Hello! Thank you for stopping by to check out week 39 of the 365 More People Pictures project.
I've been taking a picture of a person, every single day, for the past 653 days. I'm not a photographer. I completed my first 365 Day Challenge and loved it so much, I just couldn't stop. I post each daily picture to Instagram and then post the summary of the week here on the blog. I've fallen behind here on the blog and will catch up eventually, but if you'd like to follow along daily, my instagram username is @missellana.
In real time, I just returned from a trip to my hometown to attend the funeral of my Aunt Nancy. You met my Aunt Nancy in last year's project.
When I took this picture of my Aunt Nancy, I didn't know at the time, that it would be the very last time I saw her. I'm so grateful for the moment we spent taking this picture and talking with one another. Were it not for this project, I know I would have missed the opportunity to share in this special moment . Our conversation would have been different, were it not for the questions in this project.
The most beautiful photo slide show played at Nancy's service. Seeing her life, captured in photographs, reminded me of so many good times, and also introduced me to her life as a young woman, before some of my cousins were even born...her life, before our lives.
If I had known this was our last time together, I would have asked more questions. I would have hugged her a little tighter. I would have told her again how very much I loved her. I would have thanked her for being our family's rock, our glue. I would have told her that her's was a life that mattered.
Thank you, Aunt Nancy. Thank you for your love and strength.
Day 266 - R.J.
This is R.J. We met at the bus stop.
We only had time for one question before R.J.'s " bus arrived.
"God is good," R.J. answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
Thank you, R.J.
Day 267 - Tim
This is Tim. We met on the street.
When I asked Tim the happiest thing happening in his life right now, he answered, "leaving a bad job." After talking with Tim for a few moments, I got the impression that he actually just left his job, as in, just minutes or hours earlier. When he answered, it was as though the realization hit him that he was truly happy about his decision, even though it was probably a difficult and scary one to make.
Tim's recent act of kindness is that he's been helping his neighbor, an elderly woman, who had a broken foot.
Tim is an animator and he moved from LA to Portland. When I asked his life's purpose, he answered, "to take my art and make it talk and move within a year." We talked about animation prospects here in Portland and I'm hoping he'll land his dream job. We joked that that these questions could help get him in interview mode.
"Being able to talk to anyone from the janitor to the president," Tim answered, when I asked something about himself which he considers to be a success.
You can check out Tim's work here. One of my favorites is the set of adult Valentines!
Wishing you the best of luck, Tim.
Day 268 - Joshua
This is Joshua. We met outside Hollywood Theater. He was just so nice!
"Just this...today," Joshua answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
Joshua's recent act of kindness is that he helped his co-workers, who weren't getting properly noticed, not only get recognition, but he also helped them to get promotions!
"To experience and enjoy life while we're here," Joshua answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
When I asked Joshua something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he responded, "really enjoying life all the time."
I felt Joshua's energy and enthusiasm in just the few moments we hung out. I got the feeling that he was actually really having fun in that moment, and after we finished, it felt like he was going to move onto the next thing and enjoy it completely. He's an in-the-moment kinda guy. Wish I could be more like that!
Thank you, Joshua.
Day 269 - Omar
This is Omar. We met at Starbucks. Again, I just invited myself to join him at his table after he agreed to let me take his picture for the project. His girlfriend joined us soon after I sat down, and we must have visited and talked for a good half-hour or longer. I learned so much from them both, nearly all of which I can't/won't share due to Omar's circumstances.
"My family is safe," Omar answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now. Omar is currently in the U.S. as a student, but the rest of his family is still in Iraq. Omar is a poet and public figure on youtube, which is part of the reason he was forced to flee from Iraq.
Omar's recent act of kindness is that he helped his brother to get married.
"To help people, be nice, and do something good," Omar answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
Thank you for being in this project, Omar. Wishing you success and peace.
Day 270 - Nickolaus
This is Nickolaus. We met on the street. I kinda love Nickolaus' unicorn hair do.
The happiest thing happening in Nickolaus' life is that he had just made travel plans to visit friends.
Nickolaus' recent act of kindness is that he let me take his picture. On the receiving end, his employer is letting him take the time off to travel to visit his friends.
"To travel and see as much of this planet as I can while I'm here, and to experience as much as I can while I'm here," Nickolaus answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
When I asked Nicholas something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he was having a hard time answering. He pointed out the exact reason why I ask this question. Nickolaus explained that he spends so much time being hard on himself that it was hard for him to identify something positive. We joked about his beard and his hair style being a success, but I pushed for an answer, citing the very same reason he was having trouble thinking of one. After much consideration, Nickolaus replied, "I'm an excellent house-keeper!" Nickolaus said that his kitchen floor, sink and counters are spotless!
Thank you, Nickolaus.
Day 271 - Karmella and Gangsta
This is Karmella and Gangsta. Is it just me, or does Gangsta have the cutest little old man face ever?
Karmella was on her way to class, so we only had time for one question.
"To make an impact," Karmella said, when I asked her life's purpose.
Thank you, Karmella.
Day 272 - Colin
This is Colin. We met at the park in downtown Vancouver.
"My daughter," Colin answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
Colin was recently on the receiving end of an act of kindness when he discovered that his lunch tab had been paid for, secretly, by a friend he had bumped into at the restaurant.
"To do good or to do better, and to make sure the next day is better than the last," Colin answered, when I asked his life's purpose/personal mission statement.
When I asked Colin something about himself which he would consider to be a success, he answered that it was his job as a cook. Some of his customers compliment him and tell him they come in to eat, specifically on days they know he's working.
I enjoyed talking with Colin. We continued talking long after we were finished with the questions. Again, I was just so thankful to this project for providing me with opportunities to talk with people who I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to meet. Each person has touched my life in some way.
Thank you, Colin.
Here's a summary of the personal mission statements and life's purposes of the subjects from this week:
- God is good
- To take my art and make it talk and move within a year.
- To experience and enjoy life while we're here.
- To help people, be nice, and do something good
- To travel and see as much of this planet as I can while I'm here, and to experience as much as I can while I'm here.
- To make an impact.
- To do good or to do better, and to make sure the next day is better than the last.
Thank you to every person in this project, and thank you for following along.