The Centre

“What is the centre?” She croaked. White coats, chains and cuffs steamrolled her calm, invaded her prison and got her heart racing. Sarah was in a blue trench coat, heels and laughing behind her eyes at poor Her, croaking with dilated pupils.

“The centre is the place where you will recover.” White coats, chains and cuffs loomed over the hump of her mind. Strange serums, calculations and charts. Enclosed spaces, mouldy curtains and dusty corners.

“You must stop worrying, the centre is a place of recovery. It is a place where you can be yourself, learn about yourself and love yourself for who you are and not for what others wish you to be.”


“Where is the centre?” Pupils still dilated, reaching for the very corners of the lids they were encased in. Lip trembling, teeth clawing at the edges of her fingertips. Sarah smiled.

“Is it far?”

“No. It is where you belong, you know that.” Sarah’s eyes were filled with pity, cocking her head, listening and watching.

“What if I do not want to go to the centre? What will happen to me if I refuse?” Her fingertips were ragged, jagged and raw.

“You must stop worrying, the centre is a place of recovery. It is a place where you can be yourself, learn about yourself and love yourself for who you are and not for what others wish you to be.”


“Who will be at the centre?” Loneliness was ever present, happy to linger. Anxiety was unpredictable, fickle and rubbish at sticking to plans. Depression was a bully, selfish and always talked about itself.

“Will Loneliness, Anxiety and Depression be there?”

“Yes, they will. But you’ll meet new people too.”


“Well, Me of course. Now stop worrying. Be yourself, love yourself and button up your blue trench coat, we have a meeting to go to.”

A response to: The Daily Prompt – Center.


Image credit.


In Progress: Connection (8)


As things go up, confidence grows and happiness returns, for others, things decline, fill with uncertainty and anxiety about a future no longer paved in gold. Our emotions are easily changed, chained to those around us. We begin to juggle our thoughts and feelings and catch others, dropping, falling from the air. They land in the palms of our hands, ours to hold and feel too. Yesterday, I felt at a loss and sad. Sadness was pulsating around the room, as if alive. The very real, suffocating elephant in the room. Hours passed, in which reassuring smiles were exchanged, small gestures tentatively performed – a pat, a rub, a cup of tea. Yet, no words escaped our mouths, no syllables slipped from the downward curls of our lips. No words were formed which we hope will wrap their meaning around us, support and hold us up.

Until later, where we exchanged a few. ‘Are you okay?’ The simultaneous action spoke louder, comforted more. A cuddle. The cuddle where permission is given, unspoken. The air clears, the sadness less heavy, conspicuous and no longer able to bore so relentlessly into your heart. Connection is rooted in emotion, in interaction through words or movements. In the darkest hours, we preach words. Words open the door into our home, a home built with doubt, fleeting moments of victory and failure; allowing someone to settle into the squishy settee you call a heart, it is there where you find sadness and love. Allow the words to ring true and the touch to remind you of the love.

Connection in its purest form is magical. On the periphery connection frightens us, opens us up to harm. Relationships come and go, we pick and choose, discard easily; sometimes mutually. The offers of new connections ever present themselves. With a colleague, cashier and I couldn’t think of another ‘c’. I’ve realised connections hold power to build as well as threaten to shatter the windows of your soul, shake the foundations you’ve built from the first time you learnt something about the world. Forming new relationships is a time of laying down judgement, a time of discovery and saying yes. I’ve avoided a connection twice now – deflected it. I’m disappointed in this because in weeks to come I’ll moan I’m always left behind. The truth is I’m left behind because I’m stood at the cross roads debating with the angel and devil on my shoulder how many I can let into my heart. I’m stood at the cross roads breaking my own heart.

Next time, I’ll say yes.

First Year

Spent a year finding myself,

Feeling obliged to declare who I am,

In amongst a crowd of new faces,

All nodding, this is life now.


Spent a year settling in,

Tolerating her, ignoring him,

All for what?

To feel as if you fit in.


I’m told those who matter love you

For what you are,

Not who, but what,

I’ve found we can all be monsters.


Because those who matter

Are human too.

So what do you do,

When one decides you cannot be you?


Spent a year trying my best,

Another first year where nothing makes sense,

Once more I’m reminded,

It’s not that easy kid.

Twinkle Toes


Ever thought, ever wondered, how we always

get back upon our feet?

Not this one, not shy ol’ Twinkle Toes,

Ballet shoes thrown in a box,

Happiness hunted like a fox.

Ever thought, ever wondered, how we always

battle those heart break tears?

Not this one, not shy ol’ Twinkle Toes,

Ribbon, scuffed, cut and torn to shreds,

Memories mumbling in shades of red.

Ever thought, ever wondered, how we always

treasure a faith, an unknown strength?

Not this one, not shy ol’ Twinkle Toes,

Lace and lycra, criticised and thrown away,

Passion plummeted towards a pit, so grey.

Ever thought, ever wondered, how we always

remember the show must go on?

Not this one, not shy ol’ Twinkle Toes,

A tutu flung, left to be pecked by a crow,

Cherished childhood, a woman’s old foe.

Ever thought, ever wondered, how we always

hold a confidence even at our worst?

Not this one, not shy ol’ Twinkle Toes,

That flutter in her step, lost and cursed

Talent tainted, a smile always kept pursed.

Ever thought, ever wondered, how we always

carry on til’ death do us part?

Not this one, not shy ol’ Twinkle Toes,

Innocence forgotten, left running wild,

Closed curtains, the death of a child.



We drag it to the shrink,

Sob with it over a drink.

It’s a ‘me not you’ and

a blanket for our past.

We lump it, squish it

and excuse it when it bumps into others.

We never check it in,

Too eager to own it, abuse it.

Baggage is what I was carrying

when I saw the gospel on a billboard

‘Try a bag of happy, let go of the heavy, stop and be merry’.

I wish I could say on reading I ran into the setting sun,

But alas’ my bag was too heavy.



Image credit. 

In Progress: Baggage (7)

Tomorrow I will be posting a poem called ‘Baggage’, I mentioned in week four of journalling like this that I would be writing a poem in response to Hazel Haye’s comment on how we never keep a ‘bag of happy’. It is a cynical take on the metaphorical baggage we carry, thus I wanted to have a more positive outlook in this week’s journal post.

This week it has been half-term, and probably the best I’ve had ever since beginning my career as a teacher. In my first year of teaching it was full of essays, marking and what felt like never-ending, laborious planning. In my stint as an education blogger I wrote at length about working during this time, finding the balance between working from guilt and working from enjoyment. They say these things take time and I agree.

This week it has been half-term, and I’ve managed to strike a balance. A balance months ago I would have clinked a glass of gin over, cackling cynically in the face of anyone who told me somewhere, under some rock, I’d find it and have it for my own. However, keeping with my new found optimism thanks to support and understanding where I have needed it most, I wanted to share with you my cheerful, grateful baggage I would like to hold on to for a little longer going into next week.

First of all, the demon. The one nagging, convincing me when I’m staring at the kettle or running a bath that I’m not good enough, not trying hard enough in my work. I’ve known for a year now that my focus is assessment and how I use pupil assessment to enable them to make progress. I took this in hand this week, I will not bore you with the medium term plans I created or assessment opportunities I planned in. Instead, I’ll take you through my mindset. In my mind, I had finally been given the space, freedom and resources to tackle the demon reminding me where I was lacking. I planned my half-term (control freak alert!) the Friday before it started and I planned my work on my career right at the beginning. As a result, I achieved it this time. I’d been making mental notes for days. This is not helpful if you have not got the space to do it, however, this then makes it very clear that if you do feel stuck in a rut – you need space, freedom and resources; you need to work out who isn’t providing what, even if that includes you. I’ve been lucky recently, so I didn’t want to waste it but as I said last week, I went out and found the space, freedom and resources; I took a risk. Change isn’t comfortable.

Secondly, my mid-week was tightly packed with seeing my best friend, treating myself and walking. I got a haircut, or should I say, survived a haircut – long story short it took a year to grow my hair past my shoulders, the thought of anyone taking scissors to it gives me night tremors. Nevertheless, I lived to see another haircut. I went and spent a couple of hours, in wonderful company at a spa. After all, there is nothing like sweating in a seriously steamy room with strangers. I spent the day walking from Suffolk to Essex (sounds better than Flatford to Dedham…) with boyfriend, bestfriend and her dog (@wishuponastardust on Instagram). I surrounded myself with good things, people and places. I also did not plan any work in for these days, so I enjoyed them – more so knowing the main bulk of work I had hoped to do had already been done in the two days before.

I’ll admit, this week’s ‘bag of happy’ is not spontaneous. I did not travel far, I did not do anything out of the ordinary and I certainly did plan in great detail. However, sometimes you do not have venture too far and at least it reminds you happiness, the elusive emotion so hard to find and easy to miss, is never too far away. And being a complete control freak isn’t always anxiety inducing.

To end, the only tiny bit of spontaneity I can find from this week is creating my cat, yes, my cat, an Instagram account – you’re welcome. Follow him on @lifeofgingersimba, he is fame hungry and delirious with the 30+ followers he already has.

Catch Me Asleep

Adrenaline pumped and water rushed

hushed my rapid thoughts,

Gales blew and gulls flew,

I was running into you.

But below you raged, rejection of all,

Spitting cold whispers,

As you bubbled and hissed.


Death impending, a bitter ending,

I knew you would take me,

Spoil me, love me.


Still you swirled, a watery grave

for me, you stormily raged,

You wanted me I’m sure.

But God’s right hand was there before,

I fell into you.