An Engagement mid-Career Change!
If you’ve been following my Instagram, you know Brian and I got engaged last February! There are a lot of personal details of our engagement and wedding that I’ll be holding close to my heart rather than sharing online, but I do want to share some highlights along the way. So here’s our engagement story, with some beautiful engagement photos taken by Dear Lovers photography this past October.
It was February 2018 and I had been commuting between Los Angeles and San Francisco for 15 months. Monday through Thursday I lived with Brian’s sweet aunt and uncle in LA and lived out of a carry-on. I flew between LA and SF on Friday evenings and Monday mornings so I could spend weekends with Brian. Even though I worked in LA and had a budding social circle there, “home” was our apartment in SF, where I kept all my things and spent quality time with Brian and my old social circle.
I had subjected myself to this dual-city predicament for a career opportunity. When I was presented the opportunity, it was too good to turn down. But we knew there was risk involved. The draft plan was that if things were going well, Brian would consider moving to LA, and if they were not, I would consider moving back to SF. I had completed what I set out to do professionally in LA (launched a tech consumer hardware product and made a critical career pivot from manufacturing to go to market), but it was clear the company I had joined was not doing well. After giving it several chances to turn around, I decided it was time to move back to SF and pursue my long-standing goal to work on self-driving cars. After targeting companies in that industry and interviewing, I found myself with job offers from my top 2 preferences. After extensive negotiation (email or DM me for negotiation advice ladies), I accepted the job which was the best fit for me personally, financially, and professionally.
Brian and I were elated that I would suddenly be moving back to SF in a matter of weeks! My 30th birthday was coming up in February, and Brian told me he was planning a birthday trip somewhere. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going but told me to take off a week of work and I could stop home in SF first to pack my bags.
Friday, February 9, 2018 arrived and as usual I headed to the airport after work in LA with my light carry on. I took a short 50 minute flight home to SF, and for the next hour, everything was status quo. I texted Brian that I had landed, he asked me to share my location with him on Messenger, like he did every Friday. My uber finally pulled up to our apartment and Brian was waiting for me outside on the sidewalk. Again, he is so sweet, this was totally normal! He helped me out with my bags as we climbed the stairs to our apartment.
What was not normal was that as soon as we entered the front door, I noticed flowers, champagne, and kombucha (bc yes, I prefer kombucha over champagne and he knows me well!) on the table. I quickly wrote it off in my head and told myself it was just for my birthday and a cute way to kick off this surprise destination trip we were going on. Before I had a chance to jump to any more conclusions, Brian got down on one knee.
Pause — at this point, a lot of my engaged or married friends say they totally black out and do awkward things like forget to say yes or look at the ring rather than into their partner’s eyes. But I instantly knew what was happening and all of my friend’s advice came to mind immediately: (1) listen and don’t forget what he says (2) don’t look at the ring, look at him (3) say yes! Brian said some sweet words and proposed, to which I did say yes!
One thing I’m really thankful for is that we decided not to call or text anyone we knew until the next day so we could let it fully sink in and just share in our excitement privately together. We went out for a nice dinner and relished in our newfound relationship territory — engaged!
Still wondering about that surprise destination trip? Brian had indeed organized a sweet trip to celebrate. The next day we picked up a convertible and drove down to Big Sur, CA, where we enjoyed Pacific Coast views, glamping in yurts, daily yoga, massages, and yummy local eats. We made sure to call our grandparents and parents at minimum before heading out, because once in Big Sur, we had zero service for five days, which was absolutely amazing.