September 8, 2018
He proposed in the thick of everything stressful and busy. I was leaving for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for the inaugural Social Media Week to facilitate LinkedIn Master Classes and putting together all other event details for a Data Privacy event in Manila. As I wanted to keep my peace and have nothing to worry, we decided to stay at Dusit Thani Hotel to ensure my focus on all deliverables: presentation slides for Mongolia, have all digital campaigns set, registration responses plugged in and other ingress details coordinated at the hotel prior to my leaving for Manila’s event and have everything settled when I get back.
Who would’ve even thought there will be a proposal?
Over dinner, he asked me to dress nicely instead of my comfortable casual clothes. We were going to eat at a nice Japanese restaurant but since he forgot to call in for a reservation, we settled for the buffet. I thought it’ll be great too since I needed to have an advance taste test for the convention anyway – the same spread were on the menu.
Dinner didn’t go well for me, which resulted in not going well for him too. But, as we both silently had different objectives in mind; we settled on what we can feed ourselves and went back to the hotel room to proceed with what was left in my task list.
The height of all stress was because I was leaving for Mongolia early the next day.
I was working by the living room area of the suite, little did I know, he was ‘watching TV’ and already preparing his surprise. It was right after that post when he thought, it was time for dinner and that I was already giving myself a break.
As soon as we entered the room and about to settle back in. Chivalrous, he thought, he hugged and gave me some speech which was starting to be jibberish in my understanding and went down on one knee with his hands shaking, and the engagement ring box protruding from the right pocket of his jeans.
As I already knew he was about to get the box from his pocket, I hurriedly ran to the loo to check on my nails and tried to call my girlfriends to ask them what I was going to do and how am I going to respond – duh, I know but it’s the moment!
Getting married has always been a conversation we had for months. We were constantly talking about non-negotiables, what kind of parents will we be, how are we going to handle situations and how else would we want to live our life.
When he proposed and opened the box, I saw a beautiful ring that looked exactly how I wanted it to be. Now, no wonder, months ago, I found me and my girlfriends having a long chat conversation about jewelry.
I got back, he went through the proposal and I said, “Start again from the beginning”
Yes, I said YES. We kissed, we cried and laughed.
We had all sorts of other conversations, nothing else mattered. We thought of date and other non-negotiables. We kept it for ourselves (and the girls) and decided to let the world know once we received both of our parents’ blessings.
The next day, he drove me to the airport, startled with everything that just happened. I thought I would’ve had my nails done, would’ve worn a floral dress but it is what it is – when it’s the right time, everything is perfect, for your story.
My friends whom I flew out with knew of the engagement and as much as I was in denial on not being happy about it, my friends whom I shared the fleeting moment were happy of the engagement and every person we’ve met in Mongolia were told and it was such an indescribable happiness that I’d want to be in over-and-over.
As I have written that post, I was by my lonesome at the hotel and journaled my prayers. In the thick of all the hustle and bustle, I’m so thankful for the time that I have someone who’ll be by my side, supporting me through day-in and day-out and someone I’d choose over and over. There were no second thoughts, there were no ‘choices’ but rather, I felt it was a union that I knew we can move mountains and live with our own means.
Just when I was already jaded by the entire ‘marriage’ and cynical being with ‘the one’ to spend a lifetime with. Taking the chance, for us, is the biggest decision I had ever and would ever make.
I thought to just keep it low-key, to not feel guilty about spending. But, as he told me that he wanted to see me walk down the nave, have our vows exchanged with our God as the center and our loved ones. I was reminded that God created marriage. That having to wear a white gown, and big parties are not just marketing or business but rather a holy union which brings joy, peace, growth, and impact.
A few days later, I got back from Manila and straight we went to our Parents for him to have ‘the conversation’ and announce our engagement. (Advice for gents: Plan a trip right after you propose! or give each other a few days to breathe on what just happened. Having to marinate the entire joyous engagement, It gives you time to call everyone important while the news is fresh, and lots of time as a couple to just revel at the moment.)
Having to tell strangers that I am engaged was somehow a dress rehearsal, I wanted to give myself time to assess my feelings and that it was the right decision. Telling my parents was another but having to witness and knowing how my Dad handled the conversation, I knew, It was it.
And, I shared the news on twitter.
My heart was racing being so vulnerable. I had mixed feelings and a whole bunch of over-thinking and yet I knew, it was right. We’re right for each other.
It’s true, love begets love. Love shared is love expanded. And being able to finally freely share our sweet relationship, giving love a chance again and walking with love with someone whom I can be myself has been such a joy and one of the greatest blessings we all can ever take from the one above.
P.S This was the song I was listening to on loop while we were thousands of miles apart.