Article Lead Image


Hey, Internet—stop trying to inspire me

The Internet is obsessed with inspiration, and I'm tired of it.


[email protected]


Posted on Jul 30, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 6:26 am CDT


I think when people are ultra-positive and have this incomparably sunny disposition toward the world, I get turned off. There’s a lot of stuff out there which attempts to make you feel inspired but ends up leaving you feeling ashamed for being human. It would be easy for me to say:

“Everything happens for a reason!”

“Life is an adventure!”

“Love solves everything!”

“Happiness is a choice!”

These are easy words to say. Easy things to think. Easy, easy, easy. However, their meanings dry up the moment life happens.

I have spent far too many nights feeling ashamed that I couldn’t be more positive, happier, better, or stronger. I’d look at these shiny people plastered with positivity, and I’d wonder where I went wrong. Why was I so affected by the world? Why didn’t every day feel like an adventure? Don’t these people have to pay bills and have uncomfortable conversations and wake up sometimes with a headache and an axe to grind? Why was I seemingly the only one so deeply affected by the human experience?

I don’t want to be inspired anymore. Inspiration is cheap. It’s easy. It’s flowery. It’s drenched in promises no one can fulfill.

I want to feel understood. I want to feel heard. I want to feel like my weird and twisty and dark thoughts and fears and feelings are not unique to me. I don’t need someone negating my experience in order to provide me with sweet words fluffy as clouds—and just as transparent. I want gritty and real and raw, and I’d rather see people fucking up than trying to act as if they never do.

I’m tired of people trying to inspire me to have a better, bigger, and happier life. Let me exist. Let me fumble. Let me find the patch of light in the long tunnel of darkness. Let me figure out some shit on my own. I say we need less fake inspiration in this world and more realness. Less doomsday. Less fake happiness. More real s**t. Less preaching. More storytelling. Less advice. More community.

I wish people would stop trying to perfect my life. Everybody is selling the magic pill to happiness. Why do I have to be so happy all the time? Can I live?

I want you to know that you don’t need to fix yourself if you’re not smiling every moment of the day. Sometimes you have very little to be grateful for, and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s hard to muster up the energy to be happy with what you have, when you want so much more from the world and yourself. That’s OK. 

It’s OK to be angry and to be kind of dark and weird—and not a ball of positivity every moment. Sometimes it’s OK to be bored and to think that happiness is a bit boring because it kind of is. Sometimes it’s fine to be moody, and sad, and contemplative, and to solve problems with a glass of wine, or a pizza, or some good sex. I don’t even know, but it’s OK to just not have it all figured out, to have no answers, to just be like: What is the point of anything?

It’s OK to feel like the ground is shaking beneath your feet. It’s OK because everything is temporary. You can lose your footing one day and be on top of the world the next. Things can change in a blink. Happiness is as fleeting as anything else. These fake salespeople who act like they have the cure to being human really grind me up. All they serve to do is make you feel ashamed for not having it all figured out. They sell your aspirational experience and bake shame into it.

Just promise me that the last thing you’ll do is be ashamed of where you’re at in your experience of being a human. Nothing good comes from shame. It’s about the lowest vibrational place you could be operating from. Avoid shame and anything or anyone who causes you shame. Get it all the hell out of your energy field. Shame is not going to motivate you. It’s going to drain you.

If there’s one promise you can make for yourself, let it be this: I will not let myself be ashamed of my unique experience of being human. 

Forget the positive bullshit: that promise, that mantra, and that state of mind is what can really change lives. A person incapable of cowering to shame is a hero—considering all the many reasons our world gives us to be ashamed. To forgo the feeling of shame is an act of radical resistance. 

Let yourself be. To truly be. What freedom.

Jamie Varon is a writer and designer. Jamie tweets @JamieVaron.

This piece was originally featured on Medium and reposted with permission.

Photo via IAmOther/YouTube

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 30, 2015, 12:34 pm CDT