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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a severe case of FOMO. Mixed with being completely indecisive and hating letting people down, it’s no wonder I’d gotten roped into things I hated doing for most of my 26 years of existence. Rollercoasters? Hell yeah, I’d go on them. Even though I get painfully motion sick and ruin the rest of the day complaining, it’s worth it to sit by my friends and family, projectile vomiting just so I can be a part of things, right? How about eating things I hate? Sign me up! Going out when I was exhausted? Done and done.
It didn’t end there, though. Between never knowing what I wanted to do and never wanting anyone to have fun without me, I was left spending all of my time, money, and energy doing things I didn’t want to do. Maybe it’s my lazy lifestyle. Maybe it’s my severe anxiety. Hell, maybe it’s just my introverted personality. Whatever it is, I one day came to the realization that, while I kept doing things I hated, I never said “no.” Like, to anything.
Which seems great if you’re an adventurous soul, as we all want to be. I mean, that was the whole point of the shitty movie with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel (weird pairing, btw). That you should start saying “yes” more. That you should branch out of your comfort zone, push your own boundaries, and never say no to an opportunity.
And to that, I’m going to call complete and utter bullshit.
Because while I would say “yes” to each and every offer that came my way, I didn’t really feel it. I’d be on autopilot. I’d show up, plaster a smile on my face, and then count down the minutes until I could go home. And because I was agreeing to do everything, even the things I wanted to do weren’t making me happy because I was so beat from doing the things I didn’t want to do. I’d show up at my friend’s engagement party exhausted, grumpy, and quiet because I spent the entire morning having coffee with an acquaintance who I never wanted to see again but already agreed to go out for drinks with next Thursday.
Between taking job interviews I didn’t want, paying for Ubers to places I didn’t want to go, and seeing people I didn’t like, it got to the point that I didn’t want to do anything. And then, one day, instead of blindly agreeing to another dinner for another sort of friend’s birthday, I bowed out. I bailed. I said I couldn’t go.
Now, I know bailing or not doing shit gets a bad rap. But have you ever tried it? Have you ever really thought about something you were invited to? Like, really decided if you actually wanted to go? I mean, once upon a time (like, a month ago), if I was free, I felt that meant I had to go to whatever BBQ/baby shower/charity event bullshit someone was inviting me to. I didn’t think they were asking me. I thought they were basically saying “Hey bitch, if you’re not busy, you’re coming to my BBQ/baby shower/charity event.” And I mean, sure. Some of my more aggressive friends did say it like that. But instead of just taking the invitation as that, an invitation, I took it as a demand. An obligation. A sentence.
And then, one day, like my first sip of wine or my first encounter with oral, my world was changed. After getting invited to (insert lame social obligation here), I decided that I wasn’t going to go. I couldn’t go. I didn’t want to go. So, instead of fretting about it, instead of going and hating it, and instead of lying and saying I was busy, I told the truth. I said that that sounded fun (okay, not the truth), but I was looking for a more lowkey night and was going to stay home.
I mean, sure, I took my chances because I didn’t really care about the friend and if our relationship imploded I would be fine. Instead, she just called me a name and Snapchatted me a video of herself throwing up that night. It was fine. We moved on. And the realization that I actually had an option whether or not to go to shit took me over.
Now, the odds of getting me to do anything are pretty slim. I’ll say “no” before you even finishing your fucking sentence. But for the first time in a long time, when I show up to something, I show up. My advice to everyone out there? Become a “No Man.” Sure, the odds of you dying alone and your cats eating your face and no one finding your corpse for weeks goes up, but you won’t have to spend $70 at lame half-birthday dinners you don’t want to go to anymore and honestly? I think that’s a fair trade..