FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. Such powerful words. Enough to drive people to do things they might not even want to do. The whole world is online today, sharing (read showing off) their thoughts, activities, and stories. This drives others to try out many things too. ‘Drives’ is a good way of looking at it. The other side of the coin would be ‘scaring.’
“Oh, my God! She’s learning how to bake.”
“Oh, crap! Her kid is taking FitJee Classes while in Grade 8 only.”
“Wow, they are travelling while I am still home trying to live this pandemic out.”
2020 somehow became about competing with everyone else’s story. The grass perpetually looked greener on the other side everywhere. In the end, it appears as though there is no green grass anywhere.
This is the fun side – cooking, baking, and travelling. And then there is the other side. People with their own businesses having to shut down thanks to Corona changing the very way people thought and behaved. The entire fabric of reality seemed to have changed.
And then there were a few who hated what they were doing but did so merely because they were too scared to try out anything else. It was either ‘I can’t’ because of limited skills or ‘I will not’ because – why fix what’s not broken, yes? And when the pandemic hit, people were forced to rewrite their stories. People who had to shut down their start-ups decided to try regular employment. Professionals who were downsized out of high-paying jobs chose to start something low-key because they decided to leap into the unknown – something they were thinking about for a very long time but did not because – who quits a high-paying job for a cowboy’s adventure?
In many ways, this lockdown gave many a chance to do what they want without explaining themselves. It allowed people to explore hidden talents they would have otherwise ignored in the name of no-time and no-reason-to. It allowed people to find the story they always wanted to.
So, what’s all the fuss about? Why do you need to find your story? Because they define us. Not just to the outside world, but ourselves. It is not only how we introduce ourselves to others, but how we find the passion to keep going. Our experiences shape us, but our choices tell us who we are. And our story is written in the process. We need this story to help us believe in ourselves. It helps us find our way when we get lost. It also helps us find new paths. It shows us the difference between staring at a dead-end and exploring the road-less-travelled. It is not about how you started, but where you are heading.
So what’s your story?