Write about a time when you had to tell yourself I must continue to press on

by Lamiah Fathima d/o Fazuludeen (S1 2022)
           I had never been to Universal Studios Singapore. Although I had heard many recounts of wonderful experiences at the place, I has never set foot there myself. I expected myself to enjoy the calm rides and reject the thrilling ones because of my fears but little did I know that I would display a great deal of courage there.


          My first impression of Universal Studios was a much more wild, colourful and crowded version of a carnival my school had organised to raise funds for its renovation. An amazing sense of joy welled up in me. I was there with my extended family and we were going to enjoy ourselves tremendously! We watched a 3D movie of Shrek in a Shrek-themed movie theatre, bought souvenirs at a shop that was artfully crafted to look like a potion apothecary and each enjoyed an ice cream for a brief respite from the blazing sun.


          My older sister, Lubnah, and my two older cousins, Musadhiq and Zubaidaa, immediately pointed out a ride only a stone’s throw away from the 3D movie theatre. I gulped. We had stepped up in front of a dark spooky-looking Egyptian mummy ride. Ignoring my numerous protests, Lubnah, Musadhiq and Zubaidaa immediately coaxed me along with them right into the ride’s mouth-like entrance. My heart was in my mouth; I felt like I was being swallowed by a mummy.


          We had to wait for quite a long period of time, in which, I as an everlastingly optimistic person, hoped and prayed that at least one of the three teenagers with me would say “All this waiting is a waste of time, let’s go.” That would mean that I would not have to face my immense fear of anything from a horror movie but to no avail. All three of them waited patiently as children on Christmas morning until the very moment they announced our turn. I, absolutely shaking in my boots, tried to protest albeit feebly one more time Lubnah turned to me and said emboldeningly, “This ride is perfectly safe, Musadhiq here and I have been on this ride about twelve times before and not once did we get hurt, face your fear!” Taking her words to heart, I summoned up all the courage I would find and gave her a smile.


          We lowered ourselves into one of the cars gingerly and strapped on our seatbelts. “There is nothing to fear about the dark” I repeated to myself, finding Musadhiq’s hand and squeezing it. I was determined not to close my eyes and to try to enjoy its sights and sounds. Our car moved into the dark tunnel in front of us at a snail’s pace. “I suppose it’s moving slowly to build up momentum and give us a thrill?” I questioned Musadhiq, loosening my grip on his hand a little. He nodded. Just at that very moment, the car throttled forward at full speed! I shrieked, my eyes widening to look as large as dinner plates. I tightened my grip on Musadhiq’s hand instinctively, making him grunt in pain. My hair was blown backwards by an immense gust of wind. Regardless of the creepy, pitch-black darkness and the chilling decorations, I actually managed to laugh and whoop. The decorations did not seem blood-curdling but quite fascinating. I stopped gripping Musadhiq’s hand entirely, allowing him to gasp in relief.


          To my extreme amazement, our car started to move up the side of the tunnel and then onto the top of the tunnel. That was when I realised that the restricting seatbelts we had to wear were to prevent us from falling out of the car. The realisation both scared me but also, strangely enough, excited me. Previously, when I had absolutely no courage at all, I would have started to cry and shout “We’re going to die!” However, my new found courage allowed me to grin from ear to ear and guffaw like the rest of the people riding in that car.


          In no time, the ride ended. “Again, again!” I shrieked unexpectedly while Lubnah chuckled and Musadhiq and Zubaidaa whooped. Filled with adrenaline, we decided to get in line to rejoin the queue and go on the thrilling ride again. That was when I quite suddenly learned that life was just like that rollercoaster. It is chock full of thrills and surprises and unexpected change. It is our choice to face them all with courage and to enjoy it all or to cower and merely give in to the inevitable end ahead. I resolved in that moment to always face life’s challenges head on with courage.


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