What does it mean to miss somebody? Is it an aching in your stomach that no medicine can cure? Or is it a feeling of missing a part of you- like the French put it, “tu me manque”, which literally translates to you are missing from me.I never really understood that concept. Trust the French to kick things up a notch.
The way I saw it, I was fine whether anyone was around or not. Yes, I might get lonely once in a while but on a whole, I was okay by myself most of the time.
What did it mean that I could continue to live my life unaffected?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t miss people, but not so much that it hurts.
If I did ever miss like that , I certainly can’t remember it and I sometimes wonder where that put me on the spectrum of awful people.
I don’t like to dwell too much on that fact.
Needless to say, my friends have always been better at this missing game than I was.
I miss you.
Is it a constant feeling of needing to see me? Of needing to talk to me?Or is it that the moment you see me, you are reminded of how I make you feel?
In that case, does that mean that you didn’t really miss me but the way you feel when you are around me?
Moving from Nigeria at the age of 10 meant that I had to leave everyone and everything that was familiar to me behind. Everything that had made the 10 year old me was left behind and I had to quickly assimilate into a new environment.
I guess 10 year old me was smarter than I give her credit for. She knew that to survive the change, she had to push everything to the back of her mind, forget about the way things were and focus on how they were now.
She had to learn to rely on herself and on the present, until the time came when missing anything and anyone would make sense in any reality and in the process, she had trained herself to miss in a different way.
Postpone it almost.
I guess I had become used to the idea of missing in the future tense. It was a coping method that is ingrained in me. And now here I stand, wondering if it was a fault in my character, if there was something fundamentally wrong with me for not feeling this emotion.
After thinking extensively about it, I came to the conclusion that I had constructed my art of missing around the experiences that shaped me.
The changes that I had gone through in life had taught me to stay rigid until it became time to yield.
To stay focused on the things that mattered.
10 year old me had been fighting for our dreams and goals when she made the subconscious decision to postpone her act of missing.
And so it is not that I don’t miss people. I just don’t get the feeling until the moment I set my eyes on the said person or until I can actually do something about it.
The fact that this made so much sense to me made me appreciate that perhaps I was stranger than I had initially believed myself to be.
People react differently to their circumstances and this was the way that I had crafted to deal with the change that happened to me.
That was what 10 year old me had understood so many years ago when she pushed her yearning for the past into the future.
That was how she had formed my art of missing.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below. I hope I’m making sense but I’m not too sure I am!