Living abroad is truly amazing and I love it. I love how much Vinn and I have grown as a couple, I love that we are able to visit some of the most amazing places in the world and I love that we are experiencing so many new things. I’ve said all of this before but it is good to preface with this because with all of the greatness also comes a little bit of sadness with what I’m missing at home.
Of course I miss the small(er) things, like Target and Chik-Fil-A, but I am also missing a lot of bigger things with family and friends.
I have several friends who have bought their first homes, are currently pregnant or just had a baby. I have missed the housewarming parties and the baby showers and the impromptu shopping trips. I’m missing the process of my parents building their dream house. I wish I was there to go with my mom while she picks out the lights and cabinets. I wish I could physically see my dad on Father’s Day instead of FaceTime.
All of these feelings are normal but that doesn’t diminish the fact that they are sometimes depressing. This feeling is a fear of missing out or FOMO. FOMO was actually added to the dictionary in 2013 and is defined as, “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.”
We’ve all experienced this – seeing a friend post something to Facebook about an awesome trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit or your family is doing something together and you’re not there. It sucks to feel left out in any situation.
I’ve been falling into the abyss of social media posts and focusing on how much we are missing. I’ve been sad that other people seem to be doing things I want to be doing, like going to music festivals, seeing Hamilton, going on a boat, having BBQ’s, shopping at Nordstrom, etc.
After a few weeks of reflecting, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not living my life for anyone else. I am living it for me. I truly believe that comparison is the thief of joy and that I should be happy that my family is together and that my friends are doing amazing things. Vinn and I are certainly living a pretty darn good life.
I’m vowing to turn any negative thoughts into positive ones. It’s natural to be a little jealous or to wish that you were around for everything, but the reality is, even if I lived in the States, I wouldn’t be able to be part of every aspect of everyone’s lives. I would still miss out on things. It’s part of life.
Accepting this thought, the thought that this life is mine and no one else’s, has opened up a world of…peace. I feel happier now that I have accepted this. I go onto any social media platform now and think, “Good for them” or “That’s awesome!” instead of my old, negative, woe-is-me thoughts. And when my previous thoughts show their ugly head, which they do and will, I will think of all the great things happening in my life. And there are definitely a lot of amazing things!
How do you overcome FOMO?