Meanwhile

molly3

{15 more pictures under the cut}

I went home last weekend! I feel like every entry is starting this way. The truth is I have been spending a lot of time at home because I have needed to. I’m depressed right now. There, I came right out with it. I’m not clinically depressed, but I’m feeling really low right now. My disordered eating is bad, my anxiety is bad, and I cry a lot and struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. There is not so much to write about there. Deadlines are piling up and no matter what I do, I never seem to get close to completing anything. It’s making me feel very overwhelmed and anxious.

This is why I’ve been going home so much, of course. I didn’t admit it to myself until recently – but I need help right now. I need people around to make sure I’m eating properly and doing my work. I need looking after. I need my cat. (Please don’t judge me for that one.) And it has been working for me; I had fun during previous trips home, and on my latest two trips back I also had a great time. I managed to get lots of work done, whilst also being able to relax and get out the house a few times to take my mind off things. My cat also stuck to me like glue, and is there anything to make coursework more palatable than a warm, purring cat sleeping on your lap? (Well, apart from her little claws digging into my thighs.)

The previous weekend it was just my sister and I, which was a lot of fun. With my sister breathing down my neck, I got a lot of work done. Whilst also being able to spend time with her, spend a lazy Easter Sunday in Costa with my best friend, and give my cat lots of cuddles.

Last weekend, I was mostly with my mom and dad. I mostly stayed at home and ploughed through some work, but we did go out as a family (minus my sister) on Sunday to a local stately home and gardens to have a wander around there. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the place was already very busy despite getting there early. We decided to head into the mansion first, in order to try and avoid the crowds that would surely come later. Besides, it had been years since we’d been to this place and it had recently been renovated, so we decided to have a thorough look around.

The mansion was partly set up as a war time hospital and we first had a look at those rooms. It was really interesting reading about the early medicine, which was actually a lot more advanced than I realised, and they also had some old newspapers on display which fascinated me, especially the personals as shown above. Life without cell phones, right? I love the woman looking for the person she met on the train, and the love notes are also beautiful. They did however have a bunch of actors wandering around the hospital in character as people from the time which was super creepy. You can see an injured soldier up there browsing through some papers… The rest of the mansion is set up as it would have been lived in, which was also interesting. I fell hard for the library especially, and spent some time enthusiastically talking to the guide in that area. Apparently, books were sent to the house unbound, and if accepted were sent away to be bound with the house’s personal crest on the spine. They also have some very old books, with one dating right back to 1539 although I was disappointed to learn that was not on display. Either way, working in a bookstore has definitely turned my love of books into a sickness.

After the house we went to the cafe for a hearty lunch at the ever wonderful National Trust Cafe’s – I had a delicious vegan spicy bean soup. Then we went to look at the gardens. I had been dying to see the bluebell wood, which always reminds me of I Capure the Castle, but unfortunately we came at an awkward time as the things we wanted to flower were either finished (my bluebells :( ) or yet to bloom (the lovely new rose garden). It was still very pretty. I was taken with the Chinese Red Birch and there were some beautiful tulips, cherry blossoms and magnolia trees in full bloom.

I also liked having my parents to myself, selfish, but whatever. As the younger, quieter sibling it is nice to have their attention without having to fight for it. We had a braii later and again, it was nice and relaxed and pleasant to be at home, with my family and my cat. Monday passed quietly with more work, and then Tuesday much the same, except that evening I went to Paint Nite with my sister. Paint Nite works like thus: you get given paints, a blank canvas and loose, casual instructions as to how to paint a certain picture and then you can do what the hell you like. There is a bar close by, and drinking is encouraged (although neither my sister and I wanted to.) My painting is shown above – I’m pleased with it but the lack of planning shows, I wish my background was stronger and that my cherry blossoms had a logical shape! Either way it was great fun, very casual, not competitive, and I’m planning to go with my sister again sometime. It was great to have a night off and to truly forget about university for a few hours. And to be honest, I had not painted since high school and I had forgotten how much fun it was. My dad drove me home after that, and thats where I’ve been since. This week has been bad, because once I don’t have my parents around to watch me I slip easily back into bad habits.

Apart from that, nothing much. Nothing much at all. Still learning to drive, with my test coming up in June. Still working at the book store and mostly enjoying it. But most of all I’m just trying to get through these last few weeks of university, and mostly failing, but at least it will soon be over. I pray for it to be over.

THE FINAL

Aomori
I had my Japanese Level 3 exam tonight. I was running a little late and I had not done nearly enough revision, nor nearly enough work during the semester, and so unsurprisingly it did not go that well. It was a decent paper too; I just struggled with the Kanji and the last essay I had no idea what to write so I just regurgitated as much as I could from my presentation on Monday even if it was not entirely related to the question. Oh yes, Monday evening I talked for 10 minutes in Japanese in front of actual people. It was terrifying. I had done my best to prepare – but I had a coursework due last Friday that took up all last week, so I really only had the weekend to prepare. I did my best to prepare, and of course ate a load of chocolate, cake, drank coke and sugary juice beforehand to get me all hyped up. The presentation actually went OK, I followed my script and did my best not to look anyone in the eye whilst still not staring at my script, it just fell apart afterwards when the teacher was asking me questions. Today I could answer her questions in Japanese, after mulling over them for some time and checking the dictionary. Put on the spot like that my mind went blank. The iffy presentation with the iffy writing test makes me nervous. I know it has no effect on my degree, but I want the certificate saying I did this thing. I enjoyed my Japanese classes – the people were so nice, the lessons interesting, informative not only on the language, but on the culture. We even got to play Japanese games and on Monday, we sat and did origimi. It was a unique, fun experience but I also want a record of it.

I do wonder what’s going to happen with my Japanese studies now. Studying Japanese is my hobby, of a sorts, but it’s a different hobby from, say, passing out in front of the computer or reading. There’s a certain amount of commitment and effort needed for it. I already struggled this semester to balance it out with my coursework, would I realistically want to balance it out with a 40 hour work week? And the question that has been hovering over me for all this time, and that I have been trying to ignore, what is the point of me learning? I don’t like to put effort into things without knowing there is some end goal. I still love Japan and Japanese, and want to go to Japan again, but is it worth carrying on learning Japanese for this? When speaking English in Japan has proved perfectly fine both times I’ve been, not to mention I’m not sure if or when I will go back. Is it worth it continuing it to try and understand the dramas and music I now watch and listen to less and less? My passion for Japan and Japanese has not died, but my academic life and soon to be career is demanding all my attention. Where does Japanese fit in?

It just feels so sad. Spending all this money, putting in some time (I won’t claim to be completely hard working), investing myself in this for so long. It’s like my other now useless skills – playing the violin and classical singing. I spent years learning music theory, practicing (probably not enough) and again, investing myself in that thing. Only to end up letting it go, unable to look at without feeling loss and regret of what I cannot have (talent, confidence, a career in it.) Even now I cannot listen to an orchestral piece without feeling regret and longing. How I long to play my violin, to learn the piano like I’ve always wanted to. To understand music theory again. To be able to sing. My voice sounds so weak these days. I miss my fun singing lessons too, where I also learned about how to be confident, about correct posture and pronunciation, and how to pretend I can speak different languages. I miss both my music teachers. I loved it so much. I hated it too – it was such hard work and I had no knack for it. Either way, it was such a big part of my life, and I miss it, but I cannot see a way to work it back in my life, nor can I really afford to in the literal sense. Not to mention once you stop, how do you start again? When you’ve already forgotten everything. It makes me sad to think that this is what Japanase will likely become for me.

I still love Japan and Japanese, but I don’t know how they fit into my life anymore.

My Japanese books will probably join my music books and violin, shoved into a forgotten corner of the house, growing dusty. The longer it goes on, the more regret, and guilt for spending all that money, grows. It seems such a waste.

“And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognize as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do – determined to save the only life you could save.”

On Tuesday I was woken by the phone ringing. It was a graduate recruiter phoning me back about my recent interview. I listened half-heartedly, waiting for the “however” to drop after the thank you for your time‘s and it was very competitive pleasantries. I bolted up right, suddenly awake, when the however never came. Instead-

I got the job.

I have a job!

I didn’t know what to say. The rest of the call passed in a blur. After the phonecall I sat there for a moment, wondering if I was really awake. Then I promptly started calling all my family – my sister, my father, my mother. I couldn’t believe it. I think even they didn’t quite believe it. They were as shocked as I was, but also as happy and proud. My sister was practically ultrasonic so she was so happy for me. It felt good to make my family proud. I had to go into university after that and I could hardly concentrate. I knew I had to. That I had to really get stuck into my work now. Because the job comes with one condition – that I get a 2:1 degree class. Which is something I am working towards, but I still feel very pressured now. I cannot slip up. This is a once in the lifetime opportunity, hanging in the balance. Just a little mistake, just a tiny slip in my grades, could mean I lose this, this amazing gift that I’ve been given.

And I’ve not been good this year. I’ve been depressed over job hunting – I had 15 job rejections, including 4 failed interviews, before I got this. I am struggling with my project. I am tired, I cannot sleep and keep missing lectures because I struggle to wake up in the mornings after a whole night of tossing and turning and fretting. I haven’t been working as hard as I should have. I have been struggling to concentrate. I am stressed, with so many difficult projects to tackle and exams to work for, on top of the stress of job hunting that I had. (Had!)

I try to reassure myself. I’ve come this far, I’ve only got a little longer to go. I can do this. But on Tuesday evening, after I had calmed down and thought it all through, I realised I was afraid. I had to take a couple of my anxiety pills – even though I was just sitting at home. Because I was freaking out. It really sunk in that this was it – this was the last crucial year, this was all I had left, and then I am going to be thrown out into the real world. I’ve got to live by myself in a new city and I will have to drive to work and then I will have to work from 8am to 5pm and study for my engineering chartership in my free time—

I am going to be earning money for the first time in my life. I’m going to be able to buy you things for once! I told my sister, ecstatic at the thought. All I want to do is be able to pay my own bills and treat my family occasionally. And I will. But I’m going to have to work like crazy for that money. And—

This is terrifying. I’m so happy, so relieved to have made it, so shocked and unbelievably grateful. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted, and it’s so close to being mine. I am terrified of losing it.

But let’s end this on a positive. 5 years ago I failed my A levels after years after struggling with depression. My teachers, my parents told me I would never be an engineer, they asked me with concern what I was planning on doing with my future. University’s turned me away. I did not listen and I fought for what I wanted, fought to believe that I was capable of more. I snuck into an engineering foundation year through clearing and worked like crazy to get into an electrical engineering course.

5 years later, I’m about to graduate with an integrated masters in electrical engineering and enter a competitive engineering graduate development scheme in my chosen field. I will be working towards becoming a chartered electrical engineer. I’m going to be living in a great city – one of my favourites! And I will get to stay in the North of England and near the Peak District just like I wanted to. I will be close to my family. I will have financial stability.

I do feel a little bit awesome. I tell myself not to, not to jinx it! But hell with it, I did it. I really did it!

“A stone on the path means the tea’s not ready, a stone in the hand means somebody’s angry, the stone inside you still hasn’t hit bottom.”

I haven’t really done much this week.

I went to Japanese class on Monday evening, and I went into uni for the day on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday I overslept and missed lectures, and then I had to rush to get ready so I could go to my driving lesson before catching the bus to go up to Leeds. I had another assessment centre on Thursday. I wasn’t looking forward to it, although I was looking forward to a night in a fancy hotel.

The train ride was fairly quick but it was boring. And packed. I was packed in with another lady, both of us with our suitcases wedged in front of us, both of us reading. It was quite nice in a way, to be doing the same thing. But not particularly comfortable. Eventually I felt a little sick and more than a little moody, so I sat and listened to music and stared out the window for the rest of the train ride. I got into Leeds in the evening, and it was strange being there again. My sister had gone to university in Leeds, so I associated Leeds as her city, and as a place I have many memories of spending time with my sister there.

As I stepped out through the ticket barriers I fully expected to see my sister waiting for me there. I’d never been to Leeds and not had her there. I saw her so clearly, right down to the details- her clothes, her silly hat, her smile- that I had to stop for a moment and try and bring myself back to reality. Nothing had changed in that station and it was like stepping back in time. There was my sister waiting, there was the McDonald’s she brought me to for breakfast before I got my train that one time. That memory made me smile: it had only been around 7am but I had insisted that she buy me a mcflurry, and naturally I felt nauseous the whole train ride home consequently, much to my sisters amusement. And then the other memories came and I longed to be with my sister. I wanted to go back to her house and spend the whole weekend lazying about marathoning The IT Crowd. I wanted to go buy cheap £1 cheese pizza slices with her. I wanted to go see bizarre French films at her local art cinema with her. I wanted to take selfies with her in front of her uni. (Well actually, it was our reflections in a glass building, which only made it that more ridiculous.) I wanted to go see Dir en Grey with her again, my first concert, taste vodka for the first time with her at that concert, curl up and go to sleep beside her and wake up to my sister annoyed because I’d punched her accidentally whilst I’d been sleeping, although we were so tired we ended up laughing over it. We’d always laugh over the fact that she slept like the dead whilst I am a violent sleeper who moves around a lot, all flailing arms and cold feet pressed against her.

There were so many good memories. I remembered that one weekend I went to hers after fighting with my mother, how she took me in on less than a days notice, the way I went to see her on my birthdays – she took me to see Dir en grey and complained the whole time, but sat through it and took videos for me. She took me to a comedy show for my 18th birthday and introduced me to different types of alcohol and let me get drunk, but also told me when to stop. That that was my limit and I must always stick to it. (I decided after that not to drink at all, but I still appreciated it. )

OK maybe I’m making the memories more glossy than they should be. There was that time she wanted to go to a bar with me and some of her friends, but I was too young so we all had to go back to hers. Her friends were being drunk and rowdy and I hated it. But even then my sister made sure to attend to me- to give me something to eat, to tell her friends to back off if they were being too much. That’s why my sister is my sister, but also my best friend, and even a second mother to me. I was always aware of how she nurtured and protected me. It made me feel so loved. It blew me away really- how much she loved me. How lucky I was to have that kind of relationship with my sister. I thought things would always stay that way between us. That we’d never drift apart. Other siblings, but not us. Nothing would ever be able to break us up. She would always be there. Her standing in front, protecting, and me standing behind, being protected.

Except something did change. She grew up and entered a new stage in her life. I remained the same. And I am taking the changing nature of our relationship hard because I need my sister so much. Probably more than she needs me. Grief is such a weird emotion. I didn’t know it was possible to feel so devastated over something so intangible and hard to describe as sisterhood, and the loss of whatever it is.

Arriving in Leeds was like arriving home to something, something familiar about it, but also strange because that familiarity was long gone. I stepped out of the station, shook of the memories and focused on finding the hotel.

I did a literal double take when I saw the hotel – the company had booked me a room at the Queens. Which is one of the best hotels in Leeds, according to both google and my sister. It had a red carpet to the door and spotlights shining down on the entrance, a concierge in a top hat and suit waiting before the door. I couldn’t bring myself to enter for a moment and when I did and the concierge greeted me as madam and wished me a good stay I felt desperately anxious that maybe I’d got the wrong place. That only got worse when they couldn’t find my booking. Thankfully they eventually did and I went to the lifts – which were lined with golden mirrors inside if you please – and to my room. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Lets just say that 4 star in Bangkok is very different from 4 star in the UK. It was nice though. I was taken with the décor – all bold patterns, reds and creams and dark wood. I looked forward to a quiet evening in doing work.

I went out to get Mcdonalds, how classy am I eating cheap mcd’s in my four star fancy hotel, and then sat back and did not work – but watched kdramas and enjoyed my crappy food, being able to have the heating on really high and the quiet, clean atmosphere. The next day I couldn’t get the shower to work and had to phone reception to get someone to fix it and lets just say it wasn’t broken. That was embarrassing. I think I realised why it was a four star hotel then, and even more so at breakfast. The service was impeccable. From the polite front desk staff, to the friendly concierge (who remembered me the next day!) to the service at breakfast. Man, this was the first place which has had a disclaimer about allergens on the menu. So I didn’t feel too uncomfortable asking the waiter if I could get porridge made with water. And he was so nice about it. I got my porridge with water. I got green tea. Fresh cut fruits. It was delicious and the service was friendly and helpful and so wonderfully aware of and accommodating to different dietary requirements. It was the first hotel breakfast buffet where I had that luxury. After that I packed up and checked out and waited for the taxi. There was a mix up with the booking which was stressful but I eventually did get to my assessment centre, even if I was unfortunately 20 minutes late.

It didn’t go badly but it could have gone better. Of all things to go wrong I ended up having a coughing fit in the middle of my technical interview- a full on eyes watering, snot dripping, cannot breathe, choking, kind of coughing fit. I had to excuse myself from the meeting it got so bad. It was not the image I wanted to present. The day was turning out to be embarrassing in all kinds of weird ways. After the day ended I went back to the hotel to pick up my luggage and get changed in the cramped hotel bathroom stalls, into something comfortable, because I still hate wearing work attire. This time I wore a skirt and it was good for keeping me sitting up straight, but also so tight around the waist it was hard to move or like, breathe. I was wearing stockings too and they kept shifting down. Such a pain. I got subway for a hasty supper at the train station, very healthy eating these pasty few days right, and joined the crowds waiting for the train. The crowds were so thick that they came almost to the edge of the platform, and I felt worried watching anyone walking past, as they did have to walk right on the edge of the platform to get past. Eventually the train came – late- and I was squished up into my seat again as it was again packed. I have always wondered, ever since I commuted by train and every time I use the train since, where all these people are going and what for. Train stations get so busy, even the long distance trains get packed up daily, where is everyone going? Why? It fascinates me.

I was exhausted, too exhausted to really care about being uncomfortably cramped, and so exhausted even that I passed out and only woke a few minutes before the train pulled into my stop. On one hand, lucky me for waking up then. On the other hand, I could have easily ended up in Plymouth. Can you imagine? I dragged myself and my bag to the bus station, it was pouring with rain just to make my life that more fun, and very dark and quiet in the back streets I had to walk along, which was scary. I got the bus and eventually got home, went to bed.

Haven’t really done any work this week. Have managed to send off a few more job applications. Have mostly spent a lot of time in bed, exhausted and not feeling very well. (I have my third cold/possible virus in three months. My body hates me right now.) It does not really feel like I’m at university right now. I feel distant from it. I feel distant from everything, to be honest. I am aware that I am becoming reclusive. I haven’t been to work in a couple of weeks, I have only just been keeping up with my driving lessons, I have been skipping a lot of lectures and meetings and not studying. I get this way when I get sad and start feeling like whats the point. I start withdrawing. I want to quit everything and just stay indoors and never, ever leave. Its not good. Again, I’ll have to set the deadline as Monday and hope that this week will be the week I can do better.

“We’re all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out”

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Wednesday Night, I got back after a hectic five days travelling all over the country. I had an assessment centre on Monday in the North of England, and another on Wednesday in the South. Yeah.

I went home on Friday night, to see my mother and my cat and to break the travel north up a bit. My father is away on business, again, and I get the feeling that my mother gets lonely without him around, and finds it tiring looking after the house and herself whilst working long shifts. I can understand that. I get like that too, living alone. Some nights I come home and wish there was a meal waiting for me, that the dishes had been done, that the trash had been taken out. I don’t usually have anyone to pick up for me when I’m busy though, not like my mother has my father. So I went home and spent the weekend babying my mother a little – keeping the house neat for her, making sure she had nice food to come home too, listening to her. I had a good time – my mother was working so I had the house to myself a lot. Just me and my cat in a nice quiet, heated house- what could be better? On Sunday I hooked my phone up to our HD TV and watched korean dramas whilst ironing. I felt like a total ajumma but korean dramas, a mindless chore, the sun streaming through the windows and my cat sleeping on the mat nearby. It was wonderful. I needed that.

On Monday my mother woke me up early so I could catch the train to my first assessment centre. As the train pulled away she waved and blew kisses which was embarrassing, but also kind of cute and made me smile. The day turned out to be very long and tiring. On the way back I picked up katsu curry from yo sushi, because I did not want to cook but I wanted to keep my personal promise to myself that I wouldn’t let my mother do anything until I left. Then my mom picked me up from the station and we got home, planning to go straight to bed, food and all. My mom had to catch a call from her friend so I sat down to eat by myself – although the cat has started to climb up on the table to sleep at night, and that evening she took it to the next level – climbing up and sniffing at my plate, at my spoon as I lifted it to eat. I started to laugh, I couldn’t help it. I knew I shouldn’t encourage her but she was so blatant and cheeky, and so cute for it. I ended up reaching out with a chopstick, flicking it side to side and my cat started playing. I realised she was entering crazy time and abandoned supper to play with her, laughing and teasing her. I needed that too. My cat makes me so happy. My cat grew tired and gave up and my mom got off the phone so we took to bed. I curled up with my favourite stuffed toy next to my mom and we watched crappy TV and talked. We were both exhausted after our long days. This is how it’s going to be every day when you get a job, my mom told me, and I whined at that because I was so tired I could barely move – the whole day keeping up a mask, trying to be someone else (I read somewhere that if you are shy you should pretend to be someone confident you know when at job interviews. I pretend to my sister. It’s exhausting – we are nothing alike – but I definitely feel more approachable and less awkward when I do this) and I cannot even imagine having to do that every day.

I had Tuesday morning to myself where I planned to get up and do prep for the next interview, but I slept in and then rushed about to pack and get ready. My mom took me to the station again, with a quick trip to McDonalds before hand. Perhaps not the best idea as I had a long, stressful journey to look forward to, not that I had quite thought out how much it would be so.

There had been a landslide in the south of England, you see, which is causing massive disruptions to transport around it. For me, I then had to go via London to get down to the city I needed to be. The journey to London was quick but went slowly if you know what I mean – it was so dull. I tried to work but it made me feel travel sick. Well, that and the McD’s beforehand probably. I got to London and immediately I felt panicky. Where did I go? There were so many people too. I eventually found the subway, and then I had to ask for directions and then I got down into the labyrinths of London’s subway system proper and felt totally overwhelmed and out of place – a country bumpkin in my bulky northern winter clothes and walking boots and big bag. I got told off on the elevator by a pissed off Londoner for standing on the wrong side of it. On the subway now, I nearly fell over and my bag did and I felt embarrassed as hell. I was hot and felt dirty. I knew I looked like a tourist. Out of place. I made it to Paddington where my day picked up a little as there was a South African stall right there. This meant I could spend the next train ride – it must have been a diesel train as it had manual doors and windows which could be left right down! – standing by the huge open window in the vestibule, breathing in deeply the cold air after the filth and muggy heat of London’s underground, munching happily on biltong before downing a cold Fanta – with all the sweeteners left in, compared to the rubbish UK version. Eventually I made it to the city I needed to be, found my bus ok and even succeeded in making my way to my hotel without fuss. The hotel was amazing – look at that bed- but I had left all my charging leads at home which meant I couldn’t quite chill out and work on my thesis and job prep as I anticipated- I had even set up tethering on my phone to do so- but my phone was too flat and my laptop although mostly charged does not hold charge like it used to when it was new. Dinner was from lidl – cold pasta salad, strawberries and chocolate. A little dodgy, but cheap. It was all OK, but a little boring. I went to bed early as the next morning I had to get up early to make the breakfast buffet – bacon on croissants for breakfast remains one of the best things about hotels – and get myself checked out to be ready for pickup at 8am. Breakfast was so weird – there were all these business men in their suits and it hit me that there I was, in my shirt and pants, just like them. I was on business just like them. It was very, very weird. I felt like an imposter. Anyway, then I had to get to the company for another long, tiring day. This one was worse, as I wanted this job really badly…

After that I had to make me way home again. I wanted to avoid London so decided to risk the replacement bus going on my original route. Bad idea. My phone was flat. I had to get a train (OK), a bus (packed to the max and chugging along in heavy traffic), a train (cramped), another train(OK) and another bus(blessedly empty) and a short walk(which felt longer than it probably was) before finally getting home. A two hour journey turned into five hours. With a flat phone and a flat laptop so little to do but listen to music and stew in how miserable and bored I was. I was so tired when I got home. I slept through the next morning and could barely concentrate in my lecture in the afternoon. The next day I missed work and barely made my driving lesson, and only just got myself to do some work on my coursework.

The thing is, neither of my assessment centres went well. And it’s really knocked my confidence. I struggle to talk about it here – I don’t know what would be too much information, crossing boundaries. But basically I just don’t feel like I measure up. I don’t feel ready and I think they (companies) look at me and don’t think I’m ready either. I feel technically incompetent. It’s embarrassing having to admit to how badly my project is going right now. Its embarrassing how much I stumble when asked about basic engineering principles- my mind just goes blank and I end up saying something stupid, or nothing at all. I’m not good at the social part of assessment centres – lunch and breaks where you are expected to mingle, and I’m never sure if we are also being assessed then too. Either way, I do not know how to mingle. Pretending to be my sister can only get me so far, after all. On Thursday I changed put of my work clothes in a cramped bathroom stall at the train station even though I nearly missed me train to do so – because I just could not stand wearing my work clothes a second longer. I don’t feel like they suit me – as if I’m a child dressing up in an adults clothes. I don’t know how to carry on with uni when it feels so pointless now, when it feels like all my hard work is amounting to nothing. I have always believed that if I worked hard enough things would work out, but here is a thing – job seeking – where it doesn’t matter how hard you work. Sometimes, you just aren’t good enough. You just don’t measure up. Or “fit the requirements” to put it formally. And isn’t that terrible? I am beginning to wonder if I will be able to get an engineering job. But if not engineering, then what? Just what is going to happen to me after graduation? I don’t know, I don’t know. And I hate that. It is stressing me out, paralysing me with fear. What am I supposed to be working towards? What use is it working for a 2:1 when you can’t even get a job with it? All these questions go round and round my head. I know I need to move on, somehow. So I’ve set the deadline as Monday morning – come Monday I will work, regardless of how I’m feeling. I can mope now, but I still have things I need to do. Responsibilities. If nothing else, I owe it to myself to keep going and stay true to my own beliefs, even if right now the world is trying to tell me things don’t actually work like that. I tell myself that and try to believe it.

I have more lectures and labs next week. Another awkward meeting with my supervisor where we both wish we were somewhere else entirely. More driving lessons. Another assessment centre to go cross country to. I’m so tired. I’ve got to keep moving forward though.

Monday morning.

I’ll have gotten over it by then.

(NB: the pictures are lying slightly as the top one is from the North and the bottom one is my hotel in the South. Oh well. )