Modern Valentines: Andy + Shayna
Creating a life that you love means something different to each and every couple. For Shanya and her husband Andy, a life in Toowoomba nestled amongst an abundance of trees is their happiness.
Their initial friendship blossomed into something more when one Christmas, Andy caught the train for 14 hours to be there for Shayna during a difficult time – marking the beginning of a 10 year love story. A move interstate, marriage and two beautiful children later, Shayna and Andy have made it through life’s ups and downs, all the more stronger together.
Shayna believes that shared interests are important in their relationship, but they aren’t the be all and end all. It’s of equal importance to have interests of their own, and to feel comfortable and supported in taking time to pursue those interests. There are certain things they have always shared with one another which played a bigger role in their relationship’s early days – but after 10 years together, they have found excitement and connection by exploring things that enlighten them individually.
“We had us. We had each others’ backs. He understood the way I was feeling, often better than I did.” Shayna tells us.
Their strength as a couple is a result of many shared life experiences – some of them happy, and others in the darkest of times. Following the death by suicide of her younger sister six years ago, Shayna felt her world crumble around her. She explains the subsequent family fall out, how Andy’s support gave her immense strength, and that the connection they shared in these moments was like nothing else.
When Shayna begins to panic due to struggles with anxiety, Andy shows her how to look on the bright side, slowly teaching her to shift her perception of both the world, and herself. Shayna acknowledges that their differing outlooks both stem from shared experiences of unstable family backgrounds, but Andy reassures her that this doesn’t have to define her life – that she can choose to create and see things differently. And so they have built this life, full to the brim of love and mutual support throughout life’s challenges – together.