for marriage and kids.

  9. and, no. I married at 21 and I am still married. I tasted few fruits…and married the first one who gave me an….well, you know what.

  10. I agree with you for the most part. I’ve learned, though, that sometimes you just gotta commit to the decision you made because it seemed the best thing at the time. Sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn’t.

    And for the record, the best fruit I’ve tasted so far is mango. I do have plenty of others I’ve yet to sample, though. 😀

  11. I got married too young, not necessarily in age but in maturity – we were divorced within two years. Now married for nearly 20 years!
    I love how you married the same man many years later and think your story could fit in beautifully with the ones I feature on my site: Next Act for Women, Women Reinventing Themselves in Midlife. Interested?
    Contact me at helene@nextactforwomen.com.
    Thanks for sharing a great post!

  12. Sheryl says:

    Love this line: t takes the fullness of time to really know how to make a decision that stands a chance of working out well.
    Yes, agreed. My children, in their 20s, who are not yet married, are thankfully tasting lots of fruit. I don’t know if that is any guarantee for happiness, but it sure does make me feel better. I did the same.

  13. I married beyond too young at 16 and it wasn’t because I had to. I had my first child one year later, waited 3 years and had another and another 2 years after that. I was divorced by 24.
    I didn’t get married again until I was ready and that was at 48. I am so glad I waited.
    My (4)kids (I adopted one as a single mom) all married at 21 and to my surprise they are all doing very well. I have a 34 year-old- stepson that wants to marry but hasn’t found ‘the one’ yet.

  14. Andi says:

    I definitely tried out the fruit basket and while I got married the first time late (28) it still didn’t last. When I was younger I totally pressured into wanting to marry me (thank God they didn’t) as there is such societal pressure to do that. I don’t have children, but anyone I speak to of a certain age I definitely tell them wait, what’s your rush. I even recommend against marriage, especially if you aren’t planning to have kids – it is so interesting to see their reactions!

  15. Mary says:

    Carol, you are dead on! I was married at 25, I had finish college and lived in Europe for a year. Oddly enough my husband had done the same thing, but lived in Australia. By the time we met we were both ready. I am constantly urging my children to experience life and see the world before they settled down.

  16. Tammy says:

    Eight years after a 30 year marriage, and forty years after high school, I reconnected with an old high school chum. We have been together over 5 years now, engaged and looking towards the future. He often reminisces how he wishes he had proclaimed his love back then. But I know we are together because we have both lived a full life of relationships and know and value what we bring to the table today. Blessing abound, but it was a long wait. Had we married back then I honestly don’t think we would be together. We do need to savor life, love, living to know and understand what we want and what we need to be happy. And yet, every once in a while, I run into people who met at 13 and are married for 60+ years. Go figure!

  17. Carolann says:

    I do agree that people need to get some experience under their belt before making a life changing decision like marriage but on the other hand, it’s hard to say because I was married at 19 and still am! Different strokes for different folks for sure.

  18. I tasted enough fruit to know I was picking the juiciest one of all. Still loving it (and him) 34 years 🙂

  19. Lana says:

    My husband and I met at 15 and were married at 23 – and still in love 25 years later. So I think it can work on occasion. But in general I agree with you, and I hope my boys wait to get married.

  20. Diane says:

    I married young. But I had dated a lot. I guess that counts?!

  21. Debbie D. says:

    Excellent advice, but there are exceptions. We did marry young and are still happily together, 40+ years later. Mind you, there had been a fair amount of “fruit tasting” beforehand. 🙂 Not to say there weren’t rough patches, but every relationship has those. We chose not to have children, but if we did, I wouldn’t interfere, as long as they were old enough to make their own decisions.

  22. Great post Carol. I tasted more than I know my daughter did. After the death of my father at 15 I did just about everything most of it I shouldn’t have. I had a disastrous first marriage and think I just lucked out the second time. I took my time before I married him and I thing the difference between the first and second was the knowledge that I could make it without anyone. I had before. That being said after almost 24 years I know I got the right fruit but really he is a nut. My daughter I worry about. She met her husband as a 5th grader and they took one look at each other and that was it. I implored her to try something different to be sure and it turned out horribly, beyond horrible actually. I hope that time will show she knows better than her mom.

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