Something that I struggled massively with during the latter years of my teenage years was FOMO, I think turning 18 made me realise that life was for living and so I ended up wanting to be out doing things all the time, I was focusing on what the people I knew were doing, what the Instagram world was doing and what I wasn’t doing. I felt left out and behind, I wasn’t doing much and felt ashamed. So my FOMO began.
Spending my evenings scrolling through Instagram and watching everbodies Snapchat stories was taking its toll on my mental health, I began to story constantly asking if anybody wanted to hang out or if anybody was free, I felt like because I was 18 something had to change, I had to start doing more and living a more adult life.
I’d go out and do things that I wasn’t 100% into because it was simply something to do that made me feel like I wasn’t missing out and because I had been so comfortable with spending the former years of my teenage life in my bedroom watching movies and anime, to everybody else my sudden itch to be out was a pleasant surprise.
What they didn’t see was that on the inside I was stressed and anxious. I’d often express to my mum that I wanted to meet somebody with all of my interests who I wanted to spend time with, she told me she wished I’d find that somebody.
The FOMO was beginning to shatter me, I was seeing events come up on Facebook that people had set as “interested” – I’d think about it constantly and wish that I could go, I’d ask my Snapchat audience once again and more often than not, be let down.
But then I snapped out of it. I began to think and evaluate how many times I’d been out and honestly enjoyed myself, I then wanted to dig deep and understand why I didn’t even though the answer was glaringly obvious – it just wasn’t me.
If you know me well, I like doing things that interest me and if I’m doing something that I’m not that bothered about, I spend most of the time in my own head day dreaming.
I realised that if I wanted to have a good time doing things with my friends, it had to be when I genuinely wanted to do that thing instead of only doing it for the “I did it,” trophy.
I wanted to have fun with people and engage with people whilst being present instead of thinking about how much I’m looking forward to going home and watching some anime I just picked up.
So when I look at myself three years on, how this year I’ve been out and done quite a lot, I’ve enjoyed every time. The reason though? Because it’s been things that I’ve wanted to do and have been present in. All the visits to Lisbon, all of the family outings, it’s always things that I actually wanted to do.
I’m a lot happier now than when I was sitting in my bedroom wishing I was doing more because things authentically slipped into place. It was meant to be and I know that now. I rarely people-watch and care too much about what others are doing these days because I’m also living my life.
I know that being in that rut was a bad time in my life and the desperation definitely sucked some of my soul away, but it’s better to miss out and enjoy what you actually did than go for the sake of it.