on being a control freak, when you didn’t even realise you were one

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It grips my brain with craggy nails,

Dragging sharp and painful lines

And causing headaches, twisted organs

Wanting just a little light relief,

A clue, a prompt, anything to grasp

To help me find my way.

I have my interview in the morning and I am stressing. I would normally be flapping and making a fuss, but I’m even worse tonight because I have been told that I have a curriculum based activity to do, and I don’t know what it is.

I thought that I would be planning a lesson, but if that was the case, I would have been given the task ahead of time so that I could actually plan it. The Acting Head Teacher emailed me and told me to send him a message if I don’t have an email outlining the task before 9am in the morning. But the interview is at 9am!

I feel like I have no control and I it’s giving me chest pains, and I also need to calm down. I didn’t realise how much of a control freak I was, but I am now seeing that I need everything to be my way. I don’t get angry if they are not, but I panic.

People always say that control freaks are aggressive and angry, so that is why I never thought that I was like that. But I guess you can react in all sorts of ways and I’m showing that blind panic is one of those reactions.

Much Love

Rachel xx

doppelganger

pexels-photo-4355631.jpeg
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My face reflected in the contours of her nose,

Her cheek, her chin, the gently sloping lip.

Our hair is like the snowy blonde

Of Sweden and of Norway too, No-one knows

The difference between the two, their languages

So similar, and land alike they’re practically a twin.

I’ll turn back to you when I feel unsure

Of who I am, of what I am, of what it is that I could be.

You’ll show me how to plant my feet so similar

To those that keep you rooted to your home.

I’m always blown away when somebody really looks like a celebrity and I wonder what it must be like to get confused with someone famous. It must be such a strange sensation to walk down the street and know that people are looking and know why they are looking.

When I was younger, there was a guy in my school who used to swear blindly that I was the double of Lindsay Davenport, the tennis player. And as I’ve got older, I think I’ve started to look more and more like Amy Farrah Fowler. But I would hardly imagine people could stop me in the street mistaking me for one of them.

I do think that I have one of those faces that is comparable to lots of people. I regularly having people ask me how my sister is or if my mum is better or other random questions because they think I’m someone else. I am convinced that I have a doppelganger in my town as it happens that often.

When I moved to my current flat, the guy who I hired to move my stuff literally stopped in his tracks when he saw me and asked what TV programme he knew me from. I had to disappoint him and confirm that I was not famous.

I do believe that everyone has their double wandering around somewhere on the planet. I haven’t met mine but I don’t think she lives far away so there is a chance that I could meet her really soon.

Much Love

Rachel xx

everybody loves a scare story…

child in ghost costume sitting in park
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I’ll scare you half to death

Because I love that face you pull

With eyebrows raised and mouth an ‘O’.

I want to see your heart drop through

To your stomach, see your fear,

Smell it in the air.

I don’t know why I love it so

But scaring you’s my favourite game.

So, yesterday I garbled a worried post about the school I’m interviewing at. I had been told by various friends and teachers that the school was a bit rough and maybe not the best fit for me. And the more I thought about it the more my anxiety began to rise.

I got in touch with an old friend that I found out was working there and I just thought I’d ask the question. I didn’t think it could hurt to get some inside knowledge. And you know what? She said it’s great.

She sent me a long text, telling me all about the kids and how the reputation of the school seems to precede it. It was very bad in the past and it is in a less than perfect area, but it has a Good on its latest Oftsed inspection, a brand new building and no more behaviour problems than anywhere else in the town.

This brought me back to last August when I told people the name of the school that I was assigned to for training. Everyone looked at me with wide eyes and told me that I’d be eaten alive. And you know what? It was fine.

My point is that I feel like everyone wants to tell you a bit of a scare story. They seem to like it when they see you worry. I don’t always think they’re being cruel. I think that sometimes they really do worry for me and want to watch out for me. But I do really need to stop listening to those people that tell me something is awful and that I won’t be able to handle it.

So much of what we read and what we are told is sensationalized. I need to remember that I don’t need to listen to every piece of advice and take it at face value. Sometimes people are jealous and don’t want to see you succeed. And sometimes they love you and they don’t want you to get hurt. Just take it all with a pinch of salt…

Much Love

Rachel xx

happy news is always good news

Love can shine through photographs

And joy should spread like sweetest viruses

That pull us in and crack a smile

And smiles are all we need to move

Through this world of hurt and pain.

So soak it up and don’t turn sour,

You need this healthy medicine

To soothe the aches and pains of life.

I saw this photograph and my heart just melted with happiness for them. The love and joy just seems to shine out from the picture and my immediate thought was how similar the shot is to the one at the end of the movie, Notting Hill.

I kind of just wanted to put the picture on my blog because I like to flick through the pictures every so often and it’s nice to have either a fond memory or just a nice feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I do think that, as a couple, these two have taken a bit of battering and it’s nice to see that they have something lovely to celebrate. I’m a huge fan of the royals and I think it’s so sad that they felt the need to leave, but I think that we should all be respectful of their decision. After all, it is a job of sorts, and nobody would make you feel ashamed for leaving a job that made you miserable in a normal situation.

I’m sure that most people can really wish them well and feel happy for them. We are in the middle of a pandemic and I think that we need to grab onto everyone’s happy news. We need to stop being nasty and bitter because we are hiding behind a screen and a keyboard. In my opinion, good news breeds more good news, so let’s not stamp on this.

Much Love

Rachel xx

romance fraud

roll of american dollar banknotes tightened with band
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The money drain through wires on fire

With lies and words that burn through skin.

She trusted him, his deep blue eyes

And promises of heartfelt love,

But really it cannot work out,

The distance and the age for one,

The cruelty of the scam.

I was listening to Jeremy Vine today and he was talking about romance fraud. For those not in the UK, Jeremy Vine has a radio show and he talks about things that have been in the news and takes calls from experts and the public to talk about their opinions and experiences.

Now I know what romance fraud is, I had just never heard it being given a name that was solid and real. It is where somebody gets scammed on line by a person that they thought they were in love with and I think most people have at least heard some of the horror stories about people losing thousands of pounds because of it.

A lot of the time, we listen to these stories and just shake our heads and think how stupid these people must be. But are they? Love is a bloody powerful drug and it can make us humans do some pretty crazy stuff.

I listened to the stories these callers had and I could feel my insides turn, thinking of the pain that they must have gone through. It must be such a shock to lose all that money, but they’re not just losing the money, they’re also losing love. And that must really hurt.

My ex husband saw me coming and he took a fair bit of money from me. Luckily, I didn’t have a lot to give because I was in my teens when he got his claws in. I came out of it with my savings account looking much lighter and the embarrassment of a failed marriage and it is always the loss of the love the hurts the most when I think back to that time.

It’s hard to know what to do in these situations because I think that it’s important we let our defenses down and try to find love, but it can also send you doolally. I guess I’d just say be careful. Don’t harden your heart (which is what I have done), but don’t put yourself at risk.

Much Love

Rachel xx

alice down the rabbit hole

It’s strange to fall with nothing there

To grab, to hold, until she reaches earth,

Solid and inviting, somewhere to feel pain.

But it’s a dangerous place to go

With no way out with ease,

Just a soft and comfortable

Place to cry, and never stop

Until she’s all run dry.

Ugh, I’ve gone down a bit of a rabbit hole and I feel a bit ashamed of it. I’ve gone to that place where I’m feeling very vulnerable and, truth be told, quite frightened.

I have been doing so well over past months but the divorce between my parents is coming to a head and the family home has been sold. I need to go and collect my belongings while my mother sits in the living room pretending that I don’t exist. My dad and I are not allowed to go into the living room or acknowledge her in any way.

That kind of hurts. I’ve done nothing and my mother has basically washed her hands of me.

And then I work, I had the parent complain that I was putting too much stress on the students because I said that I would dish out behaviour points if students didn’t hand in any work. I had the child asking for the recording of the lesson and the parent on the phone to the school within minutes of the lesson ending.

I’ve always been pulled up on my behaviour management and I’ve been marked down time and time again because they say I’m too forgiving and I need to be stricter. It wouldn’t be so bad if the school had backed me up, but I feel a bit like they agreed with the parent and I got a slap on the wrist.

I had a cry while I was out on my run today, then I cried on the phone to my dad. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole because it’s hard to scrabble back up the sides. I just know I need to breathe through this and stay calm.

There is a reason for everything. I wasn’t meant to grow old in that house. I need to learn something from that complaint. And I can’t control people, places or things. Just let go and let God.

Much Love

Rachel xx

junk mail musings

multi coloured wooden mailbox mounted on door
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Scattered over lino floors, in multicoloured piles,

Covered in the kitty litter, kicked from battered trays.

I dust it off and shuffle into straighter lines,

They set me off just wondering what life would be

Fishing through the ads for blinds and credit cards,

The pizzas calling out to me, for dinner, tea,

No reason really; they just exist to taunt my mind

If I could have those fancy blinds, the half price couch

The bowls of noodle soup, and black bean sauce

That come with free delivery. I haven’t even

Taken off my high heeled shoes, sitting on the stairs.

They’ll all go in the bin, eventually,

But not until I’ve dreamed….

just play dead

dried red flowers
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Still like a possum

Scared as the humans pass by

With no harm in mind

I had training with the other English teachers today and there was a point where we were reading through some resources and the tutor just cold called on me, asking if I had any thoughts. I’d zoned out a bit and I had nothing so I just stayed quiet.

The thing was that I had my camera on so she could see that I was there and she just kept calling my name and I just kept ignoring her. It was painful.

I have written about the way that I freeze when I’m put under pressure. I don’t run away or fight, I just stand very still. So I know that that is a pretty typical reaction from me. However, it’s really showing how quickly I revert into my old ways when something goes badly.

My next goal in life is therefore to be able to say the words ‘I don’t know’. I don’t want to risk sounding ridiculous so playing dead feels safer. But really it’s probably safer to admit I’m not sure. The way I handled it means my tutor just thinks I’m rude, or stupid.

Thankfully, if COVID has brought us one good thing, it is the fact that we can blame our own stupidity on tech issues so if I want to continue lying, I can just tell her I couldn’t unmute myself. Sorted.

Much Love

Rachel xx

botched

man hands love people
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Boobs all wonky, noses crooked,

Muffin tops and saggy skin,

They can be fixed, carved

Into the perfect, sculpted shape.

But just remember that your beauty

Is priced so high because you’ll know

That your face is stuffed with fat

The surgeon sucked out of your ass.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I love watching Botched whenever I’m writing. It’s the perfect TV to watch when you can’t dedicate too much attention to it, but you do want some entertainment.

I find some of the cases fascinating and it does get me thinking about whether I would ever get anything done. There is so much risk and I don’t like hospitals at the best of times so, on the one hand, I think it would be a ridiculous thing to do. Plus, I’m not even one of those girls who wears makeup and dresses up nicely. I’m a bit of a plain Jane who loves to wear sweatshirts and leggings.

But then there is that other part of me that sees a really gorgeous woman in the street and thinks ‘wow, I wish I could look that hot’. If I could just get that bump in my nose straightened out. If I could get my boobs lifted or the bags under my eyes removed.

But what would I actually be achieving? I’m not famous; I don’t have millions of people looking at me every day. I doubt anyone in the last year has commented on my looks behind my back, and if they have, I don’t know how much I care. I’d feel a bit sorry for them for the fact that that’s all they have to talk about.

So no, I don’t think I’d ever spend my hard earned cash on plastic surgery. I can completely understand why people would and I think that if it makes you happy then you should absolutely go ahead and do it. But I’m too much of a wuss and besides, it feels like it would be a big waste of money to get a boob job when it’s only my cat that really notices me.

Much Love

Rachel xx

more of the urge to travel

city street building house
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Harry Potter buildings tower

Over humans having picnics

On the side of river banks,

Wishing they could soak it up,

The history that seeps out when

We walk beneath the stony eaves.

I’m getting more and more into the laptop travelling hole. I’d even say that I am craving a day trip, never mind a weekend away. Just sitting and looking at the pictures reminds me how lucky I am to live where I do.

Both Bath and Oxford are on my bucket list and both of them are within an hour’s drive. When some of these lockdown rules are loosened up, I could go there with no planning. I can’t understand why I have never done these things before.

city road people street
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These cities are steeped in history and they’re straight out of a Harry Potter scene. I think in Oxford, I would need to wear my Hufflepuff gowns and carry a wand.

I guess what I’m saying for the umpteenth time is that this virus has probably changed us all a bit. I’m still a bit of a loner and I won’t be out at every party there is once things are better. But I will do things differently. I think we all probably will.

Much Love

Rachel xx