The World is Mine Oyster

No one in life is lost, just touring before arriving at their final destination.

“I’m anxious…”

Sonia would say. “Why?” Even she does not know although she is certain that there is something missing. I have the same feeling. It’s an emptiness, a feeling of incompleteness, but what specifically it is, I am yet to discern.  Truth be told, it is bothersome. I can feel it deep in my heart. It grows deeper with passing days. Is it because I am idle? Unlikely. This feeling cannot be eclipsed by temporary activities.

At such times, it’s common to seek relief. Though many ascribe to various different causes, the reality is that psychological illness is a disease of the mind and is curable with the proper medication. Some turn to comfort food hoping to feel better and others to drugs to escape a reality that they feel is too much to bear. These “solutions” are only a temporary fix. We are lost inside a maze filled with possibilities that we presently haven’t found the right path to truly becoming whole.

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Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. It’s considered the most common mental disorder. Leave aside the usual down with the blues, feeling under the weather or being in a funk. The difference between a normal person and a depressed person is that, a normal person is capable “jump starting” themselves out of this situation unlike a depressed person. It affects millions of people physically, mentally and emotionally yet 80% of individuals affected do not receive treatment.

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Nonetheless, being lost does not imply a lack of emotional attachment. Rather one could have a loving and supportive family as well as close knit friendships and relationships, yet there’s a void to be filled. It’s an indication of self discovery. Once you have started to question yourself, you are already on the right path to enlightenment. The only problem is we do not know how long the journey of discovery will be. J.K. Rowling is a good example of this journey. Until the age of 30 she was a struggling single mother but today she is one of the most recognized and wealthiest writers in the world.

In order to have the mountain top experience, we have to pass through valleys and trenches. What does this mean? For one to appreciate the happiness in life, you must first experience suffering. Therefore, I encourage everyone to understand that the void, the loss and the hardship are the fruits of our joy and success. Therefore, we must hold on tight.

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I am a firm believer in life’s purpose and destiny. As Lao-Tzu, the famous philosopher says “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” It may not be clear from the beginning, but everyone ends up where they are intended. In the meantime, Shakespeare advices that “laughing faces do not mean there is absence of sorrow… but, it means that they have the ability to deal with it.” The breakthrough will take patience hence tackle life with a smile. You don’t know who that smile will touch and how they will play an influential role in your life. The world has lots to offer so I will persevere because a close friend once told me ‘hard work beats talent any day’. Your attitude should be, “the world is mine oyster”.

The FOMO Epidemic

Fear of Missing Out? Sometime we just need to slow down to truly see the things that matter most.

I have had the privilege of meeting diversely culturedfb people over the years. Therefore, it’s only natural that my Facebook account would have diverse stories from all over the world.  The same applies to my other social media platforms like Instagram where is see pictures of friends on vacations in exotic locations like Argentina whilst my Snappers send greetings from their corners of the world like Japan.  Although the intentions of such media platforms are in good faith, they also happen to be the source of the ongoing FOMO epidemic. Of which I am a victim.

The FOMO syndrome – for those not aware, the simple acronym spells out ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ aka FOMO as understood by the urban dictionary – is a psychological anxiety that if you miss a party or an event you will miss out on something great hence you try keeping up with the times (oops, not the Kardashians). In the end, this is harmful.

fomo friendsThere is nothing detrimental about having an eventful social life hopping from one party to another especially in our youth (it is the time). However, it becomes dangerous when you’re always up late, always intoxicated, but especially for those who can’t afford such a lifestyle. The unfortunate truth is that in this world some are privileged without compare while others are simply not. Yet again, there’s nothing that haunts you more like the thing you didn’t buy, a person you didn’t see, or a trip with friends that you did not partake. Can you relate?

At a tender age, my grandmother (from whom I take my name) was hospitalized. Upon my visit, it was dreadful to see her in such dire condition. I promised to visit her again as soon as possible. A few days later she passed on. I never got to fulfill my promise and I missed out on the last moments with a person who loved me unconditionally. The regret and guilt ate me up. Regrets can lead to depression but acting on fear never leads to happiness. Then why constrain and chain yourself to such a social construction? Why not be the opposite? Why not cultivate an attitude of self-reliance without feeling lonely?

Friends having a BBQ with drinks.If you ask a dear friend of mine to describe herself, she believes she has a calm personality. Nonetheless, everyone around her is prone to say that she has a vibrant nature. Now here is a girl with a refreshing social life, nothing is ever tedious. After a week on long nights and short naps, my advice was to take it easy. Unhesitant she agreed to a weekend of binge watching and movie marathons. Saturday morning began with a hoot. Let it be noted though, that all this time her hands were not far from her constantly  vibrating phone. Before noon struck, she stood up and started getting dressed. Did I miss something?

I’m aware my perplexed expression needed not any explanation. She simple began “there’s a barbecue over X’s place. So get up, get dressed cause we can’t miss out.” At that moment I made nothing of it. But there are simply some individuals that are incapable of staying indoors especially when the weekend begins on a Thursday. That’s all well and good, but is it all worth it when you constantly have to worry about fueling your car, don’t forget the social expenditure and the research paper that is due beginning of the week. From experience, the FOMO syndrome is statsdefinitely not good for the pockets.

The experiences and memories gained from such social interactions are cherished, there’s no disagreement. Sometimes though, you have just got to slow down and see the things that matter most. My personal guilty pleasure is star-gazing. I enjoy the climb up to the roof at home, laying down a blanket with my iPod and just staring at the stars while my mind wanders aimlessly. I take pleasure in the serenity that nature offers. Social media may have encouraged this FOMO epidemic. But fear not, take this as an opportunity to experience, make mistakes and learn. After all it’s a rite of passage to adulthood (as puberty is the rite of passage to maturity).