FOMO (n): “Fear of Missing Out;” anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere
When I first heard the acronym “FOMO” I had no clue what it meant and chalked it up as just more meaningless millennial jargon such as FUBAR or YOLO. Later, when my friends diagnosed me as a someone suffering from extreme FOMO, I just assumed they were jealous that my daily life was more eventful than theirs. Now I know the truth: it’s a very subtle, very real affliction that coaxed me into social dependency. The bar scene became my home as I couldn’t stand to miss the happenings on tequila Tuesday or thirsty Thursday. It seemed harmless enough until that desire trumped logic and/or obligation. What bred this ‘FOMO’ thing? Social value. I’ve always needed social interaction and purpose to survive, so it was completely understandable that I would find myself in this quandary. What I know now is that I can’t get rid of my fear of missing out, it is innately ingrained me, but I’ve also come to the reassuring realization that it can be arrested and redirected now that I’ve recognized its origin.
I’ve always said that life’s too short to spend a single second unhappy, so I spend every second to make memories that’ll last me. Why would I not go out when the alternative was dealing with real life responsibilities and issues (I mean, who wants to do that?!)? What started as an occasional escape ended up as a daily necessity. I thrived when I was out and grew to be well known and liked around my town. If there was anything going on anywhere I felt like I had to be there. When I was out, I felt liked which was great. More importantly, no one cared what I was avoiding that had me out all the time. I didn’t have to think about the bills, work, or familial obligations that brought on the stress or disappointment that caused for my need to escape. As a byproduct of basking in my escape my core issues weren’t being resolved, only getting worse, and the cycle started. My FOMO now existed not because I was afraid to miss out on a good time, but because if I missed the party I’d have to face all the shit I’d been putting off.
I asked myself: “If I can’t get rid of my FOMO, how do I turn this around?”. The answer was simple yet difficult, need differently. I had to acknowledge and accept that what I was avoiding wasn’t going anywhere and was only getting worse. I had to need the life that resolving these issues would provide. With that now in mind, that new life becomes my goal. My fear now is of missing out on this other life that I have to have at all costs. This 180 has made anything that distracts me from progress repulsive, while everything progressive has become addictively pleasing. I now accept that pleasing doesn’t always mean fun but reaching my new goal has become my heart’s delight. Once this core motivational shift is fully manifested, success at all costs is no longer FOMO, it is now drive. When balance is regained, then everything I accomplish after is a new chapter, and I can proudly look at myself in the mirror and call myself motivated with NOMO-FOMO. IF, you are a UNC student and looking for a rental with a company that strives to help you live more deliberately the team at Mills Rentals is amazing and their properties are close to campus.
- Ben Gear