Throughout my early 20’s, I suffered from a modern condition that’s called “The Fear of Missing Out”.
I was scared that I was missing out on life whenever I tried to focus on achieving a dream. This became very clear through my 3rd year in engineering school.
My midterms intertwined with the Taekwondo’s national team competitions. I wanted both. I wanted them so bad. But every time I go to practice, all I could think about was my classmates preparing for the tests while I’m here chasing my own shadows. So, I’d cut the practice short and go home to study. But the moment I open my textbooks, all I could think about is all the fighters that are preparing for me now, while I sit here chasing roman symbols and mathematics that I could barely understand.
Needless to say, I fucked up both. I couldn’t cope with the pressure. The Fear of Missing Out has finally got to me.
Fast forward to present day. I realized that I don’t really do much these days. In fact, I can probably count all the things I do on one hand; I’m either working at the office (Engineering), studying on the couch (Strategy & Marketing), Dancing (Salsa & Rumba) or Sleeping (Basic Human Need).
Walking slowly but confidently into my late 20’s, I no longer suffer from The Fear of Missing Out. Somehow, I managed to filter out the things and people I don’t want in my life (or don’t want me in their lives) so I can focus more on the things and people that matter.
There is little noise in my life these days, because I stopped looking for answers on the outside and decided to take a more dangerous route and dig deeper on the inside; trying to reach out to that place inside me where I am my most authentic self.
I finally realized that less is actually more.
With years passing by, I don’t feel like I’m getting older, I just feel that I’m getting better and better at playing the game of life.
Somehow, hitting the big 30 doesn’t sound so scary anymore.
“All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.
Remembered line from along forgotten poem. ” – Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels.
P.S. this piece was written back in Spring of 2016. The lessons I learned that year remain valid and relevant, more than ever before.