Hello! This is week 36 of the 365 More People Pictures project. These are the subjects from a couple of weeks ago. In real-time, I just wrapped up week 38. If you'd like to follow along daily, my Instagram username is @missellanea.
Day 245 - Clement
This is Clement. We met at the bus.
Recently, I've been asking subjects to give me a serious look. If I can't catch people in a genuine laugh or smile, then I've been aiming for something more pensive. Clement was quite warm and friendly. I didn't even have to ask him to give ma serious look a "serious" look. When it came time for the photos, Clement naturally just defaulted to this serious, stoic look and when I look at this picture, I see a determined person.
"I'm happy to work...I like work," Clement answered when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
We had a bit of a language barrier to overcome. When I asked Clement if he's recently performed an act of kindness or if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, he asked me to explain. I re-phrased the question and instead asked if he's recently done anything nice for anyone, or if anyone has been nice to him. A beautiful smile came across is face when he said that he had just visited his Mom in Mexico.
When I asked Clement his life's purpose, we again worked through our language challenge. At first I thought I may have made things even more confusing in my second attempt at the question when I asked Clement, "why are you here...in life?" "I'm here to work...I want to have a good life," Clement answered. It doesn't matter in what language it's said, we all desire happiness and a good life. The puzzling part, is learning how to define "good".
Thank you, Clement. Wishing you a good life.
Day 246 - Erika
This is Erika. We also met at the bus during quite a rain storm.
"Improved health," Erika answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.
When I asked Erika if she's recently performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, she replied, "both...I try to practice daily."
"To help other people, women in particular," Erika said, is her life's purpose.
I asked Erika something about herself which she would consider to be a success and she replied, "I have a 19-year-old who is kind, sweet and giving."
Thank you, Erika.
Day 247 - Rob
"Having the summer off and doing a lot of hiking," Rob said, is the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
When I asked Rob if he's recently performed an act of kindness or if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, he explained that he makes that his lifestyle - he tries to make kindness happen as much as he can.
"I know it sounds cliché or stupid, but a good rule of thumb is to always treat everyone you encounter, as a person," Rob answered, when I asked if he has a personal mission statement. I told Rob it wasn't at all cliché. It's quite perfect.
"I'm happy that I'm a compassionate person," Rob answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success.
Thank you, Rob.
Day 248 - Novalicious
This is Novalicious. We met on the street.
"I'm in the most amazing, caring relationship," Novalicious answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now. Novalicious went on to add that she's also happy because her work is great, her kitties are healthy, and her parents are healthy.
Novalicious' recent act of kindness is that she bought a meal for a homeless person she met around the food carts.
When I asked Novalicious her life's purpose, she answered, "to love and be kind and to wish everybody happiness, and when I'm not shown that kindness, to be understanding." Novalicious has it all figured out and I'm striving to be more like her.
I asked Novalicious something about herself which she would consider to be a success and she answered, "I survived!"
Thank you, Novalicious!
Day 249 - Katrina
This is Katrina. We met at the bus stop.
"I'm getting my girls back," Katrina answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.
When I asked Katrina if she's recently performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, she explained that she's currently living in a program for women who are in the process of regaining custody of their children.
There are times when I've kept the confidence of the subjects I've met because I've felt like it was a special and personal interaction between us. In Katrina's situation, her story is a happy one and it's ok to share a little.
I wondered why Katrina had lost her children. Knowing she was in the process of regaining custody, I read between the lines and gathered that Katrina may have battled addiction and must have made some positive life changes. I asked if she was now clean & sober and she confirmed she was. I was so touched by Katrina, her sheer love for her kids, and her excitement that she would soon be reunited with them. I couldn't hold back the tears, but they were happy tears. I was so happy for Katrina and the changes she's made in her life. It's more like she's reclaiming her true self, rather than starting new.
"To be a good Mom to my kids, and to help others," Katrina answered, when I asked her life's purpose." "First, I have to help myself," Katrina added, knowing that taking care of her own self, was critical for everything she's about to do.
When I asked Katrina something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered, "my recovery."
Thank you, Katrina. Wishing you and your family success, love and happiness. You can do it!
Day 250 - Stephen & Michael
This is Stephen (left) and Michael (right).
I asked Stephen the happiest thing happening in his life right now and he answered, "money!" He jokingly added that he was buying his happiness. Stephen recently came into some money and he shared that he's been having fun spending and indulging, and perhaps going a little wild. I couldn't help myself. I may have accidentally mom'd Stephen. Ok, I totally mom'd Stephen and reminded/lectured him to also be smart with his newfound money! I know, I know. I couldn't help it. Luckily, he was a very good sport and we all laughed about my mom moment.
I asked Michael if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness and he answered that Stephen had just bought him a bike! Joking aside, I thought it was pretty cool for Stephen to treat his friends to such nice gifts.
"To be awesome," Stephen said, when I asked his life's purpose. The three of us laughed at Stephen's answer.
I asked Michael something about himself which he would consider to be a success and he answered, "my daughter."
Thank you, Stephen & Michael.
Day 251 - Cat
This is Cat. We met at the mall.
"My job," Cat answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.
"I try to do nice things," Cat answered, when I asked if she's recently performed an act of kindness or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness.
Cat's life's purpose, "making people look and feel good." I had guessed Cat was either a tattoo artist or hair stylist because of her awesome style. Her answer confirmed that she's a hair stylist. I love that Cat places value on her profession and that she sees the worth of service that she's providing. When we're confident in the way we look, that confidence spills over and we really do feel better.
"I recently lost 40 pounds," Cat answered, when I asked something about herself which she considers to be a success. Nice work!
Thank you, Cat!
Here's a summary of the personal mission statements and life's purposes of this week's subjects:
- I'm here to work...I want to have a good life.
- To help other people, women in particular.
- Always treat everyone you encounter, as a person.
- To love and be kind and to wish everybody happiness, and when I'm not shown that kindness, to be understanding.
- To be a good Mom to my kids, and to help others.
- To be awesome.
- Making people look and feel good.
Thank you for following along on this project! Sometimes I just get completely overwhelmed when I think about all of the incredibly kind and amazing people we've met. It feels like I'm not doing enough to convey just how beautiful people are. I feel like I can't even find the right words to express how this has impacted me. I feel like this has been a privilege and I'm ruining it by being an inferior writer. At the very least, I just hope that maybe by reading about the people in this project, it will inspire you to be curious and visit with people you may have otherwise just let pass you by.