To give you some context to start, picture this: it’s 11.30 Friday night, I’ve got home from work and had a quick shower to wash off the general public from my mind and body and I’m sitting on my bed, scrolling through social media, thinking about what I should do. There’s a right answer here. Sleep. I’ve had a mad week and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Still, as I flick through shots of people dressed up at pre-drinks and looking trashed in videos of noisy bars I’m getting serious FOMO (fear of missing out, for anyone not in the loop for the last 5 years). Everyone gets it from time to time, its natural. The question is, what to do about it?
The thing is, I know the people I want to be with are miles away, or busy, or both. I have friends spread across the country and it does get me down when I see them having fun in the places I used to frequent, or places I’ve heard all about, but it’s not like I can hop in a taxi and make the 150 mile trip to go for a couple of drinks. This leaves options for tonight limited. I could hit up work friends or some acquaintance from somewhere and I’m sure they’d be happy to have me join whatever they’re up to, but is it worth the money, time and energy? Probably not. I’m still tempted. FOMO.
I probably get this feeling more than most because I’m busy. I choose to be busy. I’m studying, and I’m one of those lame students who does it right. I go to all the lectures and seminars, I do the reading and the work because I love it and it’s important to me. I work as a waitress, which okay I don’t love, but I do it to afford a life style that’s not full of struggling by. It also means that when I am free, I get to take part in whatever I want to, and so much less FOMO there. I’m also starting a volunteer position, helping young people to have a voice and campaign for what they think is important. I don’t live for the weekend, I fill my every day with what’s important and what will make me happy long term. It’s taken getting to know myself and figure out what’s important to me and not just shiny, happy, instant gratification. I think it’s all too easy to forget that a lot of what I see on social media is just the weekend warriors highlight reel.
Okay so I haven’t spent my night sleeping early, I’ve spent it writing. Another thing I try do at least a few times a week. It connects me with myself again. I guess it’s my version of “me time”. I don’t think I’ll ever regret staying up all night writing. I’ve had too many nights out drinking too much with people that don’t offer me all that much that I absolutely regret. Maybe this is what happens when people are happy in themselves. If niggles of doubt are the worst of it, then I’ll take it. It’s much better than trying to do everything, something has to give at some point and I’ve made my choices and I’m happy with my sacrifices. I have plenty of fun. Tonight, I’m going to sleep, and I’m going to sleep a bit better and a bit happier, knowing that I could be out if I wanted but I’m not missing out on anything.