“I had no intention of dating him. We lived 2,000+ miles apart! Except, I did end up dating him…” – Tishia Lee
That quote came from today's Your Shining Self Podcast guest, none other than me – your host Tish 🙂
Because November 9th is the boyfriend's and my 4 year dating anniversary I thought it would be fun to do an episode on our love story. Relistening to it, I realized I left some things out so I may re-record one of these days!
But my favorite part of this actually has NOTHING to do with our love story… except it has everything to do with it too! You see, I had my heart set on moving to Florida (ask anyone that knew me, heck even those that were only acquaintances lol, and they would tell you that was the one thing they 100% could confidently tell you about me lol!).
But in September 2017, during a business conference in Texas, my friends Rayven & Natalie were talking to me and it was suggested that maybe I might want to be open-minded to exploring different places and new possibilities/adventures, that Florida wasn't in the cards at that time.
And it was like hearing that and being excited to the idea of exploring new places, just opened a new opportunity because it wasn't long after that I ended up on a 3 day cross country road trip and that's how my love story started… you have to listen in to get all the juicy details 🙂
You can also read Life Doesn’t Always Go According To Plan… for even more details about things!
Connect with Tish:
Tish Lee encourages women of all sizes to take up space confidently and comfortably with no apology. She knows if you don't take your space in the world, no one else can and that would be a damn shame.
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Please note: this is an AI generated transcript. It is NOT edited so you can assume there will be errors throughout 😉
On this episode of the, your shining self podcast, I decided to do something fun. Today is Tuesday, November 9th. Now it may not be Tuesday, November 9th when you're listening to this, but Tuesday, November 9th, the boyfriend and I are celebrating our four year dating anniversary. So I thought, Hey, how fun, why not do a podcast episode about our love story and how that came about?
And how I ultimately ended up here in the Pacific Northwest. Okay. So before I jump into our love story, I have to give you a little bit of a backstory. So I had always been the girl that was saying once my son graduates, I am saying peace out, Michigan. Hello, sunshine state. My plan had been, I was moving to Florida.
I loved Florida. I loved the sunshine. I love the beach. I loved the ocean and Florida just always felt like my happy place. I was so calm and so peaceful there. And that was the plan. Once my son graduated, I was heading to Florida now also prior to. this how our love story came about. I had also been on a business trip with my friend Raven and our friend, Natalie and Natalie and Raven were talking to me because they knew how much I loved Florida.
And that was my plan to go there. And, you know, Natalie had said something to me during that business trip, but she had said something to me that had really stuck with me, you know, she had. Suggest that suggested that maybe I should be open up to exploring other possibilities of places to move that maybe Florida wasn't where I was meant to be at that time.
And suddenly I get back home from that business trip. And my sister reaches out to me to let me know that she has, um, taken up traveling nursing. She is, um, going to be moving to Portland, Oregon. Because that was where the first contract that she was taking was going to be. And she asked if I wanted to do that cross country trip with her as she moved from Michigan to Portland.
And I was like, boom, bam. There it is. Natalie suggested that I should be open to exploring some other places. I'm always a hell yes. To road trips and road trip adventures. So of course I told my sister. Okay. So now that I kind of laid that backstory foundation a little bit, now we're going to move into the whole story of how Jaima and I met and you know, that whole love story and how I eventually ended up here in the Pacific Northwest.
Okay. So let's go back to September 26. Teen. Alright. I take this three day. I think we did it in three days, three and a half days. Something like that. Uh, this cross country road trip from Michigan to Portland, with my sister and I'm in Portland with my sister. You know, we're finally there. Exploring the city and it's rainy because it's September.
And if you know anything about the, if you know anything about the Pacific Northwest, it rains a lot out here. So it was not surprising that it rained the entire time that I was there with my sister, which was only a couple of days at that point. But my dating app that I had been using back in Michigan, I didn't even think about the fact that it was location.
So, you know, suddenly I'm getting like ping, ping, ping, ping, all these different notifications that I have matches men have, you know, sent me messages, yada, yada, yada. And I was like, I am not entertaining any of this. I want nothing to do with this because I am not open to a long distance relationship.
That is a Nope. Heck no. That's like a hard boundary. Well, I ended up deciding, okay, I'm just going to like look through, you know, the messages that I've received and check out some of their profiles, yada, yada, yada. So I get to this one and it like literally stopped me in my tracks and I was just like, holy crap.
There are still men out there in the world that can write in complete sentences. Can use punctuation and can not send. Pics of their, their thing. That's what we'll call it, their thing. And so his message like literally stopped me in my tracks. I stopped scrolling. I was super impressed with like everything that he had written.
And the fact that he had actually spent time to read my profile. And the reason that I knew that was because he had said something that I had stated in my profile and his message to me. And I was like, he at least deserves a response back from me because of the fact that he put some effort and time into, you know, looking at my profile and messaging me.
So I ended up responding back to. And of course I had to let him know that it was not from out here. I was, you know, living in Michigan and as I, um, you know, messaged him that he messaged me back. So there was just a whole lot of, you know, back and forth messaging. And we both had agreed when I had looked at his profile, I was, um, You know, I was interested in things that he had written, so I continued to like message him and chat with him.
So we spend the entire time that I'm here in Portland with my sister in her new space. And we spend this entire time just chatting and getting to know one another. Then I have to head back to Michigan. So we continue getting to know one another. Chatting on the phone. Am I say chatting on the phone? We are having like anywhere from an hour to three hour conversations on the phone.
It was just, it was really good. So we're continuing this friend ship and I am heading back out there in a couple of weeks to go visit my sister and to meet up with him again. And, um, in that trip out there when we meet up again and, um, I'm, you know, with him and we are. Going out to dinner and, you know, just continuing to get to know each other, like I realize.
I'm starting to really like him. And that started to freak me out because one, I lived in Michigan, he lived here in the Pacific Northwest and two, I still was thinking like, I want to go to Florida. And I'm pretty sure that was something that we had even talked about. You know, my love of Florida and wanting to move there.
We're continuing this friendship. I'm starting to travel out there every so often. And then we start talking about, you know, kind of like future planning. And because once this conversation starts coming about, I realize, oh shit, I really like this guy. What am I going to do with this? And in one conversation that we were having, something comes up about, you know, he was very upfront with the fact that he was not open to moving to Michigan.
It was not even like on his radar. It was just a. Hell no, and in the conversation something comes up about, would you meaning me? Would you be willing to, you know, move, move out here? And it just so naturally came out of my mouth. Yep. I'm totally open to making the move. And that was when I realized, oh shit, things are getting really serious now.
And I knew that that meant that we would continue doing the long distance thing that. You know, a little bit challenging, especially when we're talking, you know, 2000 plus miles, long distance, we're not talking like a 12 hour car ride where I could go easily spend, you know, like a weekend together or something we were talking.
It had to be, we were serious about continuing to cultivate this relationship because it was, you know, plane tickets involved to. You know, see one another to continue to build this relationship. And, and that's what we did. So we did this whole long distance thing for a year. It was easier for me to travel out here to the Pacific Northwest to visit him because I worked from home and I'm self employed.
So I literally can take my laptop and work anywhere from in the world, as long as I have. Um, however, he was able to visit, you know, several times in Michigan so that I could show him around to some of my favorite places and introduce him to family and stuff. And then it comes to the point where, okay.
We've decided that yes, I'm willing to make the move to the Pacific Northwest. Now it's time to figure out, okay, what is the date for when I'm going to make this move? And. You know, as this relationship is building, I'm having conversation after conversation with obviously my son, because, you know, that was a huge factor into, okay, this is going to be a really difficult move to make, because not only is my son in Michigan, but you know, my family is in Michigan as well as, um, friends and my, you know, AA like recovery community.
So a lot of. Thoughts and journaling and praying went into this decision. And suddenly we now have a date for when I'm packing up and heading to the Pacific Northwest. So we chose the end of August, 2018 because my lease and my apartment was up. So instead of deciding to just go month to month in my apartment, it just made more sense that, okay, the end of that.
That's the perfect time. There's no other reason to, you know, continue to stay in Michigan. So we dated long distance for a year. And now the end of 2018 rolls around and I'm super excited. I'm sad. I'm nervous. It was a whole lot of emotions going on. And even though in my head, I knew, okay, this is really happening.
It still didn't feel real. If that makes any sort of sense. Well, my best friend and I, um, You know, head out on this three and a half day cross-country road trip. And we had lots of fun on the road trip and it was, you know, it was a blast being able to spend that time with her. So finally, three and a half days in we're done we're at the end of the road trip.
And she literally delivers me to the doorstep of the boyfriend, but not just the boyfriend. Two roommates. So yes, I move out here to the Pacific Northwest to be with the boyfriend who happens to have two roommates. And so I'm now, you know, out here in the Pacific Northwest, it still is not feeling real because the best friend is still here with me.
This is all within, you know, the first couple of hours that we're here. She was not flying out until. The next day, I think it was. So it still is just feeling kind of like, oh, okay. You know, I'm here, but it wasn't, it hadn't like sunk in yet. I'm here. I live here now. It was, it was just a lot of like emotions in a short period of time.
Um, and you know, people often ask me now, you know, are you happy that you followed your heart and you moved out there to be with the boyfriend? And obviously, yes, I am. Because we're now four years into the relationship. I've lived out here for three years now, and it has just been the most amazing thing.
Now, of course, the boyfriend and I have had our ups and downs. It has been very challenging, not only living with him, but also to other people, because I was very used to having my own space. Quiet time, alone time. So it's been a huge adjustment, but we're making it work. And as in most relationships, you know, you just kind of figure things out as you go.
And, um, now the one thing that I forgot to mention that I wanted to talk about, and I'm sorry for jumping all over the place and like going back to this, but. So several months into the relationship I had shared with my friend Kelly about, you know, this amazing man that I had met and how things were going so great.
And then all of a sudden I'm listening to some other feedback from some other people in my life. And, um, You know, they're telling me, oh, this is a red flag. That's a red flag and yada, yada yada. And I'm listening to them and I decide, okay, I'm ending this relationship there. Right? These are red flags. And when I'm talking about these are red flags, I'm talking about, you know, I was mentioning how often he was contacting me.
And that is not something that I was used to, even in other relationships that I had been in, I was not used to them. You know, contacting me as often as he did, he was sending me flowers and you know, just like good morning, beautiful text and just all this stuff. It was like, it felt almost like too much for me.
So the people that are giving me this feedback that these are red flags, it's because they're going off, you know what I was sharing about that and looking back on it now, I don't see that as a red flag. I see that as a man that was putting effort into building a long distance relationship with a woman that he wanted to be with, who was 2000 plus miles away.
Um, you know, and like a couple of the other things that they said were red flags. I don't believe that those were red flags either. You know, one of them was that he didn't have a vehicle. And the reason that he didn't have a vehicle is because he has his work truck and he works a lot Monday through Friday on the weekends, he would use Uber or, you know, do something with his brother and sister-in-law or have his brother's truck.
So there w there was never a need for him to have his own. And then one of the other things that was, um, you know, quote unquote, a red flag to them was that he had roommates. And that was a red flag because they didn't think that like he had a good job and was, you know, making a decent living. And he had to live with roommates now that I am here and I know the cost of living and stuff.
If they knew the cost of living out here, I think they would totally understand why he has roommates. Even if the cost of living wasn't, you know what it is out here. I don't see anything wrong with having roommates. It's not my preference because I like to have my own space and my quiet time and stuff.
But I know several older people who actually enjoy living with roommates and they do it, not because they. More to be on their own. They do it because they enjoy having people around. So all of that, I'm listening to their feedback and I literally just abruptly end the relationship with him. I just told him that I think that I needed a break and that was it.
So for two. X in the middle of this long distance relationship, we are broken up and I ended up going to Vegas to meet my friend Kelly for a business trip. And I was actually supposed to do Vegas and then go to Portland to meet up with him. And then back to Michigan. Well, I obviously didn't end up doing Portland cause we were broke up.
So it was just the trip to Vegas and back to Michigan. I get to the hotel room that night and Kelly's like, sit down. I think we need to have a coming to Jesus meeting. So she was, I don't understand what happened because you were really excited about this gentleman and everything that you had told me about him.
He sounded like a really good guy. So she's like, you need to explain to me what's going on. And long story short, you know, I explained everything that was going on and. I really encourage you to like, sit and think about things and maybe reach out to him and, you know, communicate and blah, blah, blah. I don't remember because it's been, you know, several years ago now, but basically she just really encouraged me to rethink the decision.
And for listening to the feedback that I had listened to when those things didn't seem like red flags to her. So in a roundabout way, thank you, Kelly, for encouraging me to rethink things and to reach out to him and to him for being open, to wanting to, you know, pick up and communicate and try to rebuild.
Not that there was like things that we had to rebuild, but basically to just pick up where we had left off and move forward from. So there has been twists and turns and this and that in this relationship, but you know, all that to say that I am so thankful that for once in my life, I, you know, threw caution to the wind and listen to my heart and followed what I wanted to do and not what other people thought that I should do.
And that I, you know, made the plunge and. Put everything that I could fit into my Volkswagen beetle. And let me tell you, it was not a lot, um, and just, you know, packed up and moved myself out here because I have really grown into just knowing more of who I am as a person. Over the last several years of being out here.
And of course, you know, just continuing to build this great relationship with this man that treats me like a queen and I'm very blessed. So that was a really long way to share my story of how Jaime and I met and how I ended up out here in the Pacific Northwest.