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From YOLO to FOMO: How Bucket Lists Affected My Life Perspective

By July 23, 2013 , , , , , ,

Lately I've noticed that some of my peers on Facebook have been posting links to articles like "15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 30", "22 Things That Men Should Be Required To Do", or " 10 Trips You Need To Make In Your 20s". Yes, these fluff pieces make for some good reads once in a while, but when my Facebook Feed is flooded with these bucket lists, it's starting to feel like an assimilation program to reset our generation's status quo, or an evil capitalist conspiracy to stray us away from our parent's and grandparent's good ol' hardworking, grounded attitudes. 

Most of these lists take on a "holier than thou" voice, preaching us to live wildly, give in to our impulse, but also plan for the future. That, in itself, is contradictory. I'm a regular working gal doing the 9 to 5 who is trying to set a solid foundation while I am young (financial and career wise). In my perfect world, I would like to do all that and travel spontaneously, set up my own business, parade around in glamorous parties, skydiving, speak 5 languages, sponsor a child or charity all the while the money in my bank is snowballing and my boss is happy for me to be on extended leave three times a year.

But the fact is that is not possible for me. Hence I went through a silly period where after being influenced by all the bucket list, I felt that I was the problem. I was not doing enough. These writers make it sound like it is easy to have it all, tossing out advice on how we should live our lives. Maybe they have a trust fund to support their claims, which, if they do, good on them! (See: Rich Kids of Instagram). Yet, they make me feel that if I don't do the same, I am inadequate,  and a coward who is afraid to step out of my comfort zone. In fact, it made me pretty depressed and discontented with what I have.

Then it dawned upon me just now that this is my life. While those articles are preaching YOLO, I was suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). In reality - Why should I be bothered with how a faceless voice (or voices) on the internet think I should live my life? I am an individual. So what if all I want to do on a weekend is stay in bed and read Game of Thrones? Maybe I just want to walk around in my fleece pyjamas (while we're on the topic, onesies are not pyjamas) all morning and snuggle in bed with my special boy. Maybe I don't want to "date that bad boy and get heartbroken" so I will recognise the right one when he appears because I have met a great guy already.

Will I be happier quitting my job, spend all my savings backpacking around Europe, posting great travel photos on social media and come back to face eviction/ joblessness/ canned tunas three times a day, and repeat the process for the next 10 years?

Maybe this is the preferred lifestyle for some, but it is not for me. I'd like to believe that there is an adventurous soul in me, but I know I will be happier with the peace of mind that if I break my leg tomorrow (I hope it won't happen!), I can afford private health care.

Just a thought.

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  1. Lol. I think I just published a Yolo post today :))
    And you really made me bight my tongue :))
    But you know what, I think I might need to go back and re-edit what I wrote because all these yolo messages are really trying to say is live your life. Whatever way it is that makes you happy - live it.
    For me, I realized it's not about making money, it's about enjoying my life. I still gotta work. But I want to make sure I spend the rest of my time doing stuff that makes me happy. And if eating icecream in front of a TV is making me happy, that's what I'm doing.
    Some people go through life checking things off their list or trying to please/impress someone. That's not a Yolo way, and I think in the end of the day that way sucks. So live for you :)
    Awesome post, really hope you check out mine as well and tell me what you think!
    Best, Irina