do i really need to travel?

black and brown desk globe

Aeroplanes and vast blue oceans

Spread themselves before my eyes,

Tantalising, like glistening jewels

Of power and knowledge and culture,

All the things I want to have.

They whisper in my ear and say

That I’m not good enough, here

In my home land where beauty does exist.

If you stay here, you’ll die unhappy,

You’ll show that you don’t care

About our wilting planet.

But I don’t think that’s right.

I know there’s plenty here

To keep my life fulfilled.

I have heard so many people saying that ‘you must travel’. And to an extent, I agree. It is great to learn about other cultures and see what else the world has to offer them.

But this idea that without going to far flung countries, you’re a bit thick, a bit uncultured, that you don’t really care. I find that line of thinking makes me feel a bit sick.

Most of the people who say this kind of thing are quite well off and can afford to have a gap year or a career break. Which is great for them, but not everyone has that luxury.

My own view is that God blessed us all with our own section of the world. I live in the UK and we have such a beautiful and varied landscape that it would be impossible to explore it all in a lifetime.

Why would I need to go to another country, with all of this beauty right on my doorstep?

I’ve done a bit of travelling myself, so I must repeat that I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just think that we shouldn’t make people feel like they’re uncultured and uneducated because they have no plans to travel.

Besides, the current situation might put an end to a lot of travelling anyway. And then we have the environment to think about. Maybe, the lowly staycation is going to become much more popular again.

Now excuse me while I pack my bags for a stay at Butlins.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Trailblazers

She sits in bathtubs filled to brim

With champagne and bubble bath,

Her sister reads the paper and her blood runs cold

As she scans the photos in the rag.

This isn’t how a princess acts

But as the history books are written

And the times begin to change, as they always do,

We see that she was out the front,

Laying pavements for the younger ones

To tip toe over cautiously.

But still those paving slabs were laid

And now we take for granted that

We can follow hearts and deep desires

And not have sisters back at home

Holding heads in firm frustration.

So, I’m a huge fan of the royals, and the queen in particular. She has lived a life of duty and very rarely put a foot wrong. But she has had to live that life and so it wouldn’t be surprising to imagine her holding her head in shame as she watched her sister being a bit of a rebel.

I have been watching the documentary that the BBC are showing on Princess Margaret and I found that it was hard to tell what different people thought of her. On the one hand, she was partying and making a mockery of the establishment, and on the other, she was this trailblazing figure that was ahead of her time.

I, personally, quite admired the way she chose to live her life. She fought against the rules and she married who she loved and divorced when that love went away.

It has got me thinking about whether I actually like trailblazers. I admire their tenacity and the way that they move things forward, but I also love tradition and the safety and comfort that comes with it.

I wonder if the queen was actually holding her head in her hands with shame, or was it that she felt a bit envious of her sister who had none of the responsibilities that had been lumped on her.

I just find it an interesting dynamic and I do wonder if her getting her divorce was a good or bad thing? All of the queen’s children have now divorced and I can’t ever see that as good, surely a stable family and monarchy is always better?

If you are facing changes at the moment, perhaps you should pause and think about where you go next. Maybe your go-to plan of action isn’t going to work this time around. If you are a fan of change then maybe you should try to slam on the brakes for a bit. And if you always opt for your old ways, try to be the trailblazer. I’d be interested to know if it makes you happier or your life better. My guess is that we need a healthy balance of both and that’s always going to be a tricky balance to strike.

Much Love

Rachel xx

what is the cure for heartbreak?

My heart has taken several beatings,

But you became the very worst

The day you whispered in my ear

Those words you knew could tear apart

The life I’d worked so hard to build.

I’ve limped along since then,

But I have never quite been sure

What’s the cure for what you did.

Other pains, I take a pill to make it go

But this pain lingers on until one day

I wake and find another ill

That’s knocked the wind from damaged lungs.

I am sure that every adult in the world has had a little bit of heartbreak, and it doesn’t have to come from the end of a romantic relationship. One of my worst heartbreaks came from a time at work where I was picked on until I ended up really ill and having to leave.

But what heals that pain? I always thought that I had to get back at the person and that would fix my own pain. However, since getting sober, I have realised that my own happiness and comfort depends on what’s going on inside my own head and not what’s going on in others.

I also used to hope that ‘karma’ would work its magic and make the person fall spectacularly. I still get a little buzz from knowing that somebody that has been horrible to me is having a hard time, but it’s short lived and I realise very quickly that it does very little to fix my own pain.

I think that it’s important to realise that people will always hurt each other but a lot of times it’s not done because they want to hurt you; it’s done because they want something and nothing is going to stand in their way. Most of the time it is just unfortunate that you were standing in the way.

But doesn’t that say something about them? They are so desperate for ‘things’ that they are constantly chasing. To me, that sounds exhausting. I’d rather sit back and enjoy what I have and the people that are already in my life.

Know that your pain is allowed and justified, but lashing out is not. It won’t do you any good in the long run, and I write this as a reminder to myself because I really want to lash out at someone. It will do no good. Just appreciate those that do love you.

Much Love

Rachel xx

dancing with the stars

The music doesn’t drift, it hammers through the air,

With particles punching at the skin, as shoes

Tight and painful buckle at the ankles.

Even the dress, that waterfalls with rhinestone jewels

That makes the crowd just gasp with undivided joy,

Even that just makes me sigh with utter disappointment,

Knowing that the man across the floor

Will take a bow in three minutes twenty-six

Seconds of an artful swirl of high delirium.

But then his grip will tighten on my arm,

The smile will fade and grimace will replace.

Always know that there behind the glitz and glam,

There always lies a darker side.

the world and its puppetmasters

He lurks in shadows tucked behind the curtains,

Red and heavy velvet, keeping out the light.

The strings he pulls are taut and cut through skin

And puppets dare not struggle or to pull away

For fear of losing arm or leg or heart and soul.

We do as puppetmasters say, no arguing,

For those of us that take to glaring stage,

We have no power in this world, we’re pushed around

And told we are the good girls they rely upon,

When really we’re just there for fun,

For entertaining chosen ones.

I’m currently watching the things that are going on with the Jeffrey Epstein case in a constant state of shock and disapproval. I happened to start watching the Netflix documentary at the same time that Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested so I was bombarded with a lot of information as soon as I started looking into it.

I find the facts really vile and my heart goes out to any of the women who suffered because of his behaviour. But it is the behaviour that fascinates me the most. Jeffrey and the men that surrounded him seemed to have zilch worries about what was going on and to an empath like me, it’s really hard to understand how this is possible.

Epstein was described as a narcissist and he was the ultimate puppetmaster. He seemed to believe that he was in ultimate control and nobody else’s feelings even registered in his mind.

I, on the other hand, feel so much that I often find myself backing away from the things I want because I’m worried that it will upset or inconvenience others. I sometimes feel like I have no power in the world and I’m just at the mercy of the ‘powerful’ people in my life.

I wonder how different my life would have been if I had just a small percentage of the confidence that these men had? They used it for absolute evil but could I have used it for good, or are we just wired to go a bit crazy if we’re given too much power?

If you’re a bit like me, and feel that you have no rights in the world, remember that you do and that you are a good person. There are people out there that don’t give a damn about others and they think that they have absolute control. Make sure that you have the knowledge held within that you are worthy of your own opinions and your own determination over the direction of your life.

Much Love

Rachel xx

oh, to live in a simpler time

Where parks are filled with purple buds

And music’s filled with poetry.

Where no one carries mobile phones

And friends don’t know what or where I ate today.

Where books are printed, no exceptions

And kids play out on bikes.

Now it sounds like stuff of dreams,

But it existed once, I think,

Although today it feels like it was read

And conjured in my mind.

My fourteen year old son came in while I was watching You’ve Got Mail today. And it was like trying to pull teeth, trying to explain to him why the whole story was crazy back in the day.

It seemed almost too much for him to comprehend how we could have lived without having friends we had made online. And the idea that people didn’t find their significant others online was groundbreaking to him.

It makes me smile because I look back at those days like they were from another world, and a world that I remember fondly. I wonder what fresh new hell we will be living in by the time my son has a teenager and can’t believe that we could have survived only having broadband and 5G (God forbid)!

I found myself watching the movie with fresh eyes and noticing all the little things that made those times feel so simple and charming, to today’s tech savvy teenagers. They weren’t all glued to mobile phones, the laptops were the size of TV sets, they used dial-up, they enjoyed singing carols around a piano without having to take photos and posting about their totally ironic Christmas Eve activity; the list could go on.

It was only twenty years ago but it feels like another world, and one I miss so much. I can only imagine what I’m going to be like when I’m in my eighties and complaining about what all these youngsters are up to.

And with that, I’ll leave you all to your Saturday afternoons while I go back to watching my Dawson’s Creek box set.

Much Love

Rachel xx

why are awkward conversations so awkward?

I slowly walked towards the office door,

The strip light waning up ahead,

Signalling that she was there

And sapping joy from air within.

I know she knows already,

She’s angry, waiting for her chance to pounce

And I’m her perfect weak and worthy prey.

She was waiting for my news,

Any chance to dig her talons in

And that’s enough to make me drag my heels,

To make me wish for death

Over what I know I have to do.

So I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I got accepted onto my teaching course. The bad news is that it’s not the one run by the primary school that I was recently taken on by.

And what makes it worse is that I have a real aversion to awkward conversations. Telling the head teacher that I will be leaving after just one term is agonising to me. I would rather have teeth pulled with no anaesthetic than face this conversation.

Normally I write an email and then hide whenever I have something difficult to say to someone. But I feel like I’m growing up and part of growing up is learning to deal with these situations. So really, I should face it head on.

It’s not going to make sleeping any easier though. I’m sure there must be other people out there that struggle with this as much as me. Can you imagine if I actually had something really bad to tell the head; like I’d accidentally killed a kid?

I hope that all of your conversations this weekend go really smoothly and that this is especially true if you feel as sick to the stomach as I do. Wish me luck…..

Much Love

Rachel xx

holding in the crying

We traipsed through luscious woods

Dripping with the pearly greens

Of sodden leaves and cracking twigs.

He wants to know the reason why

I’m silent as we walk far deeper in

Where sounds are muffled in the leaves.

He wants to know the reason why we’re here.

It is to let it out, the scream that’s building there.

I cannot burst the pressured seal

Until I’m safe, ensconced within the trees.

He shakes as sound escapes from lips

And echoes through the branching wood.

He’s never heard this piercing noise,

It’s frightening for us both.

But when I’m done, we take each other’s hands

And walk back to the life we left behind.

I am working with the 4 and 5 year olds in year R at the moment and I absolutely love watching their quirks. Today, a little girl had a spat with one of her classmates and instead of kicking and screaming she screwed up her face and grimaced as though she was in pain and holding it all in.

She calmed down really quickly but it made me think about my own childhood and how it has followed through into my adult life. I was always told not to make a noise and I would never dare have thrown a tantrum when I was a child.

It’s continued into my adult life and last year after months of bad behaviour from my mum I lost it and a scream just escaped from my body. It was piercing and loud and mum and my son just froze with the the shock as I had never screamed, ever.

I’m sure everyone has had those moments where you can feel anger or fear or frustration building up and you know that you are going to blow. That feeling that you need to go to the middle of the forest and just let it out must me universal to humans. Am I right? I hope I’m right.

I just hope that little girl is OK and that her parents allow her to express her emotions in a healthy way, because if they don’t their daughter might turn out like me, and that would be disastrous…..

Much Love

Rachel xx

baby steps

Standing in the toilet cubicle

My sleeve clenched tightly between my teeth

In the hope that the scream that’s boiling up

In my throat, ready to escape,

I hope to God, it won’t make it out.

I’m embarrassed, face burning, eyes stinging

And wishing that I could run across the great expanse

Of concrete to my car, my place that’s safe

With child locks on so no one claws their way inside.

It sounds quite desperate, doesn’t it?

When really I could break it down,

One small cube, held up to the light

Can look quite beautiful, like a little jewel

And not the mountain I am crying over.

Anyone else ever considered doing a runner from work? When everything is getting so on top of you, that running across the car park and never coming back is preferable to facing that mountain of problems that has built up?

I am ashamed to say that I’ve actually done it. I didn’t run, but I did casually sashay out of the office, get in my car and then speed away without looking backwards. And it’s all because I let things build up until it’s just too much to deal with.

I don’t want this blog to become a self help manual but I know that writing down my own advice will help me, because it always helps to write down my own pearls of wisdom. I might then actually start acting on it!

I found myself getting that feeling of being overwhelmed today. I’m starting a course and I need to get a tonne of paperwork sorted which is enough to induce a panic attack in itself. But I had let it all build up to the point where I couldn’t see the top of that mountain.

And you know how I’ve started to fix it? I’ve started to write a list and tick two things off a day, so I’ve already got rid of two this evening. And that is my really rubbish and really obvious advice. Write a bloody list!!!

Can you believe that took about three grand’s worth of therapy and there I am giving it to you for free. You are welcome, and I hope you have a wonderful evening.

Much Love,

Rachel xx