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I am afraid, my FOMO made me miss everything!


I couldn't slow down, I was always afraid of missing something if I did. Wasn't it like that though, that I could only win if I was fast? I don't think it's a coincidence that the words I say to my daughter the most are "come on, hurry".


I couldn't slow down, and I never liked slow people either. What a waste of time. What they could do in the time it took them to finish one job, I could do three. Instead of waiting for them to do it, I did it myself.


It was in elementary school when "speed" was subtly engraved in my subconscious. Anatolian high school exams, dozens of practice exams, answer as many questions as you can in 100 minutes, be fast, don't miss any questions, one more question, come on, time is running out, fast, fast, fast... or else you'll lose, or else you'll miss out on life! It never ended, the rush to not miss out, high school exams, university, career, ... It never ended.


Then I met FOMO. "Fear of Missing Out" is one of the defaults of our generation. I always wanted to be aware of everything, to learn and be informed. We live in such a fast-changing world that if I slow down, it feels like I won't exist. How much can I fit into 24 hours?


Then one day, not long ago, a few months ago, I attended a business event. One of the organizers said, "Now I want you to stand up." I thought, "Oh, they're going to make us do some silly warm-up." "Walk slowly around the room," he said. As slowly as possible. I can't explain how hard it was for me to take that slow step. My legs refused to slow down, I never imagined that walking slowly could be so hard. Then I started looking around. Since I was slowing down, I had nothing else to do. Ah, there was such a strange and beautiful flower in this corner of the room, I hadn't noticed it. These parquet floors on the left were broken, I should be careful when I pass by so I don't trip. The patterns on the carpet were so nice, this could be the carpet I'm looking for for the house.


Suddenly I experienced that strange enlightenment. My FOMO, my fear of missing out, was actually causing me to miss out on a lot of things. When I went fast, it was like I was advancing in a computer game, collecting coins. But in fact, I was missing out on a lot of gold around me. There was something wrong with this code. I was racing against time, and if I slowed down I wouldn't be able to see and do more. Or there was something wrong with this code.

In the following days, I tried to slow down. I tried because it was not easy at all. It's still not easy. I still fear missing out on something. But I realized that when I slow down, I can be more present at the moment, I don't count the hours and live in anxiety, and I can be more productive. I try to remind myself that life is not a race. After all, I can't catch everything.


This time I set a goal for 2023 that I had never set before... to remove one word from my life.



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