12th April 2021

FOMO Has Been Kicking My Butt a Little Bit


I think everyone gets some lucky breaks in life – there’s something others struggle with that you just genuinely don’t. For me, I’ve usually laughed at Fear of Missing Out, in part because I’m a largely anti-social dork who usually doesn’t want to hang out or dance or go to clubs or drink super heavily anymore. When I read all the personal finance posts about dealing with FOMO, it’s really one of the things I always got to think, “at least that doesn’t eff me up.”

FOMO on my current tour is real. And super weird.

I can be so exhausted I could fall asleep standing up and the rest of the group I hang out with wants to go dancing. Somehow, I wind up out at a club. Which is honestly weird enough if you know me most of the time.

Sidetrack rant: Isn’t it kind of funny how different people know different yous? In some ways, I think that’s why long term best friends matter so much because they get a chance to see an awful lot of the versions of you and so when you sometimes make a decision that seems odd to the people who know you superficially, those old school friends are like, “ah, are we back at this version again? We’ve seen this before.”

And the flip side of that coin is that it’s equally fascinating that there are people who know you as only the tiniest sliver of your life. Like when I think of the folks who know me on this tour, they’ve seen a very different Mel than the Mel of the last few years, but they think this is the totally normal Mel.

Of course, perhaps part of the appeal of nomadic, touring, contract lives is the ability to somewhat reinvent yourself each time.


This tour reminds me a little bit of the early cruise ship days when it was a super rare night to not go to the Officers’ Bar because there wasn’t much else to do, but also… what’s happening up there? You didn’t want to miss out.

The group on my current tour is one of my favorites I’ve ever toured with. I don’t want to miss out on the next episode in the will-they-won’t-they saga of two of the company members. I don’t want to hear second hand what our head of lighting managed to drunkenly lose last night (your wallet again? Your sunglasses? I mean, his parents even bought him ties so he would stop losing stuff for Christmas, which was a hilariously appropriate gift). I don’t want to miss the ridiculously drunken philosophical conversation over pizza on the way home. I don’t even want to miss the extremely stupid conversations of how we all pronounce water differently or which finger you hold up first when counting to five.

Not only does FOMO do in my wallet more than usual, which, we all know, is not a huge deal (though with saving for a house and trying to remind myself I will soon have a large monthly bill to tackle every month for like the rest of my life, I do know I need to fix the way I look at spending again), it also is a questionable health choice.

I have no doubt that chronic lack of sleep is a major factor in these colds and sinus infections I keep getting. Sheer exhaustion at all times isn’t healthy for anyone and our show schedule is so ridiculous, we really should just be resting and sleeping around most of it.

And yet… there’s London to explore. Just like there was Birmingham and Manchester to explore.

To be fair, most of us crashed the entire week of Dublin and saw very little of it.

I think I feel an extra dose of FOMO as I go into this new, settled down job – the settled down-ness of it is just freaking me the heck out. I know it will be kind of sad to not have my WhatsApp light up with friends telling me to come out for a drink or knocking on my hotel room door to demand I go.

So I may, in a state of total exhaustion, grab another beer with friends in these last few days before the tour winds up. Pay too much for a fancy cocktail in a pub (but, ok, one of them was called the Society of Explorers and how could we not go in?!?! It was worth it).

Maybe that’s another perk to touring though, even if the FOMO is hitting you hard and messing up your budget and your sleep schedule, eventually the contract ends.

Published in Collaboration with brokeGIRLrich

brokegirlrich TheatreArtLife

Also on by Melissa Bondar:

On Tour: What’s Worth the Splurge (and What’s Not)

Stage Managers: Investing In Yourself

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