I’d like to take a second of your time to talk about a very serious (and recognized) medical condition: FOMO.
Short for “Fear of Missing Out,” FOMO is the cause of many people delaying departures or changing plans – just to make sure that they don’t miss out on something fun/life-changing/mildly entertaining that could possibly happen in their absence.
I was first introduced to FOMO via the various and sundry members of Mount Vernon Campus Life at GW, and truly saw it in effect my last year there. Probably every single day, I would be relaxing in one co-worker’s office just shootin’ the breeze, when another co-worker would literally gallop back in to the office after a trip to the bathroom, shout “FOMOOOO!!!” and sit down breathless in a chair, eager to be caught up on whatever BS the other two had been discussing.
When I was offered my current position abroad, I knew that FOMO would be a major problem. Literally, it was one of my “cons.” Just “FOMO.”
One of the other major cons? That I would miss the wedding of my dear friend Katie.
FOMO to the max.
The whole week before her wedding, I vacillated between really excited for her and absolutely miserable that I would miss going to her wedding (AND! my first Jewish wedding! Did I mention Katie’s wedding is all about me?). It kicked into overdrive the day of; as all of our mutual friends started to post pictures of the preparations and then of the ceremony/reception, I almost flew back to DC just for the hell of it. I enjoy wedding dance floors and the Hora as much as the next guy!
Alas and alack, apparently things happen without me. I’m living vicariously through the pictures and will shortly demand a play-by-play recap from the parties involved.
And even though I still have FOMO, I think I had a subconscious connection to the wedding that entire day. I was in the grocery store, absentmindedly staring at a random shelf and daydreaming when I snapped to attention and realized what shelf I was focused on: the kosher/menorah candle shelf. Yes, that exists. So even though I missed out, a part of me was still participating.
Some of the ladies who made FOMO such a major part of my life (and, you know, the bride. The main star of the day since apparently it’s not all about me).