Why I stopped reading blogs - confessions of a fomophobe

I stopped reading blogs a while ago, and ironically I was reminded of why this is when Linn Instagrammed about a blog post she'd written, where she outlines how she at times feels jealous of some of her best friends. I think we've all been there, and to me personally, reading other people's blogs could very well push me over the edge of me thinking that my life is just so, epically shit.

London Fashion Week 2009, during my 2 year stint as an international fashion buyer (it sounds a lot fancier than it was...) Also check out that feature phone!

London Fashion Week 2009, during my 2 year stint as an international fashion buyer (it sounds a lot fancier than it was...) Also check out that feature phone!

I've been fortunate enough to be able to make active choices about my life and how I want to live it. Me living in Malmรถ, Sweden, and working in the field that I do, are both the result of me choosing and pursuing that particular life. In a former life, I seriously considered pursuing an academic career. In a life before that, I worked in the humanitarian field. And in a life before that, I worked in fashion(!). I chose to leave all those fields, yet when I read other people's blogs I can't help but wonder if I would've been happier, more successful, more content, if I'd chosen to pursue one of my previous lives instead of the one I'm living now.

And it doesn't just stop at blogs. Because I've had all these previous lives, I've met some spectacular people. And no, I'm not talking about partying with Amy Winehouse (though that did happen, back when I was super cool - or at least hung out with people who were), I'm talking about my friend who's an international peace broker (I mean she's negotiating deals with the likes of IS and Hamas - literally what am I doing with my life??), or my acquaintance who's a humanitarian officer in Jerusalem, or a former colleague who's heading up the PR at one of Europe's largest VC firms back in London, or an acquaintance that's a super successful lifestyle blogger, or another one who's doing academic research in Lebanon, or another close friend who's pursuing a career as a foreign correspondent, or another friend who's a civil servant in Westminster... I could go on. I'm so fortunate to know all these people, and they inspire me daily, but they also make me wonder whether I've settled too quick, too soon. If I'm missing out. If there's something bigger and better out there, something I'm missing out on because I've chosen to live in this tiny city in southern Sweden.

Hard at work in Karamoja, Northern Uganda

Hard at work in Karamoja, Northern Uganda

Constantly being bombarded with other people's success - however happy I might be for them - brings about a level of anxiety and questioning of my own life and my own being to a point where I become overcritical of everything I do. Since people rarely share their struggles or hardship on the interwebz, it feels like you only get to see rainbows and unicorns - and by comparison, my life feels pretty shit.

As a consequence, I stopped reading blogs and I stopped consuming other people's seemingly perfect lives. Instead I try to prioritise meetings with these people, because ironically, I find that a lot of people are fairly open with the ups and downs that are inevitable to leading a successful life, in a way that they don't tend to be online.

And a shout-out to the very few blogs I still read - they mainly have a focus of personal and/or professional development, and I feel that they actually add value to how I think and pursue my thoughts (which sounds meta, but life is pretty meta). So thanks to Mark, Hampus, and The Muse - you make my life richer. And if you have any favourite personal development blogs up your sleeve, would love to hear about them.