Hello! This is week 29 of the 365 More People Pictures Project. I've fallen terribly behind in the blog posts but I'm still taking a picture of a person, every single day. I post the pictures to instagram, so if you'd like to follow along daily, my username is @missellana.
Don't worry! Everything is going great. We've been traveling on the weekends as we're considering a big move to a little cabin in the woods. It's a huge change to consider and I don't know if I'm ready for that kind of life...you know, paradise! The driving time to and from the cabin has been cutting into my writing time and I've fallen behind.
Day 196 - Jake
This is Jake. We met at a rest stop along I5. The happiest thing happening in Jake's life is being in the Northwest.
Aside from Jake's service to our Country, when I asked Jake if he's recently performed an act of kindness, he answered, "I do good stuff for people every day."
"To live life to the fullest and do whatever it is to make yourself happy," Jake answered, when I asked if he has a personal mission statement or life's purpose.
When I asked Jake something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he answered, "I'm successful at turning any situation into a positive."
Thank you, Jake! Thank you for your serving.
Day 197 - Matt
This is Matt. He was waiting for a movie to start at Hollywood Theater.
The happiest thing happening in Matt's life right now is that he's buying a new home.
Matt's recent act of kindness is his volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity.
"Do the best you can, while empowering others to do the same," Matt answered, when I asked if he has a personal mission statement or life's purpose.
I asked Matt something about himself which he considers to be a success and he explained that it was his decision to leave his job in D.C. and move to Portland. It takes a lot of courage to uproot yourself and replant somewhere completely different.
Thank you, Matt!
Day 198 - Mary Grace
This is Mary Grace. We met on the street.
I was having a horrible day when I met Mary Grace. This project fills me with all kinds of love, hope, happiness and a general sense of positivity, but those feelings can sometimes get depleted and then I start feeling and reacting in the exact opposite way.
I had been feeling so down that I was ready to toss in the towel on the project. One part of me is filled with all of these good feelings, but then the other part of me was feeling disappointed, stressed, a little angry, and not in a good place in general. Then I met Mary Grace and she restored my faith and reminded me of the reasons I'm doing this in the first place.
We're not perfect. We never will be, because we're human. But if we strive to make forward-moving progress, eventually the moments and days which we spread positivity and kindness, and see positivity and kindness in others, will outnumber the moments and days that we don't.
When I asked Mary Grace the happiest thing happening in her life right now, she answered, "I'm very happy right now!" She went on to explain that she sold her home in California, she was enjoying some free time, she's healthy, has a great job, and is just feeling grateful.
Mary Grace's recent act of kindness is that she donated money so that a person could take a Zumba class. Her instructor has set up an anonymous program where people can donate money to help women who can't afford the fees.
When I asked Mary Grace if she has a personal mission statement, she answered, "I try to remember that I want to keep my heart soft and sweet, and to keep it that way, I have to be aware of how I communicate with people and who I allow in my life." Mary Grace added that she does this by questioning herself: "How do I make my heart bigger?"
I asked Mary Grace something about herself which she considers to be a success and she answered, "I've developed good friendships."
Mary Grace was one of the kindest ladies I've met. I told her I will think of her and remind myself that I'm working on having a big heart and keeping it soft and sweet. We had a frank conversation and I confessed to Mary Grace that I'm finding that as I get older, it's a harder challenge to keep my heart soft and sweet. When we were younger, we didn't even have to try. Naive and protected by the love of our parents and family, our hearts were soft and sweet and full of love. I told Mary Grace that life and experiences have hardened me a little, but I will continue to work at keeping my heart soft and sweet. When I ask myself, "how do I make my heart bigger?" the answer is simple. This project. This project has been the best experience in the world for me and meeting all of these people, helps me to continue to grow.
Thank you, Mary Grace.
Day 199 - Maeve
This is Maeve. We met at the bus stop.
The happiest thing happening in Maeve's life right now is her job, and that she gets to work with fun people, do good things, and make puppets!
When I asked Maeve if she's either recently performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of kindness, she answered that she has a couple people in her life who are being really kind toward her.
Maeve's life's purpose: "I am an artist." Maeve explained that she experiences the world aesthetically and through her art, she tries to reflect back the beautiful and magical things she sees, which may be hidden to others. Check out Maeve's work here!
Thank you, Maeve.
Day 200 - Lou
This is Lou. He was just trying to get coffee at Starbucks but I approached him to ask if I could take his picture for the project.
When I asked Lou the happiest thing happening in his life, he had so many he couldn't narrow it down! I love it when that happens. He finally just answered, "an accumulation of a lot of different things."
Lou shared two recent examples where he was on the receiving end of kindness. A co-worker had shared their lunch, and his wife had given him a ride to work.
"To pass onto other people, good intentions," Lou answered, when I asked if he has a personal mission statement or life's purpose.
I asked Lou something about himself which he considers to be a success and he answered, "bringing up my kids to the point where they are right now." Lou thinks they're pretty good people.
I was so glad to have met Lou and I hope he was a little re-inspired by our meeting. He shared that he's been sitting on an idea for a project of his own. It is an excellent idea, and I hope he pursues it. I won't spill the beans because it's a good idea and I forgot to ask if it was ok to talk about. I encouraged Lou to start right away, and hope that he does! His idea would make an excellent book!
Thank you, Lou.
Day 201 - 1985
This is 1985. "1985" is his DJ Name on the KPSU radio show, Departures. (Thursdays from 9-10pm) We met at my favorite coffee shop in the Hollywood District, Nectar Cafe.
I had stopped in for my after-work coffee and the barista asked if I had found a person for the day. I told her I was on my way out to go searching, and she volunteered 1985. (He isn't just any ol' customer, he's her boyfriend, so she knew he'd say yes!) I would have never known from his great spirits, but 1985 had just had his wisdom teeth removed earlier in the day. He was such a trooper!
This picture is just from my phone because I learned the hard way that my new camera will let you take pictures even when there isn't a memory card in the slot. Luckily I realized what I had done and took a few more pictures with my phone.
I asked 1985 the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he answered, "pursuing my passion of music and discovering that to be a true form of happiness."
1985 was recently on the receiving end of an act of kindness when a guy at the gas station complimented him on his nice smile. 1985 and I both anticipated that he'd also be receiving lots of loving kindness from his girlfriend who would be helping to take care of him while he recovered from his surgery that day.
When I asked 1985 if he has a personal mission statement, he answered with two quotes he refers to: "Perfection is a curse" and "There is no finish line."
"Keeping myself in shape and having an open mind and a good heart," 1985 answered, when I asked something about himself he would consider to be a success. 1985 explained he had lost a bunch of weight and he's now keeping fit and healthy. Awesome job, 1985!
Thank you, 1985, for being in the project and going with the flow when I discovered my error. You were so awesome! (especially considering your surgery that day!)
Day 202 - Charlotte
This is Charlotte. My husband and I had traveled a ways to go buy a little pick-up truck from Charlotte's husband and while my husband and Charlotte's husband did their thing, Charlotte was so nice she agreed to let me take her picture for the project. I thought this was so sweet. Buying a new vehicle can be pretty stressful and then I realized I still hadn't found a person for the day. Charlotte saved the day when she agreed to be in the project!
"My grandchildren," Charlotte answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.
I asked Charlotte if she's performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. She said both, but she couldn't really share what they had been.
"To be content with whatever state I'm in," Charlotte answered, when I asked if she has a personal mission statement.
I asked Charlotte something about herself which she would consider to be a success and she answered, "getting to this point...having the basics, the kids are happily married and we have grand kinds, and we're all alive and healthy."
Thank you, Charlotte!
Here's a summary of the personal mission statements and life's purposes of the subjects from week 29:
- To live life to the fullest and do whatever it is to make yourself happy.
- Do the best you can, while empowering others to do the same.
- I try to remember that I want to keep my heart soft and sweet, and to keep it that way, I have to be aware of how I communicate with people and who I allow in my life.
- I am an artist - I experience the world aesthetically and through art, I try to reflect back the beautiful and magical things I see, which may be hidden to others.
- To pass onto other people, good intentions.
- Perfection is a curse.
- There is no finish line.
- To be content with whatever state I'm in.
Week 30 is coming right up too! We'll get caught up slowly but surely!