Jealousy and FOMO

I’ve been pretty jealous lately. And I know I shouldn’t be. But I have been. It could just be that I’m tired or simply a female with emotions. I try my hardest to let things that cause these feelings slide off my back, but it’s not easy.

Lizzie McGuire gifPlus, with the invention of Facebook and other social media outlets, avoiding jealousy has become even more difficult. I can’t go a day without checking my newsfeed (about 100 times) and seeing new pictures of proposals, engagement rings, weddings, baby bumps, and baby pictures. Then there are all the statuses to accompany new jobs, new homeowners, and mushy couples declaring their love for each other. A whole lot of happy people enjoying happy things taking place in their happy lives.

And I get jealous.

Well, now that I sound like a complete crank, let me just say that I am in no way complaining about my life. I understand that this is most definitely a first world problem and I have no reason to be jealous when there are starving people in China, Ethiopia, and, oh yeah, America.

But let us, just for a second, put that aside and talk a little about FOMO. A couple months back, I wrote a post about the “Fear Of Missing Out” or FOMO for short. Basically, in this day and age, we have so many issues involving commitment and “doing stuff” because we always feel like there might be something better going on. We don’t want to lose out on the possible experiences we could have. If we’re already committed to going to that lunch date or that party on Saturday, what other amazing things could we be missing out on? If I take that full-time job, what if something great comes along? Will I want that other job? Will I want both?

Take it from me, I should be in FOMOA (FOMO Anonymous) because I constantly crave doing things. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a night here and there to just relax and watch 10 episodes of Pretty Little Liars or Revenge. But after that night, I’m over it. I need to be doing something. I feel useless and lazy without a task that needs to be completed. When I went home 2 weeks ago, I had almost every minute booked before I even bought my bus tickets.

When I was working multiple jobs at a time, I still felt as though I should have been doing more. I wanted more time with friends. I wanted more hours at work. Now this may be due mostly to the fact that I was living in my house alone, constantly going stir-crazy, but I digress.

And now I’m in NYC and feel as though I have not done nearly as much as I should have done in the first 5 months. Granted, I have gone to a hockey game and a concert and a lot of my time has been devoted to school. I’ve eaten at a few restaurants and have found some good places to run. However, I have only gone to one museum, and it was for a class project. I avoid finding awesome places to eat because I don’t have money to blow on wonderful food. Instead I buy a loaf of bread and make PB and Nutella sandwiches all day, everyday.

Touristy stuff is expensive and shopping costs money. On top of that, I am already taking out huge loans for my brand name education. I do not have a consistent income and I feel completely lost as to what on earth my future holds – what do I want to do with my life? Will I even make it in teaching? Do I have what it takes?

And then I get on Facebook and see all of these posts and photos of friends and family who seem to have their lives together. They are happy and life is just working out for them. They are buying cars and houses and getting married and adulting.

Bridesmaids gif

I understand they too have encountered roadblocks, potholes, dead ends, and whatever other traffic situations that can be applied to life’s trials. But you don’t see that on Facebook or Instagram. And why would you? Other than those annoying people who post their every emotion, pictures are generally happy and show off the best aspects of their lives.

We want to show off the awesome time we had at a bonfire with friends. We want people to envy our newly toned bodies, or the fact that we attended that off-the-wall party this past weekend, or that we got to travel to an exotic place. So, is it all just a game to show how important and awesome we are?

Mean Girls gif

We hesitate to unfriend people because then we will lower our “coolness stats” or Klout scores, and therefore seem less awesome. So then we wonder who would want to be our friend in real life.

So how do we overcome this pressure to look awesome, like our life is completely solid and we know what we’re doing? I guess one option is to disengage from all social media sites until you feel restored of your self-confidence. And I’m serious about this one. If it is honestly hurting your self-worth that much, take a break. Stop obsessing over everyone else’s life and go make your life awesome.

And then come back and post that stuff on Facebook to make everyone super jealous!

Just kidding.

I’ve recently been told the secret is to “fake it til you make it”. Everyone has heard this old adage and I guess you could make that work for you. But don’t you think that’s pretty much lying to everyone, including yourself? I mean, listen, if you have the confidence to just B.S. your way through things, great. Good for you. If it gets you where you want, cool. But I think it could create sticky situations because you’re basically creating a false-self. Maybe it’s a better self, and maybe that’s the boost you need. But not all of us are built for that.

Elf gifI’m not a good liar. I suck at lying and deceiving people because I hate being lied to and deceived by people myself. It makes me uncomfortable. And since I blush pretty easily, being uncomfortable is super obvious with my pale skin. Instead, I do my best, I try to be as true to myself as possible, and hope it works out. I hope and pray that people might just like me for me, even for just a tiny reason.

But I think what people need (or maybe just what I need) are better ways to improve self-confidence without having to resort to shutting out the world or lying our way through. I want to be the best person I can possibly be without constantly feeling the need to compare myself to all of those [seemingly] happy people I see on my computer screen. But it bugs me that I can’t simply be happy for them, and that there has to be that dichotomy between joy and envy.

So anyways, what sorts of strategies do you use to pump yourself up? How do you control your jealousy and self-consciousness in order to be yourself? Talk to friends? Family? Listen to music? Talking yourself up in a mirror?

In the mean time, get it girl (or guy).

White Chicks gif

He will quiet you by His love

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

–Zephaniah 3:17

Bible Heart Pages

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life. Believe me, I know. Coming from a small city in upstate New York, there’s always downtime; Main Street is empty after midnight, houses are blanketed by darkness while their inhabitants sleep.

But in large cities like New York, there is always something going on; unless a power outage ensues, it will always be daytime in Times Square. Taxis are always on the lookout for potential passengers, even on Monday evenings (or, I guess, technically Tuesday mornings) at 3 a.m. Hence the nickname “The City That Never Sleeps”. Because someone, somewhere, is always awake. Always.

In the midst of all the people and places and things to do, it’s easy to lose a sense of peace. Even when I’m alone in my room, I constantly feel like I need to be doing something. Having internet helps a ton – there are always shows to watch, people to stalk on Facebook, random facts to be found. (Read my post about FOMO).

Being back home in a house with no internet (hello public library!), I find myself opening my bible. Now I guess this could be seen in two ways.

1) Seeing as I have nothing better to do (unless I want to spend all weekend in the library) I guess the bible is my best option.

Or 2) with the slower pace here, I don’t feel rushed or a dire need to be going, going, going.

Let’s go with option 2. Yeah, that sounds better.

So here in my silent house, I opened my bible and started scouring for passages about quiet, silence, and peace. My index doesn’t provide a vast array on the first two…and normally I would search the internet to supplement, but we’ve already discussed that situation. Peace, however, is a topic in which the bible has much of.

One such passage is 2 Timothy 2:22, which says,

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Youthful passions can be interpreted many ways, depending on what you as a young whipper-snapper like to do in your free (or not so free) time. I’m going along with this FOMO theme – needing to be here, while being over there, and still thinking there might be something better somewhere else. In layman’s terms, I think it’s telling us to SLOW THE HECK DOWN and, instead, pursue these other more important qualities.

I always forget how much I enjoy just thumbing through my bible, looking at what I’ve already highlighted, and finding more passages to highlight and try to internalize. And it’s times like these, in the quiet stillness of my large house (okay, not huge, but it’s much bigger than my dorm room in the city) that make me remember.

Does anyone else struggle with this, even if you don’t live in a large city?

I have a problem…

Ok, let me know if anyone else has this problem. It’s escalating and festering even as I write this. It’s gnawing at my ankles. An itch I can’t scratch. I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s annoying…

My problem: I’m thinking of all the other things I could be doing right now. At this very second. Reading a new book I just got today. Watching some YouTube videos. Episode (or three) of Game of Thrones, anyone? Not to mention all the homework I have to do before next week’s spring break…

I seem to have the attention span of a 3 year old. Or a dog. It’s like having three people telling me to do something different, at the same time, all equally tantalizing:

“Sit for a treat!”

“Go fetch the ball!”

“Who wants to go for a walk?”

What on earth is a dog to do? Or in this case, a human being in the 21st century, constantly bombarded with “better” options. I find it difficult to make the most basic decisions anymore! And now with social media always telling us the epic things our friends/acquaintances and family (hey, Grandma) are doing, there’s the ever present FOMO.

I learned this term about a month ago, and the pastor at the church I went to last week dedicated an entire sermon about it. UrbanDictionary.com provides multiple definitions, but in essence, FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out. Raise your hand if you, like me, suffer from this. I would raise both of mine for emphasis, but it’s difficult to type without hands.

For those of you actually reading this (probably not many) I think this FOMO epidemic is causing an inability to commit. Everyday is like entering an ice cream shop, constantly feeling overcome by the vast varieties presented to you, and being told to choose only one.ice cream choices

I want cookie dough. But I also enjoy mint chocolate chip. Oh, but, my oh my, doesn’t that cookies-n-cream look divine? Ooh! Is this flavor new?

I mean, really. It’s never-ending! This FOMO topic is a huge one, and there’s already so much online about it. It’s definitely something I would like to delve deeper into, but I’ll leave it here for now. Contemplate, give ideas on overcoming FOMO, and/or tell me what you’re favorite ice cream flavor is.