Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

I know you can get through whatever life hands you. I know that you will keep on doing everything you can- a day at a time. It will take courage, discipline, and perseverance to get to where you want to be, but I know you’ll get there.”

Donna Fargo, I Prayed for You Today

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A student’s (beefed up) prayer

With my first preliminary exam on Friday, I found myself meditating with this prayer, but beefed up to the version written below.  

Thank you for this challenge and opportunity to show what I have learned.  Let my mind be still, secure in my knowledge and preparation, and free from the pressure I feel.  Let me be comforted by how hard I have worked to ready myself for this day.  Let me embrace the chance to be successful and expose my talents.  And when I put my worries aside, let me think clearly and creatively. Let me work accurately and insightfully. Let my explanations be exact and thorough. Let me go confidently and leave satisfied, knowing that I was brave and did my best.


“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle. Happiness never ceases by being shared.”


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Lose Your Focus

I am about to ruin the movie “500 Days of Summer” for you. If this is going to upset or anger you, I’m going to ask you to stop reading. Stop reading and go watch “500 Days of Summer,” then begin reading again. I make no apologies for this, as I promise to use this spoiler alert for good and not evil.

The movie “500 Days of Summer” is about the ups and downs of a 20-something relationship that teeters between friends-with-benefits, true love, and bitter hatred. Throughout the movie, the main character, Tom, befriends, falls for, and ultimately loses the girl he thought was “the one,” Summer. But by the final scene in the movie, Tom has pulled his life together and is slowly beginning to move on. He is interviewing for a position at an architecture firm when he meets his competition, a sweet young thing named Autumn. (If you ask me, the whole Summer/Autumn thing is cute in a not-really-at-all-creative way, but I love this movie none-the-less.)

The following exchange happens between Tom and Autumn as they discuss one of Tom’s favorite places in Los Angeles. It was this place in which he took Summer and later became the place where he finally got his closure from her:

Autumn: Have I seen you before?

Tom: Me? I don’t think so.

Autumn: Do you ever go to Angela’s Plaza?

Tom: Yes… That’s like my favorite spot in the city.

Autumn: Yeah, except for the parking lots.

Tom: Yeah, yeah I agree.

Autumn: Yeah, yeah I think I’ve seen you there.

Tom: Really?

Autumn: Yeah…

Tom: I haven’t seen you?

Autumn: You must not have been looking…

Part of being young and driven is the idea that we should make goals and focus on them. Perhaps ONLY them. That we should know what we want and what we’re willing to sacrifice in order to get it. But sometimes we need to step back and look at the bigger picture: What great things are we missing because we are focusing so hard on the good things?

“Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one.”

This is one of my favorite quotes, and lately it has been inspiring me to lose some of my focus on things that I shouldn’t be wasting too much time on.  All of us spend so much time trying to make things happen – which is great – but you have to admit that sometimes life’s best moments are those happy accidents you weren’t really planning on.

You’ll find whatever it is you’re looking for. You just might need to stop looking so hard.

Spoiler alert over.

Another wonderful Guest Blog Post from Jess Brown. She is a seasoned guest blogger, and we are thrilled to have her share her gift of optimism with us.  If you would like to write from us, we’d love to hear from you. Please email your posts to

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“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

— Victor Hugo

Finish each day and be done with it. You’ve done all that you can. What you can do now is move forward at peace.


“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was saving this post for later, and I know Ray has an AWESOME MMM for you today. I just couldn’t resist. Have courage. Be brave. Take heart that others have fought the same battles you face. It is on days like these where we must realize the definition of sacrifice and the cost of freedom. Live a life of peace, realizing the price paid by men and women who brought its victories.

Happy Memorial Day.

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“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”

Abraham Lincoln

I like to think that I can judge a person within a few minutes of meeting him.  My friends think I’m nuts, because I have this notion that I can gauge someone’s intelligence, humor, compassion, wisdom, life experience, worldliness, and a million other facets of his personality instantaneously.  My training in management- all kinds of Myers-Briggs-type personality tests and psychology courses- have made me a human cyborg, scanning facial features and speech patterns for deeper intrinsic characteristics.  Of course, my entire notion is wrong.  Often, that person I know I won’t get along with turns out to be a pleasant friend.  And how dare I!  Out of my handful of close friends, at least two (that I know of) judged me in the same preliminary fashion.

Leave it to Honest Abe to get to the real crux of the matter.  It is the people that we don’t like that we must get to know better, for these are the people who we are likely to have misjudged and from whom we may stand to learn.  Don’t you think the people who don’t like you would feel differently if they knew you better?  Give it a try this week.

Let’s all have a great week!


PS I took this picture on one of the most fun days I’ve ever had with my friends.

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“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

— Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Something so small holds the potential for immense growth. While the appearance of this ordinary weed doesn’t always make us “happy”, children can’t help but rip them from the ground and send their seeds fluttering throughout the air. Shouldn’t we learn from children?

Why shouldn’t we be like dandelions? Impossible to get rid of, floating along where life takes us, beautiful and delicate while strong and unfailing in our tasks. We thrive wherever we are and lend ourselves to those who will come after us. And what’s more… we could be this promise for someone else. The promise that life goes on and that it will be good even if it might not seem like it.

Love and Light, Carly


“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

— Maya Angelou

Nothing wrong with a little experience. There is something wrong with letting it cut you down. Keep working. Keep growing. Be the bigger person. Life can feel like one hell of a bully sometimes. Don’t let it have the upperhand.

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“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

While everyone loves a good “haters gon’ hate” reference, Eleanor probably said it best.

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