Ah Facebook memories, you are a complicated bunch…
I have been on Facebook for a little more than 10 years now and have posted various photos and thoughts on life along the way. As a result, most days, I get a Facebook memories post. And that’s where it gets complicated.
I, like other people I’m sure, have a tendency to want to remember the happy times and not the bad memories. Facebook, I’m sure, wants to remind you of those. But not all of my memories are happy, and even some of those that were at one time have become tainted by what came later.
I see all those posts of my early marriage, when I thought I was going to have a genuinely happy union. I was bright-eyed and fresh-faced and wanting to make it work. But the posts later showed a person who was just pretending. Keeping up the appearance of a happy marriage, while I felt like I was the only one trying in our relationship.
I planned vacations, only to hear complaints about how a drive was too long or a historic site too boring, or how we didn’t do what he wanted to do, even though he hadn’t given any input when asked. I see the pictures of him hiking far in front of me, with no interest in interacting. I see pictures of my food at dinner, or selfies at national parks, because there was no way he was going to agree to a picture with me. I see what I call the mug shots; those times when I insisted on a photo, and he just tried to ruin it with a sour expression. Those Facebook memories are complicated; I loved the places we went and the things we did, but I hated having to “manage” a person who was so often so focused on the negative.
But I also see the experiences that have come since then – the trips with girlfriends and by myself, the hikes, the happy hours, family times, the morning walks. I see that I have found joy again, that cheerful face that shines through in photos. I have grown immeasurably and become more comfortable in my own skin. I have gotten older, and lost love ones along the way, but still see the happy times. I have faced my share of adversity, and despite it, I enjoy the experience of living. I enjoy my life! Those Facebook memories are welcomed. Places that I want to see again, and people that I love spending time with.
My Facebook memories currently include lots of photos of my trip last year – I love seeing them but it is making me nostalgic about being on the road again. I think about all the places I visited, and all the ones I didn’t have time to make it to. I long for that kind of freedom again, and I hope I get more opportunities to travel without so much of an agenda or a timeline. I worried about that last year as my trip began; would I be too nervous if I didn’t have everything planned out? Where would I stay each night? What if I got bored? What if I got lost? But it was quite the opposite in fact – I came to enjoy not having a reservation to make it to each night. I could stay longer if I wanted to or move on earlier. Freedom.
For now, work is keeping me from being on the road. So I focus on those memories, and knowing that I will be making more soon!