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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Special Guest Saturday: Meet Colleen!

Visit her Bookstagram!

Hi, I’m Colleen and I’ll be 32 in a few short weeks. My IG handle is @coco__elise; my nickname is “Coco”, and my middle name is Elise 🙂 I work in Human Resources; I find that I really love my job & feel so lucky I am still able to do it from home during these unprecedented times. 

When I’m not working, I enjoy doing house projects (I bought a house last year), yoga, taking long walks outside, hiking, writing, and cooking with my boyfriend. And, of course, reading - historical fiction and thrillers are my favorite, but lately I’ve been branching out more and it’s been great!

Q: How long have you been on bookstagram? 

A: It’s funny, I thought SO many times about switching my handle once I really got into posting books, but my instagram handle is actually my personal one that I’ve slowly merged over time. I still post personal stuff as well, so that’s why I never took the leap and completely switched. I started shifting more to bookish content as a hobby back in the winter of 2018. Then I started a blog, (which I admit, I haven’t posted to in about a year - whoops! Buying a house will do that, I guess!). I finally started really getting into it this past year, and t’s been a blast. Q: Who was the first person you connected with on this platform?

A: I honestly can’t remember one in particular, but there are a few who stand out. @ashesbooksandbobs, Ashley, was definitely one of the first. She is so encouraging, and I love how she also mixes it up with family stuff and her badass workouts. I also connected early on with Virginia from flourish_and_blotts_always, and we hit it off over our mutual love for ice cream, LOL! She and I have since exchanged numbers and I now consider her a “real-life” friend. There are countless others I instantly connected with, but these are two that first come to mind.  Q: You’ve shared posts advocating body positivity and mental wellbeing; how were you able to be vulnerable with strangers?

A: You know, it’s interesting. Sometimes I think it’s easier to be vulnerable when you’re sitting behind a screen than when you’re in person, know what I mean? I joke with some of my booksta friends that I tell them more than I tell my in person friends! But really, I think what made me able to share was the thought that if I could reach ONE person, touch ONE person, help ONE person feel less alone, then it would be worth it. So that has kept me going even when I feel like I’m basically standing naked on a stage some days. Q: Has anyone contacted you letting you know you’ve helped them with their own struggles?

A: Yes. This has been one of the most amazingly rewarding experiences for me - having women I’ve never even met reach out and say “hey - your words helped me.” or even “I struggle with that too, let’s be friends and lift each other up”. It’s such a beautiful thing to connect so deeply with people online.  Q: For those that deal with negative self-image, what’s some advice you’d give them?

A: This is such a tough one, because nothing I say or do - and nothing anyone else tells me - will truly get you to love yourself. However, through a lot of therapy and self work (and trust me, I still feel bad about myself a lot), I have a mantra that I often repeat when that voice in my head starts to berate me and make me feel unworthy of love, unworthy of taking up space in the world - this isn’t reality. This voice inside your head is lying to you. You ARE worthy. You ARE beautiful. You DO deserve to take up space in this world. I would also tell people that the feeling will eventually pass. It’s so hard in the moment to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I promise it is there, even if you can’t see it yet. 

One last thing that really helps me is I will often stop and ask myself: would I ever speak to a friend this way? Would I ever call a friend fat, or gross, or ugly, or stupid, or any of the other things I call myself? Of course not! So, I try to treat my body and mind like the best friend I’ll ever have - because it is - and that often puts things into perspective.

1 comment :

  1. I'm off to go follow her. Always love to follow more people who also enjoy historical fiction. ♥


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