Today’s post is not usual. It doesn’t tell a story of another “victim”. Instead, I dedicate this one to a little recap of everything that happened up to this point. As you probably figured, the semester is over, and so is my beloved Multimedia Journalism class. During these four months I had a chance to meet new people and interview them (and that’s not something I normally do). I heard a lot of engaging and curious stories, and shared all of them with you, guys. Some were interesting, some were shocking, some were funny. But they all were extraordinary. The heroes of these stories taught me that no matter how scared you are, you ought to pull yourself together and do it.
So, shall we begin?
The first story I’ve ever written for this blog was about professor Pierangelo Castagneto. He told me a story about his childhood fear – a fear of not putting his socks on while asleep. This fear, he explained, had to do with the monsters who, professor believed, had lived in the dark. Not a little boy anymore, professor still prefers to cover his feet during the nighttime. His story taught me that you should never be ashamed of your fears, because it’s something that makes you – you.
My second interviewee was Olga Kvak. She shared her fear of darkness and the unknown that hides there. She told me that her fear was ignited by the horror movie called “The Ring”. There, a little girl named Samara Morgan tried to kill people in the dark. And because I, myself, get very influenced by horror movies, I can confidently say that I relate to this one 100%. Olga’s story taught me that the fear of the dark is something most of us has, and that there’s nothing bad about it.
Then we had my good friend and classmate Nelly Zhakhyan, talking again about her fear of the dark. In fact Nelly’s fear presented a mix of the fears of professor Castagneto and Olga, for she confessed that she fears the dark because of the poltergeists hiding under her bed. The attitude with which Nelly recited her story, cheerful and lighthearted, taught me not to take your fears too seriously and laugh them off, because it can really help prevent anxiety and make the fear seem less significant.
Gretta Talmaci, my fourth interviewee, shared her fear of spiders. When she saw a spider in her garden, she was so shocked that she couldn’t neither move nor talk, Gretta remembered. Her father reacted in an extraordinary way: instead of soothing his child, he screamed at her. “He said ‘Oh, what? Are you stupid? Why are you so scared?’” Gretta confessed. Her story made me wonder, in turn, if we can always trust our biggest fears and problems to our family and friends. Or are we all alone in this horrible world of the scary fantasies?
Next was Heidi Pullyard, who confessed to me her fears of bees and pigeons. She said she didn’t remember when and why those fears started. As a matter of fact, Heidi was never stunned by a bee or attacked by a pigeon. It’s just she feels revolted by either of the two creatures. Her story taught me that while some of our fears can seem funny, they shouldn’t be left untreated. Because if they are, they can cause even bigger problems in the long run.
Natasha Derbina, my sixth victim, told me about her fear of heights. This fear I understand completely – because I suffer from it myself. Sometimes her fear gets so bad, she feels like she’s going to pass out, Natasha shared. Despite of her fear, Natasha went to the Willis Tower, the highest skyscraper in Chicago, and took a picture of the view which opens from the 110-stories height. Natasha’s story inspired me to fight my fear of heights because if you don’t do it, you just can miss something really great and beautiful. Something that you’ll regret of missing for the rest of your life.
Then it was Saida Karimova, another my dear friend, who shared her unconventional fear – the fear of black holes. During the interview, Saida told me that she feels both afraid and interested in them. She acknowledged that her fear is not something that surrounds one for the moment. For her, however, it is as scary as darkness or heights for other people. Saida’s story taught me that people can have uncommon fears which can’t always fit the society’s interpretation of what a fear should be. It’s kind of “thinking outside of the box” I would say.
Recently I have also posted a story of Sarah Jones, who confessed of her fear of failure. Sarah said that her fear of not fulfilling her potential in life had many times prevented her from taking on great opportunities, because she was too scared of not performing the best she can. Sarah was the one to give the most helpful and powerful advice: simply take chances and don’t be afraid of making a mistake. We’re all humans after all.
My last interviewee was Claudia Valbuena, my friend from Chile. She told me about her fear of being stopped by the police when she’s driving or in the street. A foreigner in Kazakhstan, she quickly learned that the police force wasn’t trustworthy. “I had some bad experiences of being unfairly fined, for example, or treated without respect.” Claudia confessed. From her story I learned that the fear isn’t always something abstract, something what’s hard to imagine. Sometimes it’s just physical every-day things.
During this remarkable journey I had a lot of feelings. First, I was curious about the subject and ambitious to get the most interesting stories from different people (as I stated in my ABOUT section). Then I was overwhelmed by the size of the work that I had to do every week. After that I felt like my stories fell in quality and that every week they were getting more and more boring. That, in turn, transformed in me acknowledging all my hard work and being proud of it. Now, it’s more of a nostalgia of all the things I did for this class (Five-Shot Video, Midterm, Storify and Thinglink being just a tip of the iceberg) and those parts of my soul I’ve put into this project.
Addressing the question of my blog “How Do You Deal with Your Fear?” I can say that the only thing I’ve found out is that there’s no single way to fight fears. For some, relaxation and humor can ease the nervousness, while for others it’s determination and hard work. But although I can claim that I’ve found the answer to my question (more or less), I don’t feel like saying goodbye just yet. I will keep posting stories, but it won’t be the same as it was before. In the second chapter of my memoirs (a fancy way to put it) I will focus more on my fears and frights, as I didn’t have a chance to do it during the semester. I will still be talking about the tips people share to overcome their different fears. So, don’t worry about that.
That’s about it, dear reader. Don’t worry, it’s not the end. It’s only the new beginning.