The prolific Open University adverts playing at the moment carry a slogan that really caught my attention: ‘Set your ambition free’ or ‘free your ambition.’ For me the severity of the virus and the strict nature of the national lockdowns have had the curious effect of helping me identify, and enthusiastically pursue, my ambitions.
After nearly a year of our lives being caught in the grip of the pandemic perhaps the open and uncertain landscape it brings has trickled down into all corners of life. Climbing death rates, overwhelmed hospitals, lack of treatments, lockdown, confusing rules, rapidly changing guidelines, potential long-term unemployment, isolation, surprise lockdowns, homeschooling and cancelled Christmases.
It’s an environment in which everything is fraught with risk and fear. But ordinarily risky things, that I might have been fearful of, have become less so. The feeling of lack of control, especially at the start of the first lockdown, had to be faced head-on on a daily basis to the extent that it became something normal that had to be constantly overcome. Perhaps having to confront uncertainly on a national scale has equipped me with better tools to deal with fearful situations in my personal life, and prevent them from becoming overwhelming.
Now is the ultimate time to shake off any trepidation and leap into something new. To seek out novel (hopefully better and more stable) career paths. I’ve felt so lucky to be currently on furlough from my job in hospitality. Being financially stable, even if my budget is more pinched than usual, gives me time to explore other pursuits and consider what I want in the future.
I have had the space and initiative to explore further educational opportunities, such as a potential MA in Journalism. In coming to the realisation that this was a career that I was really keen to pursue I was determined to seek out real life opportunities.
After emailing around I got an article published with my local paper and, of course, an article published on The Hoot! I am currently setting up my own blog, so I can write about what I’m very passionate about: politics. It’s amazing to put all the energy I would usually expend working into working to expand my future opportunities. Also, to be able to seek out and approach these opportunities without fear or hesitation.
The era of covid-19 is shocking and devastating but it’s given me new tools of resilience. Moreover, the emotional toll it has taken has propelled me into pursuing things I really love and making the most out of all the time I have. It’s my best plan to emotionally survive in this new world.