"The mood you're in, that'd be the worst thing to read right now."

March 30th, 2014, 8pm

It was 13°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was light.

I went home, that is back to my parents’ house, last weekend for Mother’s Day. I was in a foul mood. A great black hole of stress and worry consisting of essays, revision & what to do after graduation was swelling up inside of me, and any energy, any positivity I had was being sucked into it until I became a walking zombie. As I sat at the dinner table with my grandmas, my parents, my newly-wed sister and her husband fresh from their honeymoon, my mind was blank, conversation was near impossible. My mind and body just felt heavy.

My mum has always said that she can never tell what I’m thinking. She alternates between fretting that I’m hiding terrible secrets from her, to telling me that I should apply from the Foreign Office because this would surely be a great skill for a diplomat to have. While I appreciate her confidence in my potential, I have yet to quite work out how to appropriately express this talent of mine on an application form.

It seems, however, that last week my mood was so bad to the extent that I couldn’t keep it hidden, hence my mum’s less than thrilled reaction when she found me sitting in bed at eight in the evening reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. She had a point. She proceeded to drag me out on an evening walk and engage me in one of my least favourite activities: talking.

They say mothers are always right and considering how very much I doubt I would make a good diplomat, I can’t say, with regard to my own mum, that I agree wholly. That said, she is right more than I would care to admit (i.e. the majority of the time, but I don’t think the sulky teenager convinced they know best ever leaves us completely.) During our walk, my mum was full of reassurances and encouragement and I, in response, was full of pessimism and doubt.

Nearly a week later, I feel a lot better. I’ve progressed with my dissertation. I got an offer for a graduate job - a job I don’t particularly want, mind, but it’s nice to know someone out there thinks I’m employable. I had a date with the boy I thought wasn’t going to call. So, I suppose this time I have to (grudgingly) say, mum was right.

Esther, Conor and Christine said thanks.

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Ellen Catriona

I want the courage to explore

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