It’s Good to Miss Someone

So much to say, so little time. I was watching an episode of New Girl today with my sister (I know, we’re being way too lazy this summer) and something a character said made me think. The main character was talking to her roommate and asking him if he thought they would still be friends with some of their other friends if they had met them now. It’s a question I wonder about sometimes too.

For some of my high school friends, I figured time would separate us. I was right about some people. But there are others whom I can still call friends and I don’t think I would have expected that 4 years ago. I’ve changed a lot and so have they but I guess we just went with it.

The reason this topic is coming up for me is because I wonder about what will happen with my college friends. With friends from my hometown, it was always easy to keep things going because I would come home for breaks and see them. But with friends from school it seems like that may be more difficult. There’s no reason for us to just keep coming back to each other.

On the one hand, that’s OK. It’s good to weed out the temporary friends from the permanent ones. Sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to text someone or email them because I did when I was at Princeton but then I remember that I really only have to talk to the people I want to talk to. It’s cool. I’ve had phone/Skype conversations with 4 people from school and they were all awesome and good. Honestly, that’s way better than feeling like I need to keep up with 20 people. I just can’t do that.

On the other hand, my dad just dropped some wisdom on me. My mom is gone until Thursday so he’s just hanging around the house with us and wandering, presumably waiting for his best friend to come back. It’s very sad/cute. As he was wandering out of the room that I’m writing this in he ended his lament with one statement: It’s good to miss someone.

That’s true. It’s good to miss someone and it’s good to have someone to miss. I know that I’ve changed a good deal since starting college but somehow, I’ve never missed the person I was. Not at all. But sometimes, when I think about my four years, I miss my friends, or rather, who they were. I wonder what that means.

I guess, because change is inevitable and my friends have changed, my missing their old selves is kind of a message about the friendship. I don’t miss my brother from five years ago or my sister when she let me climb into her playpen. I don’t miss the high school version of my hometown friends. I don’t miss my friend Jess from freshman year or Steph from sophomore year . I don’t miss those people because they’ve changed since then and so has our friendship. And all in good ways.

But I guess if you do miss someone – if you’re constantly thinking back to the way things were and not appreciating the way things are or will be – and you know they aren’t coming back, maybe then it’s time to just let go.

I had a friend freshman year, named Polly. We were in the same PSY 101 class and then we did a BAC show together. We hung out a lot and we were really good friends. We even got into discussions about abortion and stuff. It was cray but it was a really cool friendship. Sophomore fall we took a class together and I ventured up to her room on the 5th floor of Edwards. Junior year we hung out less but we still saw each other around and we would chat. I probably saw her out a few times. By senior year, I’d see her maybe once a month. Whenever we saw each other, she’d talk about how we should get a meal (college code for “we probably won’t ever hang out but I want you to know I still know who you are!”). Sometimes someone would tell me something about her – how she was doing an art show, how she shaved off her eyebrows – and I’d think, wow, that’s not how I remember her. At the P-Rade on the last day of reunions I ran into her. She came up to me (probs a little tipsy) and remarked about how we should catch up. She asked what I’d be doing next year, told me she was moving to the city, and said we should hang out sometime. I just smiled.

Honestly, I didn’t want to hang out with Polly. Because I miss her. I miss who she was 2 years ago and I know she’s changed. Granted, I may hang out with her one day and find that changed Polly is even cooler than former Polly. That may be so. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. But honestly, I don’t care either way. Because it’s good to miss someone. It usually means you’ve loved.


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