Why “FOMO is a MOFO

*(Fomo is an anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.)*

Remember back in high school when every party was the last party? Remember your college years when attending the third rage cage and beer pong filled night was more of a priority than whatever boring subject you had to study for.

It never really clicked in your mind that there would be a dozen more parties right after your midterm, but then again….Fomo. It never once clicked that missing that one party would not cause global warming or accelerate the rising of the sea level. As a teen and 20-something year old, it was tough to process the fact that nobody really cared.

An old, wise woman once told me that the older you get the more you realize that nobody cares if you go to the party.

In life, there are more parties than those with keg stands and beer pongs. The party is a metaphor for anything that you may feel obligated to go to simply because everyone else is. The party is the distraction that often comes between you and whatever it is that you are after. For some, the party is hanging out with friends that do not add value to your like. For others, the party might be watching every episode of that one show that everyone else is watching.

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It is normal to feel the need to always be in the know and continuously show up to where everyone is; in fact, it is a social norm for us to stop what we actually want to do in order to do what everyone else is doing. Believe it or not, some people don’t want to watch that game, yet they feel the need to because they think that everyone around them actually cares.

I know this sounds mean but it is true. It’s ironic because we let these things impede our personal growth and prolong our stagnation while simultaneously idolizing those who choose to bypass the social pressures and instead focus on their own growth.

If you internalize the idea that nobody cares if you go to the party then you will liberate yourself from the false obligation of always showing up to things that have nothing to do with your vision. There is a true sense of freedom that comes with knowing how people really feel about you, showing up to another party or another superbowl get together. Yes, some may miss you in the moment but after a few cold ones it will be as if you never existed.

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When you chose to overlook social pressures and instead choose your own destiny, over time people will actually start to care about what you are doing and respect you more for your decision to remain committed to your vision. People are interested in those who do not conform to the norm, those who choose to miss the party in order to record that album or bypass the club to build that new app.

When I say nobody cares if you go to the party, I am not doing so to stop you from a good time, I am doing so to remind you that you are free to make your own choices in this life. Choosing YOU will benefit both yourself and others far more than “going to that party.”

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Tinashe Hwande

Edited by. Tayla Hasselbach

Remember To Breathe

The first time I ever met my partner in growth and soulmate I was in a phase of my life where I was essentially going nowhere at an extremely fast pace. At the time, I was doing a sales job for a meal prep company working off of commission… and for anybody who’s ever had to make a living off of commisions, I am sure you know how taxing it can be.

My days were filled with prospecting customers, creating sales pitchs, meeting with customers, digging into sales books and such. I had become used to moving from one side of town to the other, meeting potential clients and pushing a product that I didn’t even believe in (a vegan selling meat based meal plans, can somebody say hippo crit?). I wouldn’t admit it then, but quite frankly I had lost myself. Mentally, I was the same person that I am right now, however there was this cognitive dissonance between the person I was and who actually wanted to be. I had forgotten about the simple things that actually mattered. One of those things being my breath.

My partner did not directly tell me to breathe but did what most great impactors and influencers do; lead by example. I noticed her taking the deepest breaths I had ever seen as she sat in the front seat of a mutual friends car. I could not help but notice her breath more so than the conversation taking place at the time. Intuitively, I followed suit. And almost in an instant, I remembered. I remembered to breathe.

In this rapidly changing world, complicated has become the new norm and a form of simplicity within itself (notice how I did not say evolving world as many would say). Don’t get me wrong, technology has definitely made it easier for us to live day by day. After all, our ancestors struggled to merely survive most of the time, whereas today we seldom have to think of our own mortality.

We have taken the complexities of human life and solved them through algorithms, apps and Adsense. The one problem we have yet to solve is the one of remaining human throughout this process of perceived progress.

Being a self diagnosed workaholic, I am as guilty as any when it comes to getting caught up in the ever turning hamster wheel that is modern society. In fact, most of us have become accustomed to living our lives on this perpetual track to nowhere. We wake up, scroll down, brush that, grab this, eat that, scroll up, look for that, drive this, eat that, park this, type that, eat this, talk smack… and this all takes place before your 30-minute lunch break.

We forget about the gift that is the present moment as we go through the day taking shorter and shorter anxiety, stress, worry, and doubt-filled breathes. We view the perpetual hamster wheel as being the norm, yet the rat race did not exist within the first million or so years of our existence. What did exist, however, was stillness, patience, reflection, community, connection and BREATH.

I understand that it is close to impossible to spend your entire life breathing with intention every step of the way… just take this as a friendly reminder to take a moment out of your day to breathe.

Tinashe Hwande

(edited by Tayla M. Hasselbach)