People come into our lives constantly, but they also constantly leave. I have a weird sensation that I have become immune to the pain most people feel at “good-byes.” Am I abnormal? It feels like it…
Through a fair amount of self-analysis and reflection, I have come to believe that the cause of my immunity to change is overexposure to it. I have moved seven times in under twenty years and naturally, most of my friends live a similar lifestyle, meaning that they rarely live in the same place as me for more than two years. Frankly, good-byes are nothing new.
It can be argued whether my callousness is something positive or negative. Sure, it makes life easier in some ways but alienates me in others. While having a calm me-night I caught myself thinking about what it actually means to miss someone. Is there a right way of missing someone? Is it wrong not to miss someone that conventionally you should miss? Tangled deep in my thoughts, I realised that I am probably not alone in them.
“I miss you” has diminished in meaning and thereby power. I say it to my roommate when I haven’t seen her for a couple hours. I say it to someone just because they said it to me. Sometimes I say it simply because I want that other person to think of me.
The first step is to identify whether you are actually missing someone or if you are attributing another emotion, for example, jealousy or fear, to it. In my book missing someone is having a longing for someone. This can be a longing for closeness, a longing for comfort and advice or a longing for a relationship that once was but no longer is. This longing can only be satisfied by the person you miss. I often catch myself confusing longing for the idea of someone and longing for the actual person; it is not the same thing.
Secondly, I want to highlight that there is no right way of expressing sorrow in the absence of someone. I never cry. I didn’t cry when my best friend of five years moved to Hong Kong, I didn’t cry after I broke up with my boyfriend and I didn’t cry when I moved to college leaving my parents for the first time. This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t going to miss them. It doesn’t mean that I am incapable of loving someone. It simply means that I express this feeling in a different way. I lay awake at night and think about them and smile.
To answer the question posed at the beginning of this article: am I abnormal? Yes, I would say I am abnormal in regards to the pop-culture signs that often dictate what it means to miss someone. But there is nothing wrong with that. I don’t see missing someone as something negative. To me, it means that you have or had something worth longing for.