My mum enjoys doing Zentangles. They’re doodles that follow certain patterns and techniques, usually drawn in a square. She finds them relaxing, and often gets requests for birthday cards and presents.
Since it seems to be working out for her, you’d think my mum would spend most of her free time drawing. Instead, she tells me, many evenings her pens lie untouched, while she’s browsing Pinterest. For inspiration.
“Inspiration” is everywhere. Be it art, music, fitness, food, fashion or lifestyle, it is readily available on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, tumblr, Youtube and countless blogs. Which is great if you’re looking for writing prompts, drawing references, or a kick up the arse to get said arse off to the gym. The dark side to this abundance of “inspiration” comes in when we start to live vicariously through other people: watching exercise videos while lying in bed (But I’m “researching” ab moves! That I’ll definitely do tomorrow!), looking at minimalist bedrooms while clothes continue taking over our own floor, or watching timelapse videos of people doing magic with watercolours as the dust gathers on our own set.
Because we’re constantly bombarded with perfect pictures of perfect pepole living in perfect houses doing perfect things (Go to any Youtube lifestyle/fashion account and I promise there’s a video on organisation and bullet journaling. These people are not only gorgeous and fit but hey HAVE THEIR SHIT TOGETHER.), it’s only a matter of time before we feel something is missing in our own lives. It doesn’t matter that these people often literally get paid to live like this; they set a standard we don’t measure up to. But hey, it can be fixed! WITH STUFF.
Things I have bought because I saw them on the internet and decided I wanted to be the kind of person who uses them:
- a watercolour set
- white gel pens
- washi tape
- a paper calendar/diary
- more books than I can or even want to read
- an iPhone (granted, that one worked out)
- so many fucking apps for said iPhone
The list of things I stopped myself from buying even though I was twitching for them is a lot longer.
Twitch – an impulsive, unproductive response to a feeling of discomfort
“I’m feeling the twitch right now, I keep checking my phone for no reason.”
– Anthony Ongaro, http://www.breakthetwitch.com/twitch/
I’m a scanner personality; I love concepts and planning more than I love following through with those plans. That means I’m always at great risk of buying stuff I’ll never use, and looking at lifestyles I’ll never achieve. Which becomes a problem once that takes up the time and energy I should be using to do the things that are my actual life. That’s why I’m depriving myself of the inspiration overload this month. To see what’s left when I can’t escape into other people’s lives.