I don't know if this is a common issue, but it has been a staple of my twenty-four years. I always feel like everybody is doing something more exciting than me. I don't remember thinking this when I was really young, but in high school I remember on weekends wishing I could be doing what everyone else was doing (whatever that was). I fixed this worry by doing more myself- I played sports, worked hard in school and got a job. I stayed that way all through college- joining a sorority, studying hard, working, socializing, and being in singing groups. Somehow no matter how much I did, though, I still always felt like everyone was doing more. There had to be something I was missing.
As I have gotten older I realize that no one is really doing anything. I think the internet makes people's lives more exciting, because people only post updates and pictures when they have done something. No one wants to talk about how they sat home by themselves all day watching TV or playing video games, and, frankly, that's what most people are doing on a daily basis (working, errands, relaxing, getting on the internet, working out, visiting family, volunteering, hanging with friends, ect). Sure people do exciting things, but no one does exciting things all the time. We see flashes of what peoples' lives are like, but rarely do we get the whole story, no matter how much we know someone.
It's mostly a matter of being content with doing nothing and making sure there is a balance. I have talked about how I need a pretty good balance of doing and not-doing. I like to have a part each day to myself and a part with some one else, whether that be roommates, friends, family, or work peeps. I like to stay busy and involved because I need that social outlet but not so busy and so involved that I run myself down. I like my "me" time, but I also need to stop putting this expectation on myself that I am missing out, because, honestly, I don't think I am.
I was having dinner with a married friend, and she talked about the balance between her old self, her married self and her current self; about compromise with her husband and pleasing both their needs as individuals and a couple. It's hard. Even married people get lonely and feel left out. She commented on how she sometimes stays in for him and doesn't do things she wants to do because he is content just with her. It's not that she doesn't love him, but she has the urge to do more. See, even people who have their life all in "order" (married with a job) still feel like they are missing something.
Basically, it's all about balance and being content with your life and what you do and have. I talked previously about how people are always searching for something. Maybe the secret isn't to keep searching but to stop: stop putting so much pressure on ourselves, stop measuring our lives to someone else's and to stop thinking so much about it all. Everyone wants something, but to be truly happy is to want what you have. If you want what you have, then you're always doing something because it's making you happy.
Easier said than done. It's my new goal for 2011:).