Hello! Thank you for checking out week 41 of the 365 More People Pictures project. This is my second personal challenge to take a picture of a person, every single day, for an entire year. Each picture is taken fresh daily. I've not stockpiled photos. The blog is currently behind a few weeks from realtime, but if you'd like to follow along daily, my Instagram username is @missellanea.
Sorry we've fallen behind. I just want you to know the project is still happening every single day and I'm working to catch us up!
Day 280 - Myra
This is Myra. We met at the Library.
"That I have God in my life," Myra answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now. Myra was beautifully dressed and I asked her if she had just come from church. She confirmed that my guess was correct.
Myra's recent act of kindness had just occurred in the library, when she gave a couple some money so that they could make photocopies.
"To teach, and to spread the word of God...spread the good news," Myra answered, when I asked her life's purpose.
When I asked Myra something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered that it's her children.
Thank you, Myra.
Day 281 - Tom
This is Tom. We met at a entrepreneurship workshop.
The happiest thing happening in Tom's life right now, is actually occurring because of a stressful situation. Tom recently quit his job and is working toward starting his own business. Tom found a silver lining in the stressful transition period of being jobless and until his new business is afloat, in that he's now able to spend a lot more time with his kids.
Tom's ride arrived before I could ask any more questions.
Wishing you luck and success in your next venture, Tom.
Day 282- John
"My daughter," John answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now.
John works in veterinary medicine and his recent act of kindness is that he paid for a treatment for one of his patients, a dog, because the humans who rescued the dog had already paid a lot of money for other treatments. They were totally tapped out by paying for several other, very expensive, treatments and just couldn't afford to pay for this one last thing. John paid for the treatment and took time off from work to care for the dog on his own time. This story still fills my heart and makes me tear up just thinking about both John's kindness, and also the people who rescued this dog. They reduced the dog not knowing its condition or the medical costs that would be involved in caring for it. They proceeded to give all they could. Hoping the dog and its new humans will live a long and healthy life together.
"To translate thoughts and feelings through art," John answered, when I asked his life's purpose. John is also a musician and you can click here to check out his band, Spirit House.
When I asked John something about himself which he considers to be a success, he answered, "raising my beautiful daughter."
Thank you, John. Thank you for being you.
Day 283 - Jennifer
This is Jennifer. We met near PSU.
The happiest thing happening in Jennifer's life is that she's going to graduate next year.
Jennifer's recent act of kindness is that she let me take her picture. I love it when people realize their special gesture in letting me take their picture. It's pretty amazing to find a person who will to take the time to stop, let me take their picture and then share a little of themselves with us. Although I'm now very much in the habit of doing this every day and it's become my normal routine, nothing about this is normal. I haven't, for a moment, forgotten that every single person who was willing to let me take their picture, gave me a truly special gift that day. The people in this project are amazing.
"I just want to contribute in any way that I can," Jennifer answered, when I asked her impromptu personal mission statement.
When I asked Jennifer something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she answered that it was teaching her little sister how to read.
Thank you, Jennifer.
Day 284 - Marc and Bobby
This is Marc (left) and Bobby (right.) Marc and Bobby have both been in the project before. One of the best things to come from this project, has been meeting these two. Before I finally asked them to be in the project, I walked by Bobby's shoe repair shop practically every day while I was on my search for the person of the day. Bobby owns Portland Shoe Repair, on Sandy Blvd, in the Hollywood District. I know he works so hard. I've seen him working when when I'm on my way into work, and I've also seen him working when I've had to work late! Marc and his other family and friends are often in to help, or simply hang out.
Now, when I'm wandering the Hollywood District, looking for a subject, questioning my decision to do this, and sometimes basically feeling like a weirdo, I'll see Bobby and/or Marc and their friendly wave hello is a great reminder to me of how much I love doing this. It gives me a sense of community.
I had just started my search for a person this day when Marc and Bobby peddled past me on their bikes. They waved hello and we went on our separate ways. A few moments later, they rode back to me and volunteered to be in the project again. The timing was perfect, and of course I was happy to get them for a second appearance!
"I just love life," Marc answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in his life right now. "Just making the best of every single day," Marc added. He couldn't narrow down the answer to anything specific...he truly does have a joy for life and people and I've loved meeting him.
When I asked Marc if he had recently performed an act of kindness, or if he's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, he told me a great story of a circle of kindness that doesn't seem to have an end in sight. A while back, he didn't charge an elderly man to put taps on his shoes. The man doesn't speak English, but the kindness wasn't lost on him. A few days later, the man came back into the shop with fresh-baked bread, from the bakery where he works. The man continues to bring them bread and they've done a few repairs for him as well. I just loved hearing this story, and imagining the elder coming in to hang out with the guys at the shop and gifting them with bread.
When I asked Bobby his life's purpose, he answered, "to live up to my parents expectations, and then to go past that." I think any parent would be so proud of Bobby. I hope he realizes that. I think anything else he does, is in the pursuit of living up to the expectations he has of himself. One thing I've learned while doing this project, is that parents really just want for their children to be good, caring, decent human beings. Of course they would love for us to have a wildly successful career and financial stability, but the one thing I've heard over and over in this project, is that parents are happy and proud when they know their kids have grown into good, kind, and loving people. Bobby is good people.
"Being where I am in life, personally," Bobby answered, when I asked something about himself which he would consider to be a success. Both Marc and I anticipated that his answer would be something relating to the success of the shoe shop, but I was happy to hear that Bobby's personal life is fulfilling and successful.
Guys, thank you! Thank you for always being so nice. I'm so glad to have met you both.
Day 285 - Sunny
This is Sunny. We met on a sunny morning at the bus stop.
The happiest thing happening in Sunny's life right now is that she's alive and recovering from a recent stroke. The stroke forced Sunny into early retirement and she's concerned about financial security, as she hadn't planned to retire this early. Through it all, she's keeping an optimistic outlook and just celebrating that she's alive and now well enough to get out on her own.
Sunny had been a hair stylist for the past 20 years, prior to her stroke. One of her acts of kindness is that she does hair for free, for people who can't afford it. Sunny has just recently been well and mobile enough to be able to provide this service again.
"To help people," Sunny answered, when I asked her life's purpose. Sunny feels that through her profession, she's able to help people feel better about themselves.
Thank you, Sunny. Wishing you good luck, and that you'll continue to be well.
Day 286 - Alicia and Adria
This is Alicia (left) and Adria (right.) They are my nieces.
The occasion was so bittersweet, as we were there for my Aunt's funeral. Although we were sad and heavy-heated because of our Aunt's passing, it was also comforting and nice to be around family. This is the first time I've seen them both in far too long.
I've said hundreds of times throughout this project that I'm not a photographer. Until recently, I hadn't even taken a photography class of any sort. However, when Alicia, Adria and I were trying to make a picture, their Mom (my sister-in-law) reminded us that when we were little, I would LOVE to take Alicia and Adria's picture. I had a little point-and-shoot film camera and my sister-in-law reminded me that Alicia and Adria were often my subjects. I really did have an itch for photography, even as a kid. My only regret is that I waited so long to scratch that itch.
It's difficult for me to see this picture of my nieces. In my mind, they're still tiny little girls, but now they're beautiful women, with not-so-tiny kids of their own. They have grown into such strong and loving people. Living away from home, it breaks my heart knowing that I've missed so much of their lives, and the lives of their kids. (my great nieces and nephews.)
"My son graduating," Alicia answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now.
When I asked Alicia if she had recently performed an act of kindness, or if she's been on the receiving end of an act of kindness, she explained that she received an act of kindness when her parents paid for her Son's graduation party.
"To raise beautiful, confident, strong and independent children, who are also loving and caring," Alicia answered, when I asked her life's purpose.
When I asked Alicia something about herself which she would consider to be a success, she explained that it was her transformation from being a very quite and shy person, to one who is outgoing, direct, and no longer afraid of people. She now loves and enjoys talking with people!
"My amazing family, awesome support system, and a good job," Adria answered, when I asked the happiest thing happening in her life right now. "I'm living a happy life," Adria added.
"To be a support for my kids and husband, and to be a planner and consistent person for our family," Adria answered, when I asked her life's purpose.
As I'm reading my notes to write this post, I realize that I hadn't asked Adria if she had recently performed an act of kindness. I think I subconsciously, yet deliberately, skipped that question because I already knew the answer. Adria and her husband have been such a huge help to my mom. I consider this a huge act of kindness. I often feel pretty awful for living so far away from my mom, and not being there to help her with things. The only thing that gives me slight peace is knowing that Adria and her husband are so close and they check in on her often, even if it's just a phone call to visit. Were it not for Adria and our other family being there, I could never be able to live in Portland. I can never express how much it means to me, knowing Adria is there, and that she's the loving and caring person she is. Adria, thank you.
When I asked Adria something about herself which she considers to be a success, she answered, "that I'm independent...I've been able to be successful with my job, and have a kid in college." Adria added that it's a success that she didn't fall into a life of addiction.
Alicia and Adria, thank you for being in the project. I love you both so much, and I think of you often. We don't see each other enough, and that is entirely my fault. Please know your presence in my heart is huge, and always will be. I love you.
Here's a summary of the life's purpose and personal mission statements from this week's subjects:
- To teach and to spread the word of God, and spread the good news.
- I just want to contribute in any way that I can.
- "To translate thoughts and feelings through art.
- To live up to my parents expectations, and then to go past that.
- "To help people.
- To raise beautiful, confident, strong and independent children.
- To be a support for my kids and husband, and to be a planner and consistent person for our family.