How We Met
Two years ago, I decided to apply for Teach for America–an amazing program that professionally develops college graduates to become teachers who lead for educational equity. During the application process, I created a list of top 10 places that I could potentially be relocated to–these places ranged all over the country. Coming from Orange County, California, my top choices were, obviously, the places on the West Coast. However, my 5th choice was Providence, RI because when was I ever going to get a chance to relocate across the country on my own?
After getting into Teach for America, I anxiously waited for my assigned region–Providence, RI. Initially, I was very hesitant to move across the country to a place where I did not know anyone at all. I even requested to be moved to the Los Angeles corps, and I was told that they never accept any relocation requests. Surprisingly, they accepted my request and I started to file for the transfer, but something stopped me. At the time, I was unsure what it was, but I had a feeling in my gut that I was meant to move to Providence for a reason. I canceled my relocation request, traveled to Providence for a visit, got hired at an elementary school, and in a few short months, packed up my bags to move to Providence.
Little did I know that the feeling in my gut to move to Providence would lead to meeting my soulmate. Unbeknownst to me until after Chris proposed, my picture was published in the school newsletter in the newly hired section. Chris saw my picture and asked our good friend, Zoei, who I was. Zoei had explained that I was a newly hired teacher starting in July of that same year. In response, Chris had told her that I would one day, be his wife.
I still remember my first conversation with Chris during the first few weeks of school. He talked to me about running with the bulls, and I talked to him about being stuck in a small boat during a storm in the middle of the ocean. As the school year progressed, I enjoyed our conversations every morning before school started as he walked down my classroom’s hallway. From then on, he asked me on our first official date during Thanksgiving Day. It was my first Thanksgiving ever without my family, and I was missing home. Although we’ve hung out in a group setting before, I was so nervous about hanging out with him one-on-one–what if we ran out of things to talk about? What if it’s awkward?! He came over to watch a movie and we stayed up until the next day, 8am, talking. Not once was it awkward, or did we run out of things to talk about. That was when I knew–I really liked this guy.
Fast forward to the rest of the year being homesick and having a challenging school year–I always felt so much better after talking to Chris or seeing him. The feeling of missing my home in California eventually went away, when I realized I had found my new home. After our summer together in Europe–that was when I knew. My whole life, I have always wondered, “How do you know?” People have always given me the same answer, but I never understood it. Then I met Chris and I finally understood that when you know, you truly just know.
How They Asked
After our summer in Europe, we talked about getting married and I always joked about when I would get a ring. I even showed him my Pinterest page for different types of rings I wanted! When our new school year started, my grandfather passed away so I had to take a week off to travel to the Philippines to be with my family. Before I had left, Chris was always there–a shoulder to cry on or to just distract me. He jokingly even asked me to get my ring size before I left for the Philippines–which I definitely did. While I was away, getting on the phone with Chris always made me feel so much better during such a challenging time for my family and I. When I came back from my trip, we took a trip to the mall and I tried on some wedding rings. Little did I know that during that weekend, he had purchased the ring that I wanted.
For six weeks, Chris kept the ring in his pocket or his backpack–I had no clue! I would jokingly say every other week that I had changed my mind about what type of ring I wanted (which I am sure, drove him crazy during this time, already having purchased the ring!). Finally, one day, my Mom ruined the surprise by telling me that Chris had called my dad about his upcoming proposal. I was SO shocked that I had blurted it out to Chris, which he completely denied. I spoke to my Dad the next day, who gave me all the details (how can no one in my family keep a secret?!?) He had bought me tickets to California during Winter Break as an early Christmas present, so I had a feeling that he would ask me during that time.
The Friday night he proposed, he asked if I wanted to do the Cliffwalk in Newport in the morning. He invited one of his best friends, Mycah, who is also our officiant, to come along with his daughter. I had no clue that Chris was going to propose! We had dressed up for our hike because he told me we would go see the mansions in Newport so we should dress up. During our walk, Mycah stopped at one point to take pictures of his daughter, and I still had no clue the proposal would happen.
Chris and I started taking selfies by the water. After a picture, he looked at me and smiled–which I responded to with, “Why are you looking at me like that?” Next thing I knew, he was down on one knee with the ring! I am SO happy that I was caught off guard and didn’t know that the proposal would happen at that moment. It was such a beautiful and unexpected moment that was perfect. I am so excited to start this new adventure with my soulmate.