the power of the bittersweet

three lemons on white surface
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on

The sour taste that burns that tongue, screwing eyes

And making faces out of something beautiful,

But sugar like the fairy dust that sweetens all

The evil in the world; it softens us

And eases pain we thought would burn us to the core.

We wish that every day was filled with rose

And dusty light that turns the world so heavenly.

But smooth can’t come without the rough

And we need pain to build a human core.

I was having a flick through Twitter this afternoon and somebody asked for stories of the bittersweet variety. And the stories that followed were so lovely and heart wrenching that I spent a fair bit of time reading them and considering the power of the bittersweet in my own life.

I think that we all love those stories because we know that the fairytale can’t really exist. The idea of the princess getting her prince and riding off into the sunset is just too unrealistic for us as complex human beings.

There were a lot of stories about death which I found interesting because it seemed that a lot of people could find something really positive come out of something that is obviously devastating. One that really made my heart break was about a woman who’s dad died a week before Christmas. He used to send her kids gift boxes and obviously that wasn’t going to happen. Then she flew home for the holidays and found a big box of her favourite childhood gifts that he hadn’t managed to post before he died.

I also enjoyed reading about the people who had their dreams come true only to realise that it wasn’t the answer to their anxieties that had plagued them their whole life.

In my own life I have seen the power of the bittersweet with my mum. I miss her loads since she left us but she was very negative and I think that held us back. I’m now living independently and I’ve qualified as a teacher. I am proud, but left with a broken heart.

I think we love these stories because we need to see that things aren’t perfect. We actually thrive on a setback or a heart break. It puts the fire in our bellies.

Much Love

Rachel xx

we all need a little disney every now and then

Dreams of leaving life behind

And living in a fairy castle

Sometimes occupy this mind

As dreary news rolls in in waves

And all we want is to escape, to let it go

And have that happy ending too.

We went for a little walk through town today and Noah and I both stopped dead in front of the travel agents window. On display they had a poster of smiling people enjoying Universal Florida.

We went there two years ago and did the whole Disney and Universal thing for two weeks. It was the best holiday ever and I would give anything to go again. I think that COVID has taught me that we often need a little Disney in our lives, as cheesy as that sounds.

Right at this moment, I’ll say it loud and proud that I need the Florida sun on my skin, the constant happy music in my ears and colourful characters strolling past at any time. It’s the best anti-depressant that anyone can have.

I remember on our first day of the holiday we wanted to go to Universal and we had to book the shuttle bus at the hotel. We shuffled nervously up to the desk and this super enthusiastic American greeted us. He was huge and had mad curly hair. He was so happy that we both felt a little bit overwhelmed, but it became our normal over the two weeks. That’s what I want right now.

I did just watch Saving Mr Banks on TV and it really reminded me of how grumpy I can become and how much lighter I felt in a completely different world. I have to have everything just so at home, but there I lived out of a hotel room for two weeks and ate Pringles for breakfast. I was a different woman.

I hope that this year we can have that fun put back in our lives. One day I will be back in that park and not just staring at it through a shop window. I hope you will too.

Much Love

Rachel xx

learning life’s most important lessons from Disney movies

There was nowhere to look for me as a child

No lessons for me to hold to for safety

And so I clung to the bad things like drink

Skulking in shadows well out of sight

But now in my thirties I’m scrabbling for traction

And I’ve found that the movies I watched as a child

Hold the key to a world that I struggled to know

Teaching me basics that help me along

Through the darkness that chained me

To the old life I knew…..

I’m finding, more and more, that I have no fucking clue how to operate in this world. I watch some people interact with others and I’m in awe. I really don’t know how they navigate their way through so effortlessly.

I’ve come to the conclusion that these people have had good role models during their childhood, because they must have learnt their skills from someone.

So, how do those of us who had slightly quirky mothers learn what to do? For me, I thought that the best option was to drink away the pain and the shame and so I remained under an alcoholic fog for a decade of my life.

But since this fog has lifted I have realised that I still have no idea how to get through life like a normal human. This last year has been the first that I have really stood on my own two feet and it has been life changing.

However, some of the more interpersonal issues have been harder to overcome and I have found myself turning to Disney movies to help me out. There are so many Disney quotes out there that are beautiful and encouraging and if more of us could live by them then the world would be a much nicer place. There is a reason that Disneyworld is the most magical place in the world.

Just after I got sober I watched Cinderella and there was a part in the movie where Ella’s mother tells her the secret to life. She leans in and pauses and I remember holding my breath in anticipation.

She told her that the secret is to have courage and be kind. At the time I was kind of disappointed in this advice but as the movie panned out I realised that courage and kindness were the only things that Ella needed to get her prince. She may have had a bumpy journey getting there, but in the end she was the winner.

So one thing Disney taught me that I always try to live by is to always have courage and be kind….where there is kindness there is goodness, and where there is goodness there is magic.

Much Love

Rachel xx