The Party is Where You're At

I remember a night out years ago at a bar that was traditionally quite busy. We'd arrived a bit early to "avoid the line" and found ourselves in a bleak and empty room. No DJ, absent bartender. Just a big, black, empty box of a room that felt like the last place anyone would want to be. I decided to head for a bathroom break, and as I passed the front doors noticed a line that was curving around the corner for entry to the bar. The dead-empty bar. 

They were of course creating a buzz by faking demand. Because everyone thought there was something great going on inside, they were prepared to wait. Call it FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or just plain curiosity about what's on the other side of the restricted entryway, but people stood in that line for as long as it took. Once a critical mass filled the sidewalk, the floodgates would open and the bar would be hopping. 

The Club is Often Empty

I feel like life these days has turned into one big line outside of a club. Social media being the giant sidewalk. It constantly seems like the party is elsewhere. Logically we all know that the club is sometimes empty, and that we'd probably have more fun hanging on our twinkly light balconies, or porches, or whatever set up we have going on. But we still wait in that damn line, wondering if what's on the other side is somehow better. If we'll regret having missed out. 

This translates to a lot of things in life. Sometimes it feels like everyone else has it all figured out. Like if only you had their house, job, kids, INSERT ANYTHING ELSE HERE, that you would have all of the ingredients for a happy life. Logically we know that this isn't true. That the email that says that everyone who's signed up for the course is magically successful is probably just a marketing ploy. That all of those excited "house sold" or "best husband ever" posts are not the full story. Every life has it's struggles and ups and downs. But we still (lately often for me) sometimes get caught up in this trap of believing that everything is better where we're not.

Pull Back the Curtain and Bring on the JOMO

But then there are those moments where the curtain is pulled back and you see the pig behind the lipstick. The little scared man pulling the strings behind the curtain. The illusion is blown. You start to wonder what's real. You shut it all down so that you're not striving for things that are just mirages. Elaborate displays of performance art that life seems to have become these days, as it's lived out on a screen. 

The opposite of FOMO is of course JOMO, the Joy of Missing Out. The idea that wherever you are is the only place that truly matters. That you know for sure is real. And if you imagine that that's where the party's at, then you're never missing out. You've got all that you need on your twinkly balcony, or on your well worn and comfy couch. Maybe even just in your mind and your heart, and in a blade of grass or a twinkling sun on a random pond. Whatever is in front of you is all there is and the only place you need to be. You can relax. You can even enjoy it! At least that's what I keep reminding myself of when I dive down the rabbit hole. 

Have a JOMO weekend!


IanT said…
True words! Love you.
Diane said…
“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubinstein