Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
CANCELING FESTIVAL FOMO, FOREVER. NOCHELLA? YOU GUCCI!
I’m writing this because someone is salty about not seeing Beyoncé this weekend. It can be really frustrating to see the influx of flashy photos on your timeline post-music festival. I've been there. But, I want to assure you that it’s 100 thousand percent okay that you’re not going, and your non-attendance is an opportunity to have major breakthrough in your personal life! :)
Some of y’all know I’m a retired festival head. I first went to SXSW in 2012 and fell in love with Austin, TX. The city’s energy was awesome, and I loved bopping around from show to show. Part of the charm was that every show was intimate– so it didn’t matter if you had special passes ‘cause everyone experienced the show the same way. This was before the explosion of Instagram– I’d just started my account the first year I went down. Everyone was really living in the moment.
Somewhere between 2012 and 2015, I became a festival snob and totally crippled by fear of missing out. As the crew I ran with gained notoriety– I got to go to more shows, with better access– And my hair grew to epic proportions, along with my sense of entitlement. Despite this, I still suffered from lack of self-confidence and insecurity. SXSW, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Gov Ball, Made in America...You name it– I needed to be there, getting a fit off, hair looking perfect, with an all-access pass in hand. If I didn’t go, I felt like a nobody. I recall considering skipping an important medical school ceremony for my sister because Kanye was rumored to do something at SXSW, smh. (like, gurl...family tho?!)
Toward the end of this season, I ended a relationship that helped facilitate a lot of my access. I started having to hustle and network like crazy to keep going...which resulted in burnout. I was tired, y’all. And it started to show. Out of fear of missing out on the latest happenings, I’d built my lifestyle, work, and persona around these functions– Which was totally unsustainable. I didn’t realize how dangerous it was to have so much of my life hinging on my image and relationships.
The next year, I made my return to Pitchfork in 2016, with short, dark hair, and a little Ri-Ri weight gain. I tried to fake the energy and "confidence" I once had, but it fell flat. I didn't look or feel like myself. No one paid me any attention. I didn’t have a “crew”. This was the actualization of the looming identity crisis I’d been moving toward. To top it off, I was getting asked about how I got choked out, from a recently released single from my ex. I was experiencing so much anxiety and shame that I walked out of the festival before any headliners performed. I went to my best friend's house and completely broke down. She invited me to church the next day. I went– And I never stopped going. That was the same week I got saved. I gave up festivals, gave social media a break, and began a season of “hibernation”.
That’s my story of 0-100. I started going to festivals for fun, but because I didn’t monitor it– It became an idol. Thankfully, God ended up stripping everything back and put my priorities back in check. FOMO is very wack because whatever it is, feels so important in the moment. But I promise that “missing out” gives you a unique advantage. It gives you time to reflect on your goals and strategize your plan– While everyone else is out being busy.
You can have that glorious Beychella moment for yourself. As in you, AS BEY– In whatever your respective field is. Prioritize your progress, because fun will always be accessible. Avoiding distraction is the key to success.
P.S. Rubbing shoulders with celebs ain’t all that when you ain’t got nothin' to show for yourself. I HATED that!
HERE ARE MY 8 LESSONS LEARNED FROM FESTIVAL FOMO:
1. IN ORDER TO REACH YOUR GOALS, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH A SEASON OF SITTING SOME STUFF OUT.
Steven Furtick references this as the Season of Obscurity. Princess Nokia calls this Spiritual Solitude. I like both of these. Both are saying you’re gonna have to miss out on some stuff while in a season of deep development. This requires you to have the will-power to say no. (The artist you want to go see had to do it too– Hours in the studio working on an album, missing cool stuff!)
2. YOUR FRIENDS WILL ALWAYS BE DOING SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN’T DO– AND THAT’S OK.
Learning to operate and make decisions independent of what your crew is doing is difficult, but doable. Peer pressure is very real amongst young adults. Be resolute.
3. INTERNAL WORK VS. SOCIAL PERSONA
It's easier than ever to get caught up with how cute we gotta be for the internet. Festivals are a perfect portrait of this. I shared how my looks masked the mess I had going on inside. My suggestion is to carve out time for self-reflection so you can keep track of where your heart is. Ask yourself Why do I want to go? Why would I be buying these looks? If the answers sound good, cool! If not, it’s time to reevaluate. Introspection is a life saver.
Not attending a festival saves you money. Don't spend money you have, but shouldn't spend. And definitely, don’t spend money you don’t have. Never compromise your well-being for partying and looking fly. Even if you’re not pinching pennies, save instead.
5. ARTISTS ARE GETTING PAID. IT'S THEIR JOB TO SHOW UP!
Sometimes we forget this reality. It may look like one big fun fest, but artists are showing up to festivals because it’s their job– Making 5, 6, and 7 figures a pop. We showin' up to look cute! Make sure that any place you frequent is of value to you. Let it be an inspiration and reality check. You too can identify your purpose in which work and fun are synonymous.
6. FUN WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.
Patience is a key marker of maturity. There will always be something popping going on. If you're in your season of obscurity, working to save for something, feverishly wrapping up a semester, or whatever– There will always be something fun to do when you reach your goals. Many of these events are annual. Rather than trying to squeeze it into a tight schedule– Wait until it actually works. Then it’ll feel like a reward, rather than a setback!
7. TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA HIATUS.
Stay offline! Do whatever you have to do to protect your mind. You can be in control. Delete the app if you have to. It sounds dramatic, but we all know how real social media addiction is. Scrolling feeds FOMO and the comparison trap. My current rules are to never begin the day or end the day with social media.
8. R&R IS IMPORTANT :)
Rest & Relaxation. It’s important to take time to yourself– Whatever that looks like for you. For some, it can be festivals (though I don’t find them to be relaxing in the least bit, lol) for others, it's getting in bed and turning yourself into a burrito with your blankets and a book (me, lol), and so on...Just know that R&R doesn’t have to look like a $1000+ 4 day extravaganza. Know what makes you happy, restores your mind, body, spirit– And most importantly, know that you are doing it for you– Not for anyone else.
I love you all. Comment below or message me! I would love to hear your feedback on this! And, make sure you are subscribed to my e-mail list for exclusive updates, invites, and...secrets! Lol.
Lastly, thank you so much for your response to my Forgiveness post. It was so encouraging to hear your stories. Let's continue to walk in transparency and authenticity, together.
Photos : P.hil & Kumiko Sekiguchi