• Lucia Joyce

Couple Flashback: 3 Years Ago Today

I don't have the best relationship with Facebook (or Instagram for that matter).

When you start to really carve out your true long term goals, (like writing a book, for example) it seems that most of your job on the daily grind is limiting your distractions. Facebook has no problem cropdusting your day with such distractions. That's why my social media notifications are off, and I try to throw my blog up and bounce.

Beautiful moments find me on Facebook, too, and it reminds me how blessed we are to be talking about gardens and sharing songs, kid stories, and optimism in general. I love that stuff. I typically skip over the friend anniversary quizzes and flashbacks (how could I ever guess how many pictures I'm tagged in with someone? Of what use or importance would that be to a genuine friendship?) These targeted engagements tend to glorify Facebook more than the people and memories themselves. But, today Facebook gifted my feed a video from 3 years ago that delighted me and made me reflect on love, better self talk, and progress.

Memories and timelines flood through me like a waterfall after the storm rains. Oh, how much has changed, and yet the essence of our relationship is the same. This is our first apartment together, with our first art, first kitchen table, first plants, first sunny kitchen window. I recall that Shane had to sell that guitar (he bought it in Malaysia where we first spent real time together) to pay rent on a later occasion, and I did the same with the bicycle parked behind us even later. I recall all of our furniture being a little wobbly-- rush purchases from K Mart and OfferUp just to have somewhere to put our things. The framed art behind Shane's head is a custom piece from our friend Daph--one of our first housewarming gifts... I haven't figured out where it goes in our latest place, but I have found cozy spots for both of the plants in this photo. Who knows where any part of that outfit ended up... Goodwill, typically, or abandoned accidentally on a tour in the Middle East or Middle America. I loved my dark, fluffy hair, and how boyish and sweet Shane always looked, before he spent 7 months in Japan, 4 in Germany, and 3 in Florida when his father passed, after which his patchy stubble went full beard.

I notice all of these things after I take in our little dialogue and song. It's the relationship I clicked here to see, after all. Shane is in free solo mode at the top. I'm nervous pretty much the whole time--afraid to make a mistake or (ironically) sound nervous. But I'm also smitten with Shane's easygoing talent and confidence in both of us. This video shows a typical interplay with us--a kind of natural pattern that has become more efficient through the years but remains a staple. I get trapped in my head, overanalyzing everything and nothing in particular. Shane reminds me that 'it's a gift'--whatever I'm working on or wanting to try or share. Trust unfolds. Then we laugh and play and learn together, until one of our agents or many jobs call our attention away. :)

I've been humming this old Feist tune all day, thinking about how far we've come, in musical understanding, living space, career, and deep, tingly appreciation on an easy constant. Nowadays I catch myself before he can even say it. I'll pivot from a complaint or worry, straight to acknowledging my pursuit of validation and not much else. "It's fine, right?" I'll say. And it is, even before he responds. We joke a lot more--3 more years of memes and silly references and easy puns will bring that out. He sings and rhymes a lot more. I kind of play ukulele now, have started piano lessons, and can perform the most basic percussion on the back of a guitar if asked. We are less bound by casting calls and agencies and simply create our own sh*t. We both understand more about the love of our fathers.

'Thankful' is just a starter word for the way I reflect on my now moment. I am a pulsing fuchsia glow. I am already tingling when I hear his footsteps in the adjacent room, or the definitive way he opens the front or back door. I am sitting in a kitchen, more sunlit and spacious than any space we've ever occupied. He's detailing the car in the garage-turned maker's sanctuary. I woke up at 5 today and wrote for over 4 hours. I found a monologue to reignite my enthusiasm for acting. I'm co-running a scene study in the backyard on Thursday nights starting this week, another throwback to three years ago, when I knew literally nothing about acting except that you had to bring people together to try it. Our fridge is full of veggies and our hearts are full of light.

Sometimes flashbacks are more than worth the trip.

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