just play the bloody game

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Just play along, that game

It’s there to form a frame

So we know the rules, can keep it safe,

But even if you’re quite the little maverick,

You want to shake it up and change the world,

It still pays to keep one foot within the rules;

No one likes a show off, someone with no cares

For those who need those boundaries,

To those, you’re just attention grabbing,

A man who’s fine with blatant back stabbing.

I was on my way home tonight and I was listening to an interview with John McEnroe on Radio 2. He is plugging his film that is out, that documents his rise to tennis stardom and how he regularly stuck two fingers up to the powers that be.

However, it was interesting what he was saying, as a man with more experience in life, looking back at how he could have done things differently. He admitted that he did break some rules without really understanding what he was doing wrong, and it riled people up because they read it as him being rude.

He did then go on to speak about his desire to use his platform to make a difference – even if it was just in the way that the game of tennis was played and how the players talked about their feelings.

But, he did say that you can’t make changes unless you have at least one foot within the boundaries of what is acceptable. He said that if you go too wild, people can’t get on board with what you want. He said that you can appear to be a hypocrite because you are making a fuss but also attending the parties and doing the interviews.

It made me think that based on that theory absolutely anyone can make a difference if you really want to. Even if you’re the most straight laced person, you only need to step out of your comfort zone just a little and you can get noticed, and more importantly, respected.

You don’t need to be a crazy person who everyone look at, and I like to tell my students who kick up a fuss about everything, that they should just play the game. I thought that I might be giving them duff advice but actually there might have been some wisdom in what I was saying.

Make your life a bit easier – and maybe a bit more purposeful – and just play the bloody game.

Much Love

Rachel xx

on being a hopeless failure

Just keep trying,

Even when it’s hard,

Even when it feels like you’ll never quite get there

Even if you never do get there

You’ll learn so much from the fall from grace

The errors you made

And the memories you’ll make

As you run through life.

So, I like to run. I’m not a very good runner, but I do love to see how far I can go. And the reason I’ve not written anything these last few days is because I was attempting a 100 mile run.

I haven’t done one in ages and I only put in a month’s training so my chances weren’t great, but I stood on the starting line and I gave it a go.

I got to 80 miles and I just ran out of steam and had to give up. I can make loads of excuses, but the truth of the matter is that I just hadn’t put the work in.

However, that doesn’t take the sting out of failing. I set out to run 100 miles and I only ran 80 and that really hurts. There is shame in having to drop out at a check point and I’ve felt crap all day.

But as I was driving home this afternoon, this Coldplay song came on and the first lines just really resonated with me. It reminded me that failure is a part of the human experience.

Every human has to fail at things and we can learn so much from the fails. My body is stronger for the run and I need to be proud for the distance I did do. I mean, who can say that they can run 80 miles? That’s a pretty cool achievement in itself.

So, my advice today would be to embrace those fails. I have a tonne of great memories that I’ll take from that run. I don’t need a medal to tell me that I did something impressive. And it’s put a fire in my belly to go again and get it done.

Much Love

Rachel xx

at least i got to meet you

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I got to meet a person who

Will always be a friend.

And what is better?

Money and a title

Or that connection

You know will never fade?

I started my last job about two and a half years ago and I found myself in a small team that remained the same for almost the whole time that I was there.

We were all women and so there was obviously a little bit of bitchiness and the team split into two very distinct camps. I didn’t have any issue with the ‘popular girls’ but I preferred the company of one friend that was a lot like me.

The other girl was an English graduate and had a real love of books and she got me totally obsessed with the Robert Galbraith books that JK Rowling is behind.

Because the other girls became a ‘team’ we ended up becoming firm friends and she left the company just a few weeks before I did. (I felt quite lonely in those few weeks with my little geeky partner in crime not there).

Anyway, because of COVID and people in her household losing their jobs she has had to move to her husband’s hometown to stay with his parents. I went to visit her one last time yesterday, and we had coffee before she moves next week.

It was really sad, even though she is only moving a few hours away; it felt like the end of an era in my little life. But as we said our final goodbyes she said ‘ at least one good thing to come out of working at **** was that I got to meet you, and I’ve found a really good friend.’

It was only as I was driving away, that I really thought how wonderful it is to hear someone say that. I don’t ever think I’ll be successful in a career, so my life has to revolve around the relationships I make. And what better mark of success is there than a comment like that?

I don’t think I’m a brilliant person or friend but to hear someone say that reminds me that I am to some people and that’s all that matters. I’d rather be remembered by people as being a good friend rather than a bit of a bitch who earned lots of money!

Much Love

Rachel xx

good news is a little like buses

cloudy bright sunset sky over stormy sea
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Good news comes in waves and not the little rippling kind

That laps at golden shores on postcards creased with age,

But rather great tsunamis hurling in the news.

It knocks you off your feet, but not before

You’ve taken time to marvel at the beauty.

If only we could delve into the future

Even ten minutes further forward when that sparkling wall

Will crush our bones against the softest sand.

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

things i find myself thinking about at 2am at the petrol station

Can I do better? I think

For probably the hundredth time in one night.

Why don’t I get a normal fucking job

That I go to between 9 and 5?

Wasn’t that what I got my degree education for?

I find myself sighing as another car passes

Without stopping for a sandwich

And two cans of Red Bull.

Am I wasting my life? I think

Biting my nails and scrolling through Twitter.

I think that I’ll start looking

For that elusive career

Just as soon I’ve slept.

I don’t make good decisions

At this time of night.

i’m leaving on a jet plane

I’m leaving tonight,

I’ve built a rocket

With my hands

Made from dining chairs.

I do not want to go

But also cannot stay

So shakily I climb aboard

And jet off to the stars.

The cooking pan

Upon my head

Was quite the perfect helmet

As I burned

Through atmosphere.

Once I’m there

I look back down

At planet Earth

And see the warring

And the greed.

A little tear

Escapes my eye

And in my heart

I hope that one day soon

I will come back

And live the peaceful life

I used to live.

you’ve been verified

Am I even a worthwhile human

If nobody knows my name?

What if I find myself

Lying on my death bed

And realising that I

Have never been verified?

Because what is the point of this life

Without a little blue tick

On Twitter or Insta?


But would that blue tick

Have made me much happier?

Or in this cruel world

Does it just make you sick?

I have been watching Love Island on catch up TV. I know this will probably lower me in most people’s estimation, but I love a bit of mindless TV when I’m doing my crochet and trying to unwind.

But watching it has made me think a little bit about why people go on shows like that. A lot of it is down to getting some fame, but I have started to wonder at what cost?

There have been a couple of suicides linked to the show over the last year or two. Although nobody can say that the show was the cause, it makes me think that sometimes the instant fame might be a little too much for some people.

I hope that we won’t continue to live in a world where fame and followers are people’s number one obsession because it’s really not the answer. Happiness comes from within and I think sometimes people don’t realise that at all.

So remember that a blue verification tick isn’t going to solve all of your problems. surround yourself with good people and do things with your time that make you truly happy. Yes, you do have to work but work to live rather than the other way around (unless you’re lucky enough to have a job you really love, of course).

Be Happy

Rachel xx

5 reasons that listening should be your new superpower

I’ve just started watching Wanderlust on Netflix and I’m ever so slightly in love with the main character played by Toni Collette. I couldn’t quite work out what it was but I think it’s just the way that she interacts with the people around her. And then I recognised that look she gives when somebody tries to divulge a secret that they’re too afraid to fully admit. It’s the therapist look.

It’s not such a funny thing, because she does play a couples’ therapist in the show, so one would expect her to have a ‘look’. But I see that look and I want to just open up. And the characters around her do open up. She gets to hear EVERYTHING in the lives of her friends whether she wants to or not.

Now I do think that I’m a relatively good listener but I want to try this ‘look’ out on some of my friends, just to see what reaction I’ll get. I may get a scowl or a slap in the face, but I’m going to give it a try and see if I get people to start opening up to me a little bit more.

Most people who read my blogs, I can imagine, are the introverted type who like books and poetry and good story lines that can help you to escape from the world that we live in. So with this in mind, here are five reasons why listening should be your new superpower. These can apply to extroverts too, but I feel the introvert feels more deeply (sorry):

  1. Story lines. Most of us are writers and artists and it’s hard to come up with idea after idea. Listening to a friend for half an hour can normally provide you with about five year’s worth of writing material.
  2. Deeper relationships. I’m an INFP and I’m sure that any other feeling personalities out there will get me when I say that that is pretty much all I want in life. I want to connect with people on a spiritual level even if I can’t quite articulate what that means.
  3. You’re always at the centre of everything but never the aggressor. It’s so nice for me to know why people are feeling the way that they do, but on the other hand I hate being dragged into the gossip. If people know you as the listener they will go to you for a shoulder to cry on and some advice at the very most. If you are the gossip, you still hear everything but they go to you for a bitch ‘n moan session which is incredibly draining.
  4. People actually remember you more. I sometimes worry that because I don’t shout and make a noise like some of the stronger characters in my world, that I must just fade into the background and be totally unmemorable. But being the listener is a valuable cog in the machine and people remember the one who put them first. They remember the person who didn’t ram all their troubles right back down their throats.
  5. You learn so much about life. I wish that I had spent my twenties listening more. I would be so much more wise right now. My friend is twenty three and has a masters in all things therapy so she is well versed in the values of listening. Because she has learnt all this as part of her studies she is more aware of how humans work than I am and I have about twelve years on her. Now I’m playing catch up, but then there are people in their fifties who are still mouthing off like they know everything so it could always be worse.

Just try and think of a time you needed somebody to sit and nod. They could be thinking about what they wanted for dinner but that didn’t matter. All that mattered was that they were there and that they made all the right sounds. I’m definitely going to try this a little more and I will report back with my findings.

Much Love

Rachel xx