How I Met My Boyfriend Using the Law of Attraction
Oooh boy, here we go.
If you know me personally, then you know this story. Hell, you may even be an integral part in it, and you most certainly know who the darling man in these photos is. But for those who don't know: yes, this is my boyfriend (I still can't believe I actually get to say that!) and yes, if you think you recognize him, you probably do. His name is Joey, and you probably know him as the amazingly talented drummer of Oakland punk band SWMRS. We've been dating for almost a year now, and while our relationship is far from being peaches and cream, we're happy within ourselves, and we're extremely happy together.
And yes, I 100% manifested him- and our relationship- into my life.
Before I get into the story, I want to put out a few disclaimers. 1. In no way did I manifest him because of his status, or where he comes from, or anything superficial (for those in the know, you know what I'm talking about). You'll actually find out that I never really intended to manifest him, anyway. 2. If you have nothing nice to say, please don't say anything at all. And 3. Go into this post with an open mind. I know that what I'm about to talk is highly controversial, and probably sounds crazy. But try to go into this with an open mind. Read the whole thing, digest it, and then make a judgment about it.
Sound good? Great. Let's get into it.
I'd always dreamed of having a cutesy love story. My parents love story was incredibly sweet- my mom saw my dad when she was 13, and from the second she saw him, she knew he was the one. They married years later, and have been married ever since.
When I moved out to the Bay Area in January 2016, I moved out with the intention of starting over. I wanted to be away from the negative people of my childhood. I wanted to be away from people who had colored judgements of me, and away from overall negativity and low-vibe life. I came out here knowing absolutely nobody besides family, and just wanted to find some friends. The absolute last thing on my mind was finding a boyfriend. I had come out of a messy relationship about a year-and-a-half prior, and felt no need to jump back into the dating scene.
Yet, the universe had other plans for me.
I was scrolling through Instagram one night when I stumbled upon a picture of a guy on my "explore" feed, who I found incredibly attractive. His appearance was absolutely striking and beautiful, and he immediately caught my attention, which was odd for several reasons. The first being that he was so not my type. He had long, curly, jet-black hair, tan skin, and dark brown eyes, whereas every guy I had ever been remotely into before had blonde hair, fair skin, and light blue eyes. Truly, he was as every bit different from "my type" as he could be. And yet, something about him made me stop in my tracks. It's so hard to describe some of the feelings that transpired, because a lot of it makes me sound absolutely crazy, but something about him just radiated familiarity to me. It wasn't just like I had seen him before; it was like I knew him from somewhere. It was like he was an old friend of mine who I hadn't seen in years, and was just now re-discovering. It was beyond foreign to me. I couldn't for the life of me pinpoint why I was feeling this way, especially towards some random guy I just happened to stumble upon on Instagram. I was never the type to be boy crazy growing up - I only dated one guy beforehand, and for a few months at that- and rarely ever said "yes" to going on dates. Not because I couldn't get guys, but because I was extremely picky. But more on that later.
I couldn't possibly begin to understand why I felt such a strong connection to this random dude, and furthermore, why I was even wasting time thinking about him. So, I closed out of Instagram, and went to bed with the intentions of never thinking about him again.
Yeah, like that happened. *laughs*
For the next few days, no matter where I did or what I went, I couldn't stop thinking about this guy. It was the most bizarre thing - I'd be cleaning the house, and all of the sudden, I was daydreaming about him. I would be doing a driving lesson (I didn't have my license at the time) and boom, I'd be thinking of him. All day and all night, his face kept popping into my mind- so much so, that it was driving me crazy. So, I took the next, stalker-ish step, and decided to do a deep internet search of him. And what I found surprised me.
If you google his name, the first thing that comes up is his dad. I wanted to avoid bringing up his family in this post, since this is about him and not his parental ties, but since a lot of this story doesn't make a lot of sense without it... well, here we go. The first thing I inevitably learned about him was who his dad is, which, for those of you who don't know, is Billie Joe Armstrong, the frontman of a little punk band called Green Day. Maybe you've heard of them, maybe you haven't, but either way, it doesn't really matter. But as soon as I realized who his dad was, something in me clicked- I had met this boy before. Suddenly, a little story my parents had told me for years came flooding back to the surface, as if it had happened yesterday.
Growing up, my family vacationed in Hawaii every year. We would go to the same resort for two weeks every year, and spend all day playing at the beach and swimming in the pools. Well, one summer, while we were there, there ended up being a huge music festival in town, and apparently, all of the musicians were staying at our hotel. We didn't know this was happening until I ended up swimming in the pool with Bono, which was weird (though admittedly, my then-7-year-old self didn't know who in the hell that was). But, one of the days, we were hanging out on the beach, and in the cabana next to ours was none other than Billie Joe Armstrong and his family. I ended up spending the entire day playing at the beach and swimming in the pool with his two sons, one of which was Joey himself. Although I remember this only vaguely, my parents had reminded me of the story over the years. Now, I should clarify that my parents are absolutely not the type to be infatuated with celebrity status. They're actually quite the opposite, and don't really care about celebrities at all. This story only came up off-handedly, on the off-chance we'd hear a Green Day song on the radio or something.
I couldn't believe it- this is why he seemed so familiar to me! Although we were only 7 and 10 at the time, respectively, I had met him, and in such, I chalked up the familiarity I sensed in him to just this.
I did some more sleuthing, and yet, what I found began to surprise me even more. He was a musician himself, in an up-and-coming punk band, who were about to release their debut album in just a few week's time. He lived in Oakland, just a short drive from where I had just moved from. And, like I had mentioned earlier, he was only three years older than me - I was 17 and he was 20, ironically, exactly 10 years older than we were when we "met" in Hawaii. Although I hadn't the slightest clue as to what he was like, he seemed just my type, and from that moment, I was determined that I was going to get to know him. But first, I had to get his attention.
It wasn't until a few days later that it dawned on me that I should probably listen to his music. His band only had two songs out at the time, so I listened to them both, and loved it. It was totally in-line with the type of music I had already loved to listen to. So, after listening, I decided to leave a comment on his Instagram, telling him that I liked the song. Despite the fact that he had a ton of followers, I knew he would see it and reply. And sure enough, the next morning, I got this:
(on a side note: yes I went back and stalked his Instagram to find the photo these comments are on. Yes, they're still up on his page. If you can find them, screenshot them and send the photo my way! Maybe I'll send the first person to do so a prize. ;) )
Although I knew he would reply to me, part of me was still shocked. It sounds corny, but I remember the exact moment when it happened. I was doing a complicated braid in my hair- one that goes around your entire head like a halo- when the notification buzzed on my phone. I immediately dropped the braid- knowing I'd have to start all over and that I'd be late to my mom's birthday lunch- and replied immediately.
I was so excited he replied to me. If you scroll through his page, you'll see that he doesn't really reply to anyone, let alone, people he doesn't know. The fact that he took the time to reply to me- and invite me to his show- was something special to me. Between that, and our first meeting when we were kids, and the fact that I happened to find his page at pure chance- had me feeling like maybe there was more to this situation than what met the eye. It was more than just surface level to me. In fact, the culmination of all of this sparked something profound within me- an idea. An idea that I was going to get to him. We were going to be friends or something more, but I was going to find a way to get this mysterious, familiar boy into my life.
It was soon after that, that the "signs" started.
I would see his name everywhere. On street signs, in restaurants, and in the most unexpected places. There was one day where I was walking through North Oakland, and was stopped at a traffic light, waiting to cross the street. And as I looked down at my feet, there was his name, Joey, etched into the concrete right in front of me. I'll insert a picture below, so you don't think I'm totally crazy.
And then there was another time, when I was driving back home from the airport with my dad, late at night. I happened to fall asleep in the car, and slept most of the drive. I woke up when we were about five minutes from my house, and though still groggy, I noticed that the song playing on the radio was none other than "Joey" by Concrete Blonde, a song I had never heard of before. I couldn't believe it. How had I happened to wake up at the exact moment that song was playing?
But there were other signs, too. I would meet people named Joey all the time. Although it's arguably a very common name, I only knew maybe two people with the name prior to this. Now, I know dozens.
And then there was the fact that I found myself always surrounded by drummers. I'd be in a restaurant and the people at the table next to me would be talking about drumming. Every guy who hit on me was suddenly a drummer. I would find myself running into random drum circles all the time. Drums, drums, and more drums seemed to be the soundtrack to my life.
But the signs weren't limited to just Joey and drums. No, they got weirder. Every time I would get into a car and the radio was on, a Green Day song would be playing the second I turned the car on. I. Kid. You. Not. Whether it was a top 40's station or a 90's grunge station or your typical Plain-Jane alternative station, every single one would be playing a Green Day song. Now mind you, this was before their latest album came out, so they'd literally had no new music in years, and prior to this, I hadn't heard Green Day on the radio since, like, 2005.
All of this was so utterly insane to me, that for a moment, I thought I was going crazy.
And then, it hit me.
I remember sitting on my bed, and suddenly, as if by magic or gravity or some source of external force, I was pulled towards my bookshelf, and my hands found a copy of the book The Secret, a book I hadn't picked up in years. I had read this book when I was in middle school, when the book was at its height, but while I had found it fascinating, I never truly processed it (as to be expected with a middle schooler reading a metaphysical text). But suddenly, here I was, my fingers fumbling through the pages, not quite sure what I was looking for, but knowing that, for some reason, some answer of mine lay within the pages of this text. And sure enough, it did.
I found out there was a name for what I was experiencing, and that was: the Law of Attraction. Specifically, synchronicity, which can be defined as the following:
"The term synchronicity (syn = with, chronos = time) was chosen by the psychotherapist Jung to describe the simultaneous occurrence of events (or coincidences) which apparently have no clear cause, but are deeply meaningful.
Some would say that coincidences are random, but if we look carefully into our lives, we realize it is not so. Every word or sounds we hear and people we meet are merely a simple coincidence. They appear in our lives when we need them most as answers to our inner doubts or questions.
Moreover, synchronicities can be guides when we do not know what to choose or what to change in our lives. It is like someone from above hears our silent prayers and talks to us through other people, images or events. As a matter of fact, Einstein described coincidences as being “God’s way of remaining unknown”.
Synchronicity connects the material world to the spiritual world through symbols that are not always understood and which arise from the collective unconscious."
This was what was happening to me- synchronicity! But while I understood now what was happening, I still couldn't understand why. Why was this boy so familiar to me? Why couldn't I stop thinking about him? Why did I, a girl who had never given guys the time of day, suddenly have such immense, strong feeling for some guy I didn't even know? None of it made sense.
As I continued to read about the Law of Attraction and manifestation (which I have whole posts on here, here, and here!) I couldn't help but think the whole time about how insane this situation was, and how
The events leading up to our meeting were so beyond anything I could've anticipated, so much so, that it makes me laugh just thinking back on it. A lot of new "characters" are about to come into this story, so if things start to get confusing, just bear with me. I'll try to explain things as best as I can.
Most of you probably know the story behind how I got into photography. But how I got into music photography is a whole other ballgame. Basically, how it happened was like this: I was sitting in a particularly deep and enlightening meditation session, when a little voice came to me and told me I needed to get into music photography. It was the weirdest thing- although I'd loved going to rock concerts, I never once thought about photographing them, and quite frankly, I didn't know if I could. Did I have the right equipment? How would I handle the spotty lighting situation? I had absolutely no idea how to do this or why this voice in my head- my intuition- was leading me in this direction. I remember coming down out of that session feeling super confused, and telling my mom, "I think I need to get into music photography." She laughed and replied, "Is this so you can shoot a certain boy's band?" I replied, "No, definitely not. They hire photographers who are much better and much more experienced than me. No way that would happen." She smiled. "You never know. Maybe you'll be shooting SWMRS one day soon." I shook my head, and doubted that that would ever happen.
It was a few months later that I connected with Vi and Alexia of Destroy Boys, who invited me to shoot their show at 924 Gilman in October 2017. I was beyond nervous, but felt called towards this opportunity, so I went ahead and said yes without even thinking. During that show, Vi ended up introducing me to Chris and Enzo Malaspina, who were filling in on drums and bass for the night. Now, Chris and Enzo normally play in a little band called Mt. Eddy, which is fronted by Jakob Armstrong, Joey's little brother. Do you see where this is going?
In fact, Vi, Alexia, Chris, and Enzo ended up loving the photos so much, that they invited me to come shoot their next show in Frenso two weeks later, where they were opening up for, you guessed it: SWMRS. I was ecstatic. I of course said "yes", and promptly called everyone I knew and told them how I was meeting Joey in two weeks. I couldn't believe it. After all this time, I was finally- finally- going to meet and talk to him. It all seemed too good to be true. I even had planned the whole thing out in my head: there was one band in between Destroy Boys and SWMRS, which would give us the perfect time to talk. Vi would introduce us, we would hit it off immediately, and spend the entire second band's set talking, where I would promptly ask for his number, and then we'd be on the path to getting to know each other. It seemed all too perfect.
I bought myself a new sweater, did up my makeup, and before we knew it, we were on our way to Fresno, driving 90 mph from Oakland, and praying we'd make the call-time (which, thankfully, we did). As soon as we got there, we unloaded, and were promptly met by Cole Becker, frontman for SWMRS. We hung out for a bit, but Joey was nowhere to be seen. In fact, it wasn't until much, much later that night that I ended up running into him, side stage, right as I was shooting Destroy Boys. As absolutely corny as it sounds, my heart nearly leaped out of my chest. Of course, I would finally see him during the most inconvenient time- the time I was working. As he left, I began to feel pretty sad, as I was finally just a few feet away from him, and couldn't talk to him. To make matters worse, the second band came on, and as their set came and went, so did my opportunity to talk to him. I remember trying so hard to stay positive, but feeling so dejected that things weren't working out.
As the second band was almost done, Vi came and found me at the merch table, and told me that the SWMRS guys wanted shirts, and asked if I wanted to come with her to bring them to the bus. My ears perked up at the sound of that. Of course I wanted to. But she didn't know that, at the time. As we walked to the bus, she asked me if I had seen SWMRS before.
"3 times, actually," I replied, sheepishly. She didn't know the story, and the last thing I wanted was for her to think I was just a fangirl.
She stopped in her tracks. "Oh, so you're a fan of theirs! Aren't you?"
"No, no!" I replied quickly. "I mean, I like their music, but..." It was a long story, one much too long for our short walk. I told her that I enjoyed their music, but I certainly wasn't a fan, and that I'd explain the whole thing to her later, once we got back to her place.
"Okay..." she replied hesitantly, though I knew she was eager for an explanation. "Just... please tell me this isn't some Green Day thing? You're not like a huge Green Day fan, right? Because I don't want you to say anything to Joey-"
"No, no, not a Green Day thing," I reassured her, to which she let out an audible sigh of relief. "And no, not a huge Green Day fan. I promise."
"Good," she smiled. "I seriously can't wait to hear this story, then."
We knocked on the bus door and it immediately swung open. Wills, SWMRS tour manager, let us on, and as I sat down on one of the couches, Vi began to introduce me to everyone. But Joey was still nowhere to be seen. As I chatted happily with his bandmates and crew, I remember feeling another wave of dejectedness wash over me. Of course, the moment I'm on his bus, he's not here. But it was only moments later that he walked in, smiling. And then my jaw dropped to the floor.
He was simply radiant.
His complexion was flawless, with not one imperfection or discoloration marking his skin. His hair was perfectly intact, his eyes were wide and the creamiest, glossiest brown I had ever seen. And his mouth was turned up in a small smile, as he cracked open a beer and sat down in a chair across from me. Everything about him was charming, and any negative emotions I was feeling before were quickly washed away by the sheer addition of his presence. We smiled, shook hands, and talked about tattoos for a moment (fun fact: we go to the same artist) before Wills came back in and told them that it was time for them to go on stage.
Vi and I left, and danced the night away at their set. They were halfway through my favorite song of theirs ("Turn Up", in case you're wondering), when Vi turned to me in a sudden panic.
"Where's my backpack?!" she asked.
I shrugged, "I don't know, I haven't seen you with it for a little while."
She began to panic. "Oh my god, I never leave my backpack anywhere. Where is it? Did I have it on the bus?"
"I think so," I replied.
"Crap, okay, I guess we'll have to go get it after their set." While we had originally planned to head back to Oakland as soon as they finished, we'd have to make a pit stop at their bus to grab the backpack. Part of me was thrilled at this idea, but the other part of me tried not to get too excited about the possibility of seeing Joey again. After all, it was still a sheer possibility, and even if it happened, we'd have to just grab and dash quickly so we could get back on the road... Or so I thought.
Once their set was done, we dashed back to the bus and made our way inside. Much to both of our surprise, it wasn't vacant. In fact, there was only one person on there, sitting alone, icing their injured knee. Can you guess who it was?
Joey smiled as we came inside, and invited us to sit down and talk. And just like that, what was supposed to be a quick 2 minute "grab and dash" mission to get the backpack ended up being an hour-and-a-half of Vi and I sitting alone, talking to Joey. Now here's the part where everyone's thinking this: I was horribly disappointed, he totally didn't live up to my "expectations", and it was all for nothing. That's what you're waiting for, right?
He was every bit as charming, sweet, and hilarious as I'd hoped he'd be. I had to remind myself the entire time to stop staring at him, but as cheesy as it sounds, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. In that moment I knew- I just knew- he was exactly what I wanted. This overwhelming sense of calmness, completeness, and wholeness washed over me, and I remember saying to myself, "This is right. This is so right. This is everything." Over and over in my head. I could have sat there for hours listening him talk about complete and utter nonsense. Half the time, I forgot Vi was even there. I was so immersed in what he was saying and just simply being in his presence that it felt like we were the only two people on this earth.
I couldn't count on hand how many times I'd dreamed of being in the same room as him, long enough for us to have a conversation. Granted, it wasn't one-on-one as I had hoped, but I was so utterly grateful for the moment, I wasn't even thinking about that. I was truly mesmerized by his presence.
Leaving the bus that night was the one of the hardest things I've had to do, but it was nearing 1 am, and we had a 3 hour drive back to Oakland ahead of us. I remember giving him a big hug on the way out, and feeling so content, so happy, and wishing our conversation could have lasted forever. I knew I'd be seeing him again soon, and from the moment I got back in my car, I was already counting down the minutes until I would see him again. Everything that had happened that night felt so, so right. It left me on a high more potent than any drug could give me.
When we arrived back at Vi's place early the next morning, we curled up in some blankets, and I immediately launched into "the story". And she was dumbfounded. She couldn't believe all of the synchronicities- I mean, she could, but she was utterly shocked. Joey is like her older brother, and they're fairly close. She couldn't believe all the interactions that I had had with him- to her, they were so out of character and so "un-Joey-like". This only made me smile, and further affirmed to me that all of this was truly happening for a divine reason. One much bigger than either of us could have explained. And that night had been one of the biggest synchronicities of all: Vi happened to leave her backpack on the bus. We happened to go back in and happened to find Joey sitting there alone. While some may call this coincidence, none of this happened by chance. I was certain I was going to meet Joey that night. And the universe delivered our meeting in the way that held the least resistance and was most aligned with the highest good of all involved.
As I closed my eyes to go to sleep that morning, and reflected on the day before, I realized that I had learned one of the biggest lessons in manifestation: sometimes (most of the time) things don't go the way you planned. That whole scenario in my head of Joey and I talking during the second band never happened. That night didn't go the way I had thought I wanted it to. But sometimes, things don't turn out the way you planned so that they can can turn out even better. Sometimes, it's better to put your faith in the universe that everything will work out, rather than trying to plan it all yourself. If you can forgo any expectations, surrender the outcome, and just go in with an open mind and pure faith, you will never, ever, ever be disappointed by the results. The results of that night, the results of our meeting, were better than anything I could have ever imagined myself, and were so beyond the scope of anything I thought was possible. But yet, it happened. It happened, and I'm truly glad it didn't happen any other way.
The next morning I got a text from Chris, asking if I would be available that coming Saturday to shoot his band, Mt. Eddy, in Berkeley, for Uncool Halloween. I was thrilled- of course I wanted to. I love those guys, and would never turn down the opportunity to shoot them. But to add the cherry on top of the sundae, guess who they were opening for? Yep, SWMRS, which meant that I'd get to see Joey again. While I would have said "yes" to Mt. Eddy regardless, this was truly an offer I couldn't resist. However, I knew this time I had to go in with a plan, and in that, I had to do at least one of two things: ask Joey out, and/or get his number.
That night ended up being one of the best nights ever. It was a series of synchronistic events that had me going "oh my god, is this really my life??" over and over and over again.
It started with Jakob, Joey's little brother, upgrading my press pass to all-access pass, meaning I had full access to every area of the venue. Then, that morphed into me spending the entire evening hanging out in their family dressing room, meeting all of Joey's closest friends and family. Jakob introduced me to Adrienne, their mom, who was the sweetest lil daffodil. She gave me a huge hug, thanked me profusely for being there to take photos, and was so kind, she left a smile on my face for days. I met Jamie and Nick, the SWMRS techs, Takahiro, the Japanese super fan, and so many others who all made that night that much more special. I made so many new friends that night, and it felt so amazing getting to talk to the people he was closest to in his life. To make things even better, SWMRS played the best show they'd ever played in their entire career- and the biggest one- that night. The first time I saw them play, it was to literally 30 people at 11am, and now, it was to a sold out UC Theater, to over 1,600 people. I couldn't have been prouder that night. Every time I would watch Joey play (and still to this day), I would get so emotional. I don't know what it is, but I just can't help but feel this overwhelming sense of pride for him, and watching him kill it up there on stage makes me so damn happy. Despite the fact that I've seen them dozens of times now, I still get emotional every show.
After the show that night, Vi and I got to hang around with the dudes at the "friends and family after show dance party". I ended up catching Joey alone for a moment, and took a chance. I asked him if he'd want to hang out sometime, to which he said yes, and to send him a DM on Instagram. He'd read it and get back to me, he assured me, and we could plan a time to hang. I remember literally skipping back to the car that night, so elated with the idea- no, the feeling- that we'd be hanging out so soon. Everything had aligned so perfectly at this moment, that I couldn't imagine things going any other way.
There was a lot of mental work that went on between that night in October and the night we finally got to see each other again, that following January.