Stranger 15, Day 15 – Meet Zasha, the “Supportive and Independent Wife”

Stranger 15, Day 15 - Meet Zasha

I really wanted to wait this morning to meet my Stranger for the day. I started my Saturday like 9 out of my last 10 Saturdays — hiking Stone Mountain to catch the sunrise. Well, this morning, I saw a husband and wife walking hand-in-hand down the mountain. Something about the moment was beautiful, and as I walked by, I told them that. But as I walked away, I realized that I wanted to interview BOTH of them for my Stranger 15. Sadly, the gentleman was no interested; however, the woman was very interested. But hey, by my looks from the outside, likely by speaking with the woman, I would also get a glimpse into the him.

In any case, I was grateful to hear their story (brief as it would be).

Meet Zasha, 45

What made you come to Stone Mountain in the morning?

Zasha looks at him and says, “well, he’s the one that goes in the morning, and he’s been inviting me. Today was the day I decided to do it.”

I asked for his name. His response? “Malcolm X”. He smiles, and redirects my attention to her.

I asked Zasha what she thought about the morning hike.

“I actually like it. Good to get the exercise.”

Do you do anything else for exercise?

“I do jump rope.” Ooooh, I don’t know about jump rope except there’s that one version where you swing the rope rapidly so that it crosses under twice to a jump. Well, I know that it hurt when I didn’t get enough clearance.

She adds, “singles and double.”

How did you two meet?

“We met more than a decade ago at work.” We didn’t go deep into this, but reinforces that the workplace is a very popular meeting place, even if sometimes frowned upon by the companies themselves.

Zasha shared that they’ve been married now since 2007

What’s the key to your success so far?

“I’m a loner, so I need my alone time and space. Need to have my alone time outside of work, and my family time.”

Zasha has two kids, and continues to share that it’s important for her to have her time alone to recover. She sounds like she’s pretty busy, but she realizes for herself to be at her best, she makes time alone a priority.

How was the proposal?

She smiles for a moment before saying, “he actually took a longer time with that.”

Zasha admits that they had a break in their relationship. She was ready and she loved him. During that hiatus, she recognizes, “he had time for his thoughts… He’s the type who wants everything to be perfect. I loved him, but he needed some time.”

At this point, “Malcolm” has left us to walk up a steep part of the trail a few times. He’s happy to let us talk while he gets his steps in.

When he finally did propose, he told Zasha he had gotten a necklace fixed that he had given her as a gift. He then asked to put it on her. She recalls the moment, “‘Well, let me put it on you’, and when he put it on, the ring was dangling on the necklace.” She’s laughing and smiling at this as she relives the experience.

She definitely did not expect it.

How do you two support one another?

“Lots of things… communication and TALKING.”

Zasha reminds me how she needs space, but despite that space, she knows that her husband is there to support her. It’s not about being right there all the time physically. Instead, she recognizes he is there in spirit, and he’s always there to support her.

“ACTIONS!” she adds. “Do things that you don’t have to be asked to be done in different ways of support.” To this, we talked about the 5 Love Languages which she laughs, again.  She’s a very happy person, and it’s beautiful to recognize this early in the morning. She and her husband’s primary Love Language is Acts of Service.

I mention to Zasha a psychologist by the name Laura Honos-Webb who describes people having three layers — Superficial Side, Daily Dose, and Core Essence. It is my belief the Core Essence of two people in a marriage should be aligned. Then, I ask Zasha what core essences she and her husband both align to.

“Spiritual… and we actually have different cultures so we had to work on that as well. He’s Guyanese, and I’m African American… we do not [do the same things].”

What is something you two compromise on?

“Being individuals and travel and work… all that type of stuff. It seems like it’s not a lot. It’s a lot. Families… holidays…”

What motivates you? What makes you happy? What starts your day? (Thanks Sandrika, Stranger 14)

“Knowing I have another possible 24 hours to live my life that because I believe in Jesus Christ, and he’s allowed me wake up and the birth of life to accomplish goals, and not just to be mediocre for today. To make something happen.”

What question would you like to ask tomorrow’s Stranger?

“What’s so important about their life or day?”

After the handshake.

It was so great to meet Zasha who was obviously still very much in love. It was nice, too, to see she was there to support him and walk with on Stone Mountain this morning to which I’m sure he really appreciated. I wish I got to know him better, but based on speaking with Zasha and what limited interaction I had with her, he must be great guy.

It’s nice to hear stories of couples — how they found each other, how they maintain their relationship, and beyond. It’s not formulaic, but you can sense something great about admirable couples. Maybe I’ll get both partners in a couple to be open in the future. Till then, thrilled to have witnessed Zasha and “Malcolm’s” morning.

Meet Zasha. No longer a Stranger.

 

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