With all the uncertainty, lack of freedom and control, it’s not surprising that this is one of the most fearful times we’ve gone through as a nation in living lifetime. However, as uncomfortable as fear is, I’ve always thought by facing our fears, we can ultimately come out as stronger people.
My own personal fears have changed a lot throughout my life, each teaching me different things, starting with balloons. Now, this fear was when I was about four and “sort of” logical at the time. I vaguely remember seeing on the TV, this program with a hot air balloon where it blew away. I then assumed that if I held on to any balloon that I would also blow away.
The fear got so bad that just the sight of them would send me into hysterics, not great when the main restaurant we’d go to as kids was TGI Fridays, filled with my phobia. My parents did their best to protect me by carefully sneaking the balloons given to my sisters into the boot and hiding them in the other room so I wouldn’t have to see them… unfortunately my sister Lauren found the whole fear hilarious and would would run in my bedroom with all the balloons…sisters! Ironically Lauren’s son now has a fear of balloons but thankfully she doesn’t taunt him in the same way she did me.
Luckily, I grew out of my fear of balloons, as through years of Lauren’s taunting, I discovered that I wouldn’t actually blow away and learnt the benefits to be had, including cute insta pics
Fast forward a few years, to school age Ali and my biggest fears had evolved from balloons to books or to be more specific exams. Like most people I found the whole pressure and idea that this one bit of paper could impact the course of your life pretty scary. Unlike most people, these pressures and fears came pretty much all from myself as I didn’t really get any pressure from my parents.
So little in fact that I’d be revising for seriously ten minutes and my mum would be like I think you need to take a break. They even took me on holiday just a week before my AS level exams, making me probably the only teenager who has done AS history revision on the Las Vegas strip whilst two stoners to persuade me and Lauren to come out with them. True, I know this makes me the most boring person ever. But I just found exams so stressful, like a gamble of all the work you’ve done which came down to whether one lucky question came up.
Thankfully, as a result of my boring choosing books over boys ways, I got through college and Uni with okayish grades which meant that I got a job that I actually wanted straight out of University. It was then I started to realise to get anything you want, you have to go through a bit of fear first. From first driving lessons, job interviews and of course the petrifying first date, if you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone you can never truly get great things.
The other thing I’ve learnt about fears over the years, is how much they change. So, this time last year my biggest fear was would me and Stuart ever be in our house together, before that it was would I ever meet anyone and if you told me that in 2020 my biggest fear would be a global pandemic I would have thought you were having a joke.
So, while at the moment our fears of Coronavirus quite rightly feel uncomfortable and horrible, I think it’s important to remember that like all fears, we will overcome it together and when we do we will come out stronger, more grateful and ultimately so much better.