Last night a boy I really like asked me out. In fact, I’ve liked this particular boy for a couple years, off and on and basically whenever we were in the same room. I’ll spare you all the gushy details and get to the important part, but know that I was one happy little camper last night meandering around Tempe.
And then…it happened.
I was lying in bed (after more gushing with my roommates) and started seeing my independence, my wildness and freedom, slip-sliding away. I started seeing faces of every boy ever and panicking; oh my god, I am off the market! I can’t fantasize! I can’t even wonder! Don’t fence me in!!!!!!!
Missing out. I think, thanks to instagram, travel blogs, pinterest, and every other social media out there, my generation has a serious problem with feeling like we’re missing out. By “my generation”, I mean “myself”. I am terrified of missing something, something better than what I’ve got, so I keep my options open. I don’t know what I want to do as a career, so I change majors every few minutes and do mediocre in school. I don’t know where I want to be in six months, so I’m wary of signing leases. (Until this last one, which I was thrilled about.) I especially don’t want to miss out on McDreamy, so I ward off any advances and stay blissfully single.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being single. I love being completely selfish with my time and energy and not having to answer to anyone. And I like flirting.
After Australia though (where I missed out on my God son’s first birthday, his parent’s vow renewal, my friends’ lives rolling forward) I’ve lightened up considerably and am learning to be content with whatever I’m doing, whatever I’ve got, and wherever I am.
Here’s my advice to you, fellow commitaphobes;
Note the good around you. Take stock of what’s awesome about your current situation. Is your house in a cool area? Is there a pretty tree outside the gate? Is your dog healthy? Do your roommates consistently crack you up and encourage you? Ok cool. Stop dreaming about moving to Portland, India, or downtown Phoenix and just like the place you’re living at.
Appreciate what it took to get there. Have you spent three very tiring years not signing leases? Doesn’t that make it all the more restful to have signed a lease? Have you been single for two years and, while you’re fine with it, look forward to sharing life a bit more intentionally with someone? Doesn’t that make a dating relationship all the more exciting and freeing? Haven’t you “been there, done that” with the single thing? Think about all those life choices you’ve made, the good and the bad, to get you to where you are, and appreciate them. Remember its about the journey, not the destination.
Realize you’re not missing out. This one’s tricky, because sure you potentially could be missing out on a great house, a great boyfriend/girlfriend, a better job. But you also probably aren’t. The people I’m most drawn to are the ones who are sold out for their own lives, the ones who do their thing and are satisfied with it. Realize the only thing you’re missing out on is being content and enjoying the present. If we all thought we were missing out, we’d all be stagnate, too anxious to make a move or decide on anything. The what-ifs will kill you, so let them go.
Stop stressin’ about the future. The future is coming anyway, and you’re not going to notice its arrival; its going to feel just like the present. With this track record, what makes you think you’ll be any happier or any more likely to commit to things once you’re “there”? Lighten up and enjoy the ride. Even if you move, even if your dog dies, even if you break up and you’re torn up about it, its not going to be all that detrimental to things in the long-run. Also, you could die in a car accident next week and what then, huh, huh?
Anyway, if you have more advice on getting over this irrational fear of missing out, comment your little hearts out. Also, lets toast to my formerself-preservative singleness. We had a good run. Now we’re moving on.