perseverance

31 Good Things That Happened in May

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened in that 30-day (or so) span, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy May to you!

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1) Since she couldn’t accept his invitation to prom, Emma Stone sent this teen and his date a corsage.

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2) This dad got an amazing birthday surprise

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3) This music video took us back to the 90s

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4) This author announced her new book in the best way

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5)  This guy made a fool of himself for a good cause

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6) Nicki Minaj helped a bunch of students pay for college

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7) This little girl had something to brag about

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8) After realizing he made a mistake, Chris Pratt made up for it in a great way

Instagram does this thing where it mutes all the videos it shows and forces you to turn on the volume in order to hear them. (maybe because most people are watching those videos at work when they should be working and don't want to get caught. I know that's when I do it. 😬) So when I made a video recently with subtitles, and requested that people turn up the volume and not just "read the subtitles" it was so people wouldn't scroll past the video on mute, thus watching and digesting the information in the video. HOWEVER, I realize now doing so was incredibly insensitive to the many folks out there who depend on subtitles. More than 38 million Americans live with some sort of hearing disability. So I want to apologize. I have people in my life who are hearing-impaired, and the last thing in the world I would want to do is offend them or anybody who suffers from hearing loss or any other disability. So truly from the bottom of my heart I apologize. Thanks for pointing this out to me. In the future I'll try to be a little less ignorant about it. Now… I know some of you are going to say, "Hey! Chris only apologized because his publicist made him!" Well. That is not the case. As always I control my social media. Nobody else. And I am doing this because I'm actually really sorry. Apologies are powerful. I don't dole them out Willy-Nilly. This is one of those moments where I screwed up and here's me begging your pardon. I hope you accept my apology. And on that note. Why doesn't Instagram have some kind of technology to automatically add subtitles to its videos? Or at least the option. I did a little exploring and it seems lacking in that area. Shouldn't there be an option for closed captioning or something? I've made them lord knows how much money with my videos and pictures. Essentially sharing myself for free. I know they profit. So… GET ON IT INSTAGRAM!!! Put closed captioning on your app. #CCinstaNow

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9) This wedding photographer captured some real love

Tonight I was photographing Adrian & Roslyn at sunset. I was setting up those grand sunset scenes… you know the ones… the little people in a big scene… I love those kinda shots… but tonight that just didn't seem enough. Just as the light became amazing I scrapped everything I knew and I walked up to them and said, "guys, stop posing. Just enjoy your first sunset together as husband and wife". They then held each other in the most beautiful way… It was so much more beautiful than anything I could ever set up. Then I said to Adrian, "I have a question for you, but I want you to tell the answer to Roslyn and not me." I continued, "Out of the billions of people on the planet, you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with Roslyn. Can you tell her why?" In a matter of moments I could start seeing Roslyn's eyes glisten, then the most beautiful tears streamed down her face. Then I found myself crying. Oh Love, You are oh so precious.

A post shared by James Day (@jamesdayweddings) on

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10) This guy got into college!

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11) This man embodied perseverance

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12) These moms wrote encouraging letters to other moms

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13) This little girl snuck her pet cow inside the house

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14) This little girl took a picture with a potato

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15) Mother’s Day b1923d25f9b3a9e78692230f1935b976

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16) This mom and son inspired everyone with their graduation photo

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17) Oreo opened the best contest EVER

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18) This deployed soldier got to be a part of his wife’s pregnancy shoot

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19) In the wake of something unimaginably terrible, kindness, love and bravery showed up again

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20) …and again

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21) …and again

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

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22) This little boy wrote a touching letter to Nintendo about his favorite game

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23) This dog taught his brother how to sit.

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24) This guy continued to make progress

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25) This service dog snagged a spot in his owner’s school yearbook

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26) This guy showed off his talent

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27) Kaley Cuoco adopted a dwarf mini horse named Shmushy

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28) Memorial Day honored life’s true superheroes

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29) This 92 year old Marine Corp sergeant achieved one of his biggest goals

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30) This girl got an amazing surprise

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31) Jennifer Lopez & James Corden took some dance lessons

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what June brings!

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A Lesson in Courage from the Real Moana

My sister and I recently got around to seeing Disney’s Moana and, long story short, we’re obsessed. And while I could go on and on about pretty much every second of every minute of the entire film, quoting my favorite parts, gushing about my favorite characters and belting out every verse of my favorites songs, I can pretty much sum them up with this gif:

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After watching Moana for the first time, I went through my normal routine of stalking everyone (actors, directors, etc.) associated with the film. I like to get an idea of where they came from and the other work they’ve done, so I can feel a strange sense of emotional pride for people I’ve never met. “You’ve come so far!” I tell them. “I’m so proud of you!”

I like to believe that in some way they receive this message with a passing sensation of happiness, but I’m well aware that I’m probably just forming one-sided attachments to strangers. Oh well.

Amongst my findings on the Moana crew: Auli’i Cravalho, a.k.a the voice of Moana herself.

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Some basic info on Auli’i for you (compliments of Wikipedia):

  • She was born in Kohala, Hawaii (which is the northern tip of the big island)
  • She is of Chinese, Irish, Native Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican descent.

Some less basic, more impressive info for you:

  • She’s currently sixteen, but nabbed the roll of Moana at the age of fourteen
  • She recently performed destroyed at the Oscars

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And finally, the piece of information that got me writing to you today:

  • She was the very last girl to audition on the very last day of casting.

In an interview with People, Auli’i said she almost didn’t audition because of all the amazing submissions she’d seen on YouTube, but was encouraged by an Oahu casting agent to change her mind. And so, she did. She auditioned in the very last slot on the very last day.

Recap on what happened next:

  • She got the part
  • She made her acting debut
  • She became immortalized as a Disney princess
  • The film got nominated for a long list of awards including two Oscars (Best Animated Feature Film & Best Original Song “How Far I’ll Go”)
  • She performed “How Far I’ll Go” at the Oscars

So you know that old saying, “it’s worth a shot”?

It really is.

So keep taking those shots. You never know where they might take you.

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An Award for “Buzz Tap”

At the beginning of last year I submitted a short story I wrote to the 84th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and while I didn’t expecting much, I took pride in my courage to submit anything and didn’t think of it again until 6 months later when I received an email with the subject line: “Congratulations are in order!”

Within the body of the message, I was told that my story had received an honorable mention in the competition, meaning that my name would be printed inside the published copy of the magazine. So, like any mature adult, I jumped up and down and clapped and bought myself a McFlurry on my way home from work that day.

Yesterday, I received a final copy of the magazine in the mail, where sure enough, my name is printed—and spelled correctly! 2 E’s and all—right there on a page in the back and I was bursting with pride.

The whole experience has been the perfect dose of inspiration leading into the New Year, and ironically went along with what my story was all about. Things don’t always work out for us the way we want, or on the schedule we plan, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Have patience and persevere, opportunity and success are waiting for you on the other side.

And although my goals now differ from those in the story, and this small mention in the back of a magazine might be a very small success for me in the grand scheme of things, I like to think of it as the first of many. I’ve knocked down the first wall, now I’m onto the next one!

I’ve posted the story below.

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