It’s funny what happens when you start deciding not to be somewhere. We have all done it. New jobs, cities, hobbies, even nights in armed with tea and binge watching TV happen because we resolve not to do something.
You know what you are missing because you chose not to do it. It doesn’t matter what you are doing instead. From riding your bike with bums you know to selfies or cocktails or selfies featuring cocktails, you know what would be happening IF.
If you were there.
If you decided that the other thing was more important than the thing you are doing now.
Maybe it was your bank account that motivated it. Maybe it was your desire to see the ocean every day, but whatever it was, it was more important than the thing you are kinda missing right now.
It isn’t fear of missing out. You have no FOMO. You aren’t afraid. You made a selection based on some type of weighted decision criteria and something else won out.
When I decided to move across the planet I evaluated the pros against the cons. In typical Rory fashion I made a list.
Leave a job I loved in a city I loved with friends I loved for a city I didn’t really know, with a partner I loved to live a life I craved near the ocean with unaccounted for ideas of adventure that I couldn’t yet imagine.
The partner and the ocean weighed more than the job, friends, and city. It was a weird choice. I would have loved to have taken all the amazing things with me, but life is not about what is nice to have.
I chose to give up a life I loved for a life I didn’t know much about. It meant that I would have to accept that things I liked doing in places I claimed as my favs were going to happen without me. It wasn’t FOMO. It was KNOW-MO. I know exactly what I am missing every day.
For the last couple of weeks, I have headed back to visit cities I love, with people I love to hang out and do the things I’ve been knowingly missing and I find myself already thinking about home. I know what I gave up to leave and now I know what I am leaving to visit old homes and already find myself missing home before I have even really been gone.
Each time we leave something we love we make choices. It might be the city we grew up in or a home we selected to make our own, but at the end of the day it is something we knew in exchange for some type of adventure.
I freaking LOVE adventure. I love discovering new places and exploring. A couple of years ago I made a choice to leave what I knew in exchange for what I wanted and a slew of things I didn’t even know I wanted yet.
That is what adventures teach us. That what happens after you step outside your comfort zone might be better or worse than what is inside it. Even more importantly it is about the things we cannot even imagine discovering that begin to appear when we are open to it.
It’s weird to know what you are missing. You have to acknowledge it and move forward.
We talk about FOMO mostly in regard to a night out with your friends versus a night in with Netflix and comfy pants (you only get to call them yoga pants if you actually do freaking yoga in them…let’s be honest here).
The last few weeks have reminded me that while I don’t consider places like Toronto and Atlanta to be like home anymore they are filled with loving friends, chosen family, and a version of welcome that cannot be adequately described without hugs, tears from laughter, and high fives.
Thank you to everyone who reminded me that I am loved, who went out of their way to renew my welcome, and who took time out of their very busy lives to shuttle me about and help me to arrive everywhere safely. My door is always open to each of you, just remember to bring your passport in order to clear customs en route.