real talk: cases of fomo & feeling inadequate

7:31 PM

Sometimes I find it so hard not to get swallowed up in the giant lap pool that is one's social media community. As a perpetual overachiever there is a part of me that thinks that I too should open up an etsy shop, be photographed at fashion week, pen the next new york times bestseller, wow you with my cooking, create an app and wear heels twenty-four seven all while balancing oh say... three kids on my hips (that are as narrow as a twelve year olds)??? It can be done people! I've seen it! Well, almost. I often feel that living in this "plugged in" (such a tired phrase but I couldn't come up with anything better) age is akin to being on a sugar/caffeine high nonstop. It's ironic that we live in a cabin in the middle of the woods and I still get mad cases of fomo. Life y'all, it's so ridiculous sometimes.
I wish I was one of those people that knew exactly what it was that they wanted to do since they were pimply sophomores in high school. I so respect and admire those individuals that have been hammering at the same nail for years and years and ultimately building this incredible building. They are amazing. Me? It seems like I pick up a new nail every couple of years... I also have this weird trait in me where I believe in things being done a certain way. I believe in organic growth. I want things to be valued inherently, untainted by popularity or money. A part of me fears that these beliefs perhaps keep me from being more successful or just better but I simply can't fathom any other way of doing things. Perhaps it's a cop out. I'm not pretending to know. I understand this is our down time and I know we needed it but sometimes it's hard to watch others reaching new heights while you remain in the quiet, peaceful valley, literally.
My father has always told me that worthwhile things that a lot of time and a lot of patience, nothing gained quickly is ever of value. It sounds great on paper but in reality sometimes I just wish that my life would hurry up already!! Some days I just really want to be back in school but I know the very valid reasons why now is not the time. Sometimes I really wish my personal/creative aspirations would materialize exactly the way I dreamed them up right this minute! I look around and it seems like everyone and their uncle is humble bragging about "this amazing opportunity" or that "incredible project" and the id driven five year old in me stomps her feet, crosses her arms and says "why not MEEEEEEE???" And the saddest part is I don't even know how much of what I often covet I even really want or need. I'm telling you guys, I am such a mess.
I suppose I'm saying/thinking all of this as a reminder to myself that where I am right now is just fine. I don't need to be the best at everything or doing everything for that matter, I just need to be here, in this moment doing what I love with the people I love. In life we all have our skyscraper highs, our valleys and our flatlands and just because occasionally our valley happens in conjunction with someone else's skyscraper doesn't mean there's anything wrong with our life. And because in the end, most of our days are spent in the flatlands I think it's so important to find the happy, even in the little things. But furthermore I think if we can find it in us to be happy for someone else's high, someone else's vacation, promotion or good news I think with time it becomes our happy too. This past summer I read about the fact that researchers have discovered that one surprising trait of happy and content people is not to which degree they offer empathy or solace to someone dealing with something difficult but the degree to which they genuinely celebrate the goodness in the lives of others. And truly it takes a much bigger person to say "Yay! I'm so happy for your beautiful new house" (and mean it) than it does to visit someone at the hospital.*
That's just what's been on my mind lately. I'm trying to find myself and my place amidst everyone else's highs and lows and also learn to celebrate the highs even if they're not my own. Because right now, right here, is perfect but being the weak human that I am at times I forget that and I don't want to ever forget. One day I'll look back and think how dreamy it was to live in a cabin in the woods...
As papa bear said to me the other day "just keep doing what you love but remember that the nature of that may change."

*this research is discussed in the July 2013 issue of Psychology Today

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