I have always harboured this constant and extreme FOMO a.k.a Fear of Missing Out. As much as I love social media and all its glory, I feel like this irrational fear of mine comes from seeing people’s filtered lives on the internet. It’s irrational because no matter what I might be doing, how much fun I might be having at a certain time, there will always be someone doing something amazing at that exact moment. 7.4 billion people are breathing, living on this constantly moving Earth (checking the World Population Clock as I’m writing. It’s so cool). There will always be things that I’m missing out on. Having realized this, nevertheless, I keep scrolling through blogs, watching Youtube videos about other people’s seemingly amazing lives and compare my life, as a loser, to theirs. I have to constantly remind myself that the 4-minute vlog I see on Youtube is literally only 4 minutes of that famous, fabulous person’s day. It’s the stupidest and most self-destructive thing you can do. “Comparison will destroy you” (yes, I stole this quote from Tumblr. How original of me but you get the point).
What makes it worse is that through many young adult fiction books and movies, I have built up all these unreasonable expectations and romanticized ideas of a wild and adventurous youth that I’m supposed to have. It’s getting to the point where if I’m done with classes for the day and go back to my dorm room to watch New Girl, I’d start to feel anxious, like I’m wasting my time (one of the reasons why I created a blog, a store and a Youtube channel), like this is not the deal with growing up. Where are my 2AM adventures and road trips and skinny dipping and standing on a rooftop screaming at the top of my lungs? Just the noise of people laughing outside my window would make the evil FOMO come back. I’d ask myself: “What are they doing that sounds so much fun? Why am I not having fun and hanging out with a lot of friends instead of sitting in my room watching videos?” My head is never at peace.
But I DO like being alone, sometimes. I once went to my favourite restaurant alone on a Saturday night because I felt like it and it was great. I used to go to the cinema alone all the time and loved every minute of it. I also prefer going to early breakfast alone. Empty diners and pancakes are my meditation.
Despite having said that, I don’t want to accept feeling this way. I’m turning 20 in 5 months, technically transitioning from being a teenager to a young adult. I don’t want to live the life in which I feel insecure and idle all the time.
I want to learn to be okay when I’m alone. I want to be okay with not having tons of friends (or a squad #2015) to always hang out with because the friends I do have are the ones who I’d do anything for and they’d do anything for me in return. We’re solid. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.
I also want to travel, not to go on vacation but to actually travel and explore. And I don’t mind doing it alone. To be honest, it’s hard to find a travel buddy who wants to go to the same place and do the same thing as you do. So I’m planning on backpacking early this summer. I really want to do it this year and I’m saving money for it. I made it a goal to set out $10 every day from now. Setting small but tangible goals are better than huge, unrealistic ones.
I don’t want an unsatisfying life. So I will change it, with or without a companion.