Hello. My name’s Elyse, and I have a fear of missing out.
It’s not my favourite thing to admit, but it’s the truth. And I committed that I would tell you the truth. The whole truth. #nofilter.
I remember a few years back a group of my friends went on a holiday to Bali. Because that’s what you do when you live in Australia -- you fly to Bali and pay to have your hair braided so tight that you swear you can actually see your brain thinking, and then you go and sit on the beach with a beer to watch the sunset. Every day. For a week. And you take photos and caption them with ‘just another day in paradise,’ and then hashtag those photos with #TheStruggleIsReal, #ToughDayAtTheOffice or, if you love Jesus, #JealousyIsASin.
So, a week later, my friends came back from Bali with their braids and Bali Belly (there’s always one, eh?). They were tanned and had inside jokes for dayz… Yes, with a z. They even had one-liners from the trip I tried to adopt, just to feel like I had been there. Sad right? Oh, it gets worse. You see I had been to Bali a few weeks before them with a good friend and we had a great time. We came home with our own stories and our own tans. Correction, my friend came home tanned, I was more of a beetroot red, which turned into a nice off white shade.
So why was I so upset when my friends came back from the place I had just been? Because I wasn’t on that trip. I didn’t have those memories. I wasn’t included in their photos.
The way I saw it, I missed out.
As selfish as that sounds, it’s the truth. And it’s not the first, nor the last time, I’ve felt that irrational pang of jealousy or emptiness. Do you know what I’m talking about? When you hear about a trip, a wedding or a party you didn’t go to, and the sting of pain hits your heart before you can give yourself a pep talk of perspective?
We aren’t as different as we’d like to think. We’re all just human. Aren’t we all just as scared of missing the moment?
I don’t want to be left out of the Instagram photo. I want to be included in all of the statuses and tagged in all of the photos and invited to all of the events. I don’t want to have to ask what I missed; I want to be the one people ask.
I just want to be able to say, “I was there. I remember. I was included.”
As a generation, or even as humanity, we have such a fear, not of over-committing but of under-committing. We think that saying no to an invite somehow means saying no to life.
We assume we will regret rest because we won’t be seen on ‘the scene.’ And we hold our breath and refresh our phones and spend our night checking to make sure their night didn’t include a post-worthy moment. Because that would mean we missed out. And that would make us feel anxious and lonely and rejected. Am I right? I’m totally right.
When did we get so obsessed with being everywhere, with everyone, every time we’re asked? (tweet that)
Social media. Oh I love it and hate it so much. It’s the popular group at school -- I’m fine to tell you how pathetic it is, to protest it’s see-through façade… And yet, what I don’t want to admit is that I still want to be apart of it. Because, it’s better to be in the plastics (social media), hating life, than to not be in at all. Right Cady Heron?
If I could just pass 1,000 followers.
If I could just reach 150 likes.
If that person could just double tap my photo.
Our Instagram-post approval now determines our inner-personal approval. (tweet that)
But I think if we could pause for a moment, and just be real, you and I would look into each others eyes and tell each other the same thing. Our fear of missing out is just another manifestation of comparison. We all struggle with it, and we all wish we didn’t. But we’re all human. We’re flawed. We’re incomplete. And I think until the day we are one with our Creator, we will never be fully created.
But perhaps the more we commit our emotions to Him, our Creator; the less we need the emoticons. The more we are completely honest with our feelings, the less we need a filter.
I’m tired of trying to keep-up-with-the-kardashieveryone’s. It’s exhausting. I want to learn to embrace myself, filter free. And hey you, lovely one reading this, I think you should too. Because you, without the Valencia filter, is my favourite you.
There’s nothing wrong with lights and cameras, nothing wrong with them at all. But I just want to remind you that the beauty behind the camera and without the lights (you) was created in the image of the Master. You are His masterpiece. And your validation doesn’t come from Valencia, or Mayfair or Nashville. It comes from Heaven.
So post that photo. But not at the expense of the memory. And once you post it? Put your feet up, relax and smile. You haven’t missed out on a thing.