Hello! This is week 40, of the 365 More People Pictures project.
If you'd like to follow along daily, my Instagram username is @missellanea. (The blog is behind a couple weeks.)
Day 273 - Francisco
This is Francisco. We met at the bus stop at the mall.
"It's Mother's Day and I love my Mom," Francisco answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now. Francisco had just finished work at the mall, and was on his way to pick up a gift and then see his Mom.
Francisco's recent act of kindness is that he feeds homeless people.
When I asked Francisco his life's purpose, he said, "I usually ask myself that everyday." He thought about it a moment and then answered, "to keep walking forward."
Something about himself that he considers to be a success, is that he's the first in his family to graduate high school, and will likely be the first to go to college! When Francisco told me this, I got a mental picture of his very proud mother. Proud not only of his accomplishment, but of the nice young man he's become.
Thank you, Francisco.
Day 274 - Mila
This is Mila. She works at my favorite coffee shop in the Hollywood District, Nectar Cafe. She's so sweet and nice, I can tell that some of the customers come in there as much to visit with Mila, as they do for the good coffee.
When I asked Mila the happiest thing happening in her life right now, she answered, "letting go of toxicity." She's now turned to meditation, reading and learning about Buddhism.
Mila's recent act of kindness is that she reached out to a bunch of her lady friends to wish them a Happy Mother's day.
"To get to the point where I'm highly conscious, super aware of myself and my surroundings, to let myself be & let things be, and to be free of judgement," Mila answered, when I asked her life's purpose. Mila then answered that she'd also like to be able to pass those traits on to her son as well.
When I asked Mila something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered, "sobriety...my journey."
I was so happy for Mila, and hearing that she's started down the path of sobriety. I'm excited for her re-birth, and the clarity with which she's chosen to live life.
Thank you, Mila. You're a gem. Wishing you the best.
Day 275 - Melissa
This is Melissa. We met at the bus stop and we only had time for one question before her bus arrived.
"My beautiful baby boy," Melissa answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.
Thank you, Melissa.
Day 276 - Austin
This is Austin. We met on the street.
"I just moved here," Austin answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now. He then added that he and his girlfriend just moved here, and he's happy about that. Austin has been living a pretty cool life for the past few years. He spent quite a while living in a tent in the forest. After tent-living for a while, he and his friends then built a house-like structure out of recycled tires and other repurposed items and he lived there for a while too. Tyler then built a tiny house, loaded it up and moved it to Portland, where he's decided to settle with his girlfriend.
Austin is excited and nervous to find out how he does in a big city, after living such an isolated life for so long.
I asked Austin if he's performed an act of kindness, or if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness. Austin said that someone gave him a slice of lemon cake the day before. He stopped in at a coffee shop, noticed and admired the cake, and the barista noticed him noticing the cake. She insisted he take a piece, her treat.
I first asked Austin his life's purpose. He smiled, gave me this overwhelmed look, and answered, "you can't say those in words." It was just too much at the moment and I understand how overwhelming the question is. If someone had approached me, I would have said the same thing as Austin. I'm always amazed that people have been able to articulate an answer so quickly, concisely, and with meaning.
I rephrased the question, and asked Austin instead, if he has a personal mission statement. He thought for a moment and then said that he thinks he has something appropriate. Austin reached into his pocket, pulled out his field notes, thumbed through a few pages before stopping on a particular page and then saying, "to wax eloquently." Austin does. He's the type of person you could talk with for hours.
"My beard," Austin said jokingly/not jokingly, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success. I laughed and told Austin that he was about the 3rd man in just a few weeks who answered that their beard is a success. Austin put me on the spot. He asked, of those men/beards, whose beard was the most successful? I actually gave it some serious consideration. It's a difficult task, judging beards. I explained that although his was the longest, I would have to give the award to a different guy/beard. The other guy looked as though his beard was years in the making. The other guy wasn't as naturally-gifted in beard-growing as Austin. (Travis, from day 243, was the winner.)
Austin was happy to concede the win, realizing the other person had to work harder. But really, we should just celebrate all beards equally!
Thank you, Austin. I hope Portland is good to you, and that you're happy here.
Day 277 - Brien
This is Brien. We met at the bus stop.
When I asked Brien the happiest thing happening in his life right now, he said he couldn't answer the question. Brien explained, "I'm not a happy person." I said to Brien that we could do the other questions and then circle back to this one. By the time we were finished, Brien had listed several things that made him feel happy. Among them, his work and his co-workers. "I work in a positive environment," Brien added. We were at the bus stop by the Hollywood Burger Bar and it reminded Brien that their breakfasts and burgers make him happy. "And coffee!" Coffee makes Brien happy. (I'm pretty sure if you cut me, I'd bleed coffee. I know it's not good to drink that much, but when everything seems so wrong, a nice cup of coffee can make it all seem ok. I can relate with Brien on this one.)
"Staying alive, so I can find one later," Brien answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
When I asked Brien something about himself which he considers to be a success, he answered, "I haven't disappointed anyone gravely, that I know of." What an excellent answer, and such a huge accomplishment. If you think about it, how many of us can answer in this way? How many of us have not disappointed someone?
I have to tell you something...one of the nicest things ever. (besides the other person who did this too.) Brien and I weren't quite finished with the questions when his bus arrived, but instead of cutting it short, he actually just passed on the bus and told me he'd catch the next one. He finished the "interview" and we hung out talking for a little while longer. I was so touched by this gesture. For a person who says they're not a happy person, Brien really knows how to make other people feel happiness.
Thank you, Brien. Hoping you'll find a very long list of things that make you feel happy, and that happiness will truly find you. Thank you.
Day 278 - Mono
This is Mono. We met at the park and ride.
We had to talk over really loud traffic, and work though our language gap between us, but when I asked Mono the happiest thing happening in his life right now, he answered, "my work." Mono is happy to be working.
Mono's recent act of kindness is that he let me take his picture.
"To be a Christian," Mono answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
Knowing we were working through our language challenges, I simplified the "success" question and instead just asked Mono something he's good at. "I'm nice to people, he answered." Yes. Yes he is.
Thank you, Mono.
Day 279 - Tyler
This is Tyler. He works at the convenience store I frequent.
I'm so addicted to black & white, but there are times I wish I could do better color. Tyler is one of those instances. He has the most beautiful ice eyes I've ever seen. (The second most beautiful eyes, next to my mother's.) They're so pretty, I imagine it's actually sort of weird for him. You can't help but to stare directly into his eyes when you meet him. He's cool though, he knows his unique eyes are attention-getting and people can't help but to remark about them.
"I just moved here," Tyler answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now. "Everything's a new adventure," Tyler added. Tyler and a few others loaded up in a "hippie van," made the journey across country, and then settled in Portland. I think Portland was a great choice for Tyler. He feels like Portland.
Tyler's recent act of kindness is that he just gave someone some money.
"To interpret everything I experience," Tyler answered, when I asked his life's purpose.
"My attitude," Tyler said, is something about himself which he considers to be a success.
Thank you, Tyler!
Here's the summary of the personal mission statements and life's purposes of this week's subjects:
- To keep walking forward.
- To get to the point where I'm highly conscious, super aware of myself and my surroundings, to let myself be & let things be, and to be free of judgement.
- To wax eloquently.
- Staying alive, so I can find one later.
- To be a Christian.
- To interpret everything I experience
Thank you for following along another week, and thank you to each and every subject in the project.