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Friday, March 7, 2014
A lot of people ask how I met and came to be engaged to my now-fiancé, with him being from England and me being from America. There's a short answer, which is, "We met through a mutual friend," but the long answer is much more interesting. When I tell it in person, I tend to gush about "feelings" and I get as close to "emotional" as is possible for me. Me typing it out will spare you from that. You'll just, for the most part, get the facts and the details.
How does this belong on my blog? Well, this is my young adult love story.
*NOTE: If you have no interest in this whatsoever, go right ahead and hit that back button. I won't judge you.*
I have so many amazing friends I've met on Twitter. (You know who you are! I love you all.) One of those friends is Samantha Shannon. We met a couple of years ago, and through our Twitter interactions, I met her friend Thomas. They knew each other through attending Oxford together, and he and I soon became Twitter friends. We were both in very different places in our lives, physically and emotionally, me living in Maine, and him traveling to various continents and being generally awesome. Eventually, one of those continents he traveled to was America. California, to be exact. I'd recently gone through a very tough time, and had the same week off from work that he was going to be in the States. And I was going to California. So after work one day, I hopped onto a two-part late-night flight across the States. By myself. Because I needed it.
Prior to meeting Tom in person, I'd come to romanticize British guys and assumed they were all like Darcy or Heathcliff or any other passionate, tortured soul I'd read about. Though perhaps not quite like either of those, I'd be lying if I said that Tom wasn't every bit as charming as I'd psyched myself up to believe. Seriously. We met as friends when I got to California, but I had feels pretty quickly.
It was close to midnight in San Francisco when I got off the plane. I was exhausted after working and flying for hours, feeling gross and like I shouldn't be out in public at all, and starving because my crappy choice of airlines thought it was humane to charge an arm and a leg for a couple bites of food. But despite that, I got actual, real-life butterflies when Tom was standing at baggage claim waiting for me, ready with snacks and drinks (and a killer British accent) after my journey. He even escorted to me to my residence, completely unbothered by my haggard appearance.
We spent a couple of days together, in between me visiting with other friends and exploring San Francisco. I'm from California originally, but I always end up acting like a tourist when I'm there. (Just ask my friend, Leiana.) Those few precious days soon came to an end, however, as I had to return to work and Tom had to return to Australia, where he was spending some time. On a sunny afternoon, I found myself on a plane once again, this time heading east.
Tom didn't take his flight back to Australia. He stayed in California for the next couple of weeks, making our conversations much easier without him being on the other side of the world. We stayed in touch daily, talking about everything and where our lives were going next. And then one day, half on a whim, half because he'd been wanting to see New England, he booked a flight out to Boston for the next day. It was only days before I was set to go on vacation to England to visit Samantha and a mutual friend of ours, Claire, but he had a place to stay in New Hampshire and thought we could visit for the couple of days before I left.
Although I've lived in four countries and four States, New England has always been my favorite place. I got to show him some of my favorite places and take him to Maine's beautiful beaches and generally have a good time with him. It was like California all over again, except in a different part of the country. Soon, though, we were saying goodbye before I boarded my red-eye flight over to England. I was going to be gone two weeks, and while I would miss him during that time, I needed this trip. I needed to get away and go spend time with friends and distract myself from the recent things I'd been working through.
Seeing Samantha and Claire was wonderful. We traveled around London, took long (weird) bus trips, and visited beautiful English villages. And then one day, Tom texted me and asked if we'd be interested in going out to the beautiful area of the country where his family lived, and he'd arrange it for us from America. So on a very hot and sunny day (which I've learned there aren't very many of in England) we got on a train and headed out to meet his parents, who'd agreed to show us around. It was still fairly early in the morning when we got off the train and met his wonderful parents. But the best part?
Tom was there. He'd made plans with his dad and secretly caught an overnight flight out from Boston and landed in England that morning, and he was there at the train station waiting for us. It was just as big of a surprise to his mother as to me, since she hadn't seen him in several months while he was staying in Australia and America. I would say I cried, but I didn't, because I was too skeptical that it was really happening to show emotion. But it was really happening, and he was really there, and it was amazing.
All too soon, my time in England was over, and I flew back home. Tom had to stay there for work, so again we kept in touch as much as possible. At this point, we'd agreed that we were dating, and made it official. A few weeks after I returned home, he came back out for another visit, but we knew that eventually he'd have to go back to England. So in the fall of last year, I made the decision to go back to England with him, and that's where I've been until my recent move to New York City. We spent a month from December to January at home with my family, and on Christmas Day, at a beautiful iced-over beach, we got engaged. As I sit here typing this, the ring he gave me on my finger and our story on this screen, I'm realizing more and more, as if I didn't know already, how I can't imagine having gone through all of this with anyone else. Having a ring from anyone else. Getting to spend the rest of my life with anyone else. I've had some difficult times, but now I get to move forward, knowing that whatever happens and whatever hard times will come, I get to go through it with the world's most amazing man at my side.
And I'm really lucky.
So yeah, we met on Twitter. There are those people who disapprove and think it was foolish, but it's what happened, and I wouldn't change a thing.