“Spoken Words. Broken Hearts. Instant Dreams.”

My family came round over the weekend – my parents and my sister.

I got up bright and early on Saturday morning, keen on taking things day by day like I said I would, and headed to university to work on my coursework. To my surprise, things began to work, and I felt very relieved, even though there was the lingering worry that I still did not really understand, and so was doing it wrong. I then went home, and waited for my family. They arrived one hour after they said they would. It was confusing and overwhelming – they all wanted to speak to me, all wanted my attention, all at once. I admit I mostly wanted to talk to my dad – he recently went on a business trip to Seoul and I was eager to hear about what he thought of it and what he had done and what he had eaten.

Also I’d asked him to buy me some beauty items there and was not disappointed – he brought me a whole bag of goodies. He got me the wrong cleanser – I asked for the History of Whoo brightening cleansing foam, but he got me the History of Whoo cleansing cream. I did not complain of course – too awed by the stunning packaging, and the fact that my father had splurged on something even more expensive and luxurious when I thought he would baulk at just the whitening cleanser! He also got me HERA sunmate daily – my daily sunscreen/makeup base. And the Sooryehan essence foundation. I got a bunch of samples – including HERA homme items which made me laugh – I wanted to know how my father had ended up with those, and I tried to persuade him to use them but my father remained unimpressed. He also stashed away the red pepper paste and some kind of Korean dressing from the plane for me, and his hosts had given him various odd smelling teas that he gave me some sachets of. I’m a little wary of them – one of them smells like coffee, its very odd! Meanwhile my mother took it upon herself to go poking around my house – cleaning things as she wished, and criticizing as she wished too. I pleaded with her to stop but my mother can never be stopped. She even went into my cupboards and my fridge, inspecting…who does this?! My sister was preoccupied this weekend as she has a new boyfriend – so when she wasn’t glued to her phone facebooking him, all she wanted to do was speak about him. It was an overwhelming mix of emotion that came over me faced with my family – nervousness, annoyance, happiness, excitement, anger, embarrassment.

We went out to get something to eat at a lovely Thai restaurant. I had a spicy red curry with coconut rice. So tasty! Afterwards we went to the theatre to see Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. This was where the evening took a turn for the awesome. I’ve always wanted to see this rendition of Swan Lake and it did not disappoint. I loved it. It was fairly strange and I am not entirely certain of the plot (I went in knowing it had something to do with swans, and came out knowing it had something to do with swans) but it was beautiful and gripping and emotional, and with a great streak of humour too. At one point I was so completely absorbed in it that I dropped my program on the lady sitting next to me. I would feel bad, if she hadn’t been texting and whispering for the majority of the performance.

If there is one thing that makes me ache seeing this was remembering when I used play the main swan lake theme on my violin. As I was watching it I couldn’t help but remember what that felt like – it had been one of my favourite pieces to play. That evening I listened to the whole opus and ached to pick up my violin and play. I think sometimes I regret failing my music exams more than I regret failing my A levels because it feels like there is no second chance with it, that it was a lost, wasted opportunity. It has really hit me how I squandered what was a really precious, unique opportunity – a lack of time and money means its impossible to take music lessons now, and I badly need a few refresher lessons before I pick up the violin again. I long to play again though – at the end, it became all about exams and I began to hate it, because I was depressed and it was just too much effort, but I remember what it was like before, how wonderful it was to play, how I loved it and how much I actually did want to become Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8. I love music, I always have. Isn’t it incredible how it can inspire so many emotions in a person? How it can define moments of our lives? And there’s something especially rewarding about being able to create it, rather than just listening to it. But its time consuming and expensive to learn it. I really regret giving up on it before. I hope that regret doesn’t hang over me for a long time, and one day I will be able to face it and my shame at letting it go and play again.

Anyway, after the theatre my sister and I dropped the parents off at their hotel then went back to mine where we just went to bed. I admit I was a bit disappointed – I wanted to talk to my sister a little bit, when the parents weren’t around, bit she was tired, and still occupied with facebooking her boyfriend.

In the morning my sister wouldn’t wake up and get ready so it was a long, boring morning waiting for her to do so. Eventually she did so and we went to pick up the parents and we went to IKEA and to the supermarket – nothing out of the ordinary. It was all right. My sister and mom wanted to shop before going to IKEA so my dad and I went to get coffee, then look at fish in the pet store ( we were both disappointed to find that there was no PCWorld (technology store) or the like we could look around but the pet store was not a bad alternative and certainly better than being dragged around clothes stores) That was nice – my favourite bit of that day.

It was not a bad weekend with my parents overall– not as bad as I feared it may have been.

They left in the early afternoon on Sunday and I moped about until bed time. I really should have done more work as I have some major deadlines coming up. The first is this Thursday for my big coursework and I’m still not done -and my circuit doesn’t even work so I’m going to lose a bunch of marks for not meeting the specifications. I admit, I was disappointed. On Saturday I was so happy with the results, but I was talking to my friend today and he went through it and everything he did was totally different , and made much more sense and worked. I felt oddly hurt. I’d spent so much time on my circuit, so why? Yeah, I felt pretty stupid. “I’m not a good engineer,”I laughed, tried to make a joke of it, but I was irrationally hurt. In the car with my family my sister remarked “me and daddy are waiting for you to get rich cath” and she laughed, and my dad smiled but I knew neither of them were truly joking. I’ve been in university for four years already and I’m still not done – I know I’m a financial burden on my family by this point. I have been aware for a while now that I need to start work – and there is a financial element to it. I think about the engineering jobs and their salaries. But… I’m struggling to get work and its already making me feel down. So that comment hit a nerve. I do not want to be reminded of my failure to get work. I especially dislike the way my father agreed – after telling me just a few hours earlier that he didn’t mind I was probably not going to work this summer. I do feel a bit of a failure right now, as detailed in so many posts before. I feel extremely worried that I’m not a very good engineer, that I’m not particularly suited or “made” for the career I have chosen. There’s so much pressure to succeed isn’t there though? There’s no room for doubt. This is the career I have chosen so I have to stick with it, and hope that someone will eventually hire me and I’ll be able to grow into the sort of engineer I want to be – competent, capable, confident. And earning lots of money so I can repay my dad and my sister for everything they’ve ever given me. I wish they’d just wait a little longer.

I wish I didn’t feel this guilt for being so unsure, so childish right now. I know I’m 22 but surely I’m still allowed to feel uncertain?