Miss me? Miss you, too!

Monday, June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m not used to receiving too many birthday greetings, for the simple reason that not too many people know my birthday. So you can imagine how thrilling it is for me to receive lots of greetings on my recent birthday, albeit in the virtual world.

You know how it is on Facebook. Facebook announces to your friends it’s your birthday and encourages them all to say a greeting. Some of my Facebook friends—from my closest of friends to the people I’ve never heard from for a long time and to those who’ve never known my birthday—were such a sweetie and left short greetings on my wall. It’s a heartwarming act, I have to say. But what made my heart do a cartwheel were birthday messages that were punctuated with “I miss you” or its variation. Their number surprised me. Two to three people saying they miss you is sort of normal, especially since people nowadays have come to casually use that term of affection. But receiving “I miss you’s” from more than three people is something, a rare chance, not unless you (or your friends) are in a faraway place or in a situation where people have legitimate reasons to miss your presence.

This greeting from a friend/former officemate could have been deafening.

This greeting from a friend/former officemate could have been deafening.

I’m not in a faraway place. I’m very much accessible. So I was taken aback by these messages. But I guess there’s no reason for me to be surprised; the “I miss you’s” remind me of what I already know: I’ve been out of touch for a long time. Although I’m not expecting that all the “I miss you’s” are a call for a meet-up, I feel that they are telling me I’ve spent a significant time with these people and now we’re drifting apart. Oh, well. Life. But what these people don’t know is that the feeling is mutual: I miss them, too.

Another deafening holler; this time from a church friend.

Another deafening holler; this time from a church friend.

I work from home, and, in essence, this means isolation. No officemates. No after-office hangouts. No office parties. No everything. It’s just me and my laptop. It’s a sad setup, I know. But it’s a setup that I’ve embraced, for this is where I thrive. I’m not complaining, because although I’m locked up pretty much the whole day, I’m glad that I don’t have to go through what people have to when going to and from work.

Still, there’s the isolation issue I have to deal with. And these “I miss you” messages seem to nag me about this one thing that will make my social life breathing again: Visibility! Yes, it’s time I make myself visible. I have detached myself for too long, and if I continue with this, I’m afraid I’d be reduced to a hermit and eventually forget how to relate to people other than my family, which in the process might make my friends drift farther away. That would be a sad life.

So now here’s the plan: At least schedule one day of the week for meet-ups with certain people to catch up, dine together, see a movie, go somewhere, or do anything of my/my friends’ fancy. If going out four days a month seems quite expensive, then hang out with friends at least two days in a month. Or if this is also not possible, mark at least one day out of 30/31 days for a hangout. One day, for heaven’s sake! One day!

Initiating meet-ups, I know, is a little taxing. People are not always free on the same day after all, and it’s sometimes frustrating to find a date that all parties will agree on. I tell you, I’ve had scheduled meet-ups that were moved to later dates several times until they were forgotten. I understand whatever caused the delays and the eventual cancellation, but I had hoped the meet-ups materialized. So now that I have this Operation Visibility, I have to be persistent to push the hangouts through. And if there are other concerns that make them impossible, I shouldn’t give up too easily. I have to make Plan B or Plan C until I get to see my friends’ faces. I have to take this operation seriously. Seriously!

How successful I expect this to be? I have no idea. I even don’t know what my friends’ reception would be. But let’s not think of that. Now that the Operation Visibility is in place, my primary concern is, “Who should I meet first?”

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