This past April saw me deciding to close my 5000+ Instagram profile and the old blog that I kept on trying to open without any success or motivation and decide to start clean. My old blog was clean, blue toned, strictly lifestyle and totally not me. I was trying so hard to be a person that I wasn’t, to emulate bloggers and Instagrammers that I admired and to be a person that I would look up to but that was not the one I naturally felt. Let’s be clear, I wasn’t trying to copy anybody, I was just trying to be what I thought would be a better person of myself, a more aesthetically pleasing, event-goer, fabulous-life-owning version of myself. I was miserable. I hated every single content I created because it felt forced, it felt crafted and unreal; getting out of the house and feign joy was a struggle, finding things to do and documenting them was energy, money and consuming, and unworthy! As a result, I was extremely miserable; my engagement was non-existent and I was incoherent at best with my content. Until one day I got some stuff for free, an opportunity, no strings attached, nothing asked, just because. I knew my follower count had something to do with it, it couldn’t have been, and I felt awful. I went ahead, I had an amazing experience, but throughout the afternoon I couldn’t rid of the feeling of being a fraud. I knew that those people had followed me for a reason, I just didn’t know which reason was it, as my engagement was absolutely non-existent! My post would reach a maximum of 30 people and I would get less than 10 likes and practically no comment! The worst part is that I would talk to anybody! It was not a community, I was lonely and disenchanted, I felt that I couldn’t relate to other Instagrammers as I was not genuine enough, not me and so not worth knowing.  I needed an out, a clean cut, a last try out before giving up completely for myself and my mental health.

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When I decided to actually my new Instagram was almost march ( You won’t find the very first images as I deleted them), I still had not a clue what to do with this new account. I called it “quitechaotics”  since I wanted to connect it to a blog and I didn’t want to use my name for it. It was a name that I loved but didn’t really say anything about me or what topic I would touch! Which was fair since I had no clue of it myself! I needed something to make this account work for myself, to make it a positive and creative outlet but I was so lost…

What saved me and opened my eyes was the account that I decided to upcycle for this new venture.

A couple of years ago for a couple of months I owned a bookstagram, It was full-on and I was definitely not committed to it; It felt exactly like the other account, I felt like I needed to show always different books and I wasn’t really reading, I was obsessed with my follower count and it would stress me out. After I closed it that account was left to die and when I pick it up again had only a couple of inactive followers left to it. what was active tho were the numerous bookstagrammer that I was following. Look, I know I made all this problems for myself, but I never tend to take the easy way out and sometimes knowing yourself is the hardest part, so when one day I sat in front of my laptop and told myself that it was ok not to put a label on my Instagram or my blog, that I could post exclusively what I liked, that I could be a lifestyle blog when my life was cool enough, that I could be a bookstagrammer when I have months in which I just work and then come back home to put myself into bed and read all night, that I could be a plus size fashion blogger when I felt cute and self assured enough to take a picture of myself in a nice dress, that I could just be me and let it shine because if people don’t like me for who I am is their problem, if I don’t like myself for the version I’m giving others that would be my problem; I felt amazing! I was free! I was posting pictures of books as well as anything else I liked, I was full of creativity but most of all I was engaging with fellow Instagrammers and making friends, I was sharing my blog with IRL friends and colleagues and finally feeling good about it.

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I changed my URL in books and curves, which was also the best decision ever, but this changing process, the being yourself act was not an easy one. It took time, it throws me in one of the biggest slumps ever, I’m not good with changes and when I have no clue what to do next is terrifying! But around October I found out that again, it is important to myself and myself only! I pushed through the anxiety, knowing it would be worthy for myself, knowing that It would work out and I found my voice. Once that something clicked in my mind I was open and the world was just there to grab. I could now be myself because I now knew myself. I knew that I could be the sassy writer, the one that is honest and incredibly raw and open, I could be the unapologetic feminist, the finger-snapping unashamed supporter of free will, I could open up and even if nobody would read what I was writing or like the pictures I was taking I have the certainty that I’m doing myself a favour. My mental health has improved so much throughout the end of this year and I solely attribute it to having found back my voice online and recognising my instagram and my blog for the creative outlet they are. They are not an accessory I put on, they are a reflection of myself and for that I’m grateful.

A few months ago someone watching my Instagram feed told me that it was very… ” saturated” at first I took offence to it – clean cut and classy accounts being still the emblem of perfection in my mind –  then I realised that my instagram was just a reflection of myself!  My account is too loud, too messy and too colourful, and I’m more than ok with it! My life might still not be glamorous, I might still not have bookshelves, I’m definitely not Hygge and absolutely not perfect. But I’ll humbly walk into 2019 knowing myself a bit more and looking forward to exploring my creative side and anything that this new year has in store for me.

So here’s to 2018! And to a saturated 2019
Happy New Year

We are the readers your parents warned you about

Hey! Hey you! You that came here from google after having seen all the drama, you who nodded at the Vulture article or, even worse, at the Guardian one; you who saw the drama on twitter and are here for the tea and all the shade.Yeah, you that actually are quite intrigued by all this… well, let me tell you what they don’t want you to know…

They are not wrong.

We are the sinners, the people of knowledge, the heretics women ( but to be honest, any other gender works too… BUT, we only accept unicorns if accompanied by vampires… they tend to get over excited.), we are the free thinkers and… boy, we are salty! So here is the tea.

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They are right! We do have a hard-on for trends, for the pretty in life…we are pumpkin lovers, leaves collectors, fairy lights addicted, celebrants of the golden hours and – worst of all – we are pot fillers of coffee that will probably never get drunk! ( the poor coffee industry!!!)

We are loose women (people), we lay down – or would – with any of our innumerous book boyfriends and… we don’t mind sharing!
We get high on the smell of books, we are artisans of all evil, candle lighters, summoners of alternative verses and, most of all, readers!

We are the brutally nice, the ones that would like to shred a book to pieces but still give it 2.5 stars and try to find perks to it because we have the highest respect for every person involved in its creation. we are the annoying half cup full on a Monday morning because tea exists and books do too! We vandalise proper books with bright filters, own the ones your grandma would shudder even thinking of it and we stand tall on our never-ending TBR pile.

We are compulsive liars ( ” just another page ” she said ” I’m not going to buy another book ” she promised) We tear pa–rts of stories apart to dissect a topic, we conjure the worst scenarios and we live for the most painful of the cliffhangers.

We are the masochists, who love a book that destroys them inside, who makes them alive, who makes them feel; and the sadists, who make their friends and followers in on that same pain! We destroy ships, avoid the canon, we indulge in procrastination and we dream, oh how we dream!

And yes, your honour, we have tried every type of magic, we have been every type of creature, we cried and been in love, and felt like our world is about to be shredded to pieces! All this through the worlds of our favourite book that, without much of a conscience, we will betray for our next 5★ read… we are  simply incapable of being still, to read in secret, to keep it quiet, we are incapable to stay hidden, to keep our heads low because a woman ( or not! ) has no place in a library!

At the end no, we are not sorry! We are sinners, creatures of the nights that holds us in her hands while we read yet another chapter from that same book our head lied just a few hours before while uncomfortably taking pictures for hours, trying to take just the perfect picture for our feed.  We are the sharer, the fearless, the heretics but we stand together and if you come for us you’ll find a coven, a sisterhood and, believe me, you won’t find a bunch with better comebacks than us.

[ PS: if you are looking to write yet another clickbait article firing at us and you are here to find proof of our sins, just take the parts in bold, think them as a confession; you clearly don’t care enough for the truth to make the proper researches which journalism, at any level, is based upon. Have a good day. ]

BONUS: VOLTURE & THE GUARDIAN after
bookstagrammers are done with them
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I haven’t really done one of this yet on the blog and I thought I’d give it a go. Brace yourself, it’s a long one.
October for me has been a weird and amazing month; it’s a month where I remembered stuff about me that I had forgotten, it’s the month where I’ve actuated changes and seen results, it’s the month where I didn’t let setbacks have the best of me, it’s the month of new intentions, of festivities and spirituality, of feeling valid, appreciated and loved, of feeling cherished and supported by who counts the most; it’s the month of caring about people, of reaching out and I have to say… it has been my favourite month so far. I just hope that this feeling will stick to me in the weeks and months to come… but let’s break it down, shall we?

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M e a l  p l a n s :
this has to have been the biggest change so far and the one with more results!
I was spending way too much money on takeaways and daily unplanned groceries ( where boredom and a total lack of fantasy would bring me towards sandwiches and ready meals) and I had just come out from a chest infection that was the end of a cold that I nursed for almost a month (my immune system was so low that after going back to work for one ( 1) day my throat was hurting again) I needed to do something. A friend had suggested vitamins, but those costs and there would’ve been no point seeing how my diet was not exactly the healthiest! So I thought I’d give it a go and fill an entire week with as many veggies as I could think but I would make it delicious, and that I did!
The week was fast planned, thank you Pinterest ( you can click here for my recipe board) and the grocery shopping amounted to less than 25L.
Cue a week later and I felt amazing, not only physically but mentally! I managed to stick with a project for an entire week even tho my schedule was crazy and I was looking forward to the next! Also, and that was the most unexpected part,  I experienced two full days without a shred of anxiety or depression! I was completely on top and I loved it ( I mean, I did spend the first day giving myself anxiety because I wasn’t having any, but still… well, at least I managed to make the second day count! ).
That week and the weeks that followed helped me feel that If I’m kind to myself changes actually shows right away and I used my free time from myself to plant my way for what’s to come, I even decided to join the gym!

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B l o g :
I’ve started writing constantly on my blog again, having fun with it and finding that calming feeling in using pen and paper that I had lost during the years.
Isn’t it funny how depression can make you forget how much you loved and were good at something? Well, I finally remembered. I also remembered the method that worked for me, so now I’m carrying around with me a small a6 Journal that I’ve been gifted on my birthday and I write down entire blog posts while on my breaks at work or on the go in the tube etc, It’s so refreshing!
Before I was always pretty secretive in my daily life about my blog, I now opened up about it. Talking and with my colleagues and friends and asking for their thoughts, this gave me that extra boost that reminded me that, yeah… maybe I’m good enough… I mean, I didn’t graduate, but this is what I studied, more or less… and with that shred of self-confidence I even started talking more regularly to my mother about it and her feedback was what made me thrive the most. Growing up she was my biggest critic and not always in a constructive way. I do believe she only had my interest in mind and always had her own problems, but she had a way to shout down any creative tendency or interest that I would show deeming me not good or talented enough in any artistic activity to be worth the time that I could otherwise use to study. Feeling her now being supportive of my reading and writing and taking pictures is… wow! She even opens every single post I send her and shares it with her friends on Facebook, the funny thing is… none of them can read English!
Obviously I can’t help but stop and wonder what type of person I would be and what life I would have if she had been supportive since the beginning, I always strived for her approval and struggled knowing I never really had it, I always felt never was enough, Well I Know I am now and she learned how to show it or maybe I just learned how to see it, our relationship is way different from how it was growing up and I’ve decided to focus solely on that, to thrive from now onward and bask in her acknowledgement of my creativity as well as my own sense of what I like and what I enjoy doing. It’s never too late.

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I n s t a g r a m :
I’ve finally found my peace with Instagram, my personal imprint, my perfect balance between all the things I love and, last but not least, my perfect way to edit pictures. Gone are the days where I would bask in bed knowing that I had to go and take some pictures but not really have a clue how to. now I have my special weird corner in my garden and few props and everything seems so pretty and easy! Prague’s pictures help too, even if they are quickly coming to an end… I hope you guys will like London just as much!

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F r i e n d s :
This is not much of a thing that ” happened” but a thing that I’m making happen slowly and in tiny ways… I’m not that used to having a lot of friends, I talk a  lot, I’m easy-going but I’m actually an introvert. Growing up I always had my best friend and I never really belonged in any ” group” nor I still really do. Vanished that facade of extraversion I don’t know how to maintain conversations going or how to actively ask other people about them if they don’t jump in the share wagon… I can pass as self-absorbed, believe me, that’s not the case, I’m just bad at this, I want to know about my friends’ life I just assume they will share as I do and end up getting lost in talking instead of asking or listening. I’m trying to get better, to press and ask that ” how are you ” and actually listen, to reach out more and more constantly, to send them something that would make them smile, to meet up more frequently or to simply talk more regularly. To actually have movie nights, to set an alarm to send them cat gifs, and It’s working, at least for me. At the same time, I’ve let go of people who I have realised were toxic for me. I haven’t really changed much towards them, I just re-evaluated the level of energy and thoughts that I was reserving them, directing those energies towards people who actually care and are good for me.

R o u t i n e:
This last point is actually a change that Michelle at Daisybutter inspired.
I decided to start waking up at 8, take a cup of water, just browse my emails and then make tea, wake up properly and then get cracking on a blog post or a review or similar. Starting slow but earlier give me the time to do editing and admin stuff in the morning and let creativity flow when at work or after the sun goes down, yes, like vampires!  Working late evenings is easy to just end up spending the entire day in bed and this helped me have sooo much more time and be so much more productive! I mean, it’s only 10 and I’ve already finished this blog post! Which… It’s also incredibly long, so…

thank you, if you are still here and you’ve read through all this rant, here is a cookie!
I wish you the best November and a happy Halloween!