quaking aspen, previously

who do you miss most?

Posted on: November 23, 2006

Officially I’m way too late for this over at Owlhaven, but I did actually spend time on it and I think it’s worthwhile. Even if it did turn out extremely long…

Who do you miss most? And why?

I’ve never had anyone extremely close to me die. My dad’s parents passed away when I was in late high school and early college, and I do wish I could’ve gotten to know them better.

My grandmother was a difficult lady in many ways, but there’s things, especially now that I’m older, that would be nice to talk about, stories of hers I’d like to hear.

My grandfather had stories too, fighting in World War II, working at a bank most of his life. He had a fancy camera, took some photos of me when I was little that are just wonderful. I do feel it as a loss – the never having known them that well.

But there are others that I miss more. So many friends left behind. All my elementary, middle & high school friends – all but two, and two others sort-of. But others – almost no one do I even know where they are, let alone have a meaningful relationship with. Nicole M., Nicole T., Nikki, Amber, Tori. Himali, Diana, Gen, Andrea G., Carleen, Erika, Zoe, Chantal. Roya, Loren, Mary A., Rebekah, Amy, Sharon H. – and more; even more people who were more of “acquaintances.” Or at least not as good of friends as I wished – that I wished I’d have known them better (especially in high school).

I miss my friends from college. The loss of who we were then (even though, at least in my case, there have certainly been improvements in some respects) – moving on with our lives, the loss of those relationships as they were then. Not that there’s not good now, of course, but every moving-on is a loss. And a new beginning. And a loss.

I miss seeing them, though. I can blame it on being on the other side of the country – which is in some sense a blessing, having a reason to feel far away, cuz here’s the secret I fear: that if we were close we still wouldn’t see each other that often. Our lives have diverged (in a yellow wood), and it will never be the same as it was before. Never can be. Not that we couldn’t develop new ways of relating – the paths of our interactions altered. So in a sense what I miss is having the chance to do that.

Mostly right now I miss my family. My grandparents, always a sort of touchstone of stability in my life (physically and in other ways), have moved back East (though they’re traveling around at present). My mom is out there, and my dad too right now, and it feels so far. It is so far – twenty-five-hundred miles.

Friends and family alike, at various times, have encouraged us to look for jobs back that way. My dear N hates the idea of living there (humidity, traffic, cost of living), and I must confess, in a way the thought makes me feel trapped. I don’t really see it happening, but lately, especially, I find myself missing my family. I know that the idyll of living on the same street as family… isn’t always. But y’know – I’ve never had the chance to actually try it; I don’t know what it’d really be like. And sometimes I think I’d like to see.

About all these people: I feel such loss. And I think I blame myself. I’m lousy at keeping in contact at all, let alone having a personal relationship at long distance. (Here defined as: anywhere not in my own house, and even then….) As you might imagine, admitting this makes me feel like a really stellar human being. Wahoo. Not that I think living in one degree of isolation or another is that unusual. But – definitely a sense of failure.

In a sense of course – I’m lucky to have had a chance to encounter so many great friends, so many that I literally couldn’t keep track of them all.

It’s just – the learned dissociation combined with a culture of eternal relationships. I don’t want things to end. I don’t want lovely memories – I want to be with you, doing things, talking, laughing, crying – now.

Is it better to have it cut off, ended, or to let time happen, the changes inevitably coming, and look back and know that what was has changed, and thereby ended anyway? I lean toward the latter – at least there you have a chance of something evolving, continuing, even if in a different form. You’re not left with nothing. Maybe it’s just that I’ve always done the former – maybe just ready for a change. A different pain.

***

In a related note: In the course of the NaBloPoMo randomizer I found an interesting concept: x365. In a nutshell, you make a list of 365 people you’ve known in your life, whose names you can remember, and write a short, set number of words about each. (The original guy did this to commemorate turning 40, and thus did 40 words about each. I’m rather wordy and don’t know if I could stick with just 27….) And post them every day (or thereabouts, y’know, I’m definitely going to be slacking off some next month; I haven’t found this terribly hard, but still…) for a year, of course.

It’s quite an idea. I’ve started my list — and wow, it’s HORRIBLE how the names go away. People whose faces I can see just fine in my mind, and I just can’t. think. of their names. Terrible. I need to go open up my old yearbooks and such.

All that said — I’m not sure I’ll actually post all this. Maybe parts. It’s a bit scary — all the naked opinions. I’m not sure how all about internet revelation I am. If nothing else, it’ll probably be on another blog, solely devoted to the project.

Feel free to share about who you miss most…

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