“Are you ready to live your best life yet?”, he asked.
I never knew what he meant by what he said. The moment he found me, I was at my lowest; no job, no pulse, no light, no direction. He took me to Target to pick up shampoo, soaps, cereal, bread and cold cuts. He clothed me. He got me a job. He found me an apartment. Little did he know he gave me much more than the basics.
He gave me understanding. He gave me kindness. He was generous. He wasn’t judging. He looked past my past. He gave me a fresh start. A start so fresh, that felt so good, I almost didn’t recognize my new life. He accepted me, a complete stranger.
I found him through the unsettling. I found him through the unfamiliar. We found each other and we didn’t need to change for the other. Yes we both needed a hand or two in order to dust off and get back up, but we never wanted to change each other.
We were wholes meeting, igniting, burning brighter than halves meeting just to be whole. We were partners, we weren’t projects waiting to be made finished. We weren’t each other’s coffee. We were each other’s creamers and sugars — add-ons to the already full lives we had. I’d like to think this is why we are perfect for each other.
Which was why we picked a desert to shoot our engagement photos. A dry, barren, hostile and arid place that was once a beginning for us that we turned into a beautiful thing.
When he proposed on the night of November 6th 2016, I already knew. I had an idea of when it was going to happen, thanks to my nail lady who kept pushing for me to get my nails done and my friends who decided to have a random brunch and aggressively wanted me to do their contour at Sephora, just to stall. ( Thanks guys, I still love y’all).
Knowing about an upcoming engagement is never a bad thing. Takes away from the surprise, somewhat, yes. However, couples are more practical now and when you’re financially planning for a future, you will want to make sure it all falls within the right space. I guess you can call it #adulting at this age and time.
Don’t get me wrong, I was just like you. I was that nagging girlfriend slowly and passively sliding my Pinterest board of engagement rings to my best friend ( you just smiled and know exactly what I’m talking about!), whom I asked to slowly start nagging him about the topic. I was also that same girl who then, if the passiveness didn’t work, aggressively nagged about “where we were standing”. ( Inserting all the L-O-L’s in here). I was also that same girl ( this is my personal favorite part), who would threaten to leave without actually really leaving ( because I’m too tired to start the whole process all over again and try these three processed with someone new– again) just to add the cherry of aggressiveness on top. Varick was the lucky dude. Who luckily got nagged by yours truly. So I knew it was coming for sure! We both did.
Everyone got a good laugh at it afterwards and I got the somewhat-pinterest ring I had on my boards. No I didn’t, I got an even better one because he totally exceeded my expectations, which is a win-win! (Sorry, had to slip that in there #NoFilter).
I’ve thought of my proposal to be dreamy, magical, indulging like the first time you’ve ever buried your face into a box of chocolates when you were four. For a second, a quick blinking second, it is. Then you just black out ( which no one tells you about — not sure why you do, but you do.) Then, more of reality takes place. It wakes you up, puts things in perspective and like fingers snapping right in front of your face, you realize one thing:
Here kneels the same eyes I glanced at four years ago. The same pair of eyes who walked me down the aisles of Target to grab my fresh set of groceries I couldn’t even afford then. Who saw me at my most vulnerable, worthlessness, lowest ever as a stranger to him. The same pair of eyes who stitched back all the important relationships in my life. The same pair of eyes who looked at me and told me it was all going to be okay. The same pair who promised to help me get a job and get me back on my feet to get me through school and graduate. The same pair of eyes who made me laugh- always. The same ones that told me I was the one, four years ago, the second week we spent together. The same exact pair who looked at me and believed in GREYLAYERS so strongly, long before anyone else or even myself did. The same pair that looked at me when he asked if I was ready to live my best life yet. They are the same pair who I said yes to, who now I will grow old with, share my life with, share all my troubles, my fears, my insecurities, my doubts, my faith, my adventures and successes with. The same pair, I only want to get lost in, forever. #ISaidYes
Four years has brought us so many blessings together and individually. Sharing beautiful sites all across the globe together, from Greece, to the deserts of Morocco, to Paris and sharing pizza slices in Italy, to going to our home in the Philippines after years of only dreaming about it. We’ve nurtured those two young individuals four years ago into stronger, more mature, more insightful people who are more than ready to be together, forever now.
I’ve dreamt of putting a wedding together as far as I could remember (maybe the first time I watched a Disney movie). I can’t wait to bring you through every step and hopefully enlighten bride-to-be’s out there to be less stressed, and more excited!