FOMO is hard.
It’s one of those things that your parents won’t always get – especially when it comes to things like piercings, parties and that questionable fashion trend that sweeps through your school overnight – but it’s absolutely a valid feeling. I am totally with you.
What makes an intense case of FOMO even worse though, is when it’s related to something that you’re not even entirely sure about.
Or should I say: where the hell are you, period? When you’re sat there twiddling your thumbs waiting for your first period and it feels like all of your friends are well on their way to becoming pros in the menstrual cycle business, you can get a bit… impatient.
Admittedly though, I found that being the last of my mates to start mine came with a few specific side effects…
Recognise any of these?
You convince yourself that every bad mood is PMS
PMS is one of those things that gets thrown around in conversation quite a lot. A bit too much if you ask me. But it happens. I actually think I had a better understanding of what PMS was before I fully got the whole bleeding-from-your-vagina thing.
So when it got to the point when my closest girl friends had started their journey down the period path and started justifying every mood swing as PMS, I, of course, decided to follow suit. Because hey, sometimes you just want to be able to relate to your mate’s spontaneous outburst of Hulk-like fury over dropping their last square of Dairy Milk.
You embrace the whole ‘watch and learn’ thing
There are positives to being last, you guys. Honest! The biggest one is that you get to witness IRL the things your friends are experiencing and well, learn from them.
Let’s face it, there are lots of things that we’d rather chat to our carefully-selected friends about instead of an actual grown-up human. And as helpful and well intentioned I’m sure the older women in your life are, sometimes you just want to be able to ask whether or not your BFF managed to get her tampon in on the first try – without fear of an awkward conversation and attempted demonstration from Aunty Alison.
You worry you won’t sync with your mates
This is at the core of that severe case of FOMO we were just talking about earlier.
For right or wrong, my biggest and most irrational worry was that at our next sleepover all of my friends’ periods would have suddenly synced and then someone would make a new group chat without me where they’d all talk about top secret period stuff. Crazy, I know.
Don’t worry, the secret group chat never happened. It’s pretty much impossible for periods (or lack of) to come between a group of girls. It’s one of the things that really unites women, actually.
Turns out none of our cycles ever synced, but we still enjoyed adding period woes to our regular lunchtime moaning session.
You end up being a bit over-prepared
You know that old saying about not tempting fate? Well I was pretty much willing Mother Nature to come at me. I thought that if I carried a few tampons and pads around with me, my body would catch on and decide to play along.
But on the plus side my friends were always super grateful when they were ever caught off-guard and I had supplies at the ready.
You get caught practicing your cramp face
Ok this one might just be me. But in an attempt to get out of cross-country in the torrential rain, I thought I’d pretend to be on my period. A period that I hadn’t started yet. And in preparation, I thought I’d better practice and get this cramp thing down.
So I spent a few minutes of my lunch testing various versions of my ‘cramp face’. Obviously, someone walked into the loos mid-rehearsal, which was mega awkward.
BUT when I explained that I was having really bad period cramps she shrugged and proceeded to make her way over to a cubicle. ‘Score!’ I thought, ‘I must pursue a career in acting straight away!’
Unfortunately my performance wasn’t quite convincing enough to get me out of a lengthy jog in the rain. But still, at least that’s one case of FOMO I didn’t have to worry about.
Image: Katie Edmunds