I don't belong anywhere. I belong everywhere. / by Nicole Paulus

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I have recently come to terms with the fact that for the rest of my life I will always be missing out on something.

  • When I am dancing the night away with friends, I miss having dinner with my family in Atlanta.
  • When I head to the US for a month to welcome my niece to the world, I am missing sitting in my favorite park in Berlin.
  • When I am catching up with friends from high school, I am missing snuggling my puppy in Tucson.

FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out

Sure, I suffer from FOMO when trying to decide what to do in an evening:“Which event should I attend tonight?”

These kinds of decisions aren’t as hard to make because usually the answer can be determined by asking this simple question: “How much does it cost?” 

This decision is not so easy, however, when trying to answer heavier questions such as: “Do I want to watch my niece grow up first hand or through a shoddy Skype connection?”

Luckily, I have been battling FOMO for quite some time and have since learned how to calm this nagging beast. 

We live in exciting times. Being everywhere at once is somewhat possible with the magic of technology, however, this option doesn’t come without sacrifices. There is a possibility that you will spread yourself too thin, which may result in living a shallow, lonely life. YIKES!

Rest assured, I have finally figured out how to stay settled internally while living many lives at once. No matter where I am jaunting off to next, I make sure to always incorporate the following so that I never stray too far from myself or my values; exercise, music, and communication.

  • Exercise helps me to stay connected to my physical self.
  • Music helps me to balance my emotions and center my thoughts.
  • Communication helps me to feel connected to loved ones, not matter where I am. I never feel too far from my friends or family if I have the option to send them a simple “what’s up” text. 

In addition, if I want to keep being the happiest Nicole possible, I must continue to pay tribute to all the parts that make me whole. This means, that I will probably always be bouncing between the cities of Tucson, Atlanta, and Berlin.

  • I have desert bones — I feel most calm when the Saguaro sun wraps her rays around me, strengthening the core of the woman I have worked so hard to be.
  • I have Southern roots — I feel most nostalgic when the heavy Georgian air fills my lungs, grounding me back down to Earth. 
  • I have German blood — I feel most like myself when the plane touches down in Berlin, reminding me that moving here was the best decision of my life. 

Sure, I will always be saying goodbye, but it also means I will always be saying hello. In fact, I’m not really “missing out” at all— I always have a loved one to catch up with, a nostalgic food to eat, or a new story to tell. 

I don’t belong to anyone. I belong to everyone. 

I don’t belong anywhere. I belong everywhere.