How We Met
Isha & I first met at a work conference. She was one of the market trainers, instructing some new company hires. I was there observing. Isha doesn’t recall meeting me there, but I remember everything about her that day, including her outfit! Separated by time and by space, we had never ran into each other again.
Fast forward 2 years, Isha transferred company locations to the location I was working in. I knew I had to pursue her but she was dating someone else at the time. When that relationship eventually didn’t work out, I took it as a sign to pursue her “relentlessly” as she would often later describe it. Isha didn’t initially want anything to do with me romantically but would often engage in pleasantry dialogue.
At the time, I was pursuing a graduate degree in biomimicry and wildlife conservation and was making some connections about organismal design. Knowing Isha to be a woman of faith, and coming from an atheistic background, I had naively assumed that I could reason with her about the fallacies of faith and the existence of God. To my immense surprise, I couldn’t.
I was blown away by her poised and thoughtful apologetic assertions, and the stories she would often share about how God had seen and transformed her through some of the most difficult of life’s troubles. This ignited my journey of faith. We grew close because of it. Our friendship sprouted there. Through faith, respect, laughter and adventure our friendship organically blossomed into something more beautiful than either one of us could have ever imagined.
How They Asked
I had always known that Isha was enamored by stories, and the narratives we tell about them. I had informed Isha that I was going to pick her up for an impromptu date. She was to be ready promptly at 11:30 AM. Isha was expecting me to pull up in my beat-up 2013 Nissan Rogue. Little did she know that I had orchestrated a limousine, equipped with a rather charismatic chauffeur, to pick her up. The limousine traversed the state, taking Isha on a scavenger hunt to some of the key milestone places that made up our love story.
My hope was that Isha would relive those moments as though she was reading a children’s storybook for the very first time. I had commissioned a children’s storybook illustrator to illustrate Isha and myself in those moments and had hidden those drawings in envelopes at each place along with Isha’s scavenger hunt itinerary. On the back of each drawing, I wrote a portion of our story, so that when Isha collected each of these “moments”, and they were looked at holistically, a completed narrative could be read. Isha collected the “moments”, stopped for some flowers and chocolates, and made her way to her final stop.
At the Ryland Inn, I had gotten some nearby trees decorated with fairy lights, hanging votives with candles, and lanterns. I also had an archway built with pure timber and laced the branches with some Bible verses about love. I was going for an enchanted forest feel. When the limousine pulled up, I opened the door for Isha, walked her down a candlelit pathway to the archway where a guitarist was playing the first song we kissed to, “I See The Light” from Disney’s Tangled. After giving Isha a few moments to take it in, I got on my knee and explained that our love story was my favorite and asked Isha if she would give me the opportunity to pen the next chapter of our story.
I then asked her to marry me. When she said “Yes” (it’s still crazy to think about it), I gave Isha one last envelope I had hidden in the archway. This final “moment” depicted me on my knee proposing, introducing a new chapter, in a great, big, new, forever kind of story.