"Hi Sheetal, how have you been doing? Did you have a good holiday? We miss you"
E-mails from my mum this week have ended with:
"Miss you so much"
A text from another friend:
"I miss you"
Other messages from friends have been signed off with "Miss ya stax"
All these "miss you" messages got me thinking about what it means to miss someone and what it feels like to *be* missed.
Despite the 7-hour time difference between my family & me, I am in daily contact with them - whether by e-mail, quick chats or texts. On some days, my schedule is so jam-packed with back to back classes that the only time I can go online properly is after work and even then, sometimes I'm not in the mood to be in front of my computer.
I can almost be guaranteed that every morning when I wake up, there will be a new e-mail in my Inbox from my mum. I may not reply immediately as I'm usually rushing to get ready for work, but no matter what - mum never fails to write me, and always signing off with "love you"
My mum and brother are in Mauritius for a few days. I'm missing their "online" presence or being able to contact them within seconds so very much.
I'm back in Korea for a week after spending a whole month with my family in South Africa. So many people have asked if I'm homesick, and the answer is always, "Not really." I guess I'm really accustomed to my life here. I have my own routine and slipped right back into it - except for sleep - after a whole week, my body still seems to be running on SA time :(
Now I'm not talking about those impersonal "miss ya" and "miss ya stax" kind o' messages. I'm talking about the ...
I miss you
I'm missing you
I miss chatting to you
I miss hearing your voice
I miss hanging out with you
I miss seeing you everyday
I'll admit that whether or not these folks were genuine in their messages, it felt good hearing it.
Being missed means that someone is thinking of ME during their busy day. It means that they wish they were with ME and not someone else. Hell, if anything - they're thinking *something* of me to make that up in the first place!
Some agree (myself included) that I've evolved into a tough cookie over the years. Having experienced various ordeals with people, I've created a very strong barrier around the one organ I try to protect the most - my heart.
Various circumstances have made it uneasy for me to trust just anyone whole-heartedly. And when talking about trust here, I mean - do I trust them when they say they like me? Do I trust them when they claim to be interested in me? Do I trust them that they actually *miss* me?
But every now and again, someone will come along and pull at my heartstrings - and this doesn't always have to be romantic - but the proverbial wall around my heart will be opened ever so slightly and allow that person in just a little bit.
Sometimes when I'm riding the subway, I look over at the students pondering over their study notes or textbooks on their way home from campus, I assume. I think back to my days on campus. Some days I so wish to be right back there in my lecture rooms or editing suites of the Journalism department.
The things I stressed about back then - essay deadlines, documentary filming deadlines, presentations, tests...it felt like I probably had the most work in all history of my faculty. But looking back on those years - daaayum, I had it gooo-oood! And then I think again. Campus life was good while it lasted. But do I really wish to be back there? Guess I should give thanks that I made it through 4 years there with skills and knowledge to equip me for the 'real world'. But yes, there are times when I *do* miss life as a student.
I never had to worry about shopping for dishwashing liquid or findig a fabric softener that I like. Or worry about paying my bills for my cable and gas every month.
When talking about being in a relationship and meeting someone new, my friend Jenean reminded me: "You can't miss something you've never had"
How can I miss being romanced and swooned over if it never happened in the first place? It makes complete sense!
So I think, just along with other words like "friend", "hate" and "love", we throw around this word, "MISS" way too much. We use endearing words on each other because it sounds sweet and makes the receiver feel good.
A message like "Hey - 'sup?"
can be sugared and turned into
"Hey honey/sweetie/sugar/babe/luv... how u doing?"
For me, these words of endearment are the
chocolate sprinkles of a bland message.