The Joy of Missing Out

I, am an introvert.


I watch other people, my sister, some of my friends, who are extroverts, draw energy when they’re with people. Being around friends, at a crowded concert, in a bustling city, recharges their emotional batteries.


For me, it’s just the opposite. I don’t hate people. I love to be with my friends, to talk with my co-workers, to be surrounded by happy, laughing people at a crowded restaurant. But, it takes effort and it drains my energy. I can only be social, be around people for so long before I feel the anxiety building and the urge to go hide under the covers for the next week.


I am also cursed with having an intense sense of FOMO.  


If I say no to something, the chances are I’ll spend the whole evening sitting at home refreshing Instagram stories, watching my friends having fun and regretting not saying yes. Or instantly wishing I had said yes to doing X, Y or Z and making Topher turn the car around when we’re already halfway home to go do it.


I spend so much time saying yes and letting myself be miserable internally or saying no and wishing I hadn’t, that sometimes I really wish I could just throw my phone out the window and hide under the covers for a month.


Around Christmas, social levels were at their peak. Holiday parties, visiting relatives in town, family and friends inviting us out every night. My battery light was flashing red.


I was speeding through the grocery store, practicing my yoga breathing to keep from losing my shit and the baking aisle was blocked by two soccer moms’ carts as they were having a conversation and someone bumped into me and I almost broke down in tears.


Which, you know, is not that uncommon for me at the grocery store.


And I realized, I needed to figure out a way to find balance.


So the day after Christmas we cancelled our plans and I left my phone in the charger all day and watched Netflix and ate mac n cheese and I promised myself I wasn’t going to let the FOMO creep in.


@hello_mallory posted on Instagram a few weeks ago about JOMO - the joy of missing out.


It struck me hard.


We have dominion over our emotions. We might not be able to choose to be an introvert, or an extrovert, but we choose to listen to ourselves and know what we need, when.


I can choose to assess and say, no I can’t go out tonight. I can choose to assess and know when to go home. I can choose to listen to my body and quit when I need to.


And, I can also choose how to react to those situations.


I can choose to find joy in saying no, rather than fear.


I can choose to say, no, this is where I need to be right now and it is perfect.


The balance is a tricky thing.


It stems from being able to be honest with yourself.


You know. You always know what you need. Your body, your mind, they’re telling you. It’s just a matter of whether or not you’re going to listen and whether or not you’re going to speak up for yourself.


I’m working on finding balance. Of knowing, as I’m putting on makeup and whining about going out, whether I need to push aside the voice in my head telling me I’d be so much happier under the covers, or whether I need to listen and give my batteries time to recharge.


And, when I make that call, when I say no, I’m working on finding joy and contentment in those moments.


In begging off going to a third bar and eating ice cream on the couch instead. In drinking a chai on the patio and watching the slopes instead of shredding them.


In the joy of missing out.