My dear friend Molly told me recently that there are 4 stages of happiness. She told this to me over the phone just before I boarded a plane to London, and I quickly pulled out my journal and jotted them down. Stage 1- Anticipation. Stage 2- Savoring. Stage 3- Remembering. Stage 4- Telling others. When it comes to this wedding, and this entire trip to Europe as a whole, I’m hoping that Stage 4 will truly bring some happiness (cause right now I’m just in withdrawal!).
Lani is dear to me. She and I have known each other since 2004, when she flew across the Atlantic Ocean to come to Eagle Lake Camp and ended up in my tent: I the counselor and she, the camper. That summer was very life-changing for her, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. We have even gotten face-to-face time 3 times since then– once I was in London and twice she came to Colorado to visit. Lani is amazing, so it should’ve been no surprise to me that she is surrounded by a group of amazing people as well. But onto the happiness:
Stage 1: It’s my first international wedding. It’s the first time I’ve been back to Western Europe since my parents lived there in 2005. I. LOVE. EUROPE. I’m all about anticipation.
Stage 2: I savored this experience so much I thought I might burst. Not only was the wedding itself just beautiful–full of loud worship to God and live instruments and vows that had some real history behind them– but the whole week leading up to that blessed event was also incredible! I met some of the most amazing people, had some of the most meaningful conversations, and performed more impressively at Mario Kart than I ever had before (the key, of course, is to be Baby Peach and ride a bike). But then wedding day… what a true celebration. I teared up several times during the ceremony (don’t hire me if you’re against misty-eyed photographers), I sang at the top of my lungs with everyone else in a grand worship celebration, and I danced as hard as I could at the reception later… as hard as was necessary to celebrate the union of such a lovely couple. I like British people. They aren’t afraid to dance. (somewhat surprising)
Stage 3: I’ve had some plane, bus, train, taxi, ferry, and bicycle rides since then to ponder and process through all that this time in England meant, and I have to say, experiences like that are hard to let go of. Hard to leave behind. I’m generally not so sad when leaving places, as Colorado is pretty much the greatest place on earth and I’m always excited to come home to it. But London gets to me… in the best way possible, I suppose.
Stage 4: So far, the telling people part just brings up the pit-in-the-stomach-I-miss-UK feelings, but perhaps I’ll just keep plugging away at it, which is what I’m doing right now. I do like telling travel stories, so if you’re one who doesn’t mind hearing them, please call me and pull up a chair :)
And if you’re across the pond and it’s Pimm’s O’Clock, then raise your glasses to our dear friends Lani and Charlie and to the bright future ahead of them. Cheers!