The Last Five-and-a-Half Years

Well, well. So many updates and so much time. At some point, I’ll update this regularly. Maybe.

Clearly everything that happened in that last post is over. That post was actually right before this whole thing started – that was certainly a thing. I’m very glad it’s over. Things have been much more stable in the last few years, and I’ve made a lot of progress.

I worked at Sony Electronics for a while and loved it; my team was spectacular and my boss, Rick, was and is one of my favorite people. He’s one of those people you meet and know they’ll be in your life forever, you know? A really good person. It’s worth noting here that at some point in 2017-2018, we were discussing my standards for people I wanted to date, and he said my standards were too high. I did not think my standards were too high – no one ever does, though. I wanted to date someone who liked similar music, liked video games, and was intelligent and kind. Making around the same amount as me would be nice, but that didn’t matter as much. He didn’t think that would ever happen because generally, the stereotype of a raver and gamer is that they’re less mature. My reasoning was “I don’t see why they can’t exist since I exist!”

I visited family in Oregon in August of 2018, and got a notification from Bumble; I had forgotten to deactivate it while traveling! Some people had Superswiped me and I told them that I don’t live here and wasn’t interested in a long distance relationship. Daniel’s profile popped up after rejecting them, and he was a raver, seemed reasonable, and mentioned that he wanted to prove that chivalry wasn’t dead. He was (and is) extremely handsome, so I messaged him:

We chatted for a few weeks, then he decided to buy tickets to visit me in Los Angeles. He flew into LAX, then we drove 2+ hours to San Bernardino to see Virtual Self (my favorite artist) at the NOS Events Center – picking up In-n-Out on the way there. When we got to the venue, he bought us both Virtual Self hoodies, then we went in and enjoyed the show. Afterward, he drove us most of the way to Las Vegas while I slept, then I took over shortly before we got there so he could sleep some. He flew out of the Las Vegas airport that morning and I drove to the resort my family was staying at. I couldn’t stop gushing about him. My mom asked if I thought he was “the one” and I told her yes pretty quickly – the number of things we agreed on and similarities in our life goals was uncanny. So, that was cool. It was strange to feel as connected as I did immediately. He always told me to cool my jets; I’m sure I was pressuring him a lot with how strong my feelings were, but that’s fine. It almost became an inside joke between us – if I say anything emotional, he’ll pretend that he’s throwing up. When I was thinking about moving to Oregon within the first year of us dating, he wanted me to cool my jets. I did not.

For my 30th birthday, Rick bought me first class tickets to Portland to celebrate my birthday. Daniel and I found out that one of my favorite trance artists, Paul Van Dyk, was playing in Seattle that same weekend. We were able to reroute one of the tickets to Seattle so we could go to the show, stay there for a night, then drive down to Portland for a birthday party with my Portland friends. That was easily the best birthday celebration I’ve ever had.

A photo my dad took of us at my 30th birthday dinner

Daniel and I continued to see each other every few weeks – he’d come down to LA for a show, a wedding, or a music festival, and sometimes, I’d visit in Oregon.

This continued for a couple years, in which I learned several things. Daniel was really into working out, and he wanted me to be healthy (I’ve always been around the same size, but skinny-fat) so I started working out. I’ve been told, “You never half-ass anything, you whole-ass everything.” so I got very, very into working out from the summer of 2019 to the winter when everything closed down. After that, I was fine with half-assing it since I had to work out without all the equipment I had gotten used to. I made lots of progress, though! Easily the hardest part was eating enough to build muscle – I was just drinking tons of protein shakes because I couldn’t make myself eat enough. I definitely cried into a few plant-based chicken salads because I was so full already, and eating feels like torture to me a lot of the time.

When the pandemic hit, Daniel and I had to cancel several trips and I couldn’t see him for 6 months. I immediately redid my bedroom because I wanted it to look nice if I was going to be in it almost 24/7.

Other than that, I worked, streamed, and just… tried to continue existing in my little bubble. I streamed Final Fantasy XV in this time – a game about a bunch of guys who go on a road trip.

What an idea!

I decided to take some time off of work in September 2020 and drive to Oregon. I woke up at 3 AM and drove up; arriving at Daniel’s house in time for dinner.

Just a short drive up to Oregon

The week I drove up happened to be one of the weeks where there were absurd fires – I had to extend my trip because driving back down to LA when the AQI was a little unhealthy would’ve been stupid.

The AQI along my drive back down to California – I think not.

I did eventually get back to California, though, and after some time, we started slightly more regular travel again. I also had the opportunity to volunteer at a local polling place to learn about the election and voting process in Los Angeles County. Since election time coincided with Halloween, I wore kigurumi every day. It was very warm, but it was also really fun and I met a lot of people who just wanted to do something good, which is always reassuring.

The group I got to work with when we did poll work

I continued to work through 2021, but started working a little harder on finding a job in Oregon. I let Rick know that I wanted to move to Oregon, and if there was any way I could move up and do the same job, I’d like to, but we both knew there was a slim chance of that happening. I flew up to Oregon in December 2021, then decided I had to move to Oregon in 2022.

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more determined than I did when I was leaving Portland after that trip. It’s like leaving for a decade helped me understand how much I had given up. I fell in love with it again.

I applied for 74 jobs that vaguely fit what I wanted – similar pay to what I had while working for Sony, and similar benefits. I color coded them so I could track my progress (one color per day) and grayed them out as I was rejected from them. It sucked. I felt so defeated after getting all those rejections – I felt like not being able to get a job in Oregon was a direct reflection on me as a person. If I couldn’t get a job, maybe I just wasn’t impressive enough. Maybe all of this was a punishment for not finishing my degree early enough. I’ve also wanted to have kids for my entire life, and I was 33, so my biological clock is on overdrive and has been for a few years. Daniel and I definitely wanted to live together and get married before having kids (one commitment at a time) so I’ve been terrified of getting to the point where I can’t have kids. I still am, to be honest.

I just kept applying and interviewing, though. My mantra was “it only takes one”. In May, Daniel and I went to Las Vegas for EDC 2022. While we were there, I did the onboarding for my new role on the gaming marketing team at Intel.

In mid June, I flew up to Oregon and Daniel and I visited the top few apartments we were interested in living in. We decided on one, applied for it, and were approved. Daniel flew down in mid July and helped me finish packing everything (I had, and probably still have too much). We drove up in one day, but it took much longer than it had the first time I had driven up since moving trucks are slightly less agile than cars.

And… that’s been most of my life up to this summer. We’ve been transitioning from long distance, with me writing tons of letters , to being together almost 24/7 since we’re both homebodies and I work from home. It’s going much better than I expected it to so far, with just a few hiccups here and there. I’ll write another blog shortly (especially since the bird app seems to be imploding) and try to summarize more of the details of all the changes this year. Thanks for reading!

1 thought on “The Last Five-and-a-Half Years

Leave a Comment