Sean and Josie

Image 1 of Sean and Josie

How We Met

Sean and I met off of tinder. I had been using tinder for over a year, and Sean just started using tinder— I was coincidentally his first match. However, after many failed dates— I embarked on a school news assignment titled, “Cyber Love” with the platform serving as my main resource. I would have one-day conversations with my matches, screen shot the conversations, and then block them on the app. I was measuring initial conversational key phrases, topics of discussion, and engagement. Unfortunately, Sean fell under that research pool. None of those matches ever reached out to me except for Sean, who saw that we had a couple mutual friends on facebook. He messaged me on Facebook and asked me why I was so weird— to which I kind of laughed, but was mostly flustered that he had called me out. Even though I had completely ruled out anymore tinder dates- I was still interested in him, and was intrigued that he actually reached out to me looking for answers. From that day on, we didn’t go a day without talking to each other. He’s my best friend!

Image 2 of Sean and Josie

how they asked

Sean asked me to marry him at the top of the Chimney Tops in Gatlinburg Tennessee, July 3rd, 2016. Sean had been going to Gatlinburg with his Sister, Father, and Grandparents, ever since he was a little boy. When his Grandparents passed, Gatlinburg grew to have a lot of sentimental value for Sean, and he was so excited to finally take me there. We both enjoy being outdoors, but I did not anticipate the hike up the Chimney Tops to be so challenging. I was like dry heaving and literally having to take one inch baby steps up the mountain at a .01 m/s walking speed. Sean had to keep encouraging me to not give up, and did not make me feel bad at all whenever I had to take breaks. After the initial hike, there is a Hiking Advisory whether or not to continue the trail because of the steep rocks you have to climb up to get to the very top. For me, this was exciting AF, and I zoomed right up to the top like a real Asian ninja- because I am Asian, and I honestly love climbing things; especially when the goal is in hindsight. For Sean, this is where he struggled. He has always had a fear of heights, and clung onto the mountain, frozen like a cat, sweating, and shaking a little. When I told him that he could do it, he yelled, “IN A MINUTE!!!!!” …But in reality, it took about 45 minutes.

Image 3 of Sean and Josie

As I was verbally reinforcing him with my words and coming back down to where he was to hold his hand, I started to tear up to see how determined and how hard he was trying to defeat his fear of heights. He never gave up, and he was really fighting this fear with all his might. When he finally got to the top, I was so excited to embrace him and was so incredibly proud of him. Almost immediately after I hugged him, he got the attention of another hiker who was about to go down. He asked her to take a picture of us but had already pushed the Video-Record button. She must have known that this was going to be a special moment, because she captured the full proposal as Sean got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.

Image 4 of Sean and Josie

I just started balling, and was overwhelmed with where we were as a couple (physically and metaphorically) and just utterly and completely touched with love, and peace, and joy. Having perseverance is Sean’s greatest strength, and that’s something I learn from him daily. Being bold and brave is something Sean learns from me, and I am so happy that I played a part in helping him overcome his fears.

Image 5 of Sean and Josie

Image 6 of Sean and Josie

When we came down from the mountain that day, it started pouring down rain— and we just held hands the whole way down overwhelmed in love, and unable to contain our smiles. Spending my life with Sean is the best thing that could ever happen to me, and I can’t wait to be brave to persevere the obstacles that come along.

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Special Thanks

Sean Smith Digital
 | photography