No Mo FOMO

Isn’t it interesting that there are words, activities and feelings that we talk about today that didn’t exist ten years ago? A selfie is a prime example as are phrases like YOLO, fleek, clapback, Netflix and chill and of course FOMO. I’ve never been very good at keeping up with trends, especially when they are perpetuated by my favourite frenemy- technology- but it’s safe to say that I’ve wrapped my head around most of what’s current and am even able to use these words in a proper sentence at times.

A few weeks ago, my 24-year-old roommate told me she was nervous about turning 25. I laughed and told her that I should be the one complaining considering I’m turning 30 in October. To be honest, I’ve never really been caught up with age and I don’t think I care that much about turning 30. What I can’t believe is what 30 means. It means I’m kind of an adult, that many people my age are married and are responsible for the lives of other humans. I definitely do not feel that grown up nor do I want to in a way.

However, it isn’t these things that have moulded my views about turning 30. I feel that the past two years have been incredibly formative and life-changing. At least in terms of how I see the world, the goals I set for myself, the things I value and the way I manage my relationships. One big thing that has changed between maybe 25 and 29, is FOMO. Fear of missing out. By the time I understood what FOMO meant, I probably stopped feeling it but I know that as a teenager and young adult, I had serious FOMO.

Until I was about 14, my parents wouldn’t let me spend the night at my friend’s houses which resulted in some of the biggest wars our home has ever seen. Now when I look back, I wonder why I cared so much. Digging deeper, I think it’s because I believed that I would miss out on serious bonding which would make the other girls much better friends with each other than with me. Then when we all went to school on Monday, they would have elevated their friendship with inside jokes, prank calls and midnight snacks; leaving me struggling to catch up. This experience transformed a little bit as I grew up.

At age 21, not only would I feel that my friends were growing closer without me perhaps almost forgetting me, but I would also start to doubt our friendship. Maybe I wasn’t interesting enough or worthy of their time, maybe they wanted to be friends with people more like them and not me. This isn’t to say that the same people weren’t validating my friendship with our own bonding, but I wanted to be everywhere all the time. I wanted to be someone to everyone.

FOMO is such a pain. It leaves you insecure, unsure and full of envy. I remember scrolling through Instagram and looking at pictures of multiple nights where I wasn’t present and feeling so upset that I couldn’t have been there. Not keeping in mind that I might have been doing something more important or significant myself that same night. I feel I truly reached a pinnacle in mental health when I no longer felt or though tabout FOMO. I mean I obviously want to celebrate important moments with my friends and family and spend as much time as I can with them, but if I’m not invited somewhere or can’t make it. I don’t really mind.

My priorities are now work, my health and my close relationships. Along with giving up the endeavour to be everywhere, experience everything and be everyone’s best friend, I’ve also learnt to say no. This may not mean much to many people but being someone who thrives in social settings and loves to be around people, it was a big change for me. I’ve learnt to prioritize my sleep and spending time with those who really matter over attending an event or party that will be more than peppered through my Instagram feed the next morning. If I look back two or three years ago, I would make a big effort to be certain places to be around certain people that I thought would make me feel better about myself. Now, it’s incredible to feel that all I need to feel complete, is a good night’s sleep and quality time with someone I love.

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