See you. The words I end every English class with and words I said to Mark when I left for Japan. It wasn’t a goodbye for us, it was a see you later. And it was a see you later. Mark’s dad was so kind to buy Mark a ticket to Japan for his birthday and we were able to spend 2 1/2 weeks together after being apart of 5 months. Those weeks were probably among the best 2 1/2 weeks I’ve had so far since I got here. Unfortunately, those weeks flew by and I had to say see you to Mark again. This time, we only have to wait 2 months before seeing each other again, since Mark is starting his position as an English teacher in March! I couldn’t be happier and excited for him. He wanted this opportunity and I’m so proud that he was accepted into his program We’re still not sure where he’s going to be placed, but he will probably find out within the next week or two, so fingers crossed!
I’ve been feeling sad and empty all day. Mark left today (or yesterday, once I post this) and the way we said our see you’s wasn’t how I pictured it would be. I really wanted to go to the airport with Mark and see him off, being able to spend up until the last second with him before he went through security. Of course, life doesn’t work the way you want it to sometimes. I had a taiko performance in the morning and I found out the night before that I had to rehearse at 8:40 am. There was no way I could go to the airport with Mark or even take him to the bus stop. Mark told me he was fine going to the airport by himself, but I still wanted to go. When I woke up, I saw that it was snowing and called a friend from taiko to drive me to the community center where we were performing. She told me that she’d be at my apartment in 10 minutes. 10 minutes?! Seriously?! I’m half dressed and Mark is packing! When she got to my apartment, it was time to part ways all of a sudden. Already? This can’t be the last day! We really have to leave each other right now? This is last time we’ll see each other in 2 months? We gave each other a hug and kiss, exchanged some dialogue, and said our see you’s. I was on the verge of tears… Then I walked out the door. I wanted to burst out and cry. I wanted to skip the performance. I wanted to make it snow so hard, no one could go anywhere. I wanted to call the airlines and have them cancel that flight, so Mark couldn’t go home. My heart was sinking, but I had to hold it together.
I did my performance and when I came home, I came home to my empty apartment. I burst into tears. It really happened. Today was the last day and I just walked out door this morning like it was just a regular day. I loved coming back to Mark at my apartment and being able to have someone to talk to, to have a fun time with just lounging around. Now, it’s so quiet and cold. It makes me sad. This feeling will probably go away in a few days once I get used to living by myself again, but in the meantime, having to say see you again was really hard. It was just as hard to say see you this time, if not, even harder. It was especially hard because of the how quickly we had to part ways, but I’m so thankful for our time together. These past 2 1/2 weeks ignited another spark in our relationship as we felt refreshed and new. We were in a new environment together which called for so many discoveries and adventures. Every second of everyday was an adventure for us. There were just so many things to experience together from eating ramen all the time to guiding Mark to see his first shrines.
I learned that the distance isn’t a giant boulder that you can’t move in a relationship, but one of those track and field hurdles. There will be some bumps a long the way, but in the long run, it’s all worth it. Your love and dedication to each other along with your goals with your partner will help you work through the distance. The distance has helped us make our relationship stronger. We’ve had to become more open and understanding about so many things, especially when you have minimal time to talk. We’ve become better people and better partners. These next two months will help us grow even stronger as we work towards our relationship goal. After these two months, we will be living in the same country and we’ll have the opportunity to travel, eat, and experience so many things together and we couldn’t be happier.
Mark and I have been in a long distance relationship since the end of July, when I left for Japan. On January 1st, I got to bring in the New Year by reuniting with him! It was seriously the best way to start the new year. I’ve been waiting for a dramatic airport reunion for a long time now. You know the one where we run across the airport into each others’ arms, crying tears of joy? Okay, that didn’t happen, but it was good enough. I was standing at the domestic arrivals exit at Central International Airport, teary-eyed, my heart pounding. Mark ended up being one of the last people from his flight to leave the baggage terminal. Slow poke. He finally walked through the doors and I finally got to see him. Mark was actually here, in Japan. HERE IN JAPAN. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. We were actually hugging each other and talking to each other rather than separated by a computer screen and the Pacific Ocean.
This is Mark’s first trip abroad (well if we want to get technical, it’s not, but I’ll leave that to Mark to explain during his Japan posts). He was beyond excited to be able to leave California and venture out into foreign lands, literally. Before he left, he was so excited and nervous about coming here. Between talking about how his plane was going to crash and how he wanted to eat everything, we were just super excited to see each other again.
Being able to guide Mark around my area in Japan has made me so happy, especially seeing how much fun he is having. It’s so funny and cute to see Mark trying to speak Japanese to everyone. It’s weird that I’ve become the one who has to do the talking and I’m not even that much better at speaking Japanese. Since he got here, we’ve pretty much eaten everything in my city in the past week. I’m still feeling the bloaty affects of his food spree. It’s not over yet. We’re going to Kyoto this weekend, where in between the walking and the sightseeing, we’ll be trying every delicious thing we can stuff ourselves with (so excited for okonomiyaki and this hipster tofu restaurant!).
The first thing Mark ate was ramen. Can we just mention how much we love ramen? WE LOVE RAMEN! If we could eat it everyday, we would. We came pretty close as we ate ramen for lunch for the next three days. Am I complaining? Never! It was so delicious! Okay, I’m complaining a little now that I’m basically a blob of bloaty. I think Mark had an even better time, finally having the chance to eat ramen from Japan. Look at this happy boy:
Besides eating, we had a failed adventure to see Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya. Even though it was January 3rd, there were sooooooo many people there to pray for the New Year. I knew that everyone goes to pray at a shrine, but it didn’t occur to me that the whole world would still be there two days after. We didn’t want to fight the crowds so we ate some street food and went to visit the Nagoya Port Aquarium instead. This was Mark’s first time seeing animals other than fish, and boy, he was excited.
After five months of not physically being with each other, I feel like our relationship has grown stronger through the trials we’ve had to face while being apart. With our goals as individuals and as a couple in mind, we cheered each other on as we made it through the distance. I think we’re more refreshed as a couple and our spark has been ignited again. I love that I can have fun with him even when we’re just lounging around at home. I’m so excited for when Mark moves here in April, because of all the fun and wonderful adventures we’ll have together. This is only the beginning of our travel adventures.
Happy 2 year anniversary to my best friend in the whole world!
November 18th is our two year dating anniversary! It’s been tough being apart and having to celebrate this day over video chat makes it harder, but I’m so happy to know that these past four months apart have done our relationship so many positives. We’ve grown stronger as a couple and as individuals, solving conflicts and changing our perspectives on things that would probably haven’t come up as quickly if we weren’t apart. This distance has made us into better people and into better partners. We’ve grown more patient, more understanding, more loving towards the other person. Mark is the best person in the world for me and I couldn’t be happier to have found him.
Since it’s our second anniversary, I thought, hmmmm, why not our love story? I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while. Mark and I always rehash the story to each other all the time and there are parts where we have differing opinions on what happened. Maybe he can tell his side of the story eventually, but you’ll get mine today!
So how did girl meet boy?
It was the first day of our Teaching English Abroad – Education 134 class during our junior year. I had just finished working at my club’s booth and headed to class. By this time, I had accepted the fact that I was going to be single for the rest of my life and that I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend this year. Funny how things happen. When I got to class, the classroom had six groups of tables. I decided to sit at the group of tables in the front and center, next to this boy wearing a cap. That boy was Mark. After class began, our first activity was an icebreaker: to introduce ourselves and fill out a worksheet, finding students who fit the questions on the worksheet. Since we were sitting next to each other, naturally we turned to each other to introduce ourselves and ask a question. I can’t remember what question I asked Mark, but his question was if I had a car. Later, I found out that he had never been to Disneyland before and I teased him about it. Day one and I was already teasing him… why was I even doing that?
That was day one. Sidenote: I was a board member for a Filipino club at my school. The next class, I had my flyers for my club to promote and my friend and I were like, let’s give him a flyer. After sitting down, I took the flyer and gave it to him saying, “Hey, you look Filipino, you should join!” I had guessed right, which made it easier to convince him to join my club. He also told me that he was interested in joining before, but never got the chance to. Score. I’d be able to see him more often.
This education class always had us talking to the people sitting next to us and I’m pretty sure I said some pretty weird and wild things, trying to be cute and flirty. Okay, I did say some weird things and he probably thought I was crazy. One time my answer was that I wanted to rule the world and have people bow down to me. And Mark’s answer to that same question was that he wanted to ride on dragons around the world. Yeah… I have no idea what the question was anymore… But I just remember a lot of flirting because of my answer. Don’t judge! And honestly, I was in so much denial that I liked him, that looking back all I can say is that, it was SOOO obvious that I liked him.
Throughout the first month of meeting Mark, we were making fun of each other and having great laughs during class. He even walked with me after class just so we could hangout more, even though his apartment was the opposite way of walking (it was so obvious he wanted to spend more time with me once I found out where he lived). I felt really comfortable with him even though we barely knew each other. It was weird since I usually take a while to warm up to people and feel comfortable being myself. I continued to be in denial that I liked him. I kept saying that I didn’t, but people kept pointing out that we were totally flirting with each other. Even though my friends were saying that something was happening between us, I still kept telling myself that nothing would ever happen. I didn’t want to be disappointed when I would out that he didn’t like me. The funny thing was that Mark also thought I didn’t like him.
Then one day I was super hungry because I hadn’t eaten lunch, and Mark decided to make a move. He asked me if I wanted to go eat after class since I was hungry. I said yes, because I wanted to hangout with him more and I was really hungry… He ended up paying for my sandwich, but I didn’t think anything of it. My friends were like, ‘HELLO! RED FLAG. He paid for you! IT WAS TOTALLY A DATE!” Mark thinks it was a date, but it definitely wasn’t (haha!). During our little lunch outing, I really wanted Mark to have my number, so I make up this little spiel about how nobody ever texted me and I was sad. Mark asked to exchange numbers, so he could text me (BINGO!). He never did, until had to call him about activities related to my club, then we finally started texting each other. Oh well, good enough! (I’m so lame.)
A few weeks later, I was sad after my Japanese midterm and Mark told me that ice cream would cheer me up, sooooo we went to go get ice cream together. Red flag number two. According to everyone else in the galaxy, “when a guy buys you ice cream, it seals the deal!!!!” [insert lots of spazzing here.] As we were walking to get ice cream, Mark asked me if I wanted to go to Disneyland (since he recently got an annual pass, which he did just for me haha). I low key freaked out and replied, “I’m going this Friday with my friends. You can come if you want.” Mark later told me that he was disappointed because he wanted just the two of us to, buuuuut I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have been the most awkward date ever.
By that time, I had accepted that I liked him, though I thought nothing would ever happen, because nothing ever happened when I liked a guy. We ended up going to Disneyland with my friends and of course, they all knew I liked him and were trying to get us to go on the rides together and stand next to each other the entire time. Mark was so oblivious during this time while I thought he was doing everything to avoid me. We finally sat on a ride together, Toy Story Mania, and I remember betting him that if I won, he would owe me a Balenciaga bag. He still owes me that Balenciaga bag ;) He did buy me a chimichanga though. I guess that’s kinda sorta close enough, in a different food way… Okay not really. On the way home, I had to drive, but I was sleepy. Mark was in the front seat trying to keep me awake, so we ended up having a “get to know you better” conversation. It was probably his plan to find out more about me.
From our Disneyland trip with my friends! We still didn’t know we liked each other. (And that woman behind me… Looks like she’s having a great time!)
The next day, we were supposed to go on a walk together, but it was raining and I didn’t wake up in time. He called me to remind me, but he was afraid that I was mad that he woke me up. We agreed that we’d go get coffee together later in the day. Later, I picked him up at his apartment and we sat with our hot chocolates, outside in the cold. He began asking me questions about myself (I’ll let Mark tell you the specifics, because it was really cheesy). I was on nerves overload and I had to go to the bathroom while he was asking me questions… I really did have to go to the bathroom, plus I was kind of freaking out and needed to make sure I looked decent. Once I came back, he finished up asking me some personal questions and ended with, “And for my last question, would you go on a date with me? I think you’re a cool girl.” My heart stop beating. Then it spazzed out. A smile spread across my face. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. He thinks I’m cool. How could this happen to me? Obviously I said yes, but I told him I wouldn’t be able to until two Fridays later (his friends thought I was just playing with his emotions, but I really did have prior engagements haha!). From then on, we got to know each other better and become the people and couple we are today. I’ve had so many fun and amazing experiences with Mark and I’m so excited that we’ll be able to have so many more adventures together in Japan.
I still think about how crazy it was that I just happened to decide to sit next to him in our class. If I hadn’t, we probably wouldn’t have ever met and talked to each other and eventually start dating each other. It’s crazy how the world works and it makes me believe in fate. Sometimes, things are just supposed to happen.
To be continued…
All the Hippopophotos are credited to our friend, Miko.