Blogging on The Brightside

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

“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

— Sean Maguire, (Robin Williams) Good Will Hunting

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“What are you going to do with your one and only life?”

— Viola Davis in Won’t Back Down

A new teacher movie for me to geek out over is coming out this weekend. It was this quote however that reached out to more than simply the parents, students, and educators.

We have one life. ONE. What are you going to do with yours?

Make it one worth remembering. Make it one worth celebrating. And for goodness sake, make it one that makes YOU happy.

Love and Light,



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“Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.”

— Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters

This particular quote reminded me of so many things, the least of which was a track from the movie based upon this series’ first book. Before you continue reading, I invite you to turn on the track by clicking here and listen as you read along. 

Music has a way of expressing feelings for which we can never seem to find words. While I believe the word “hope” expresses so much in so few letters, this song always moves me closer to thoughts of hope and optimism. It is why this particular piece is so beautifully written and placed to match the emotions of the film. After waiting and waiting, expecting that the “best” they had hoped for would never arrive, the Baudelaire children return to their lowest point and find what they’ve been waiting for all along… concrete evidence that hope survives all.

We, like these children, need those moments more than anything at times. We need to know that hope survives, perseveres, and thrives, even when we do not give it the best conditions in which to do so.

Even though it may get lost, even if it only arrives every once in a while…wait for the best. It, like so many things, is worth the wait.

Love and Light,



“… through it, not over it.”

“WhoapartnerLittle red flag going up. Something tells me we should go through it, not over it.”

Dory, Finding Nemo

Drawing inspiration from one of my favorite movies that I saw in theaters again just last night.

I like to pull about as many lessons as possible from everyday occurrences. Sure enough, watching this triggered memory of a concept– a concept that I have worked to make a reality in my life. I’m sure some of you remember reading it on the blog prior.

When faced with something difficult, it is typical that we want to get over it rather than go through it. Whenever possible, listen to that little red flag and get yourself through it, not over it. After all, you never know what part of your journey will require the strength you gained from the prior struggles.

It takes courage. And while it’s not often used in this context, take a note from Nemo… there are plenty of other “fish in the sea,” waiting to help you find your way through the madness and make it home.

You and I both know you can do it. It might be tough, but you’ll make it through.

And if all else fails… remember to just keep swimming.

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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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Hakuna matata

Timon and Pumbaa, Disney’s The Lion King

Timon and Pumbaa weren’t kidding; Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase that literally means “there are no worries.” We write about worries all the time on this blog, but we aren’t apologizing for it. If protagonist lions people all over the world need reminders in all kinds of languages not to worry, then it’s a message we can’t share too often.

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“I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it. You never know what hand you’re gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you… to make each day count.”

— Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic)

100 years ago at 2:20AM this morning, Titanic sank.

1,500 people perished… but 705 people survived. Imagine being one of those people given that second chance. Live your life as if you’ve been given a second chance each day. After all, you woke up. You saw the sun. And you realized you have another day to “make it count.”

Jack’s right… you never know what hand you’re gonna get dealt next.

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