I started writing a post about how 2017 was the busiest year of my life, and for good reason, I dove straight in to April. The month long tale brought back my fondest memories so I decided to share it separately. It's pretty personal, but it's also pretty great. I hope you enjoy reading it, because boy, did I love living it!
So it's April, which means it's my birthday month! I do love me a good birthday month. This one was probably the most monumental month of my life thus far, although the year I got the Barbie beach house was pretty epic, and I still remember how good it felt playing with it - #StillGrateful. I'm not bitter at all by the way about the lucky whoever that picked that gem up in Oxfam.
Anyway.. My birthday sometimes falls over the Easter holidays - and this year it did just that. So we planned a trip to Palawan in the the Philippines. The Philippines is still the most beautiful place I've ever been and seen. It has the most perfect beaches I've ever lay on, and the clearest, dreamiest turquoise ocean I've ever swam in. One day, in paradise, I wake up and it was my birthday - and so far, it's pretty much on par with the Barbie beach house birthday.
We go to breakfast and eat our pancakes and fruit salads and then Sam looks at me and says "Happy birthday babe", and places a rather small, black box on the table. NATURALLY, after 4 amazing, adventure filled years together, your mind is always wondering if and when he'll pop the question. My eyes are wide, I'm a bit bewildered and to be honest, a bit disappointed he isn't down on one knee. Dazed and confused, I open the box - it says 'Net-a-Porter' on it. Net-a-Porter do engagement rings? No, guys, they don't. It's a beautiful necklace from Isabel Marant. Sam is enjoying himself, because he knows he had me fooled. I am not impressed and inflict some minor pain on his arm, and thank him for my pretty gift.
I'm not going to lie here, after breakfast, I went back to our room and sat in the bathroom, facing a wall with my head in my hands, feeling flat and sad. It was our last day of the holiday and it wasn't going to happen, was it? He wasn't going to ask, I'm an idiot for thinking it and am hating my friends for letting me believe it. Quick water splash to the face and back out I go.
We have a boat all to ourselves as we sail around paradise, and one point, as we are snorkeling around holding hands, I see a sea turtle inspecting some coral, probably considering if she was going to eat it, and I wonder if I have ever been happier.
It was getting late in the day - 3pm, by Philippines standards, this is close to bed time. We were headed to our last stop. We pulled up to a sand bar – just a pile of beautiful white sand in the middle of the sea. The boat guys pulled away, and I remember asking Sam why they were leaving us here. "They can't anchor in the sand babe" - which sounded true at the time, so don't judge. All of a sudden, clouds fro no-where surrounded us and everything went strangely dark. The sea went from turquoise to a farrow and ball type grey blue and I had this terrible feeling that something awful was going to happen. I remember telling Sam I thought there sharks in the water and we should be careful.
Wondering around on this tiny, desolate sandy island, whilst inspecting the shells, he asked me to close my eyes. I thought I was getting another birthday present (it was my birthday after all, and more than one gift is not unheard of) restless instantly, I asked him if I could open them, and he said yes. When I did, it took me a while to realise but he was down on one knee. My heart starting pounding, as it is now, as I'm re-living that incredible moment, and I could feel the blood rushing around my body – I felt like I was levitating!
Looking up at me, he took my hand and said “Anahita” and that was it. I put my hands over my eyes – of course I was crying. He told me that he loved me and said something I can’t quite remember – something about being the most special, and something about having adventures together for the rest of our lives.. and then he said “Anahita, will you marry me?”
“Yes! Of course I’ll marry you!”
We kissed, he picked me up, and as we twirled, and just at that second, it started pouring with rain.
After the twirling, he said "Oh shit, I forgot the ring!" So he got back down on one knee and presented me with not-a-net-a-porter box, all velvet, and opened it up - wow, it was so beautiful! He then placed it on my finger, which was sporting silvery multi-coloured sparkly nail polish at the time.
It was the best day of my life.
See you later Barbie beach house, you've been outdone.
We'd not ever talked about rings or diamonds or anything like that, so it was such a wonderful surprise when Sam told me he'd had this custom made. I know there are so many ways people go about engagement rings these days, but this, secret ring, made just for me, made me feel like he really knew me. Of course it's perfect for me - I didn't think of myself as such a sparkly person, but who am I kidding? I obviously am.
The following week, back home in Hong Kong, we had a little pirate themed beach camping party for my birthday - I'd always wanted a pirate party and it was my best birthday so far. I had a football cake (because I'm a keeper - thanks Sam) and everyone was celebrating our engagement and it was just all so magical.
So there you have it, the story of how I said yes. It was the easiest yes I've ever said.