By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, February 21, 2019

In the Chinese culture, we believe in a concept called Yuanfen, which is when fate brings two people together. If you have Yuanfen with another person, you will feel comfortable with that person. You can talk with each other like you have known each other forever, even if you have known each other only for a short time.

My husband, Carlos, and I have Yuanfen.

Yuanfen

Throughout my early years, my mother always told me that I would need to impress men with my inner beauty. I thought that implied I did not have much outer beauty. Consequently, I felt deep insecurity about my appearance for many years.

Carlos, though, took a liking to me from the start.

We met when I was 17 at a camp hosted by the Chinese Student Association. I had just graduated high school. Carlos was a sophomore at Stanford.

My father was pretty strict, and the camp gave me a rare chance to socialize with guys my age. During the event, there was a fashion show for the girls in which we all walked down a runway in an evening gown in front of the boys.

It was, in essence, a meat market.

Still, I decided to participate and wore a white A-line dress that I had made. I sewed all my clothes back then – a skill I had learned from my mother.

To my surprise, I was named the camp’s queen.

It was during this event that Carlos introduced himself to me. Carlos looked younger than I and, because I was wearing heels, he was shorter. But he confidently said hello.

I learned that Carlos was in a fraternity, and this came as a warning sign to me. I had heard of the reputation of frat guys. Carlos and I did not go out together that night, but fate soon brought us together again.

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