the drama queen

It had taken her hours to find the keys.

The shed had been locked for more than ten years.

It was filled with tools and mowers and shears,

Nothing of use, until this day bloomed.

She wiped away pain along with her tears

As she fervently searched for the rusty old can.

The cap was tricky to prise from the top,

But she needed to do this, they all had to see.

Tears weren’t enough to show what she felt,

They wouldn’t dredge up the love that she needs.

She emptied the can, until she was drenched.

She smiled as she thought of the shock they would feel,

Of the kind words they’d say when she became dust.

She struck her one match, closing her eyes.

It didn’t take long for the fire to take hold.

Flames licking up over her head,

Becoming a torch, a warning to all

That people won’t rush to save those that choose

To make their own dark and devilish mess.

They’ll watch as she burns, down to the ground

Shaking their heads at the terrible waste.

She could have had quite the incredible story.

If only she’d needed far less attention

She wouldn’t have gone out in a blaze of glory.

I know so many people who seem to chase drama. While I was drinking I was one of them. I always needed somebody to be feeling sorry for me or to be jealous of me or to be in awe of me. I didn’t know how to just be.

I see so many people who are on that same destructive path, just inventing things to make people look in their direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did something really dangerous one day. And the sad thing is that they are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t seem to realise people will only care about them for a limited time. Eventually we will be forgotten, so we need to savour the moment for our own benefit.

Therapy has taught me that I am enough on my own. I don’t need other people to tell me that I’m good or that I’m nice, I’m learning to know that from the inside. And I hope that the people I see needing this validation can find some peace. I hope that they can learn to live with themselves and that they don’t end up reaching some of the dark places I went to in my journey.

Take care of yourself and know that you are loved by God. Unfortunately people will let you down so don’t put your future happiness in people alone. Enjoy your time in the world, be nice and don’t chase likes and followers (there’s far more to life than those arbitrary numbers).

Much Love

Rachel

legacy: ugh, i feel like time’s running out

ugh, i feel like time’s running out.

how can i make something built to last

in a world that is moving so furiously fast?

what can i do that is intensely new?

that’s remembered by those yet to be born,

that cannot be scrapped or crumpled or torn?

the answer, i think, lies in the heart.

i need to be kind and make an impression,

free from hate and all that aggression

that hurts our society,

sweeping us up in a wave of pain

that cripples our hearts and never will wane.

better to build something bold and new,

cherished until death by just a few.

fame and glory will fade when i’m gone

but love and charity and caring compassion

will never ever fall out of fashion.

the seeds i sow will take their root,

so i’ll make them flowers i’d like to see

in a world that’s still here long after me.

I’ve been thinking about legacy a lot recently. I know it’s morbid but every time I have an ache or pain, the first thing that runs through my mind is that it’s something serious and I mustn’t have long left on this planet.

Of course, none of us know exactly when the end is coming so we do really need to think about the legacy that we are leaving behind for our children and their children.

As I’ve watched the news recently, it has become more and more evident that nothing is set in stone anymore. The money that we make and accumulate and the property that we hope to pass on can be taken from us in an instant. It’s terrifying, but it’s in these moments of fear that we really get some clarity on what’s important.

I think that there are a couple of things that we can leave behind that are much better than property and money. The first is the things that we create, artistically. Paintings and pieces of writing and sculptures and films and crochet blankets. Everything that is an artistic expression is like a piece of our heart that we have poured out into the world. These are things that are personal and even if they are worth nothing to the world at large, they are irreplaceable for the ‘few’ that I mention in this poem. Think of a painting done by a three year old at nursery. His parents will put it on their fridge and love it forever when it has no value to anyone else. Sure, the paper may disintegrate into nothing but the love that it represented will never be wiped out.

The other thing you can leave is something that will grow and help others over time. Even helping once or twice at a shelter or food bank is helping that thing to grow and just think of all the people that it will help over time. Our good actions are like ripples and they just spread without our awareness. All we are responsible for is starting that process.

I hope that you are already working on your legacy. You don’t need to even know what it is, just pumping those good intentions out into the world could be building something that will be great long after you are gone.

Much love,

Rachel xx

What a dumb bloody question

“what are you wearing?” they asked

as i marched through the crowd of glamour and glitz.

dumbly, i looked down at the gown that i wore.

“a dress,” i said, feeling deflated.

why would they ask?

does it matter if i wear

a thing that i plucked

from the rails of forever twenty one?

does it matter that the blusher and lipstick is on?

i wish so bad that you would learn to see

that rather inadvertently

you’ve missed a golden opportunity

to open up a conversation

that would give you a sort of indication

that the world at large, it wants to hear,

less about the stuff that’s so nonsensical

and more about the things we loathe

and that we love and that we fear.

that’s what pulls upon the strings

that hold our hearts in place.

that’s what reaches inside our soul,

shining a light on all that is dark

making us squirm and scratch at the skin

until nothing is left but a thing that is raw,

the clothes that you asked about all tattered and torn.

so now it is time that i make you a pledge

if you ask where i bought the shoes on my feet

or who was the person that coiffed my hair

i’ll say something smart and incredibly deep

and i’ll do it with style

and courage and flair.

I saw this thing that was said by Jennifer Lawrence and just had to write something about it. It made me laugh and get angry all at once which is what all the best quotes should do. Nothing should be entirely black or white if it’s going to make us think and open up a lively debate.

On the one hand, asking her what she is wearing is the standard question we expect to hear on the red carpet. It’s what the designers put the dress on her for. But then she kind of has a point. Are we worrying too much about the things that shouldn’t really matter at all?

We are living in a world where so many people have depression and anxiety and so much of it is because we are scared that we are not good enough. There is a deep black hole inside some of us and it could be filled if we started asking meaningful questions. Better questions than “is the dress you are wearing really expensive and highly sought after?”

We should be seeking kindness and fun and a desire to love; this is what will make the world a nicer place to live in. I hope that today you spend a little less time judging people by what they are wearing, what job they do and what car they drive and a little more time getting to know the real them and what makes them tick.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Just be nice to everyone!!!

Can we all just be nice to each other,

Even when the twat at the till who shouts really loudly at you,

Just deserves a punch in the face.

Because you are better than that.

And the really important thing to remember,

Is that you have no fucking way,

Of knowing what he’s going through.

He may not be as awful as you think.

He might be going through something hard,

He might be in terrific pain.

And you could be the one to ease that just a little.

You could be the one to make the difference,

In a really shitty day.

It could be your smile and hi and friendly bye,

That takes the edge of something terrible.

It’s not all about you and your feelings,

It’s you who has to get that ball rolling.

So roll it and see where it goes.

You may not get to see the final destination,

But I can assure you that it will be somewhere

Pretty fucking nice.

Why numbers SHOULD mean sweet FA

I bet that as an anxious person you find the thought of hitting a certain number kind of terrifying. You may have to have achieved a certain number of sales in a month, or you may need to make a certain number of phone calls each day. Whatever it is that you need to achieve, put a number on it and it makes us nervous types a drivelling mess.

And what is worse is the fact that we live in a society that is driven by numbers. Even in a social context, we feel like we have to have more likes and Facebook friends than the next person, and if we don’t then we are just a downright failure. But should we really be putting so much emphasis on hitting high numbers? I personally don’t think it’s necessary and here’s why.

I think that the best leaders in the world are those that don’t micromanage their staff. A leader who comes down hard on every employee who doesn’t hit their target isn’t really a leader at all. They are a tyrant at best. A real leader will look at what can be improved and why something isn’t working. Instead of blaming the individual who didn’t perform they will look to see if there is something that can be changed culturally.

This is why I think that there is a lot of power in being a really sensitive manager. Somebody who is more empathetic is far more likely to focus less on the numbers and more on the people. People aren’t motivated by being shouted at and intimidated. They want to work in a place where they are appreciated and where they want their manager to be proud of them. This is achieved by giving them time and energy and building trust.

So, I would say that far more important than focusing on numbers we should be looking to build communities and relationships that are based on trust and common interest. We need to look more at the impact that we are having on people rather than the immediate numbers that are being generated by our efforts.

If we look at the greatest influencer in history, Jesus, we can see that he wasn’t all about healing as many people as possible. He could have healed far more in his life time, but instead he used his short time in ministry to have a huge impact that kept on multiplying well after he was gone. Surely this is what we should be aiming for in our work too?

So let’s start modelling our behaviour in the workplace on Jesus. You don’t even have to be a churchgoer to see the value in following his model. And next time you find yourself panicking that a blog post hasn’t hit your normal level of views or likes, remember that you are working towards a larger goal. People may quietly be devouring your work and talking about it to friends and further down the line it will pay off. Don’t sell out and do something just for the views. Be a good person and look after your people and the rest will follow, even if it is just smiles and laughter and happiness. After all, it’s not all about the money!

Bonus Poem

Look out for those within your tribe,

And don’t resort to con or bribe.

You want to build a thing that runs the race,

That doesn’t end up losing pace.

Numbers, targets, the odd sale,

Will only lead to a whopping fail.

So teach and love and make a friend or two,

And watch what happens when you do.