Lately my daughter has been spending a great deal of time talking about her upcoming wedding.
I guess it’s just part of being a little girl, fantasizing about that one romantic day. I must admit I find pleasure in thinking about it as well. I imagine my husband walking her down the aisle and her living happily ever after. But I guess that’s every parent’s dream.
I think the best advice I’ve gotten on the subject came from a pro—a wedding planner who has seen it all. She reminded me that one of the most important aspects for a bride planning a wedding is to remember there are two people getting married—two personalities, and two sets of hopes and dreams, coming together for the perfect celebration.
It’s true of the marriage, as well.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with Evette, this very good friend, and we reminisced about those days when she and I were single. In between the “hey, moms” and the “may I haves” interjected by our kids, we managed to chat about the many bits of advice we might give to the younger versions of ourselves, if we had the chance to sneak back in time, while we were looking for “Mr. Right.
There were many.
- Remember who you are, and look for someone who has the same character and values.
- Like attracts like. So focus on doing the things you love and trust that you will attract more of the same.
- Have a sense of humor about both your successes and your failures. Life and romance are about growth, accepting what comes, and learning from it.
- Don’t waste your energy worrying about what other people think. Just be respectful of others and follow your heart.
- Most importantly—breathe—you will soon find “him,” the one who appreciates you for exactly who you are.
- What lies ahead is beautiful, despite the fact that, when you become a mom, you will on occasion complain about your aspirations and conversations being held hostage by the needs of others. But you don’t have to give up on your dreams. Just find your balance and keep moving forward.
- And finally, every moment is a gift and a reminder that life itself is bigger than you could possibly imagine.
It’s simpler than I would have thought, what my friend and I would have told those younger girls, the ones about to set off on such a wonderful adventure. I guess it’s because we feel so lucky that even though not everything we planned came to fruition, in so many ways, we’ve been given so much more.
But I wonder if they would have listened anyway, those two young girls. It wouldn’t surprise me if they rolled their eyes, as I know our daughters may do one day, when we try to impart such wisdom.
It’s quite possibly irrelevant really, what we would say to those younger versions of ourselves. After all, knowing what I know now, I’m sure our wonderful children would find a way to travel back in time…and interrupt the conversation.
Taryn Grimes-Herbert is the author of the I’ve Got character-building book series for children, and was 2010’s Woman of Achievement in the Arts Honoree for Orange County, NY. Calling upon her professional acting experience on Broadway, film and television, she speaks out and takes her books into classrooms hoping to help kids build character, develop empathy and learn to create a positive future through creative dramatics activities.