Pinterest Vs. Real Life: The Truth Behind The Inspirational Quotes

Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
I love the Internet. It is my livelihood and entertainment. It has allowed me to stay connected to family and friends who live far away. It is a beautiful thing. But, it is also full of total crap. Case in point: inspirational quotes. Those sharable, potentially viral collections of words that excite people as much as a warm day in winter. They're a lovely concept, but I just can’t get down with what they're actually saying.
If we’re going to inspire, motivate, and entertain each other, can we please tell the truth at the same time? Just because something sounds nice, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it's true or even makes sense. You want examples? I am not short on material. Ahead, 11 common Pinterest quotes — and why they're kinda full of shit.
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1 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
Unless you're a character in some sort of crime drama, this is terrible advice. You might as well say, “Always wear your invisible helmet.” In reality, building strong, trusting relationships with people is incredibly rewarding. Let's not live life locked in a cage of paranoia, okay? If someone breaks your trust, it’s okay to not trust them anymore. Until then, take a risk. Make a friend.
2 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
Guys, maybe give up sometimes. Not everything works out. Not everything should work out. We are not all awesome at all that we do, despite what all those "participation" trophies in middle school told us. It's okay to walk away from something that just isn't right. There’s a word for people who don’t know when to give up: They’re called “stubborn.” They’re also called “annoying” and sometimes “pushy.”

Of course, there are exceptions. If you're trying to get through a time of grief or finish a race you trained for all year, keep going. I wish you all the motivation in the world when you need it, and I’ll write dozens of quotes just for you. Email me; I am not kidding. But, if the obstacle standing in your way is, like, assembling an Ikea bed or trying to force an unhealthy relationship to work, you have my permission to quit.
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3 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
There is much assumption of jealousy-fueled "haters" in the inspirational-quote world. Why focus so intently on the effects your life and actions are going to have on people you don't like? Why is proving others wrong or “showing them up” such a concern? Can we please free ourselves of this burden and look forward instead? Unshackle yourself from what others think — especially those who are mean, rotten friends who don’t contribute to your life in a positive way. Be happy. Because, then you’ll be happy. The end.
4 of 11
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This quote is so basic. It gives credence to the idea of weekday misery, to people who hate their jobs and always will. To people so mired down in schedules and monotony that the only breath of relaxation or fun they can muster comes from fucking Sunday brunch. Are you kidding me? There are five other perfectly good days in the week, and they deserve more than for you to wish them dead. Text a friend. Text her now. Invite her to dinner this Tuesday. Try a new place. When you’re done, take a nice walk and enjoy the summer evening. Live your life. And, if a soul-sucking job is really getting you down, maybe it's time for a change.
5 of 11
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What does this mean? Is this written in English? It seems the takeaway here is, "Always think you’re better than other people." Or, "Being actual royalty is the way to become a better person." Or maybe just, "Always aspire to have more elaborate jewelry." So, yes, you could do those things. Or, you could just acknowledge that who you are, crown-free, is pretty incredible. You're someone who matters a lot, regardless of your noble birth or lack thereof.
6 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
True. But, do I have her driver, stylist, personal trainer, personal chef, personal shopper, phone-answerer, makeup artist, and live-in maid/nanny/assistant? Definitely not. This quote rose to virality after Beyoncé released a massive album and a boatload of music videos without so much as a leak, prompting us all to think she somehow has magical powers that enable her to work faster, harder, or longer than the rest of us. She does have these powers. They are called dollars, and she uses them to pay her huge personal staff. When do you think was the last time Beyoncé ran an errand? If I had her team, I’d write a five-season Netflix series that would win my body weight in Emmys. And, I’d do it in a week.
7 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
Awesome. Let me aspire to do something so terrifying that I am then immobilized by fear and confined to a life of inaction and mediocrity. I'm inspired. Let’s go do stuff. In my opinion, attainable, realistic dreams are a good thing. Getting a yoga instructor's license, learning a language, traveling to a new country — these are beautiful, attainable dreams. My dream of being a Senator isn’t only terrifying, it’s also highly unlikely. Same goes for all those little girls dreaming of becoming princesses when they grow up. Let’s be real: I like “little” dreams. I think we can accomplish them. I want that for us. As for sailing the world solo, no thanks.
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8 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
Am I the only one who thinks this is how addictions form? "Toss caution and responsibility to the wind, darling, we live but once! Never mind your student loan payment, I'm sure they'll let that one slide." While, yes, sporadic indulgences are lovely and beneficial to the psyche, a devil-may-care approach to spending is not. Also, why shoes? Life is short; ask out your crush. Life is short; take the day off and go to the park with your kid. Life is short; play with your dog, the laundry can wait. But, shoes? That’s the real prize here?
9 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
I don’t know about you, but I am downright insulted by this one. It seems like a phrase from a 1953 newspaper ad. I do think there is some actual good advice hiding behind this quote (as opposed to so many of its pinnable brethren): Don’t be in a relationship where you're always hurt and crying. That part is a true story. But, can't we just say it that way? Why do we have to overly feminize it? Will women not understand this communication unless we break it down into cosmetic terms they can understand? And, not for nothing, if you and a partner are engaging in any serious lipstick-ruining activity, I’m pretty sure any makeup you happen to be wearing at the time — lipstick, mascara, and more — will not survive. This is just logistics.
10 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
Oh, sugar. Pull up a chair. Write this down on a piece of paper and set it aflame. Flush it. Spill wine on it. Dance upon it in heels. This kind of free-spirited, gravitational pull toward “love” is usually lust, carelessness, and irresponsibility.

I don't know about you, but I think it's a good idea to put thought and time into building relationships with people who are right for you, rather than diving in with people you fancy in the moment — or people who are just, you know, there. It’s okay to use your head in matters of love.

For example, I want another cat. And, maybe another after that. I have lots of love to give. You know what happens when I just “think less” about this decision? You'll find out when you see me on Animal Hoarders in six months. That is not how I want to live.
11 of 11
Illustrated By Elliot Salazar.
I don't know, this pizza I'm eating sure is delicious. That $6 manicure I got yesterday looks awesome. The text I just got from my stepdad made me laugh. Netflix exists. Really, there are so many things in the world worth having that are phenomenally easy to possess.

This quote is just nonsense. See how it sounds nice? See how it makes you feel like more of a hard worker just by reading it? But, reading it does nothing. It’s actually doing work and putting forth effort that will result in something great. And, sometimes, no effort at all results in something great. That’s fine, too. Excuse me, I have to text my stepdad back now.
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