There are many things that I love about my life. Weekends spent chilling out at home, reading blogs on my iPad and drinking wine (or, oftentimes, herbal tea). The beautiful plants dotted around the flat – including a 15-year-old jade plant I am slightly terrified of killing. There are the things I am thankful for – relatively good health, regular meals, job security, friends, family. Sure, life is full of ups and downs, as the cliche goes. Generally speaking, though, things are good.
Somewhere amidst the tapping and swiping I do on my iPad, on one of those chilling-out-at-home days, my priorities have gotten a little bit messed up and I’ve found myself longing for material objects, aspiring to a lifestyle I neither need nor can afford. The blogs that I read fill me with nothing but admiration for a group of women who work so hard to create environments and content that they love and know others will find inspiring. Instead, it’s on Pinterest where I lose my way.
Oh, Pinterest. You’ve helped me plan haircuts and home-made Christmas presents. You are almost solely responsible for my obsession with mid-century furniture, and you make propagating succulents look far easier than it is. You are full of beautiful images of home offices, woodland weddings, makeup tutorials and fishtail plaits. And you are kind of making me want a different life.
You are making me want a life in which I live in an open-plan palace with a spiral staircase, floor to ceiling windows and real wood floors, painted bright white. A life in which I get married deep in the forest, the trees strung with fairy lights above me. A life in which my home is filled with cacti in cubic-shaped pots, West Elm furniture and copper-coloured ornaments. A life in which I sport pastel-dyed hair and dainty tattoos.
These are not things I need. I have a perfectly lovely home, filled with more than enough little knick-knacks and odds and ends collected over the years. The Ikea furniture that clutters each room is sufficient for our needs, and I have no serious issues with my personal style and appearance. So why do I find myself drawn further into a fantasy existence with every re-pin and like?
It is nice to pretend, sometimes. To get sucked into a dream land, to explore different styles and aesthetics that might not necessarily be your bag in practice, but sure do look pretty in theory. I worry a little, though, about what we aspire to. I aspire to more than whitewashed wooden floors, wispy plants and furniture standing on tapered legs. I aspire to more than slim figured women with pastel coloured haircuts and thin, gold jewellery. I aspire to more than white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But as I pin, pin and pin some more, it can be easy to forget that anything else is enough.
I won’t be stopping pinning anytime soon. I love it – it’s relaxing, and inspiring. However, I will continue to do so with a renewed awareness that these images are not indicative of what my life should be like. My success isn’t measured by how like my own home or appearance the pins are. Instead, they are just little windows into a nice-looking, fantasy land which I should draw inspiration from, rather than fully aspire to.
Do you use Pinterest? How do you feel about it? Let me know in the comments!