I’ve been thinking about home lately: how it smells of Indian spices when I walk in, the timeliness of my brothers asking to hang, the rugged recliner I have by the fireplace, and many other wondrous things that add up to love and comfort for me. Now, I live in Boston, which is about nine hours away from home, and honestly, I miss it.
My mother, my brothers, their wives, and our friends all live within a couple minutes of each other in the bustling suburbs of D.C. When I imagine this and how much fun they’re having frolicking around I-95, their schedules packed with opportunities to see each other, I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s a sadness, a lingering devil telling me one atrocious lie: you’re missing out.
I know I’m not really missing out, but that doesn’t make the lie’s voice any weaker. This lie is called the fear of missing out (FOMO), and many of us have this feeling at some point or another. Without fail, it comes when you’re doing something necessary, but boring, that feeling of: everyone is doing something special without you and by doing this work, you’re depriving yourself of the fun times that could be had you boring slump of a man.
But here’s the thing about FOMO: when you listen to this lie too much, the fear paralyzes you, and eventually evolves into a longing that needs rectifying. It defeats what’s happening in the present in exchange for what could happen if only you do something else.
FOMO is only a distraction from the present.
In order to murder this gut-wrenching feeling as soon as possible, I knew I had to ground myself here in the present moment, to actually enjoy the beauties of life occurring around me. After all, the best way to battle FOMO is to be present.
So I developed this technique that grounds me, keeps me here, keeps me present long enough to enjoy what’s going on in front of me. I no longer have that feeling of missing out because I chose to remind myself of my anchors.
Anchors are the little things that can make any place feel like home. When you appreciate where you are and what you’re doing, FOMO is a conquerable enemy.
So here are my anchors, the things I remind myself of whenever I feel I’m missing out:
1. My Writing, my Passion, my Mind
I love to write. I get incredibly excited whenever I get the opportunity to write. It engages my mind and gives me the feeling of fulfillment, that life is not meaningless but has a plan for me out there in the world. This is what our passions do: they connect to to the way the world is turning, giving us purpose and vision to make our lives meaningful.
What work captivates the thoughts of your mind? Does it excite you?
2. My Fiancé, my Love, my Heart
I’m fortunate that my fiancé lives in the same building as I do. I get to see her bright smile everyday and think about the times when we’ll have a home that we cherish together. She enthralls my heart and keeps me excited to be here with her. It’s part of the magic of love, to feel you are free to move wherever you want in the world, just as long as you have your best friend by your side.
Are there people that touch your heart wherever you are?
3. My Family, my Trust, my Spirit
And lastly, I remind myself that I am not disconnected from my family. They love me, miss me, and will continue to include me in their lives. They would never let me stray too far from them and actually miss out.
Also, we rest in the same Spirit, the One that ties up creation with the divine, the Spirit of God living in us. So in some odd way, we’re still together, still connected, still here with each other living in recognition of the longing of our world. We share in the same work, just in different expressions.
Do you feel connected to your family and friends, wherever they are?
Anchors ground your being in the present moment. And when you enjoy what you’re doing and where you are, you’ll find that FOMO is nothing but a devil trying to stop you in your tracks, stop you from doing anything of significance in your current setting.
It’s time to prove the lie wrong and move on enjoying our lives. I hope you can join me in this.