I am such a person. Everything I am is a narrative I tell myself. All of the good bits I scrub and polish until they shine while all of the bad bits are overlooked or put in a draw never to see the light of day again.
I nurture this persona through the things I do, the stories I tell and the people I meet. I reinforce those things that I believe in and try to ignore those which I don’t. My opinions are right and others too challenged to see them.
My social media tells my story. It promotes me as that outgoing person, always the centre of attention with a rich and varied life. I am the envy of all those around me. It’s not for me to suffer from FOMO. I am the product of my own invention, everything that I ever set out to portray.
Yet all is not well. I find that I am surrounded by other people, equally as self-made up. They have interesting narratives as well, with interesting lives that have allowed them that sense of supreme satisfaction that only over-achievement can bring. I envy their successes, I curse myself that I did not go to those places, pick up that award, deliver that talk or attend that meeting.
I envy the success that they have made-up for themselves.
They have done a far better job of pretending to be something they are not, than I have. I am jealous of what I have fabricated but am envious of all that they have made-up. Their graven images are superior to mine. They have become my new icons and I worship at their self made-up temples.
No, it is not fear of missing out that bothers me but rather fear of being found out, because I am that self made-up man.