Wednesday, 29/01/2014 10:44:06
I’m sitting writing this on the train whilst struggling not to cry. These past few days which should have been amazing, have turned out badly.
On Sunday I woke up at 6am, left the house at 8am and trudged through the rain to the bus stop. I got on the bus and got to the station, and from there the train back home. Seeing my family again was nice, but it still feels so awkward to be at home. I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m home – I feel self conscious, and uncomfortable. Its very strange. On Monday I dragged myself out of bed at 5am, after hardly getting any sleep the night before. I do not know how I managed it – but I was ready by 6:15am. My poor father also had to get up early so he could drive me to the train station, to which we arrived too early, and stood, huddled into our clothes against the freezing cold. My train came and I made my way to my seat reservation, and waved enthusiastically to my father as the train pulled out the station. At this point I was still filled with hope, and probably a little hyper from lack of sleep. It was a long journey- at first I worked on my interview preparation, then as my hyper energy faded away, I leaned against the window and gazed outside, resting. I wanted to close my eyes and sleep, but the scenery was too beautiful as I passed through the lake district into Scotland. Lush green fields to snow covered hills… it was too wonderful to miss. At Edinburgh I changed to the next train and this journey was even more wonderful – curving around the coast, and I was luckily sat on the side of the train that faced the sea. Finally, I arrived into Aberdeen, exhausted and hungry, but still in a good mood. I went to the hotel and dumped my stuff and then went out for lunch. I didn’t stay out long, didn’t bother to explore – I was tired and it was cold. I went back to the hotel and half lay, half sat, with the intention of working on interview preparation. The next thing I knew I was waking up with no idea what time it was or even, for a moment, where I was. Thankfully it was 5.30pm and I had not missed the company dinner that night. I was exhausted though – all my earlier hyper energy gone. I got ready and went out and there were so many people at the dinner and I felt so awkward and out of place.
On Tuesday I woke up at 6am, again, and I was very tired by this point. I got a taxi at 7:15am. The taxi driver was a very talkative old man, who rambled on the entire way. It was strangely soothing listening to him talk – it kept me from my own thoughts, my own fear, that companion to hope. I arrived at the company soon enough. The job interview was quite something. I messed it up royally, and I ended up walking back from the company – a long walk, made uncomfortable in my inappropriate work shoes, but I wanted to work off my disappointment, my anger at myself, that terrible feeling of all your hope coming crashing down around you, slipping away from you. I got back to the hotel room and I sat down on the bed and cried for a good while. Although I just wanted to lie there and mope, I had made plans to meet with my uncle, his wife and my cousin that night. I was terribly nervous about the whole thing – I’ve not seen any of them in years. They were late so I sat the restaurant for half an hour, fretting. I was still filled with all the feelings of the day – nervous energy, dissapointment, regret. Thankfully when they showed up it was…it was actually quite nice. There were a couple of awkward moments, I was so tired and finding it hard to think straight, but for the most part it was OK. It was strange to see my cousin again, too. He’s grown up so much – I still remember him as a young boy but hes grown so tall now, and his voice is starting to change.
Everything about these past few days were so new and different, it left me feeling quite overwhelmed.
Afterwards I went back to the hotel and went to bed. I had to get up early tomorrow and I was determined to get some sleep.
Now I am on the train to Edinburgh. I’m trying not to think about exams, or about the interview, but I cannot help it. The latter especially. I loved Aberdeen, and I wanted the job so badly – more, after spending some time here. And I messed up. Because of my anxiety, because of my shyness, because I am just completely useless. Is there no space for someone like me in this world? I’m 21 and I…look at other people my age and feel alienated. I feel so useless. I feel so childish. I feel like with the way I am, I’m never going to get anywhere- and then what? What can I do if I just keep on failing to deal with this anxiety? I’m so upset. I just want to cry and cry and cry.
Not exactly the feelings I wanted to start my holiday with. The thing is, its not failing the job interview that gets me, its knowing I did not do my best. If I’d gone there and I’d lived up to my full potential – truly tried then I could deal. Its knowing that I messed up, its wondering what I could have been if only I hadn’t gotten the perfect answers to the interviewers questions, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes after the interview. I didn’t do my best, I didn’t show the side of myself I wanted. That I regret.
Wednesday, 29/01/2014 20:56:35
The train journey to Edinburgh was not particularly exciting, I kept checking my watch, waiting for it to end. I was feeling emotional and trapped in my own thoughts and I wanted to escape from those feelings.
I drew into Haymarket station just after lunch. Thanks to google maps, I found the hotel with ease. Its rather tucked away from central Edinburgh, buts its in a quiet area and as I found after I checked in, the rooms are absolutely massive, with high ceilings, and a huge bed and bathroom. It feels very luxurious for a not so expensive hotel. Compared to the last hotel, its significantly cheaper and much better quality – the room is warm and decorated nicely, and no signs of construction. (The hotel in Aberdeen was nice, but poorly heated/freezing cold, and lacking finishing touches – like a towel rail, a do not disturb sign – and there were signs of ongoing renovations everywhere.)
I stayed for a moment to organize myself then headed out to the National Museum of Scotland. Again, thanks to google maps I found it easily – went down the wrong road a couple of times but thanks to GPS I could see I was off route. Maps and GPS are one of the reasons even if a smartphone annoys me sometimes, I’ll never give it up. I think having something like that on you at all times is one of the most brilliant things about recent phones – my old smartphone could never cope. I have no sense of direction and get extremely panicked when I get lost, as I often used to back when I didn’t have a phone with GPS capabilities. Now, I don’t need to worry. I have the postcodes for all the places I want to be and can use GPS to make sure I’m not wondering around with no idea where I am or how to get back to somewhere familiar. (Really, its the GPS that matters – knowing where you are real time, without having to try and figure it out on a map, using street names and landmarks…is really great.)
Anyway, the museum was great. They had a fascinating exhibition on wooly mammoths and other ancient ancestors of todays elephants- they had some of the skeletons, the leg bones were the size of a small child! They also had an interesting exhbition on kabuki prints, and a room packed with taxidermy and skeletons – from t-rex, to giant land sloths and blue whale jaws (the whale jaws fitted around an african elephant!) I found it all fascinating. I also went up to the 7th floor garden terrace which was freezing, but afforded great views of Edinburgh. I spent the whole afternoon at the museum and emerged at 20 to 5 and ended up getting an early supper at 5 – the place I wanted to go was very close. I went to a Japanese restaurant, eager for katsudon. But the food was disappointing – cold green tea from a bottle, packed with preservatives, instant miso soup with no seaweed or tofu, the katsudon was lacking…it was nothing like I’d had in Japan, even the Japanese fast food chain did it better! And for much cheaper. I was a little disappointed. I walked back to the hotel afterwards and have spent the evening lazying about and trying not to feel guilty about it. I’m on holiday! Its OK not to do work! But I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong by being here, by wanting some time off.
On the other hand it is great to be lazy, I had a fun afternoon at the museum, and I am looking forward to going to the botanic gardens and two art museums tomorrow. (Also tomorrow I’m having Thai food and hopefully that restaurant will be better!)