It’s not a secret that I was once completely out of control, but in the exact opposite way I am now. The fact that I went to a party school wasn’t a happy coincidence. I don’t remember a lot of details about college and it’s probably because I was regularly ingesting 1,000 alcohol calories 3-4 times a week. Friday mornings routinely consisted of me being hungover in bed watching all the great Thursday night TV I missed the night before hanging out at the same bars with the same people.
I’m comfortable talking about this because it was never a secret to my family – as long as I was “safe” (i.e. not drinking and driving, not passing out, etc. etc.) and kept my grades up, it didn’t matter what I did (despite getting guns pulled on me in the Philippines and eating in Nigerian kitchens – that didn’t elicit smiles and laughs from my parents). From the time I was 14 until I was halfway through being 24, I wasn’t comfortable spending a Friday or Saturday at home – and I could probably count on two hands the number of times I did. No, I wasn’t necessarily out getting wasted all the time, but I was at least out doing something.
I spent the first three-quarters of 2013 traveling just about every weekend and staying in half-marathon shape (and running them, of course). I was always jealous of people who were able to enjoy being at home – I was never that girl. I wondered what it was like to enjoy laying in bed watching a movie or reading for pleasure or any of those normal things normal people do. I blamed my need for traveling and going out on my boundless energy and sense of wanderlust, but let’s be real – I just had FOMO for ten years before it could be
Then something happened: I realized I was absolutely miserable going out. I was uninterested in a glass of wine before it was finished more often than not. I knew how many empty calories were in those endless shots people kept buying. Unless I had a reason to be out (i.e. seeing some guy I liked), I found that I was a lot happier at home reading blogs, catching up on all the things I didn’t have time for during the week and not gaining back my college weight by drinking like an Irishman.
Last week, I found a blog post I missed from Lululemon in which my disease of homebody-ness was diagnosed: JOMO, or Joy of Missing Out. The author, a former magazine editor turned freelance writer, gave up fancy events and parties for the joy of spending time at home. Huffington Post even declared 2014 as the Year of Missing Out.
In October-November 2013, I began to be more mindful of what I was doing – more mindful of how I was eating, more mindful of how I was spending my free time, more mindful of putting down the phone and enjoying the moment. I’ve never been one to have my finger on the shutter constantly when traveling or somewhere, so deep down I knew how to live in the moment.
I live in Pittsburgh – the bar scene is going to be the same people, same places, different night – I know I’m not missing out on anything terribly cool. Yeah, Sidney Crosby might be at the bar – but he probably is not going to come up and ask for my hand in marriage once again. I’m happier binge watching Scandal and waking up in the morning to go to yoga or for a long run than I am spending my entire weekend hungover in bed and eating greasy food, only to feel immensely guilty Sunday night.
For now, I’m turning down invites if I don’t want to do something. I used to pride myself on never canceling on people and forcing myself to do everything, but now I pick and choose the things that will make me most happy.
Chat with me:
No questions, just your thoughts.