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“I don’t like my life anymore. I thought perhaps you could make me feel better.”

It’s my sister. We tend to exaggerate when we talk on the phone. Also, we are highly cynical to the extent that we cannot say sincere things anymore without it sounding like an ironic statement.

“Ok, then I have the perfect thing I want to share with you. Wait a moment.” I Google search for ‘motivational quotes’, click the first 2 websites that come up, clear my throat and start to read the first random quote that appears on my screen with a solemn voice: “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”

“Well, thank you so much (try to read that in a voice dripping with sarcasm).”

“You’re welcome. A very wise man said that. I Googled motivational quotes for you. I’m glad you liked it.”

From there our conversation goes on to how motivational quotes suck. Sometimes they are nice, proven that they are quoted in the right context. But sometimes they seem so far from reality that hearing them can make you cringe. So we start discussing alternatives. We end the conversation with me promising that I will dedicate my poetry book full of anti-motivational quotes to her. But after I hang up I have an even better idea: I’m going to make them into street art!

Some quick paper and scissor work later, and I was ready to go out into the street, armed with some tape and a camera.

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Do you know anyone who could use some (cynical) motivation today? Send it to them with my sincere love.


  • Reply

    Chloe Hunter

    August 29, 2015 at 05:40

    This is such a brilliant way to brighten some strangers day without sounding cheesy! I love this! Maybe I’ll slap something like this on the lightpole where the button to cross the street is by my high school. Tons of middle and high school students push those buttons every day. Thanks!

    • Reply


      August 31, 2015 at 08:15

      That sounds wonderful! And it doesn’t have to be a lot of work, as you can see from my quickly fabricated quotes

  • Reply


    August 30, 2015 at 21:24

    Hahahhahaha. Well done, M.

  • Reply

    Joyce Welch

    September 2, 2015 at 15:42

    So enjoyed this! Made me laugh out loud! I especially liked the quote on the apple :)


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