I was born overseas in a refugee but raised in Cincinnati. Spent most of my life there.
Later, I became a biomedical engineering major at the University of Cincinnati. As a part of my program requirement, I had to complete a few semesters of co-op.
Starting my summer away from home
I interviewed and accepted a co-op position in Pittsburgh at a large medical device company.
Taking only my car, a laundry basket, and some textbooks, I moved to my new city that I would call home for six months.
Ready to connect with other people, I was on Facebook trying to find new friends.
This wasn’t a thing back then. It was the mid-2000s. Facebook was just created. The news feed didn’t exist yet. You could only register with your college email.
(Does anybody remember that, too?)
You can imagine how weird I felt to be clicking though random people’s profiles! But as I was clicking, I saw an electrical engineering major at Carnegie Mellon University with a Vietnamese name who lived right down the street within walking distance.
I did what I wouldn’t usually do. I messaged a stranger. He actually replied and we chatted for a bit.
Falling in love
We did not wait even 24 hours to meet face to face. The next day, in what became the most important meeting of our lives, we met for coffee at the Starbucks in Squirrel Hill.
He wore a hoodie, glasses, and nerdy. He was quiet, shy, and very genuine. I instantly fell in love with how kind and gentle he was. Even though we just met, I felt like I knew him my whole life. We connected because of how much we had in common in terms of our values and what we wanted in life.
Throughout the summer, we became the bestest of friends. Our convos went like this:
“I played Final Fantasy VII, too!”
“My parents left Vietnam on a boat, too!”
“Oh, I go to the same church!”
“My mom also beat me with chopsticks!”
As we were hanging out one day I said to him:
Me: I like you.
Now-Husband: I like you, too.
With the most courageous act of mankind, he reached out and held my hand. I consider that the day we became girlfriend and boyfriend!
Facing a fork in the road?
Summer and my co-op were coming to an end. I counted down my final days in Pittsburgh. Soon, I had to go back home because fall classes were waiting for me.
I had no idea what would happen to our relationship once I would go back. I was worried about not seeing him anymore. I’m sure he was thinking the same.
It wasn’t like I was going to ever happen to be in Pittsburgh again. Or that he would just happen to be in Cincinnati.
We had a moment in our lives where we faced a road not taken. We could turn left, when we could have turned right.
We chose each other
My now-husband surprised me because in what was the most important move in his life, he said, “I’m going to apply for jobs in Cincinnati.”
And got one.
And moved to be with me.
He said he was chasing his dreams. And we’ve been inseparable since.
Shortly afterward, he pursued a second career of medicine and we started the medical journey, from which the stories inspired me to start DocWife.com.