A further entry in the annals of Joanna Is Not As Cool As You Think: A few months I had to Google FOMO because all the cool kids, etc. I’ll let you in on what I learned: FOMO is Fear Of Missing Out.
I have FOMO right now. Not the fear of missing out on any certain experience or event, but a fear of missing out on producing.
Every day, I go online and see people who write about every book they read (and in a much more digestible format than my long, never quite figured out thoughts), have a specific job for their Instagram account*, those who recap each day or weekend with technicolor photos, offer a new brilliant recipe every other day, have side projects with their friends, or get their thoughts together/organized/online before I remember what day it is. I see people who have a wealth of material they can point to when someone asks, “What have you been up to lately?”
Sometimes I get caught up in the idea that nothing has really happened until I’ve shared it here, on Twitter, or on Instagram. How will you all KNOW that I had a large revelation that will (please, God, please) change and shape my life for the rest of my life if I don’t explain it all here? (I did, and I haven’t figured out how to say it here yet.) How will you KNOW I’m taking advantage of living here by going to cool places if I don’t point it out?
It reminds me of the time I read a blogger’s About Me page and felt bad for 15 seconds because she seemed so cool and so into the same things I am. Then I realized, she’s into the same things I am, she just wrote it down on stone of the Internet!
In this online-centric life, I have to remind myself the doing is the doing. The telling is not the doing. The telling is a nice thing we do when we think someone else might benefit from the telling, or when the telling makes us happy or makes us laugh. We do not do so we can tell. Or at least, I shouldn’t.
To close, a list of potential side projects for me if I ever have the spare time and energy to do them:
// A podcast wherein my friend Keri and I watch movies and talk through them because it entertains us endlessly and annoys NOBODY.
// A retail store of all the things I really really like: books, fine chocolate bars with good-for-you ingredients, wine, llama things. I even have a name for it but I’m not sharing because this is the Internet.
// A series of illustrated children’s books recounting the adventures of my niece Luci and her BFF Leila. Luci and Leila! It practically writes itself! But it does not illustrate itself, so I’m stuck.
// Mystery Project X with my friend Kristin. Don’t ask. We don’t know.
Now I’m dying to know: If you had a side project, what would it be?
*A very savvy friend recently told me he decided one night to start an Instagram account of the wine he drinks specifically so he can A) convince wineries to have him photograph their product lines (he’s a photographer, so this isn’t a pipe dream) and B) because he wants wineries to send him free wine. It’s actually brilliant and a thought I would never have.