For my junior year finals week, I decided to delete social media so that I could really hone in on all of the studying I didn’t want to do. I did away with Instagram, Twitter, and even Netflix, but I left Pinterest, thinking I wouldn’t get distracted by an app that had gone untouched in years. Lo and behold, one Theology final later, Pinterest became my new addiction.

I fell in love with the simple way I could categorize all of my hopes and dreams into creative boards. I found everything from pretty houses to writing prompts to matching outfits for the dogs and children I don’t have. I’ve learned how to paint with watercolor, make bullet journals, bake strawberry cupcakes, use shower hooks to organize my belts, and so much more. Pinterest is where I go for outfit inspiration, gift ideas, and to laugh at mom memes that I hope I will one day relate to.

But it isn’t always as wonderful as it sounds. Despite how many times I re-pin that perfect messy bun, I may never be able to master the looks or lifestyles I follow on Pinterest, much like any other social media app. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wasted $30 on ingredients for obscure recipes I’ve messed up or how many cupboards in my room are filled with failed or half-finished crafts. While Pinterest itself is not bad, the person I turn into when I focus on having the “right aesthetic” can damage the point of having a Pinterest in the first place.

While a lot of what I pin revolves around what I think is perfect, I’ve realized that the most fun I’ve ever had with the app is when I am messing around in the kitchen or with a craft, even when the results are not at all pin-worthy. Of course, I am still going to use it for collecting the things I don’t have, like a budget big enough to pay for trips to private islands or cute photo ideas for my future family. It is fun to fantasize about all of that and it’s not a bad thing. I just have to remember that the life I am living now—the one filled with messy rooms and mediocre cooking skills—is just as good as a life. I’ve spent so much time scrolling through my feed to find what I want in the future that I’ve almost neglected appreciating what I have now. And there are so many parts of life worthy of my attention—whether or not they can be found on my Pinterest boards.

Photo Credits: Pinterest