So, I'm In An Open Relationship | V-Day Special

Friday, 14 February 2020

Hoooooo BOY it's a big one!!! 14th February and guess day it is? Yep, Valentine's Day - the day every couple everywhere (and friends if you're talking about my best friend Jess and I last year) celebrates their love for one another and go on cute date nights and just generally be in love. It's nice! And the story is cool. 

But I kinda wanted to do something a bit different and I thought what better time to write about this than now? It's something I've wanted to talk about a lot on the blog but never really known how to go about it, so I thought I would do a little "commonly asked questions" or "myths vs facts" about being in an open relationship, talk about how it started, why we're in it and how I'm finding it and the future. (Hope you're ready for a VERY long blog post)

So for those of you who know me in real life, you'll know all about the background to my boyfriend and I meeting - we met in mid-May 2019, a month after I'd broken up with my ex and a couple months after he broke up with his. Neither of us were looking for anything serious (in fact he was my first date after my breakup and I was adamant I wouldn't be getting in a relationship any time soon after that) and wanted something very slow, very casual but fun at the same time, so we embarked on a sort of friends with benefits/booty call arrangement. If you also know me in real life you'll know it's very odd for me to be able to do this without falling head over heels in love with someone - I am very clingy so the fact I was so chilled with it just showed me that I really didn't want or need a committed relationship at this point. Around July time we sort of started having feelings for each other but decided we wouldn't do anything except acknowledge it and carry on as we are. We liked each other as more than friends (so rebranded as a booty call with feelings) but neither of us liked the idea of not seeing other people or having restrictions on dating/shenanigans with others. I was also very conscious of the fact that I've never really explored my bisexuality that much and I didn't want to be in a relationship where I couldn't do that.

Obviously summer 2019 we spent a couple months apart but when I moved back to Manchester in September we started spending a lot more time together and going on dates and everything else and we started talking about where it was going and agreed that an open relationship would work best for both of us and fit exactly with what we wanted. Open relationships work differently couple to couple but we don't really have any restrictions on who we date or sleep with, it's pretty much a free for all (although I think if he slept with one of my housemates or my sisters I'd have a problem...). 

People like to judge open relationships and the amount of "what if" scenarios people bombard me with when they find out (what if he falls in love with someone else? What if you get married, would it still be open? That kind of ilk) is kinda crazy. And the "oh, I could never be okay with my boyfriend sleeping with someone else" is a bit annoying. I think for me, it's a lot to do with my attitude to sex and how that's changed in the last year or so. I don't particularly see sex as a big thing, a relationship to me isn't about having sex - it's more about the connection I have with the other person and the actual emotional relationship I have with them and honestly that's probably why I'm okay with my boyfriend having sex with other girls. 

It's also helped both of us be way more honest and open and communication definitely isn't one of my strong points - I get very caught up in not wanting to upset people so I tend to just not say anything at all and this has definitely changed since being in an open relationship. Gus always says too that it takes the taboos away from finding other people attractive and makes jealousy less of an issue and that's really been the case for both of us. I haven't really found myself getting jealous of him since we've been together and he doesn't with me either - if anything, it's kind of fun to be able to talk about finding other people attractive and wanting to sleep with other people and date other people rather than being ashamed of feeling that way and hiding it.

We don't really talk about the future. We don't really discuss the "what ifs" because there's not really any point. If he had feelings for another girl he would tell me and we would talk about it then - it's not like I would be surprised or shocked by him suddenly leaving me for someone else because that just isn't how a relationship like this works - you have to be open to not only other people but communicating with each other and checking in on your feelings constantly. It sounds like a lot of work but honestly, I've had a happier and healthier year with him than I have done in any previous monogamous relationship (which is something my friends have also noticed in me) and instead of being worried about how the future will pan out for us, I'm kind of looking forward to it more than anything.

I LOVE talking about my relationship and sex and all good things so if you have any more questions for me about this please don't hesitate!! I'd love to hear from ya.

Em xx

2020 & January Bullet Journal!!!

Friday, 10 January 2020

OMG pals!!! Here it is - the 2020 bullet journal update!!! Be excited because I sure as hell am.

So, I made some changes this year. Firstly, I've got an entire new journal. There wasn't enough space in my last one to make it a satisfying end so I thought hey, let's start a new one. Plus, the yellow cover was getting very grubby, and I was really ready to move onto something else this year. I was going to get a new Leuchtturm but I'll be honest with you, I've been slightly disappointed with them recently. The paper of them is rather thin and I was noticing my pens were just bleeding through the paper way too easily, so I went on the hunt for a new brand with thicker, better quality paper but not too expensive.

Lo and behold, I landed on this beautiful lilac one from Stationery Island. It's still A5, still dotted, but the paper is 120gsm so feels more like card than paper, and feels very smooth and lovely to use. I also got my hands on some black paper too which I've been wanting to play with for so. long. and I really think I've surpassed myself with this spread. I've also really dialled things back this year and taken it right back to basics - I haven't put anything in there I won't use, for example my goals, memories and ideas pages just went to waste last year and while they're nice to have there's no point having them without using them so I've ditched them and literally just put in a year at a glance and a future log and I'm really, really happy with how it's turned out and I hope it'll be much more productive to me this year. I kept it really simple with a black, white and grey theme and didn't overcomplicate anything too much. The idea is that all those other bits, the more emotional, personal stuff is going in my new journal, and this is purely to keep me organised this year.

For my January spread, I've gone for some kind of star/flower theme, I really don't know what it is, I just started doodling and didn't stop but I do love how it's come out. Again, super simple and just the pages I'll actually end up using so just my calendar and expense tracker. I did add my habit tracker in again, which I haven't used in ages but I think I'm going to try again with it and see what I can do. Then just heading straight on into my weekly spreads and that's pretty much it.

I sort of fell out of love with bullet journalling at the end of last year but I'm really hoping I can stick with it this year and make it something I love doing again - organisation and time management is high on my list of priorities this year so hopefully my bullet journal will keep that going and be a healthy and wholesome way of keeping myself in check!!

~ products used ~
✨ Stationery Island lilac a5 dotted journal
✨ Tombow dual brush pens
✨ Tombow fudenosuke soft tip brush pen
✨ Pigma Micron fineliners (0.3mm, 0.5mm and graphic pen)
✨ Crayola supertips
✨ Uniball white gel pen 0.3mm

What do your 2020 bullet journals look like?

Approaching New Year Slightly Differently

Saturday, 4 January 2020

So here's the thing - I've never really been one for goal setting. I don't know if you guys who've stuck around a while can tell. A list of things to try and achieve has always put me off trying to achieve anything really, and to be honest, I think that's where I've been going wrong for the past twenty years. You see, I put way too much pressure on myself to meet goals if they're very specific, for example number goals, or career goals, or money goals. There will come a time in my life where I think I'll need to have goals like that but friends, that time is 100% not now.

So let me tell you how I'm approaching the New Year slightly differently this time round. I was off to a good start last year when I said I was going to try and stick to a 'life motto' of trying harder but I also think that was a little too broad. This year, I'm trying to find a happy medium between the two and that all starts with an outlook change. In my eyes, anyway. Maybe I'm spurred on this time round not just because it's a new year, but an entire new decade - and let's be real, if you can't change yourself for a new decade, when can you?

So Emilia, what is this new outlook you're talking about? Well friends, that is simply not giving a fuck. You may have read the genius book by Sarah Knight named "The Life-Changing Art Of Not Giving A Fuck" and I am currently reading it, and decided that it's basically the best thing I've ever read and I definitely need to start employing these techniques into my life. It also comes along with the realisation that there are a lot of things in my life that I worry about, care about or stress over way more than I should, and things that do deserve that stress but don't get enough of it because I'm too busy worrying about other things. Does that make sense? So along with giving less of a fuck, I'm going to start being more mindful (zen is the word I've been using a lot recently) and apply worry, stress and fucks where they are needed, and take them away from where they're wasted.

This comes hand in hand with a newfound interest in the law of attraction, manifestation and general interest in mindfulness and meditation and I think I'd really like to learn more about these techniques and methods and start using them in my day-to-day life. I'm also going to try the Full Potential Challenge, where essentially you just look after yourself and see what you can achieve when you're at full potential - I really let myself go in December and as a result have some health problems I need to try and tackle before they spiral any further and I have to go to the GP (no thanks) and I think it was definitely a wake-up call I needed to just get a bit healthier really so that's also on the list.

The full potential also comes along with trying a bit more to be fully myself - and this for sure means my outward aesthetic. I've been wanting to explore my personal style for so long now, lusting after dreamy clothes and fashion on Instagram and I've decided 2020 is going to be my year to finally grow the balls to wear the clothes I actually want to wear rather than hiding away. It also means going out with gold stars and glitter on my eyes if I really want to. I'll be trying to share this more on my Instagram (which has been so inactive recently and as a result I lost like a hundred followers).

2019 brought a lot of growth and change for me - I went through heartbreak, lost a once close friend (for the right reasons though) and had some very down days indeed, but I also found the healthiest relationship I've had with another human for a long time, moved in with my best friends (best decision I have ever made) and learned to be much more open and honest about my feelings and who I am rather than hiding my bad bits because I'd convinced myself people wouldn't love me as much for them. On the contrary, sharing my bad bits has brought me closer to the most important people in my life and opening up is something I will continue to do in 2020.

Bring it on.

Em xx

Let's Talk About The Election

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Well my friends, here we are. 15th December 2019 and we have just voted in the Conservative Party for the next five years. I thought I would take some time just to reflect on the past 72 hours, everything that's happened and everything that will happen. 

In case you've been living under a rock, the UK held a General Election on Thursday, and at about 7am on Friday morning a Tory majority of 80 seats was announced, and millions of us around the country had our hearts collectively shattered. You all know how into politics I am - it was piqued during the lead-up to the 2016 EU referendum and I make no secret of the fact that I am a pro-Europe, pro-Labour activist and I have a big, big socialist heart - and none of us saw this coming.

You see, a lot of my campaigning takes place on Twitter and I think I - along with many people I know - locked myself into an echo chamber of sorts, where I convinced myself that we represented the majority of the country and there was no way the Tories would take home a win this time around. I'd truly convinced myself that we had made a difference on an enormous scale. I spent Friday in mourning, you could say, in utter despair that it's come to this and this is what we've sentenced ourselves to for the next five years. People wanted change, but it won't happen with this government. Or it will, but not for the right reasons and not in the right way.

Everyone has their different opinions, yes, but the figures don't lie. We have had this government since 2010. Nine years we've suffered austerity and cuts to public services. 130,000 needless deaths have happened due to austerity put in place by this government. There has been a 165% increase in rough sleepers and homeless citizens since 2010. There is a record 4.1million children living in poverty. There's been cuts to mental health, with a 30% loss in mental health beds. We have lost 20,000 police officers, and gained 2000 foodbanks. A&E waiting times are at their highest ever, with patients sleeping in corridors waiting for treatment.

We live in a post-truth era, where elections and campaigns are fought with lies, misinformation and deliberate misleading of voters but unfortunately the numbers above don't lie, and I could go on but I think you get the idea now. Conservative voters from Thursday are on record saying they voted Tory for change but the statistics above are all direct results from a Tory government. The Tories will not fix the mess they made, but they will first drag us out of the EU and then make it worse.

It is very easy, especially when you are an active campaigner, to think that you don't make a difference. It's easy to think you are just getting ignored and you are shouting into a void and arguing with a brick wall - but now is not the time to give up. We must reflect on what went wrong and change things. The Labour Party had a beautiful manifesto, a vision of a country I desperately wanted to live in, and whether it takes five or fifteen years that country can be ours - we just can't give up on it now. If anything, this is the time to get louder.

So I will be continuing my pro-EU activism, I will begin campaigning for the electoral reform that we desperately need, I will start donating to foodbanks, buying food for the homeless man I see every day outside Sainsbury's, and using this blog to talk more about politics and the changes I will be making in my life to try my best to ease this shock for the people who needed Labour. You see - there's a good chance I will be fine. I come from a middle-class family and a well-off area of the country. I am white and non-religious and my privilege allows me to not have to worry too much about the result of this election. But while my life won't necessarily change all that much, the lives of the 14.3million people in poverty, the lives of the Muslim communities, the LGBTQ+A, the lives of single mums, of ethnic minorities - they are the lives that will change due to this election result and that's who I'm fighting for, that's who I'm worried most about.

I really hope you will join me. I hope you will use your disappointment and your anger, take it and channel it into helping the people the government will inevitably refuse to. We mustn't be disheartened - this is the beginning of something truly great.

I hope you're with me. 🌹

Em xx

October Bullet Journal

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Good afternoon!! Yes, you'd be right in thinking I'm back on the bullet journal grind again, I haven't done an update in agessss but I definitely want to share this with you - I recreated yet another Amanda Rach Lee spread and I'm just so happy with how it came out, I love it so much.

My title page is, like I said, a recreation of Amanda Rach Lee's, with the moon phases as the main theme, I've not done a monochrome theme since I started bullet journalling and I really like how it came out! 

My calendar is once again the normal spread I like to go for, I like this way of doing the monthly log and again love the monochrome white on black theme - it's very spoopy and Halloween-y and I really love it! I changed up my stats tracker again because dedicating a whole page to it made me a bit depressed but I liked tracking all my stats and not just my YouTube so I made it a bit smaller and popped it in this section instead. I've also ditched my monthly goals - I think it's a bit detrimental to me too so not going to keep with that.

So what did I do with the extra space, you ask?! Well, I kept my content ideas page and used the extra space for a schedule as well, attempting to keep on top of content and making sure I actually update my socials! It's just a trial but we'll see how it goes this month and if we can carry it on!

I did pretty much the same for my expense tracker as always - I still am planning that post on how I track my finances at university, don't worry! Once again used the white on black theme and loved it as I did all the rest.

I spoke about how I changed my weekly spread up ages ago but I'm still using this layout, I love how much space it gives me on each day but also some space in to jot down things going on and things going on the week after just in case. I also ditched my water tracker as honestly it was just making me feel bad about how much water I don't drink - maybe not such a good thing but I'm definitely going to get it back on track soon!

Aaaaand that brings us to the end of this month's layout! I reaaaaally love it so hopefully it'll motivate me to actually use it properly and effectively this month - it's a busy one so will definitely have to stay organised.

Product list:
- Leuchtturm 1917 dotted a5 journal
- Tombow fudenosuke pen (soft tip)
- Faber Castell ecco pigment pen 0.3mm
- Uniball white gel pen

What do your bullet journals look like this month?

Em xx
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