Hello again honeybees! This is a bit of a different post. I don’t typically write think pieces/reflections but I thought I would give it a go for today since I feel like I have a lot to say!
Warning: this gets super sappy.
Today my bookstagram, My Honey Reads, turns four years old. When I started that account I was 14, a sophomore in high school that was experiencing grief for the first time, along with intense loneliness. All I knew was I liked to read books and talk about them. My irl friends started to drift away as they found my talking about books “annoying” and started to focus on more popular interests. I was introduced to the online book community through a google search of Alice In Wonderland, which led me to Hailey In Bookland’s YouTube account (right around the time she changed her username to the iconic one it is now). After watching BookTube videos for months and hearing some mentions of book blogging and a book community on Instagram, I decided to start one of my own!
I had a camera and while blogging seemed to be the thing I could do better (I’ve always been more of a writer than visual artist), I’m not much of a technology whizz and starting my own site scared me. That didn’t come until I got 100 followers on Insta.
I say all this because four years later I’m 19, a sophomore in college. I live in a college town three hours away from the place I grew up. I just withdrew from university as the disability and chronic conditions I started to develop a few years ago have spun my life out of control. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. I just lost some friends and I feel lonely and confused. But this time I have hundreds of online friends by my side.
The friends and experiences I’ve made, largely due to Booksta, are priceless. I’ll lose all of my irl friends if it means I get to keep my mutuals, who’ve been with me for the greater part of these four years and have seen me through the hardest times imaginable. So many of my friends and I are growing up together, getting jobs and going to college and going through break ups and make ups miles and miles away but united through reading.
I’ve gotten the amazing pleasure of being on Buzzfeed, being spotlighted by Goodreads and other major book publications. I get to work with publishers, emailing them back and forth about upcoming releases. Four years ago I used to spend my nights scrolling through their websites, making note of the interesting books and hoping that one day I’d see my own with one of the Big Five labels embossed on the spine.
It’s been an undeniably tough road. Last year I lost so many of the eldest generation of my family and I’m still grieving their losses. I had two surgeries and never seem to be able to stop moving apartments or jobs. I don’t know where I’m going in life or what makes me happy. The only thing I have to point to, the only thing that will always brighten me up is you.
My bookstagram, my blog, my work in the book community. My friends that I made and continue to make along the way. You keep me going, and I mean that in the deepest way I can. Thank you. You have no idea what your kind words, the tiny heart on my posts, or the small interactions we’ve had mean to me.
So cheers to four years. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going. But I thank you for being with me on this journey, if even for a moment. Thanks for helping me get close to my dreams and realize what some of those dreams were in the process.
Goodbye for now, honeybees.