we need a brake

He texted me during my lunch hour

And I opened the message to devour it whole.

I think we need a brake, is what it said.

I laughed with girlfriends over cocktails,

What an utter dick I spat, eyeing the text again,

He couldn’t even spell; it never would have worked.

Friends helped that night, to get me into bed,

My brain too drenched in something called a woo woo

To function like a normal human should.

Don’t even think about calling him, they warned

As they pulled the door and tiptoed out

Casting worried glances to and fro.

I tried to close my eyes and sleep,

But the bridal magazines called out

From underneath my bed.

Just one more look, it won’t do any harm.

A tear rolled down my cheek as the realisation hit.

Perhaps I had been far too hasty,

Perhaps that little shit was right.

Perhaps a slamming on of brakes was what the doctor ordered.

A break, a brake, it’s all the same.

In the end it all just means

That everything must stop.

I sometimes think that because I can spell and because I was book smart when I was at school, that I am a little bit above everyone else. And then something happens that makes me realise that I have no emotional intelligence whatsoever. And what good is being able to spell, when you can’t navigate the complexities of the relationships around us?

I always used to laugh at people when they tried to do something like break up with my by text but not be able to spell what they were saying. But maybe the joke was on me? Maybe life would have been a bit easier if I’d have just slowed down a bit, applied the brakes in some areas. Maybe if I wasn’t out buying bridal magazines after two months of dating then my relationships would have lasted a little longer (I never actually did that, but it illustrates my point exactly).

If you sometimes find yourself getting a bit too big for your boots then maybe you should think about taking a ‘brake’ so that you can slow down and think why people are slowly backing away from you. Emotional intelligence is a tricky thing to build but once you start to work at it you will find that you are much more sympathetic towards people, relationships improve and you’ll not need so many cocktails to dampen down that anger that always seems to be bubbling away.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

gardening for lovers

She pressed her palm to the window

And watched him potter in the garden.

Something moved inside her chest;

A jolt of pain, she thought.

What she did know was that it was caused by him.

She watched intently as he potted plants and cut the grass.

It looked like quite the idyllic Sunday afternoon,

With golden rays of shimmery light

Bathing every plant and every tree in warmth.

It should be framed inside a watercolour painting,

For everyone to see and to enjoy.

But underneath that technicolor surface,

The tranquil peace is far from being still.

A pebble has been thrown with force

And now the chaos ripples out with devastating ease.

She turns away in pain and love, a complicated mix,

And tells herself that nothing’s ever perfect.

Marriage never can be smooth, once the doors are closed.

It’s messy and it’s nothing but a tricky balancing act.

She’s sure he’s seething as he slices through the lawn,

She’ll give them time to both cool off,

And when the stillness is restored,

They can try this all again.

I was watching a programme today and one of the characters asked “Are all families like this?” and the other nodded sadly. I think that realisation can be both a heavy one to bear and quite liberating at the same time.

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that nothing is ever going to be perfect. When we are kids we have this fantasies about marrying the love of our lives and living happily ever after in our beautiful houses and never arguing or losing a job or getting divorced.

And then we become an adult and realise that none of that is true. I drank a lot to suppress this because I still wanted to live in my fantasy world. Getting sober has meant that I have had to face these disappointments head on and it’s been hard.

I guess that what I wanted to say in this poem is that relationships and whole lives can look perfect on the outside, but normally there are little disturbances always rumbling away underneath, away from sight.

But don’t give up just because something has gone wrong. You can have an argument or a mishap at work and come back from it. This was something that I didn’t understand when I was drinking. I thought that I just had to throw the towel in as soon as something went wrong.

I hope that if you are going through a tough time with something, that you find the strength to fight through it and save the situation. Never make yourself miserable, but remember that some things are worth saving and pain does fade.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

preservation

I’ve been thinking quite a lot

About the way that I might keep

Something fresh and new.

I’ve watched the love that once we had

Wither over time.

I hoped that there could be a way

To preserve what little’s left.

Maybe I could dry it out,

Rub in salt or stick it in a tin.

Anything to stop this pain,

To stop that love from rotting to the core.

If I can halt the process now,

We’ve got a fighting chance.

But any further down the line

And what we have, it will be done.

Make the choice and make it now,

Before we waste another day,

In this hurtful, hateful way.

Watching my parents go through this difficult break up has made me think about love and the way it changes over time. How can two people go from loving each other to hating each other in a matter of months? It feels like the love has an expiry date and once that date has been reached it begins to rot and quickly.

And even if you do recognise that the rot is setting in, is there anything you can do about it? I’m a strong believer in the power of therapy and talking about problems so perhaps that is the way to stop something from going bad? Whatever the answer is, I don’t think that things can ever go back to the way that they were. I think that even if things get patched up, everything will be fundamentally different. I guess that once something has started to go bad there is no undoing it even if you halt the process.

I just hope that it’s all over soon because its put me off marriage altogether and I’ve even heard my son saying that he never wants to fall in love because he thinks that it will hurt too much. It’s awful that somebody in their early teens is already scared of taking that leap of faith into a relationship.

If you’ve been hurt before or you’re watching somebody else go through the pain of a break up then I hope that it doesn’t completely traumatise you. I hope that you can move on and find the confidence to leap into a new relationship because it is a beautiful thing when it works.

Much Love

Rachel xx

more doom and gloom and stuff about breaking up and having to get rid of the house you love

First to be tackled was the fridge,

I wiped away the crumbs that dusted the bottom shelf,

Do you remember making them

When you made me toast to eat in bed?

Then I turned towards the bathroom

To clean the toothpaste from the sink.

Do you remember standing side by side

Brushing teeth and smiling at me in the mirror?

We always brushed our teeth together,

It made me feel like I was in a rom com

And that I’d get my happy ending.

Then I reached that sacred room that housed our bed,

The marriage bed where the deal was sealed.

Do you remember how we used to giggle

Underneath the covers?

Our arms and legs all tangled up in such a loving mess.

And in the living room I dusted the spot where the TV used to be.

Do you remember putting on some MTV

And how we used to dance around

As we drank cheap wine and laughed and laughed and laughed?

I sit down on the couch with a heavy sigh,

Because that was then and this is now.

There isn’t any love, here within these walls.

It vanished with the closing of the door.

This house was where I wanted to grow old.

But now it’s just an empty shell, ready to be filled

With someone else’s love and happy memories.

I know that I am bathing in my bitterness

But I worry they will have to peel me from this sofa

Before they can embark upon their own adventure.

the sideways glance in a supermarket

It can start with something so simple.

Just two people standing in line,

Paying for groceries, side by side.

A glance and just half of a smile

And then the journey it starts.

An intricate dance through the years

A million more laughs and a sprinkling of tears.

And then in the blink of an eye,

It’s all over and together we lie.

It could have been luck, merely by chance,

But I guess we will never know if magic did spark

Because of that sideways glance.

I really do believe that everything is written out in the stars, our journeys already mapped out before we are even born. And when it comes to love it is no difference. We are put in the queue in the supermarket at the right time so that we can be there at exactly the same moment as the love of our life. I don’t think it’s an accident that they are there.

I sometimes find it funny though, that something as monumental as a lifetime of memories built together can rest on something as simple as whether we bought our bread and milk at the right time and in the right store.

So often we can be with somebody for decades and when we look back at that first meeting we realise how easy it could have been to miss that moment altogether.

And it really does pass in the blink of an eye. One moment you are twenty and making eyes at somebody in the next line and the next thing you realise you have grandchildren and you’re both slipping away from this earth.

I think it’s Christmas and New Year that makes me think this way. Something new could be beginning in the next twelve months and it’s a lovely thought. But at the same time there will be people that we lose over the next year and with them a whole load of memories will vanish.

Make the most of the time you have with these people. Enjoy the dance, even when it’s a little tricky. And most importantly, make sure that 2020 is filled with memorable moments and strong relationships that are good for your soul.

Much Love,

Rachel xx