It’s not actually a real word. Ronnie and I made it up.
It sounds silly, but we mean it.
Moroshi is this dream that we have. It’s a business that we want to start, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a lifestyle, an experience.
Moroshi is taking a leap into what other people have tried to do and have failed.
I first met Ronnie at a bar called Gossip Girl in San Diego, which is also the place where we ended up getting engaged.
I had just moved down a few months prior and made some friends in the city. One of these friends was going to be moving soon so there was a going away party for her at the bar.
I walked in and I saw her at the bar, and all I could think was, “this woman is stunning.”
I remember what she was wearing. A blue blazer and a v-neck shirt- she looked like a lady cop. Jeans and rainbow flip-flops, and she had this mess of curly hair. It was great.
It’s funny, I actually lied to her the first time that I met her.
She approached me and we had our introductions, and then she said, “Oh, so what do you do?”
The job that I had lined up had fallen through, so technically I did nothing. I was jobless. But I didn’t want to say, “oh yeah, I do nothing. I’m fresh to San Diego and have no job.”
So I told her, “I go to UC San Diego, I’m getting my communications degree.” Gave her that whole spiel and then went to get a drink.
One of my friends totally sold me out. “Yeah, she’s absolutely lying to you. I think she’s trying to impress you.”
I was [laughs].
But walking into the foyer, she's standing there again in her lady cop outfit- white v-neck shirt, brown belt and jeans, and these rainbow flip flops. As soon as I saw her, I knew, “I have to have this person.”
So I took the other woman home and came back to the party, and I was there until 3 o’clock in the morning trying to make sure that she noticed me.
Fourteen days later, I knew that I loved her.
I come from a Middle Eastern family where I was the first born granddaughter. There was a lot of weight on my shoulders. Ours was a family that was very large and open and connected. My grandmother was the matriarch. Everybody kind of got in line behind her.
When I came out as lesbian, there was kind of this shift. I wasn’t invited to the same gatherings as much anymore. Conversations became a lot more shallow. So the family didn’t feel as open and connected.
Ronnie had this complete different history than me.
She’s an African-American that was born in the Philippines and was raised there until she was 7. Her mom married her step dad here in the States, so Ronnie has this whole dynamic of having a dad and a step-dad, being Filipino and being a young African-American woman and all that comes with that.
And then she's watching these sacrifices that her mom had to make, and then the sacrifices that her parents had to make once her mom married her step dad and their family is growing and you're living in the San Diego area where it's not inexpensive. They're working so hard to create this, this very strong, independent life for their respective families.
Not because they had to, but because they're the type of people that exemplify, “we're going to work hard because these are the things that we want.” It's something that she has internalized and she has ingrained in her.
But she's had to have multiple identities throughout her life and, unfairly I think people make these very snap judgments because she's such a strong personality. She's a strong woman physically. She’s black. Filipino. And she comes from this mixed family. There’s a lot with that.
We come from completely different backgrounds, but I think that’s part of the reason that we balance each other out.
One thing I am confident about, is that we are better together.
We talk about it often and what I strongly feel is that I'm great on my own, perfectly independent. But being with her, I am 100 percent better.
She's the only person that I can simultaneously be really silly and introspective with. She is very introspective and I am very introspective. And so while we don't have, I think what I believed to be the very common, “let's sit and talk about our feelings and where we’re at”, we kind of just..know.
She and I balance each other very well. She approaches conflict in the complete opposite way than I do. So for example, we have an argument.
I'm a very hot person, but I'm very quick to cool down. She's a very slow burn. She’ll do the big freeze because she knows that she needs her time to think and analyze. And then we have this conversation about, “here's where I'm coming from, and this is where I'm coming from.” So learning how to respond to each other has made us both better.
If i’m going to describe Ronnie, she's this very deep forest green. You know? She’s like the smell of pine right when Christmas is starting. Or the smell of fresh rain, especially at the beach. I know people don’t really like that, but it's one of my favorite things. How the planet is right after rapture, a rainstorm. Heading to the beach and everything kind of just, it clings together.
It's fresh, it's raw, and that's, I think that's what we are together.
It hasn’t been easy being lesbian and getting married.
I think it's a human thing that you compare a lot, you compare your experiences to the greater public and it's difficult to push all of that away, to stay really true to yourself.
From a logistical standpoint, it's difficult for even some of our bridal party. If they don't wear dresses, finding a suit that was going to fit them well- fitting their feminine form without being overtly feminine- is a challenge. There’s a lot for gay men because they just put on tuxes. But for women, there’s a lot to think through.
Something that was really important to us, was that at the end of the day, it's just a wedding. We are two people that love each other and want to share this with you. We didn’t want a “lesbian wedding”, we just wanted a wedding.
And the family dynamic has been hard. My own grandmother didn’t come to the wedding, which sends a signal to the rest of the family. One of my cousins who is like a brother to me wasn’t allowed to come, and that has been hard.
But that goes back to Moroshi. We’re taking a leap into what other people have tried to do and have failed at, but also into something that’s different for people.
Being with Ronnie has taken me deeper into the exploration of myself, because she is so fully her, and gives me permission to be the same.
I know I'm a nurturer. I'm a creative. I'm an abstract thinker. I'm very right brained. So I'm going to be captivated by the sound of a song or the look of a painting or a photograph. I want to take care of everybody. That’s my contribution.
And she’s helped me see that boundaries are important because I'm very quick to give you everything that I have to make sure that you are taken care of, and she's been the only one to get me to see that you have to take care of yourself if you're going to take care of other people. She balances me out. And what she needs as a person is what I naturally give, and vice versa.
And I'm a nerd. I mean I'm going to sit and watch documentaries and talk about the podcast I'm listening to and, while I'm not athletic, I am just enamored by how and why people do these things that I don't possess. And Ronnie is invigorated by that.
She's invigorated by our differences but also comforted by what we have in common.
We’re still navigating what it means to be a couple and how we can each contribute to help us get “there”.
When I say “there”, I mean there are dreams that we want to accomplish and levels that we want to reach.
We definitely want children, which comes with its challenges being a lesbian couple. But we know that we want to raise up and take care of a family.
For sure we want to attain to a level of professional/financial success, to be financially comfortable. But it’s not just about being comfortable. We want to be able to partake in the things we enjoy and take care of our families and friends, because it’s not lost on us how much our families have given up to support us.
We want to travel and to own our homes. We want to embark on our creative pursuits and not have to worry about who’s gonna do what. Rhonda is a phenomenal writer and wants to produce these screenplays that she’s written, and that’s absolutely something that I want to help make happen for her.
We are very much about experience and community, so we have these ideas of how to see what's missing from our particular community create something that fills that void. That’s the business idea behind Moroshi- we want to create this type of co-working space where people cannot only network and work close to each other, but where they can come to a safe space and enrich themselves. Try new things. We have such a strong, strong network of friends, and we want to be able to support them and propel them, and each other.
When we talk about our dreams for the future, there is not a single doubt in my mind that we are going to get there, that it’s absolutely going to be a reality.
I don’t think there is any better way to describe Ronnie and I’s history, our life together, and our future dreams than in the vows that I spoke to her on our wedding day:
“My entire life has been guided by the principal of balance. Seeking balance. And I have found that, with you.
I believe in you as I've believed in no one else. I love you most during challenging times, because you are worth it, and you have always been worth it.
And you will continue to be worth it to me. With my whole heart, I take you as my wife, I promise to keep our new family as a top priority.
I promise to be supportive of all your pursuits...I love you now, I loved you 14 days after meeting you. And I will love you always.”