I don’t do well with missing. Missing out, missing people, missing things, missing opportunities, missing anything. It’s never been a forte of mine, and it’s been a thread that’s been weaving through my life lately. Note my displeasure.
“Missing” sits like a lump in my throat, one I just can’t clear. I’ll forget, for awhile, and then something small will happen and I’m reminded again. The reminder is almost worse than the initial recognition.
I’ve built some wonderful friendships, relationships, and in-betweenships this past year, and most of them are- at minimum- a couple hours away. And there are really good things about this: it means that when I get to see them, the time is a little more intentional. It means making an effort to coordinate schedules and times and calendars, and making that effort is something I recognize that I receive well as a sign of care. It means not getting as trapped in the mundane day-to-day stress of life and lose sight of sharing time together.
It also means a lot of missing, the kind of missing that isn’t easy to soothe. LDRs are hard. It’s so much easier to get caught up in insecurities and brain weasels and envy and any number of things. It’s hard to not feel needy for wanting reassurance, or feel a small pang when you’re both sitting at home not doing much, and you wish you could spend that time together.
It’s hard when opportunities come your way and you have to say no for whatever reasons: you already have plans, or you don’t feel ready to accept just yet, or there are conflicts present that make saying “yes” infinitely more complicated than saying “no,” or mental health doesn’t allow you the ability to say yes and be present in the ways you want. You can know it’s the right thing all day long, and still feel the twinge of FOMO or sadness of missing out. You can know that saying no is the safe/healthy/mature/responsible thing to do and still want to say yes, wish you had said yes. Feeling that sense of missing, and missing out. Bring on the slew of, “What if…?”s.
Missing sucks, and I’ve been living in a lot of it lately. Opportunities that I had to say no to for reasons that are well-justified, responsible, and the best thing for everyone- myself included. People I miss that comes with the territory of caring for people who live further than a day trip drive away.
Feeling the feels is all well and good when the feels feel good. I mean, they still freak me out pretty intensely but I can get there. Feeling the feels when the feels suck, feel complicated, or just…exist because we are humans that experience emotional reactions to things in a way that isn’t always logical or makes sense…that one is a little harder to grapple with. It comes coupled with all the reasons why we shouldn’t feel this way, and the guilt and self-blame for not just being able to suck it up.
I don’t like missing, and I can feel the intensity of my own internal nopenopenopewhen that feeling of missing rises up. Because it doesn’t feel good, and there isn’t anything productive I can do with that emotion. There is nowhere to put it, no place to channel it, no way to field it or logic through it. It just is, and it sits there like a nice big lump in my throat, taking up space in the way that emotions like to take up space.
I don’t like things that take up space. Or rather, I don’t like taking up space, and feelings require that I do. Particularly complex, complicated ones like “missing.” They require that I examine them and sit with them, and because they are taking up space, I am taking up space.
Missing is hard. Missing means taking up space, and I just want to be an easy and uncomplicated person that doesn’t take up too much room.
But I do. I take up room and space in other people’s minds and lives and stories and words and thoughts. I am someone that people miss, too.
I want to run away from it. Hide from it, minimize it, discredit it, limit it. I don’t want to miss; I want to just exist and be where I am. I don’t want to sit here with a lump in my throat.
But sometimes, I am somewhere else. Or I’m not but I want to be. Because missing means investing enough to care, and I think caring might scare me more than missing. Because other people do miss me, which means that, by proxy, other people do care for me.
Ugh, ugh, why is this so hard for me to accept? My brain has been on a rampage lately about how I perceive positive things as threats. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Trust nothing, and certainly don’t trust people. There’s been an understandable level of panic lately because I’ve been trusting people, and things, and myself, and my brain finally caught up.
Am I a bit fixated on this concept of missing right now? Sure, because these past couple of weeks have been a week of missing people and saying no to things I didn’t want to say no to. But I recognize, viscerally, that it’s less about those things and more about what it all brings up in me: lots of big feelings taking up big space. And that’s really what it is: the ways in which I am comfortable taking up space. Grow, stretch, breathe. It’s all uncomfortable.
I don’t have answers. I have a lump in my throat and the itchy feeling that I keep trying to stave off. And maybe that’s just where I am, and I get to be ok with that. It’ll pass. It’ll be fine. But maybe the point of it- of all of it- is sitting with that uncomfortable feeling of taking up so much damn space.
Or maybe there is no point, and I’m just human.