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Choosing Happiness

Walking Away with Butterflies (Candace)

This morning, as we woke up on our final morning of our honeymoon in our suite at the Disney Aulani Resort (thank you again, mom and Charlie!), Andrew surprised me with breakfast in bed, followed by a full morning at the most beautiful spa I’ve ever experienced. We took outdoor showers, dunked in ice baths and melted in the steam room. We had a much-needed massage (“Enough, Candace. At this point, the whole world needs a massage more than the two of you.”), drank pineapple-infused water, and watched organic exfoliants with plumeria being made (only to indulge in thereafter).

And, just as the whole experience began, Matthew, our guide, instructed us to randomly pick up an intention stone, hold it in our palm, offer a Hawaiian kiss (touching only forehead and nose, breathing in the other person) and release the stone into an intention pond. (Such a SoCal thing to do. I felt right at home.)

Andrew’s stone read, “Dream,” which has been so fitting for our dream-listing these past few weeks, and mine read, “Happiness.” And as I proceeded through my blissful morning of pampering, that word repeated in my head over and over again.


We then headed to the airport to finally close out our grand adventure. And we agreed that we would greet the rest of this day, this adventure, with happiness.

Now we are both wheels up, but we are on different planes. Heading to different cities. And will spend the next weeks 3,000 miles apart.

We’ve been planning for this separation for months. As soon as I realized that I was ineligible for an absentee ballot over the summer, we agreed that it was important to both of us to show up at our polls to vote on November 8th. So even before we planned out Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, the Philippines, or Tokyo, we booked our flights for our homes, B.C. (Before Candrew).

And we’ve been gearing up for time apart, both mentally and emotionally, for nearly as long. We have called it “relationship fasting” or “planned missing,” and we know that a few weeks on our own is not only okay. It’s healthy and probably sorely needed at this point.

We are fully aware that we’ve become quite dependent upon one another this year. We’ve spent nearly every waking hour (and sleeping hour, for that matter) together for 180+ days. We finish each other’s sentences. We tell each other’s jokes. We’re even starting to look alike (our clothing is freakishly interchangeable at this point). And we know that a few weeks to regroup with our friends and family, to really dig in at our new jobs, will do us a world of good.

And so, while we were sulking earlier this week thinking about our impending flights, we made a conscious decision today to be happy. Rather than dread parting ways, we chose to get excited about this life that we are walking into.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It was nearly impossible to finally let got of his hand as we kissed that one last time (“Wait, one more”), but as we walked toward our separate gates, turning and waving and blowing kisses until the other was out of sight, we didn’t feel sadness.

We felt butterflies.

The “I just held hands with my third grade crush” butterflies. Because we felt a rush of the unknown again. What will the next weeks hold for us? How will our lives change and mold and grow as we reunite with those we love so much? What stories will we have to share with each other when we finally come together again?

We are writing love letters again (already, I know…we’re gross). I’m gushing about him to my new friend, Patty, in seat 37J. I get to re-live these past wondrous weeks through the eyes of a friend who hasn’t heard our stories.

This is our life. We GET to live this way.

So there’s no sorrow here. Parting is just…sweet.