New Year’s Hopes

I bade farewell to 2012 without giving much thought to what had transpired over the previous year. For the first time in recent memory, my thoughts were overwhelmingly focused on the future. 2012 was a year of high expectations – mainly of high expectations that I had set for myself. I expected to lose 80 lbs., and didn’t. I expected to publish a book, and didn’t. I expected to spend quality time with certain people, and didn’t.  It all might sound like failure in many aspects, but I’m not disappointed with the outcome of 2012 in the least. In fact, it was a pretty good year, and if anything else it taught me to temper my expectations with hope this year.

So this year, I HOPE to lose 80 lbs and I HOPE to get this book that many people have been encouraging me to do this year. I don’t know. We’ll see.

As of this typing, I am sitting at the airport on a redeye flight to Chicago…the first leg of my journey to Ghana. My natural inclination is to expect that I will land safely and be writing to you from Accra by tomorrow evening. Now I can only hope that I will do so.

Why so “pessimistic”, you ask? Because I have made a number of blundering errors recently that have led me to focus my energy into personal hopes rather than unquestioning certainty.

I have made a handful of new acquaintances through this blog, Adventures and other social media. I have had the opportunity to meet a Reader for dinner just this Thanksgiving. I am also looking forward to meeting a Reader who lives in Ghana for the first time as well.

She found out about the Adventures blog and read a few of my entries. Like me, she is the wife of a man in spiritual authority (her husband is a pastor and mine is a deacon) and struggles with her congregations expectations of her and fighting the pressure to achieve perfection according their expectations. She’s also a writer. We clicked immediately. Over time we extended our interactions from the comments’ section on MOM to speaking regularly on Facebook and DMing each other on twitter.

The other day, she sent me an article that she had written and asked me if I would arrange to have it posted on the Adventures blog. I was thrilled! I read each titillating word, impressed with the fluidity at her prose and the imagery she was able to invoke with her words. But then something disturbing struck me. It sounded as though she was describing a sexual encounter with someone other than her husband!

I reread the details of the steamy tryst finding myself at odds with the descriptions of lace, waist beads and sweaty, barely familiar bodies collapsing in a heap. It was cemented. This man was not her husband.

She asked me what I thought of her blog post.

“I thought it was excellent!” I said. And it’s true it was.

“Now you know what I’ve been up to,” she typed back, adding a smiley face.

How could she be so cavalier about having an affair? And she being a pastor’s wife too!

She went on to describe how special this new man was to her and that he was an a-typical Ghanaian man. She encouraged me to get my pleasures where I can. Oh sweet mercy.

Should I try to counsel her as a sister in Christ? Should I just butt out? What on earth was she thinking! I tried to hide my concern and keep the conversation light.

“I’ll have to ask my husband to reinvent himself every 6 months or so, I suppose,” I typed with a wink.

“Yeah,” she said. “I guess the strokes are different for you married folks.”

Heh? What did she mean ‘you married folks’? Was she recently divorced and hadn’t made a stink about it? Something smelled fishy.

I opened her Facebook account and scanned over her pictures and personal details. There was no mention of a husband…nor was there any mention of her being in a relationship. There was no mention of her being involved in the church. Suddenly it dawned on me and reality hit me like a charging bull: I had made friends with the wrong woman. Hei!

“Oh my God,” I groaned.

Not only was she not a Chrife woman (super spiritual Christian), she was a New Age believer who was interested in relationships with both men and women. Yesu! How had this happened? One of the reasons we also clicked is because her birthday is in January, just as mine is. We had connected on so many levels…and it was all a lie!

In conclusion, because my flight is about to be called, I say that I HOPE that Nelly and I will find ourselves in the throes of friendship, rather than expecting us to.

Happy New Year to you all MOM Squad. Stay safe, and I hope to bring you exciting tales from the West Coast of the Motherland!