Addressing the “What If’s” and the Ones Who Got Away


If I ever introduce you to Christina…she already knows who you are.  Christina is a very good friend of mine and confidante.  We first met during Morehouse and Spelman College’s Alumnae coordinated for incoming freshman in the summer of 2003.  Christina, her best friend, Morgan, my best friend, Brandon, and I used to hang out on Spelman’s campus almost every evening in the fall of 2003.  In time, Christina and I lost touch; but Morgan and I remained good friends.  In 2014, Morgan had informed me that Christina moved back to New York; and we have been tight ever since.  Christina’s referrals are how I acquired my last two corporate jobs; so being in the same building only solidified our friendship.

Via text message, Christina and I converse almost all day, every day.  If you as an audience have been entertained by the stories that I write here, or anywhere else, they don’t hold a candle to an unfiltered Chad Milner with no discretion.  She has become the subject of a girl or two I have dated.  One morning, I was laying next to someone I had been dating for a couple of months and shorty sarcastically said “Is that your work wife, [Christina]?”  It was.  An hour later, we were driving somewhere and I let her play DJ from my car.  She said “Is Christina gonna pop up while I use Spotify?”  Knowing that my last comment was, I prayed Christina didn’t reply.

I say all of this to say that conversations that I have with Christina often become topics that write about.  Yesterday, she posted the comment above on Facebook and I sent her a text saying “I gotta write about this.”  So, in an attempt to give roses to the living, I wanted to publicly acknowledge my friend who has played a major role in my success.

Sometimes relationships don’t work out.  Sometimes we meet people that we have remarkable chemistry with and the timing just wasn’t right.  We take people for granted, we get into our own way, or just presume that other grasses are greener, only to find out they have pesticides we couldn’t digest because it wasn’t made for us to digest.

In the journey to self-awareness, we all reflect and ask ourselves questions.  The “What if’s” can drive us all nuts.  Life is a series of ever-evolving tests in which for some seasons, one person is the right answer to a question.  Something, someone, or circumstances change.  Sometimes the questions on the test remain the same and the answer changes from choosing others to ourselves.  People grow up and apart.  What may have been the solution or the remedy at one point no longer suffices.

From time to time, I get a brief case of the “What if’s.”  I can think of two people that given different circumstances and if I made alternative decisions (Read: kept my mouth shut), things could have been perfect.  With one person, the window opened up in 2003, 2005, and 2012; but it just fizzled and for good reason…we wouldn’t have the blessings that we currently do had it happened.  Hell, we are still friends and it’s one of those things we never talk about.  With the second, there’s a part of me that still hates the way that things played out between us.  However, the tension has made for some of my most legendary tales and the muse for a lot of things I have written.

When these moments occur, I temporarily humor myself and let these thoughts run for a little bit.  It’s an exercise in being human.  “What If’s” are a mild form of having regrets.  My personal feelings about regrets are that they are rejecting God’s perfect plan.  How things are supposed to play out are already written.  We are given free will-which is intent-but we don’t have a choice in the outcome.  My daughter’s mother wasn’t supposed to make it past December 9, 2011.  That would have happened whether we got married or called it quits one of the many times that we did.  She would clash with the person that I have become at thirty.  I may not like my “in-laws” because of how things played out after Timile passed away; but I wouldn’t be writing if it didn’t happen.

The moments of wonderance are temporary; and that’s what I have friends like Christina for…to keep me grounded and be my voice of reason my thoughts can potentially cloud my judgement.

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