It’s only been about a month since I started this project and I have already experienced and learn so much from walking up to strangers and asking them why someone shouldn’t be afraid of falling in love again. Here are some of my learnings and memorable moments that I’d like to share with everyone:
1. No one has said love isn’t worth falling into again, even those who are currently going through a heartbreak. Not surprising but always a good to hear.
2. The reasons to fall in love again transcend across age, gender, race, culture, and languages.
3. Everyone has gone through or is going through heartbreak or sadness from love (not just romantic). Seeing some people jog back in their memories for when they first felt heartbroken to come up with an answer is quite magical. It reminds me of how amazing it is for humans to have the ability to be empathetic.
4. There is an awkward/shy yet magical intimacy that you experience when you ask people to answer out loud a question as simple, yet emotionally and experientially complex as why you shouldn’t be afraid of falling in love again. It’s especially heartwarming when talking to couples to see the facial expressions of a lover reacting to what his/her lover has responded with because it is also his/her first time hearing it.
5. There was a woman who just gave me a hug before parting after doing the project. No better feeling than having a stranger give you a hug after talking for less than a minute and just because they also believe in the project.
6. The first stranger I asked to participate was a woman I met standing online waiting to use the bathroom of a restaurant. Turns out she was from the Netherlands with her boyfriend, the person who convinced her that love is worth it. He was just her upstairs neighbor. At the end, a random and mundane comment while waiting on a bathroom line led to the sharing of a love story that inspired me to go forth with the project. They even said they would bring the project back to the Netherlands for me.
7. People have so many fascinating stories to tell. What the Strokes said was correct “tell me a story, I know you’re not boring.” All you have to do is ask and then listen.
8. While I was wary of approaching strangers at first, I quickly learned that if you give people your genuine attention and sincerity, you’ll realize that we’re all the same social creatures that experience and feel. It is in our biological fibers to share and connect. Most importantly, I learned that you never know who you end up talking to, what stories you’ll hear, or even whether or not they will partake in your project – but you just have to put yourself out there and try. Try to go out make that human connection that reminds us what being human is all about.
Lastly, I want to give a huge shout out to my friends and family who came out to help me, who were adventurous enough to talk to strangers with me, who helped spread the project, and who believed in this project before it even began. Of course, I want to say thank you to all those who participated in the project so far and shared their stories with me. Our encounters, while only minutes long, were truly heartwarming and inspiring. So many thanks to everyone. Let’s continue to spread these good vibes!
with much love and gratitude,