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When your comfort zone is that stretched that it gets boring

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When your comfort zone is that stretched that it gets boring Empty When your comfort zone is that stretched that it gets boring

Post by Yuliya Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:46 pm

More than a year ago I was talking about stepping out of my comfort zone and publishing something in English. This feels so long ago and it makes me laugh. However, since then, I somehow got into the habit of seeking challenges and jumping out of my comfort zone.

From time to time, it’s getting extremely hard to find a new challenge and I feel bored and Bristol seems too tiny. That’s why I jumped into the opportunity to meet Deryn, as soon as I read about his story. He is 1 in 7 billion! Not only because he is the only person in the world to be diagnosed with both leukemia and Langerhans Cell Sarcoma, but because he managed to recover completely after the doctors sent him to hospice, saying that he has just 3 days left.

And Deryn is just 14.

This was waiting in front of front door for me before the interview with Deryn.
This was waiting in front of front door for me before the interview with Deryn.

With Elena, my partner for our Broadcast module, we decided to dedicate our portfolio feature for this semester to him. We contacted his mother and soon we went filming. Despite the fact that the family has been through some horrible moments, they were extremely calm and positive and it was a real pleasure to talk to them. You will soon see our feature and we hope that you will be as least as inspired by the story of the miracle recovery, as we were!

However, I should say that I was quite worried before the interview. I wasn’t afraid of the story itself, but of me. Having went through something quite similar (well, except for the happy end), I knew I am pushing myself a lot. I am actually pushing myself every time someone mentions “leukemia”, let alone pursuing a story for someone who had it.

Some weeks ago, we had a lecture on how journalists cope with emotions. In order to be objective, they often have to suppress their emotions. They also have to deal with people who are under the influence of strong emotions and that is not always easy, as we all know. This was one of the most insightful lectures I have ever had, because it made me put many things in greater context.

After a shocking event, it is normal to start behaving differently, because you start seeing the world with new eyes and you can’t understand why people are so stressed about simple things that they can’t control.
Often journalists, and presumably all human beings, bury certain thoughts deep in their heads and refuse to admit that they exist. However, sometimes small things happen that can take those thoughts on the surface and let them hit you with 100 km/h.
The lecture made me aware of those interesting facts once again and as a result I managed to prepare for the interview. I told someone that I am “preparing for the interview” and they started thinking that I am reading up about the medical conditions of Deryn. However, as I already had the basic knowledge of all different types of blood and cancer cells, I didn’t have to. For the first time ever, I started preparing emotionally for an interview! I tried to think of all similarities between his case and my friend’s case that will strike me, as the interview starts.

And it worked! I was calm and I manage to control every single thought!

This all might seem a little too much and probably a bit overplayed, but the reality is that every person handles a loss like this differently. And it takes time. I don’t know how much, but it will certainly be a little while. On the positive side: With time, I became totally aware of how I perceive the whole story with my friend. I also see it as an engine that keeps me going: it might well be that my friend passed away, because the Bulgarian bureaucracy was too slow. So I will give my best to make it work properly! That is what motivates me for our project Treatment without borders.

So to put it short: the only way to control an emotion is to be aware of its existence.

P.S. When you are Bulgarian, you normally don’t talk about emotions, so this blog post itself is taking me out of my comfort zone once again.

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