Blogging on The Brightside

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

“The day The Lord created hope is probably the same day He created spring.”

— Bern Williams

This quote was lovingly stolen from our good friend Jess. I thought it would be perfect for a day like today.

It is my wish that hope and Spring show themselves in your life in rather abundant and spectacular fashion. Regardless of whether these things enter your life as the lion or the lamb, take note of their presence and find gratitude in that.

Happy Easter, to those who celebrate.

Happy Spring to all. Let us all bloom in the sunshine, full of bright and abounding hope.

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We all need a pep-talk…

We all need a pep-talk now and then, even if we are usually the ones giving the pep-talk.

My dear friend Jess Brown shared this with me, and I’m sharing it with you.  I love it for a bunch of reasons, and if you’ve been reading our blog long enough, you know that whatever Jess shares is worth watching to the end.  I hope everyone has a great week.




A Case of the Mondays

I’m going to leave today’s inspiration to a great friend and AMAZING writer, Jess. She has written guest posts for us in the past, but I felt the need to share her most recent post with all of you. In case you’ve got a case of the Mondays (or perhaps a week or two worth of “Mondays” that seem to keep piling up), this one is for you.

It’s Alright to Cry in Your Car. I Hope.

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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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The Art of Saying “No”

Has everyone seen the movie “Yes Man”? If not, don’t worry, you aren’t missing much. But you are missing the set-up for my blog post.

The plot of “Yes Man” tells the story of a bank employee named Carl (Jim Carrey) whose life is plummeting following his divorce. A friend tells him to go to a self-help seminar by an inspirational guru who encourages everyone to say “YES” – to everything. He goes from being a “no” man to being a “yes” man, saying yes to everything that comes his way.


Carl finds that while it is great to be open to new experiences, saying yes to everything just isn’t possible. Or healthy.

People our age have a difficult time saying no to anything. We’re experiencing new things every day and try to take in everything we can. So we say yes to working an extra five hours a week in order to move up in our careers. We say yes to staying out all night to prove that we’re still fun, no matter how tired we are. We say yes to spending time with and worrying about people who only bring us down. Because saying no feels selfish and saying no feels like we’re being “no” people.

Here is the thing – you should be kind and patient. You should be devoted. You should be determined to accomplish amazing things. But life is too short to spend time doing things that don’t make you happy. It’s too short to be polite and sacrifice your own feelings. Say yes, over and over, to things that make your life better.

It may seem a bit naive for me to say that you shouldn’t do anything you don’t want to do. For instance, I don’t want to pay my bills or take out the trash or spend time sitting in traffic. Obviously, these are just a part of life. But the parts of life I can control, like how I spend my Saturday nights or where I want to be in five years? The first thing I do when I think about the future is to think whether or not I will be happy in the picture I’m imagining.

Say yes to trying sushi for the first time. Say yes to people who make you laugh. Say yes to a job you love.

Sit down and think about how you are spending your time. Think about whether the things you’re choosing are really making you happy. And if they aren’t? It’s time to make some changes. Because life if way too short to be anything but happy.

Jess Brown studied journalism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP ’11).  She now lives in Pittsburgh where she is the copywriter for Snap! Retail.

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