What you end up missing is not what you expect to miss.
The memories will stay with you, the photos will last as long as you care to keep them around, and the people and places you leave will most likely continue to exist in your absence.
But what you end up missing is something else, “not a person or a place. But a feeling you can’t get back.” Put very wisely by the talented Noah Gunderson.
It’s been a few months since I moved away from my university. From my roommate of 4 years, from a job that I loved, and a community that loved me in return.
And I miss everything about my life there. But not in the way that I expected to.
I expected to miss my coffee shop, my friends, and my routine. And I do, but what I miss the most is the person that I was in my coffee shop, and with my friends, and going about my routine.
We end up missing the person that we were. Every relationship you have gives you a different perspective of yourself. You learn things from one person that you could have never learned from another. And some friends need you to be a version of yourself that no one else has ever needed you to be.
We miss the feeling of being comfortable in the places that are familiar. I miss my favorite coffee shop but even more I miss sitting inside surrounded by the specific smell of coffee that would stay on my clothes for hours, the bell on the door, and the expectation of someone I know walking through it.
We miss the confident version of ourselves that could have gone about our old routine without thinking. The capable self, the one that has done this a thousand times, whatever “this” may be for you.
And part of what we miss about our friends is not even our friends themselves, but the person that they allowed us to be. Every relationship you have, every person you meet and speak to, unlocks a different part of you.
With my roommate I was someone who cared deeply about things and was excited to share every inane detail of whatever it was I was into at the moment. But I was only able to be that person because she was someone who would always listen and always want to understand why those things were important to me.
What I miss is not what I expected to miss.
But I am thankful to have had such good friends that would miss the person that I was with them. And to have known such good places that I miss how much they taught me.
Thanks for reading.