Hawaii or Alaska…Where are you headed?Posted on Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 at 5:59 AM
By Ekene Onu
The other day I was speaking to a dear friend who is waiting for her life partner. She is of age and has everything going for her and she is currently single. I understand her angst, I know people may think yeah, yeah, you are already married how can you relate? Well while I may not fully grasp the depth of her concern, rest assured I myself felt it at times.
We had an interesting conversation. She was telling me about a man who had come on the scene but he had a few hiccups or commas or red flags. She had asked me for advice about whether or not she should proceed with this man. He had many of the qualities that she wanted but he also had many of the flaws she desperately wanted to avoid. I listened to her, this brilliant, compassionate, solid woman, someone who I often turned to for counsel, tell me her reasons for considering this man. She kept talking and I kept asking questions and then she said something that I love her for. She broke it down honestly. “I am not getting any younger and it’s not like I have a lot of prospects, so maybe I should just take what is in front of me”. I was so glad when she put it plainly because here was something we could deal with.
I couldn’t tell her whether or not he would be a good man because only God knows a man’s heart…and even the bible tells us it can be desperately wicked.
I couldn’t tell her if she would be happy with him, even couples who profess undying love at the wedding day sometimes hate each other later.
I could tell her though that the smoke one sees when dating, typically becomes a well stoked fire in marriage.
I could tell her that those red flags usually become flashing sirens later on.
I could tell her that I loved her enough not to want her to suffer unnecessarily.
I asked her to picture herself in an airport and her marriage a destination. Where would she like to go? Perhaps she thought of a picturesque place like Hawaii; a destination known for its beaches and tropical flavor. Perhaps she had packed a bikini and sunglasses for her trip.
Now I wanted her to picture the departure board. All the flights to Hawaii were delayed until further notice. None of the airline staff had any information, except that they knew that corporate planned to send the planes. People seemed to be boarding planes all around her, but when she looked the only available flight she could get on was headed directly to Alaska and it was leaving soon.
What to do? She is not packed for Alaska. She doesn’t even like snow. But it’s the only available flight. Maybe she could learn to like snow, maybe she could buy a parka over there. Don’t they have like a month of summer?
All these thoughts rush through her head.
I asked her, is there some apocalyptic event happening at the airport. If you don’t board the plane, is your life in danger?
Because there was one other thing I knew for sure. The plane to Alaska will never go to Hawaii.
As for her questions, well she could maybe buy a parka. I know many women (and men for that matter) who are in marriages that are difficult because the parties involved were prepared for different experiences and somehow found themselves on the wrong plane. She could learn to like snow, certainly probably after many cold nights, after all I also know marriages that seemed doomed from the start eventually after much heartache and God’s intervention become sweet and loving.
The point of all this is simply this. I love my friend and so I shared with her what I want to share with you. Marriage is not a simple, uncomplicated affair. Even when you are perfectly matched you may find challenges and when you are not if can be a Herculean task to make it work and it will not come without a great deal of heartache and pain. So I know the wait may seem endless and it seems like your partner isn’t out there. I want to encourage you to wait for what you know in your heart that you want and need, as long as those wants are not based on superficial nonsense but rooted in reality and come from true introspection, then wait.
I know the screen says delayed. I know you don’t have any information as to when it is coming. I know you have a wave of panic welling up inside of you.
But please know this, if you get on the plane bound for the wrong destination, that’s it. You are on the plane. The pilot will not stop and let you get off. And you may be thinking well I’ll just get divorced. Not as easy as folks make it look, like two pieces of paper that are stuck together can rarely be separated without one or both of them ripping, most people do not get out of divorces completely intact and without some serious and possibly life changing pain and consequences.
Please wait for what you want. Yes, I’m on the other side. So I should have credibility, I know exactly what shade of green the grass is here and I know just how many weeds there are too.
Wait, and while you are waiting, look around you…it’s a nice airport, state of the art, they have a lounge where you can get facials and massages, the best restaurants and the shopping is freaking awesome!
Love you. Be well.
Photo Credit: Esquire