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

grappling with the unhappy ending

woman wearing crown holding frog figurine
Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on

It’s all we want to see,

A marriage or a birth, even just a kiss,

But if we look at my life

That hasn’t happened very much.

So should I lie

To my captive audience?

Gloss it over with with a varnish

That doesn’t seem to be so real

As we see in books and films and perfect dreams?

I’m writing a novel that I’ve been working on for a while and I’m almost finished but I’m struggling with the ending. The problem is that most people ‘seem’ to like a happy ending. We’re told that everyone wants one, but I don’t know if that’s true.

I may be a dark and depressive character (I really didn’t think that I was), but I love an ending that is sad. I love to be made to sob. Give me a death, a break up or a missed opportunity and I’m in love with your work.

Now, I know that you’re supposed to write what you know and like so my heart is telling me to kill off a character or make sure that the leading lady doesn’t get together with her man. But will that put people off? I went on Goodreads and looked at a thread where people just totally laid into writers that end their books on a negative note.

My thought is that life is far from being rosy and full of joy and happiness. There are moments of it, but life is more commonly complicated and messy. I certainly haven’t had many moments in life where I’ve thought ‘Oh good, this is my happy ending and now we are going to walk into the sunset.’

A lot of the arguments that people had was that we read to escape and so a happy ending is imperative. I’d be really interested to hear what others think? Are there any other sad depressives out there? Should I just break my main character’s heart? Because I want to.

Much Love

Rachel xx