Back in 2010, when I was a young lass full of vodka and completely unlearned in how the real world functioned, a girlfriend explained how she was suffering FOMO as of late.
“FOMO?” I asked, confused and probably half drunk on brunch time mimosas.
“Yeah. Fear Of Missing Out.”
“WHAT? THAT’S BRILLIANT AND DESCRIBES EXACTLY HOW I FEEL ANY TIME I STAY IN ON A WEEKEND NIGHT AND SELF-TORTURE MYSELF SCROLLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA,” I probably didn’t so clearly articulate in response.
We’ve all been there. Whether you own a vagina or a penis, there have been countless moments in your young adulthood (or maybe even actual adulthood?) when you’ve felt less-than or outcast from a social situation in which you either chose to not partake in or couldn’t partake in for whatever reason.
You’re sick at home and couldn’t get it together to meet up with friends. It’s your aunt’s birthday up north in the suburbs, so you have to skip out on your friend’s birthday who’s having a big, drunk dinner downtown to celebrate. Yeah, you’re meeting them out later but it’s not the same. All your friends somehow got off this Friday to lay by the pool, and you have to save your PTO for the 18 weddings coming up this summer (2 of which you actually care about). Whatever the situation has been, you have felt the unmistakeable pangs of FOMO.
But no more. Because this year, and every year going forward, has been unofficially deemed the Year of JOMO. The JOY Of Missing Out. And here’s why.
Take all the times you’ve felt FOMO. Now, delve deeper into those moments and ask yourself how many times whatever you missed out on ended up being the greatest night of your friends’ lives, life-changing even. I bet your second number came up pretty short, huh? As the years tick on, we learn that we aren’t missing out on SHIT. Unless it’s a special occassion, i.e. a friend’s birthday, a themed pub crawl, or a #singlepartyofmaybethreeotherfriends night, it’s all the same.
You get dressed.
You go out.
You spend precious, hard-earned, dollars on drinks that may not even do the trick (not to mention, that now make themselves cozy on your thighs and take about 6 months to work off since you’re no longer a young, supple 22).
You get bored.
You Irish good-bye alone or with one other friend.
You outwardly sigh heavy relief when your tight jeans come off and your sweatpants go on.
You go to sleep.
The days of convincing yourself that by not going out, you’re not only missing out on being young but also maybe meeting the love of your life are over. Laying on your couch on a Friday night, weeping out loud about how lame you are and how you have no friends and no options is a thing of the past (don’t act like you’ve never had one of those moments). Because, now, you’re older and subsequently wiser. You see right through the filtered Instagram pictures of people you know mid-laughter, white-knuckling their alcoholic beverages. LIES! you think. I know half of you will be home within the hour, and the girl who posted this might have even done so from her bed. You might think that “Rise” filter is hiding the truth, but I see all.
As we grow up, we realize how precious weekend days are. No longer can we awake on a Saturday or Sunday feeling as if we were roofied by life and raped by alcohol. Early to rise, early to get every little petty errand done that we have to postpone during the week because of our full-time jobs. We learn that one perfectly crafted, locally brewed beer is more satisfying than the tired parade of vodka/water cocktails. We value and look forward to our Friday nights in. An elongated workout at the gym, followed by Thai carry-out and cuddling up with your pup on the couch to watch a movie is what you worked so hard toward all week. And those Instagram pics? You’ll like every last one of them, genuinely. Because, hey – if that’s what they wanted to do tonight, that’s great. But you know the chances of something life-changing and impossibly exciting happening this very night out on the town are low, and if you were supposed to be there – you would’ve been.
And that, I believe, is the most important nugget to keep in mind in your lowest of FOMO depths; that if you truly were meant to be out and about and meeting, say, the love of your life, circumstances would’ve somehow gotten you there. Life doesn’t work when you’re trying to make it work – it works when you’re not trying. What’s that saying? Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans? It’s true, but I guess it also makes life pretty fucking rude and inconsiderate, especially if you’ve had this one brunch planned for, like, MONTHS.
If staying in and being lazy makes you happy, own it. If you still find joy in going out every weekend night, own it. Whatever you choose, work JOMO like it’s your bitch and know that you aren’t missing a single thing. Ever.