The Aftermath of a Pinterest Void

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest. People got on it so much that my high school literally blocked the site, which just caused me to sometimes use my hot spot during art class so that I could look at aesthetically pleasing pictures of cakes, coffee shops, homes, makeup, animals… you name it! I had every board perfectly categorized and when I was having a bad day, I would look at the beautiful photos and feel better.

But since college started, I’ve taken a break from Pinterest (simply because of time) and since today is a Saturday, and I’m enjoying it by drinking an iced latte at my favorite coffee shop, I decided to log in to Pinterest just to look. The minute I logged on, I could literally feel every perfectionist bone in my body coming out to play. I started looking at beautiful photos of food, planning to make that raspberry jam, perfectly-iced cake this week with… all my free time? As I was pulled into the void of Pinterest, I looked at the clock and 45 minutes had passed. I felt on edge, like I needed to Pinterest-ify not just my room, my eating habits, or my photo sessions – but my entire life. I wanted to be a walking Pinterest board, by god!

The thing is though, I don’t get on Pinterest to be stressed out; I get on Pinterest to calm myself down and take a break from work. But, to me at least, it just ends up feeling like more work. I don’t leave feeling genuinely inspired, like I do when I spend time with a friend who uplifts me or when I listen to an amazing podcast. Instead, I just want to be better, but I can’t even pin what I need to be better at. Have you ever met a walking Pinterest board? I have. Heck, I have gone through my fair share of trying to be that person and it’s exhausting. Looking at cute pictures is fun, but what isn’t fun is being around someone who has to make everything cute or artistic all of the time. Even more so, it’s really not fun to be that person.

In a performative culture of getting the ‘perfect Instagram picture’ (which I have literally tried to do a thousand times so I’m talking to myself), I don’t think that I need yet another outlet where I try to make things seem pretty. I’ve spent so much of my life trying to fit an ideal, and I just don’t want to do that anymore. It’s not a healthy way to live because people aren’t Pinterest Boards. If I tried to make my life a Pinterest board (which I have, believe me) a lot of my time would be spent micromanaging just about everything instead of showing up to my real, messy life – where people love me regardless of if I have a perfectly instagrammable brunch for them to document. I’m not saying that no one should ever get on Pinterest again, I’m just saying that for how I’m wired, it’s really not that good for me. I want to show up to my real life, being fully myself, every day. And sometimes, that’s really hard for me because I want to be seen as my ‘best self,’ but I’m learning that my ‘best self’ is just someone who is trying to love others the best they can, and then being okay when I mess up. My best self isn’t a filter, but a person who loves and is loved.