Today I’m missing all the conversations that didn’t happen these past few years, with everyone in a strange kind of limbo.
Look, I’ve done my best to live my life (safely, always as safely as I can) and embrace my own personal new normal, which I’m extremely grateful for, because even though it’s not normal-normal, it’s a stark contrast from the first year-and-change of the pandemic when I was in deep lockdown.
I’ve done my best. And I’m grateful for my life. Like a lot of others, I have lost people who were important to me the past few years — and the weight of that grief is unbearable sometimes. But I’m treasuring my life. I’m happy to be alive. So happy to be alive after everything that has happened.
But I’m struggling on another level, with how exhausted we all are. I can think of multiple people I’m close to who can barely function. And occasionally we do reach out to one another and chat, but never as much.
Really, it’s usually me reaching out. In general I tend to be the friend who reaches out, in a lopsided way. Although notably my spouse made a huge effort to reach out to me first, and I think that’s a big part of why I fell in love with them. As I told folks on Poly Land Discord (my favorite place to hang out these days), I think the “good morning beautiful” texts are a big part of what made me fall in mad lurves in that instance.
But yeah. I’m generally a reacher-outer (the technical term for such a thing, trust me). And in normal times, it works beautifully. But not these times. I’m finding that even when I make the effort to start a conversation, the chat energy is harder to maintain. The conversations fizzle more, even though it’s clear that these friends and I still regard each other warmly. And care.
And so I got to thinking about it, and I realized that there are all kinds of missing conversations.
And maybe it seems like a strange thing to mourn, an odd stimulus for heartache in these times when there’s so many bigger things to despair over.
But I can’t help it. It hurts to know what we’ve lost. Even the little things. Especially the little things.
And anyway, I think sometimes the bigger griefs, the universal ones, are too much to bear. I find I go numb when confronted with them. But the little griefs? The longing for missing conversations? Well, they’re able to slip right in past my defenses.
The good news is that we’ll make more. There will be more conversations, especially once we’ve recovered from everything that’s happened. But until then… it’s so hard.