Across The Seas

A few days ago, Daniel asked me this – “Do you think God created us for each other?”

I mean, come on, the whole idea of “The One”, created by Hollywood & romance novels, just seems so ridiculous, to a logical, rational person.

But this is what I replied, “Absolutely.”

And why did I say this?

Well, that’s easy. Because as we live our lives and we go through fights and victories and happiness and sadness, I see it every single day. There’s no one that gets me, more than Daniel does. And, There’s definitely NO ONE that gets him. HA! J. K. He’s pretty quirky though 😉

I don’t believe in the concept of “The One” engineered by man. I believe that when God created me, he had Daniel in mind, FOR ME. And when God created Daniel, He knew that He was going to send him to Massachusetts to meet me. The fact that all our circumstances came together for us to actually meet, was God’s Grace.When you read our story, you’ll see.

Perfect Match, Against all Odds.

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A Chinese Singaporean girl and an American Mississippian Boy – what an odd couple right? You would think we would have nothing in common. So how in the world did we meet?

First off, after knowing Daniel all of these years, with the homebody that he is, I have NO idea what possessed him to up and leave Mississippi to go to Massachusetts. Of course, that was his path, but it makes this story even better, to know that it doesn’t seem like he would ever do anything like it.

Anyways, one day in 2008, after being accepted into the photography program at the local fine arts school in Singapore, I said, nah, I don’t want to spend 4 years in art school. So I started to some research on photography schools in America. Lo and behold, I found the Hallmark Institute of Photography. It fit perfectly. 10 month, boot camp, all the tools you’ll need, provided by the school.

Let’s skip on over to Mississippi. Daniel gets his first DSLR in 2007. He takes pictures of every thing possible. He’s working in construction and has no desire to do that anymore. He wants to do something more. Something fulfilling. Something creative. So he starts looking at photography schools. The Hallmark Institute of Photography calls him first.

So, we meet in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. At our AWESOME, AMAZING and extremely effective bootcamp-esque photography school. Thanks to a cheesy al beit effective motivational speaker on our third day of orientation, I “found” Daniel when all the girls were told to find a boy partner and introduce ourselves. During the conversations we had through that day, sushi came up, “nonchalantly”. Yes, this is cliche, I know. Sushi, Asian girl? Ha! And by the way, Sushi is NOT a recommended first date restaurant. It is very unglamorous business, eating sushi. Anyways, obviously Daniel wasn’t scared off by that and it is safe to say the rest was history!

So, we spent the next 10 months, falling in love. Having the most fun ever. And also worrying about what’s next. He knew I was going to leave. I knew I HAD to leave. My parents set a condition with my photography school adventure, and that was I had to come home and get a bachelor’s degree in something. Whatever I wanted, just something. It’s safe to say, amongst all the fun, it was also terrible. I was very weepy towards the end. I was in the worst possible “romantic drama” type situation – a doomed love. A love never fulfilled. That’s what it seemed like at the time anyway. I mean, 10 months, was WAY too early to get married, that was for sure. But were we going to live without each other, never to revisit the “fairytale” romance? That was the question.

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So began the long distance relationship. Which if you’ve been in one, you’ll know how we felt. Now multiply the distance that you’re apart by the half the span of the earth. Yes, I was 30 hours away by traveling time. The time difference we operated was 14 hours, 13 depending on daylight savings.

First we didn’t see each other for 6 months, save Skype meetings of course. Then I came to visit. Our love was stronger than ever. Those first 6 months weren’t a walk in the park though, neither of us had done this before. Then I left again, leaving each other again was hard. We were going to stay together? Yes. Were we getting married? That was still up in the air. We decided to wait till I finished school to really entertain the idea.

In May 2010, I found out I was going to finish my degree a semester early. I was 22. He was 24.5. All of a sudden, that decision was right at our doorstep. It was scary. We were uncertain. Did we even know each other well enough? If we didn’t do this now, were we going to keep doing this? What another 3/4 years of this Skype business? And get this, culture has it that in Singapore, getting married that young was absolutely unheard of. Life dictates that to get married in Singapore, you needed money and stability. You needed to be able to support yourself.

So if we wanted to get married, I had to move to America. Because we didn’t have a penny to our names. Now, was I going to leave my friends and family behind?

Well, we took that leap. Leaving my home was one of the hardest things I had ever done. But after two weddings, married we were. And Merry, we are.
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Because this love, this thing we were blessed with that is SO hard to find in a world of divorces and laissez-faire attitudes toward this magical bond of marriage, is worth fighting for and struggling for.

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Because for some reason, Daniel and Steph, despite being from different sides of the world, have the same interests in a lot of things – many different kinds of music, amazing movies, non-fiction books, cool smart design of all kinds, art, nifty gadgets (oh gosh, we’re such gadget geeks), cooking and good coffee. We see eye to eye on so many things, on the big life things. That doesn’t mean that we’re completely alike though, because in so many ways we’re the opposite. Daniel’s neat and I’m messy. I don’t care about a little bit of clutter and that drives him bonkers.

Daniel’s all about some still life and product photography but I love to take portraits, especially fashion and beauty images. Daniel’s better at hands-on things and I can probably fix your computer. Daniel can sketch pretty well and my sketches of humans look like aliens. Daniel can remember music lyrics like none other, but I can remember none. I, however, can remember everything else and he usually can’t.

Above all this, we love Love. We love Travel. We love Art and Design. We love good food. We love to be perfectionists who are never easily satisfied with their work. Doing any job the very best they can is the most important thing to them. We’re dreamers and we are trying not to be procrastinators. We’re practical idealists. We also make cat noises sometimes. And this face. StarlingandSage_Self_Portraits-89

Now we live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with our two dogs 🙂 But yes, that’s a picture of us at the beach.

 

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That’s enough about us right?!

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