Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
My husband and I met a long time before we started dating. He approached me a number of times asking me out for a coffee or something like that. But I always declined, he just wasn’t my type. I have to admit that in those days, I took a lot of things at face value and he hung out with a much older crowd, he had long hair, which he’d tie up neatly but still, it didn’t conform with what I thought was my type of guy.
What really put me off him, was that he was quite judgmental and seemed a bit of a snob (he laughs when I remind him of this now, I think he was trying to be judgmental to win me over, I don’t completely understand this logic either).
Anyway, so he first came to NZ as an International student, this was in 1997, about half a year before the Asian economic crisis of 1998 in which the Rupiah lost most of it’s value and his parents simply could not afford to send him anymore money (they had another son also overseas and two younger sons still at home with them). His father told him to do his best in NZ, to try and stay out of Indonesia because the situation at the time was very bad for the ethnic Chinese. So he did exactly that, he had to quit school, because the International student’s fee was just way beyond what he could afford, and then he looked for a job and carried on in NZ. I think those first few years must have been very tough on him but they made him who he is today, confident, fearless, resilient, hard working, highly skilled in his field of sheet metal engineering and a good judge of character. This is most likely why he hung out with older guys, he had to grow up very quickly and didn’t have much in common with his peers who were still studying and supported by their parents.
So he stayed in NZ for as long as he could. He applied for a permanent residency but because his visa had expired, he had to leave NZ and apply from Indonesia. So he had no choice but to leave Auckland. Before he left he approached me to take his leave. I breathed a sigh of relieve, finally I’m going to be left in peace by this guy.
Fast forward a year or two later, I got an email out of the blue from him. Just asking me how I was, what I’ve been up to, that kind of thing. And because I thought he was back in Indonesia, I didn’t think there was any harm in replying and I send him a pretty detailed email about all my latest happenings. I wouldn’t have replied if I knew he was in NZ because I didn’t want to give him any false hopes.
That was the day my life took a turn.
He replied that his application for a NZ permanent residency was successful and he has returned to live in Auckland permanently. Then he asked if he could meet up with me again.
By this stage I was beginning to get very annoyed with his persistence. I just couldn’t understand what it is that he is looking for in me. We have never said more than three sentences to each other in one setting, he doesn’t know the first thing about me. If he knew me better he would realise that we have nothing in common and finally leave me alone!
So I told him, let’s just get to know each other but only by email, I didn’t want him to try to contact me any other way. We get to ask each other one question each email, the only rule is that we need to be 100% honest in our answers. I thought he would soon realise that we have nothing in common and leave me alone.
And that’s the end of that, turned out he was right and I was wrong, we had plenty in common with each other, I admired him for his maturity, his confidence, his kindness and sensitivity. He was the soul mate I never knew I was looking for.
Today I feel blessed to be sharing my life with him. He is the best kind of father, adored by his girls. He is a good provider and works hard for our family. He is thoughtful, loyal and generous. And he is funny and we have lots of fun together.