I guess I should introduce you all officially to Matthew – my best friend, my partner, my instagram boyfriend & real life boyfriend of seven years. All those fierce instagram shots on my feed? 99% is Matthew’s work. It’s funny because he actually has no photography experience whatsoever. His aesthetic eye is also not the best. So how do I achieve my shots? Well… I frame it for him first. He’s actually my test model & then I tell him how to take it. In other words, I kind of micromanage him nicely when it comes to my instagram (it’s for a good cause) (⌒っ╹v╹ )っ
Matthew & I have been together for 7+ years. We met during year 8 (that’s 7th grade). We both went to the same school & were on the same school bus. I actually still remember our very first interaction ever because my first impression of him was “god he’s weird.” I was getting on the bus one day after school & Matthew asks me as I’m getting situated whether my birthday is coming up. I thought he was creepy & weird because my birthday was in fact coming up in a couple of days, but how in the world did he know that?! I had no clue who he was! Back in the day, MSN (instant messaging app) was really popular. I then realized that there was a Matthew who added me on MSN, & I asked “are you the one with the weird email address” (that email address was some sort of gaming language). He said yes. That’s how our friendship started. The rest is now history.
We talked on MSN a lot actually. I know my first impression of him was not the best because he was a little stalkerish for a 13 year old let’s be real, but we managed to click & be friendly with each other. We played Neopets together, we texted more than I would have liked to admit at the time (we had the same phone network – in Hong Kong, texts were only free at the time if you were on the same network. iMessage was not a thing then) & we were both on Bebo together. Bebo was basically like Facebook & I was Bebo famous (hehe). My other friend Hannah & I started a joined account making layouts/graphic designing, & eventually got so huge that over 10k people were using the layouts we designed. We held legit photography competitions named “Vain & Proud” (I know…don’t laugh) for around 4 seasons & judged people – the winner was rewarded a bunch of edited images & a lot of promo from our page, we created photo content for our Bebo page…etc. Omg we were like twelve at the time so I think that’s pretty impressive. Anyway, back to Matthew. Matthew was inspired by all this Bebo work I did & tried to make his own layout but in my opinion, failed. Bebo also allowed us to have a “top friend” list, which he got mad at me when he wasn’t in the top 5 or if some other person was before him (sooo petty haha).
We became pretty good friends I would say. At least… virtual friends. We saw each other everyday on the bus to & from school. He sat exactly 3 rows behind me. We pretty much only talked on MSN & never hung out in real life because we were shy teenagers. Matthew loved playing basketball at school, so we would text in the mornings while he was down in the playground & sometimes he would look up at my classroom on the 4th floor when he got my texts, while I looked down to see his reaction to them. Was this even flirting?! Who even knows. At that time, it didn’t feel like flirting to me because he was just someone who I felt a genuine connection with. He was a good friend. I was also bullied a lot, but he was always nice to me. I didn’t find out until year 13 (12th grade) that Matthew liked me back then.
One Christmas, I wrote him a personalised card & was too scared to actually give it to him. There was a time when I sat towards the back of the bus, so I just kind of dropped the card in the seat next to him as I was getting off – I didn’t even say a word, not even a Merry Christmas! But obviously we texted about it afterwards haha. Matthew kept my card after all these years & found it stored away in his room a while back.
But then things suddenly changed around the end of year 9 (8th grade). We stopped talking completely after a year of being friends. By the time year 10 (9th grade) started, we just completely ignored each other. During my birthday that year, I remember that I had a lot of balloons in my hand when walking past Matthew to class. When I was younger, my birthday meant everything to me. I loved it when people wished me happy birthday (clearly I was an attention seeker). I remember getting so excited that year when I passed Matthew with those balloons in my hand, hoping that he would wish me a happy birthday. Even though we weren’t close anymore, you would think he’d say something right?! NOPE. Instead, he kept on walking & completely ignored me. He didn’t even wish me on MSN or Facebook! For some reason, I still remember that moment because I was so hurt. This happened for the next 2 years thereafter. We were cut from each other’s lives. To this very day, neither of us can tell you what happened between us. Matthew says he remembered that we fought on MSN *rolls eyes.* He also remembers that the fight was not a huge deal. I mean, neither of us remembers what it was about, so it definitely had to be insignificant, but was important enough to end a friendship. I always thought the fight had something to do with him catching me pick my nose on the bus & called me out on text afterwards (I totally denied him even though he was definitely right). To this day, he says he doesn’t know what it was, but he’s sure it wasn’t that.
During the years we didn’t talk, we both respectively started dating someone else. They were both serious relationships for our age at the time. His ended a few months before mine did. I won’t tell you anything about Matthew’s relationship since it’s not my story to tell, but my relationship ended because I was a spoiled brat who treated my ex like crap. So he dumped me (I totally deserved it but thank god he dumped me LoL). The only thing I will say is that it’s really creepy because my ex’s birthday & Matthew’s birthday are exactly 3 months apart; so is mine & Matthew’s ex’s. Crazy right?! Anyway, I was really heartbroken at the time. Of course I was sad – who’s not sad when they get dumped?! But looking back at it now, I was probably more sad because I had an inflated ego. When my ex broke up with me, I obviously didn’t hang out with his friends anymore either. I had a free period on Thursdays during year 12 (11th grade) where I used to hang out with his whole crew, but couldn’t anymore – so I hung out at the library with my best friend’s boyfriend at the time. If he wasn’t there, I was completely alone because none of my other friends had the same free period. Welp. Guess who came to keep me company?! Yup, you guessed right. Matthew had the same free period. I was shocked at the time because he was friends with my ex, you know “the bro code.” Matthew, if you’re reading this. I’m glad you broke it at the time. But also, guys are wayyyy more chill than girls.
Matthew & I were both in the process of mourning the loss of our relationships at the time (oh god we were so lame – probably why we ended up together haha). From those free periods, we started reconnecting as friends. He tutored me in Chemistry during our free periods. We started splitting cab rides together (since we lived near each other). We of course started talking online again, I think Skype was invented around that time. But it was different this time because we actually hung out & weren’t only virtual friends who saw each other at school everyday. We then progressed to going to school together (& were always late because I could never wake up on time). The year before the final year of high school, I went to New York for 6 weeks to participate in a Musical Theatre summer training program. I remember that Matthew and I chatted pretty much everyday via Skype Video Call. But we weren’t dating ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
When I got back, the last year of high school started. We hung out a bunch, went clubbing together with our friends a couple times, kissed drunkenly at some point, went on a school trip to Cambodia together & finally got to the point where we couldn’t avoid that we wanted to be together. We dated around a year and a half before we went to college for four years. We long distanced for a year and a half after we graduated college, so we long distanced for a total of five and a half years. Those years were not easy. Long distance is not easy. We saw each other 12 out of 365 days in the year of 2017. But that’s for another blog post I guess (ʘᗩʘ’)
A couple months before we hit our 7th year anniversary, we moved in together to our cute one bedroom on the Upper West Side. We’re finally in the same place at the same time! He’s currently in grad school at NYU while I’m also here pursuing my career as an actress. Here’s a very thoughtful gift from Under Lucky Stars which maps the alignment of stars in the sky during the exact moment we decided to make it official as a couple.
Matthew, I love you. You’re always so kind & patient even though I’m being unreasonable. I could not find a partner who’s more supportive of my career – someone who’s not a theatre bunny whatsoever but still knows all my auditions songs. Someone who makes me go to auditions in the mornings even though I don’t want to. Someone who’s willing to wait out watching an amazing Broadway show until “I’m in it.” Thank you for spoiling me with so much yummy food you made me gain weight. Here’s to a lifetime of laughing at my lame puns, your stupid jokes & my dumb questions.
So that’s our love story. Oh. & it’s his birthday today!
Do you guys believe in fate?9 I Love This! ♡