I Like Mediocre Inspiration

I feel like the word "inspiration" is highly overused, maybe it's just popular adjective these days. With Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, magazines, and more, it seems like everyone is on a mission to inspire others. I think overall this is great. Who doesn't need a little help rousing their creative juices to take action on an idea or project?

But the more and more I've gotten into this world of inspiration, I find that the most inspiring content out there doesn't actually inspire me at all. In fact, it kinda has the opposite affect. I come back to my ordinary life after viewing something that was intended to inspire, and I look at everything like it's not good enough. My meals aren't pretty enough, my home isn't decorated well enough, the photographs I take aren't artistic enough, I'm not motivated enough to run marathons and other strenuous physical activities of the like. 

For example, I've had a subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine for probably about two years. I don't think I've ever walked away from looking at those beautifully plated, gourmet meals inspired to cook up something similar for my family.  I don't think I've ever watched a marathon race inspired to go for a jog around the block. I don't think I've ever walked away from one of those super bright, beautifully styled and intentionally curated Instagram feeds with tons of ariel views feeling inspired to take better photos of my kids or my life.

Does anyone's vanity, desktop or workspace actually look like this? Does anyone actually feel inspired to make it look like this? Not me.

Maybe it's just me, but I like mediocre inspiration. I like seeing everyday people do hard or creatively challenging things. I like seeing people that could barely run a mile 2 months ago run their first 5k. I like seeing someone that I know has limited resources somehow creatively find a way to make their home space a little more beautiful. I like it when someone creates a super delicious meal from ridiculously simple ingredients. I like Instagram feeds that aren't just trophy cases of beautifully styled photos, but ones where people can somehow capture the beauty amidst the ordinary, mundane parts of life.

  Does anyone's vanity, desktop or workspace actually look like this? Does anyone actually feel inspired to make it look like this? Not me.

Does anyone's vanity, desktop or workspace actually look like this? Does anyone actually feel inspired to make it look like this? Not me.

Maybe it's just me, but I like mediocre inspiration. I like seeing everyday people do hard or creatively challenging things. I like seeing people that could barely run a mile 2 months ago run their first 5k. I like seeing someone that I know has limited resources somehow creatively find a way to make their home space a little more beautiful. I like it when someone creates a super delicious meal from ridiculously simple ingredients. I like Instagram feeds that aren't just trophy cases of beautifully styled photos, but ones where people can somehow capture the beauty amidst the ordinary, mundane parts of life.

Finding creative ways to make tiny improvements, little by little? THAT inspires me. THAT gives me just the motivation I need to do what I'm already doing, just a little bit better. And I hope that that is one of the things you'll be coming back to my blog or Instagram for. Not a perfectly curated trophy case, but a snap shot of a life that finds creative ways to make progress and add a little more beauty to the everyday arenas of life.

  I think this aerial photo was probably intended to spark some sort of inspiration for an artistic project like painting or drawing. It just doesn't do that for me though because it looks too perfect.

I think this aerial photo was probably intended to spark some sort of inspiration for an artistic project like painting or drawing. It just doesn't do that for me though because it looks too perfect.

My favorite sources for mediocre inspiration:

 

  • The Nesting Place- This is probably one of the only home decorating blogs I like. If you just
  • skim through Myqullin's photos of her home, you'd probably look at me like I'm crazy for considering this to be mediocre inspiration because her home is so beautiful. However, if you read her sources for all of her furniture and how she's made her home so lovely, almost everything has been thrifted, rehabed, bought on a flash sale site, or she has somehow used what she already has to make her home lovely, which actually inspires me in my own home, rather than seeing photos of a beautiful home that someone apparently could afford to shell out a ton of cash to decorate.
  • Unfancy-I've never come across a fashion blog I liked until I found this one. Again, you'll hop on Caroline's blog and wonder why I consider this mediocre inspiration, because Caroline dresses so darn cute. What I like about her blog is that her outfits are so cute, but with less stuff. She only has 37 items in her closet including tops, bottom, shoes and outwear, and everything she wears is something she bought herself, rather than something that a company is paying her to promote. Her wardrobe is so simple, yet stylish, which is what I find inspiring about it.
  • Minimalist Baker- This food blog has tons of delicious recipes with ridiculously simple ingredients. I also feel like there's something on this blog for every diet type. Gluten-free, vegan, or traditional.
  • Peas and Thank You- This cookbook has some super simple, delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes, and the Peas and Thank You blog was one of the first ones I ever read and followed. Unfortunately the blog isn't around anymore, but I still make recipes from the cookbook all the time.
  • Jess Connolly's Instagram feeds. Jess has a couple Instagram accounts, her regular one is here and her one that pertains to finding freedom in body image and healthy living is here. Both accounts are super inspiring to me because there so real and raw. Her old tagline of her blog used to be, "less of a trophy case, more of a coffee date", and although she doesn't use that tagline anymore, it's still the vibe you get from her online presence. Her relationship with God inspires me like few others do.

How do you guys feel about finding inspiration? Do you like what I consider to be so perfect that it's not inspiring at all? What is real inspiration to you?