Before the holidays, I visited my 90 year-old grandparents. As I sat around their kitchen table for lunch, I asked them to divulge all of their secrets and life hacks. Some of the history and stories I already knew, but I realized I had never asked these questions one-on-one. I asked them how they managed to grow old so gracefully, what they did to have a loving marriage for over 67 years, and most importantly how they successfully raised 9 smart, educated, and accomplished children.
I listened steadfast as my grandmother explained the history and details of how she and my grandfather met, their marriage, and raising a family together. My grandpa quickly interjected to announce that because she was a twin it was hard to tell her apart from her sister. That is why he didn’t ask her out right away! He further explained that he worried how he might ask out the wrong twin sister and ruin his chances with my grandma. The banter between my grandparents even after all these years together was heartwarming. I smiled from the inside as I listen to them debate the details of their past.
Why did courtship, marriage, and family seem to be so easy back then? What has happened in the last 50 years that my generation seemingly fails to accomplish similar stories? Because I have not been lucky in love yet, I often wonder if it is my fault, possibly a by-product of my life choices and my busy career. Or is it just due to my generation’s dating mentality? Either way, all I know is that I have many life-long examples of love, family, and values that I desperately want to replicate. Being part of a big family helps me know that I also want a family for myself someday.
I’m sure many women can relate to the vicious dating cycle of getting set-up on blind dates, using Tinder, and speed dating in an attempt to find the perfect guy and future parenting-partner. It’s exhausting! What I learned from my grandparents, however, is that finding love is so worth it. So before swiping right, I have been working on my ability to look for good husband qualities. Is he kind, is he understanding, does he possess good morals and values? For me, these qualities are far more important than some of the superficial things we tend to look at first when dating.
I’ve started doing things I don’t usually do, going places I haven’t been to, and being open to the idea that a causal conversation in the Starbucks line could be something more. When you open your eyes to different possibilities, everything in your life could shift. While waiting to find “the one”, using medical technology like egg freezing and being open to other fertility options is one way to take control of the choices you can make now for your future.
Personally, egg freezing has opened doors for me and brought peace to any baby panic I was experiencing. I still see kids at parks or families out to dinner and wish I had that too. What is different this time around is that I know by freezing my eggs, I gave myself more options in the future, and a little more time to actually obtain what I want in life. The trick with having it all is that it just may not all happen at the same time or exactly how I envisioned it happening, and that’s OK.
Letting go of certain expectations was another huge factor in my life. Life is a journey and if we rush to the destination, we miss all that life has to offer along the way. I know you are ready… I am too. But don’t forget that there are no wrong decisions. You are where you are for a reason. You are going to get to where you want to go in life. All you have to do is believe it. Look at each situation and ask yourself, what is the next best decision? How can I do and make the next best choice for me?
Stop comparing your life to others. Start each day anew. Repeat and tell yourself affirmation statements in the mirror before you shower in the morning. Breath deeply. Get up 30 minutes earlier and write down your goals or what you want to accomplish that day. Smile even when you don’t feel like it. Do something kind for someone in need. Be aware of your surroundings and acknowledge those around you. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation.
Remember that whatever you are going through, this too shall pass. You are not going to be alone forever. Your future is bright.
Over the last decade, Valerie has been working within the medical field specializing in Women’s Health. She has a passion for educating and helping women understand their bodies to fertility options. As the founder of eggsperience.com, she has focused on helping guide women through the complex and challenging paths of fertility decisions. Valerie hopes to provide educational information for women at any reproductive age and start the conversation about protecting our future-self. She offers advice from her personal egg freezing experience along with a collection of first-hand accounts from other women’s journeys. Originally from East Coast Pennsylvania, Valerie moved to Chicago after undergrad where she works and travels to improve health care.
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