Friday, 18 June 2021

NEW// This Is Me

Who am I?

I thought it was about time I reintroduced myself. It’s always hard writing about yourself, even though most of the time you are sharing your likes, home and thoughts quite often. But sometimes people wonder, and actually it is very rare that I talk about my whole self in one place so I thought I would. 

I am Emily, born into a family of 8 children to practising Catholic parents. (I always like to mention religion early). I am the eldest daughter but second eldest in the family line. 

I have spent my entire life being around children. This lead me to choose a career in childcare, first getting a diploma after leaving school in Childcare & Education and then a degree in Education & Early Childhood Studies. This was all leading to following on with a PGCE to get a teacher training qualification which I actually didn’t want. I never wanted to be in full control. In fact, my dyslexia made me quite shy and I have always wanted to follow the lead of someone else. Knowing this I went straight to work as a Teaching Assistant in a junior school after my degree, a bit overqualified but nonetheless overjoyed to be working in an environment that I had been training for academically for 5 years, but really, all my life for. I met wonderful people, learned a lot and was pushed to gain qualifications in counselling in schools and became a Higher Level Teaching Assistant; a qualification which doesn’t now exist. The people there helped me grow in so many ways. The experience helped me know what I did and didn’t want to do. I miss that family and that period of my life. It doesn’t exist for any of us who were together at that time now but its a nice place to know where I started and who helped form me.

Within a year of starting that job I married a boy who I'd had a crush on my whole teenage life. As life does, we were on very different paths through all of this time, not even friends, just knowledgeable about each other's existence until one family party where we were unexpectedly in the right place at the right time. Who knew that was how it all worked!

With marriage 'done', a first home moved into on our wedding night (we were young and traditional and quite frankly had no other option then) we had our first child two years later. He was then joined by a second two years after that and to be quite honest I think I became a bit traumatised with her birth, motherhood and keeping myself together. That's another story of growth though so maybe on another day I will write my thoughts on that. 

As we grew so did our repossessed ex-council house. Rob made a good decision on buying our first home with me having not seen it at all. It was a repossessed house in the crash of the late 2000s that he just knew would eventually be good enough for me. In honesty my first viewing after we had our offer excepted ended with me sobbing. It wasn’t the town house I had imagined but he has turned it into something that my dreams couldn’t have even conjured up.

Over a decade later, our two-up-two-down still houses us perfectly. The house that we hope we will never have to sell, the one that has held us, has grown with us. It is enough.

Through child bearing I left working in the school environment. My family secured their first flower shop, a physical premises on one of the main streets in town in the Cathedral quarter of Lincoln. It  opened up opportunities we couldn’t have imagined. It was where I realised I had a creative strength that I had suppressed, seeking a career in something else. Quickly with an opportunity to learn from my florist sister and my own natural ability to create floral arrangements I found myself working in a little shop for the family business. 

It lasted for some time until it didn’t fit with me anymore. 

Within this time a blog was born, (about 7 years ago) it is six months younger than my daughter Etta and was created alongside us creating a new extension space on a budget. It transformed over the years and grew, but I didn’t grow. In fact I needed replanting and rewatering; I needed to grow at a different speed to it. It consumed me. So I left it a bit behind and what was all encompassing changed to be just a bit about me, what I like and what I got up to. 

The blog has earned me money. Lots of it. But then it didn’t and that is also OK.

Two and a half years ago I got a message from a stranger off instagram. It was a message from @charloteejacklin, a similar aged girl who was moving back to her home county from London and wanted to meet another blogger who took nice pictures and had good content. I think some like minded followers of both of us pushed us together and we met to see if there was any way we could work together on photography and blogs. What developed was a job opportunity that, to this day has given me some of the happiest working days of my life.

Charlotte and I decided to work together on taking photos of outfits and giving each other content for instagram. This quickly turned into a paid gig for me as Charlotte is a much more successful blogger than I and got paid to make content for brands: something I had obviously done and stepped away from. Being the absolute gem of a person she is, she offered me a role that would see me get paid too. This then grew into a job where I worked for her, some weeks full time, on building her brand. Her website, the content she made, her photos, we worked on it all as a team and had the best time.

March 2020 we signed off as I became full time mum again, homeschooling the kids and isolating as we all did when the global pandemic hit. Now spring 2021, we are just getting back into the idea of meeting up each week to take photos of each other again. As life changed, so did we, so did our blogs. We now create with each other again and it is so refreshing working with someone rather than on your own. If you see *Photos By Charlotte Jacklin* on the bottom of blog posts that's because she simply came round and snapped me rather than me doing it all myself and using a tripod. 

I have now made a few goals to see if I can grow the blog at all. It has been a constant for so long in my life and even though there are always going to be people doing more or doing better, this is my space that I have created and I am going to keep on at it.

So, this is me. A woman who started a career journey in Education, fell into floristry, became a photographer and a writer and had a family. My life has been a joy. It has had sorrow. It is what it is. I now embark on only focusing on each day, I try to suppress my anxiety by reminding myself that the past can’t be changed and that the future may always change. I can only live each day at a time putting effort into being present, trying my hardest and achieving what I do.

My Beliefs and I

Faith and spirituality – I am a practising Catholic who doesn’t follow all the rules but who seeks God with a whole heart. I can’t pretend to be a good human everyday, but I do strive and look to the cross for guidance, fulfilment and joy.

Honesty & Authenticity – if we cannot truly be ourselves, what's the point?

Living with courage and kindness – Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella is my favourite film. Not only because the Prince (Richard Madden) is, well, charming, but because the whole ethos of the story is about living with 2 simple rules. We simply must have courage and be kind.

Nature – I just like to reconnect with the world and use the awe inspiring natural surrounding to help me do that. 

Balance – exercise and food have been of equal love and loathing for me. Now I make sure to enjoy what I eat and to enjoy my exercise. Dancing and walking are how I keep my body and mind healthy.

Mindfulness – living presently, in the moment, with a lack of judgement. 

Gratitude – Living a life deep rooted in gratitude to what you have is key to me managing a positive sense of self. Daily gratitude practices of waking up with thanks for the new day and going to sleep having journalled gifts from the day helps me to see good even on bad days.

Acceptance – what has gone can’t be undone but can be learned from. Accepting the past has helped me to understand how to better behave today. How to grow. How to stop self deprecation. How to be at peace and carry the lessons with you without letting them control you.

*Photos by Charlotte Jacklin


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