Living in the Hills of Chicago

ChicagoNot Chicago

I always knew moving to a city like Chicago was one of those things I would inevitably do. The bustling fullness of it, the crash of the ‘el’ overhead, the punch of the wind off the lake, a lingering smell of bread and cement. The fact that something is always open, and there is always something to do, yet I can still find spaces to be alone. These are just some of the vague qualities that make me love this city, that make me feel settled, grounded. It’s more than enough to satiate even the most empty of individuals. But for the past month… maybe couple of months (I have a horrible concept of time) I’ve been yearning for anything but city life. I crave a cabin or yurt on the edge of a remote mountain, that smells of burning leaves and cut wood; where I could retire to a quiet life of reading and coffee drinking, forever adorned in denim, flannel, and knit pullovers. I’ve burrowed this idea so deeply in my head that I’ve attempted to design my bedroom around it. Color scheme: greens, grays, and browns. Furniture: all wood erything. I already read, drink coffee, and adorn myself in denim, flannel, and knit pullovers as much as possible, but I’m still not satisfied. It’s one of those nagging feelings that pulls at the strands of my thoughts throughout the day, that stops me mid-work-related-thought. Let me remind you, I’m 23. I love going out, “being social” if you will, and surrounding myself with people (aka city life). So why is part of me so eager to retire to a life of solitude? This video helped shed some light.

This video went viral about a month ago, and there have been a lot of articles promoting it and discussing it (ironically?), but I guess I’m a little late hopping on the band wagon. It made me realize that I’m suffering a very severe case of SO-FOMO (Sick Of Fear Of Missing Out). I’m one of those intense social media users, always have been, and I’m especially attached to my phone. My currents drugs of choice are Facebook and Instagram, but I dabble in twitter. The more I use though, the less connected I feel, the more isolated I am, the more afraid of loneliness I become, the more I use, and so on. Only an acronym as ridiculous as FOMO (fear of missing out… it’s a real thing, Google it) would be a serious problem for Millennials, I’m exhibit A of its realness. Fortunately/unfortunately, I recognize these patterns in myself. So I quickly grow critical of my own interactions on social media, and feel silly about how much time I waste obsessing over them. And then I go through a phase where I try to delete my Facebook for like… 3 days and eventually succumb to FOMO, but hate myself all the more for it. While I thought I was yearning to be a hermit, what I truly desire is a real connection with the people around me, not a “connection” with a million different facades. But I’ve been approaching this “problem” in the wrong fashion. I should have been focusing on developing the relationships with those in my life outside of social media. Instead, I was trying to cut off my relationship with social media, denying myself something I didn’t want to give up in the first place. Plus, I don’t believe social media is the issue, it just has a tendency to perpetuate and foster these shallow relationships that lack quality. It can still be used as positive tool to further develop existing relationships, as a platform for social change, or a space to discover new interests and hobbies. So for those of you with FOMO or SO-FOMO, chill. For those of you who don’t fall into these social media obsessed categories, you keep doing you.

As far as my bedroom decor goes… that’s just matter of taste, and sometimes you need a place in the city that doesn’t quite feel like the city.

Learn to live alone and you’ll never be lonely

Arty the Alien

(i’m still going to post this on Facebook)