Hello. As a little girl, I was a bully. I would stomp on my friend’s new shoes and exclude people from playing with me. One day, my mom got a call from my kindergarden teacher, informing her that I was on the brink of being expelled. Later on that day, my mom was also told that one of my classmate’s parents planned on suing us. My mom was at a loss for words and asked my five-year-old self what had happened at school. Nonchalantly, I told her that I didn’t feel like playing with a girl in class so I poked both her eyes when she wouldn’t leave me alone. I spent all week apologizing and “learning my lesson.” Sadly, all my friends still think that I’m a bully … Guys, I’m really sorry! 

Hello. As a little girl, I was a bully. I would stomp on my friend’s new shoes and exclude people from playing with me. One day, my mom got a call from my kindergarden teacher, informing her that I was on the brink of being expelled. Later on that day, my mom was also told that one of my classmate’s parents planned on suing us. My mom was at a loss for words and asked my five-year-old self what had happened at school. Nonchalantly, I told her that I didn’t feel like playing with a girl in class so I poked both her eyes when she wouldn’t leave me alone. I spent all week apologizing and “learning my lesson.” Sadly, all my friends still think that I’m a bully … Guys, I’m really sorry! 


If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that it pays to be kind. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, and sometimes people would ask if they could ride in the wheelchair I would use after surgeries. I’d always say no, figuring they were judging me, or making fun. One day, though, a little boy asked if he could try. I hesitated, but let him climb in. He laughed as I pushed him around, happy to be in the chair. When he got out, all he said was “thanks, I just wanted to see how my big sister would get around in Heaven.”

He turned and walked away, joining someone else down the hallway. I didn’t know the boy, but he surprised me with his curiosity and love. There was no judgment on his face, only an understanding way beyond his years.

And now, if anyone wants a ride, if I have my chair, cane, or whatever, I always say yes.

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that it pays to be kind. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, and sometimes people would ask if they could ride in the wheelchair I would use after surgeries. I’d always say no, figuring they were judging me, or making fun. One day, though, a little boy asked if he could try. I hesitated, but let him climb in. He laughed as I pushed him around, happy to be in the chair. When he got out, all he said was “thanks, I just wanted to see how my big sister would get around in Heaven.”

He turned and walked away, joining someone else down the hallway. I didn’t know the boy, but he surprised me with his curiosity and love. There was no judgment on his face, only an understanding way beyond his years.

And now, if anyone wants a ride, if I have my chair, cane, or whatever, I always say yes.


About two years ago, I was taking the train from Baltimore to Pittsburgh. I was going to meet my friends there at a convention. We’re artists, not professionally, but we’d like to change that someday, and we were going to sell our art at the  convention. While on the train, I met up with a man in the dining cart who seemed about 10 years older than me (I was 24 at the time.) We got to know each other more and eventually I told him the reason I was on the train. He was really excited when he heard that I draw and want to pursue a career in the arts. He then told me about his love of video games and how he wanted to be a video game designer. But when he was little, his father broke one of his consoles and said, “This is not the future!” As a result, he gave up on his dreams and watched as the future turned out to be filled with video games…none of which he helped create. I made it to the convention, and went to panels where famous artists talked about how they got to where they are today. But none of their stories of success impacted me as much as the man on the train’s story of quitting. I feel this is too important to keep to myself and so I want to share this story to encourage others to keep following your dreams.

About two years ago, I was taking the train from Baltimore to Pittsburgh. I was going to meet my friends there at a convention. We’re artists, not professionally, but we’d like to change that someday, and we were going to sell our art at the  convention. While on the train, I met up with a man in the dining cart who seemed about 10 years older than me (I was 24 at the time.) We got to know each other more and eventually I told him the reason I was on the train. He was really excited when he heard that I draw and want to pursue a career in the arts. He then told me about his love of video games and how he wanted to be a video game designer. But when he was little, his father broke one of his consoles and said, “This is not the future!” As a result, he gave up on his dreams and watched as the future turned out to be filled with video games…none of which he helped create. I made it to the convention, and went to panels where famous artists talked about how they got to where they are today. But none of their stories of success impacted me as much as the man on the train’s story of quitting. I feel this is too important to keep to myself and so I want to share this story to encourage others to keep following your dreams.

Hi everyone! I have an update for you regarding yesterday’s story. Some of you might have noticed the handwriting looked a little familiar. A few months ago, I posted two stories back to back. They came from a couple who unknowingly wrote about each other and the incredible amount of love they were sharing.Her story starts: "I’m meeting the boy I will marry half-way from where he lives and where I live. We made this decision, our “New York City” decision, two years ago in a bar of Hamburg’s red-light district. […]”And his: “There is this girl. We met two years ago and since then, time has been amazing. Not easy, of course, different countries, different continents even. We finally managed to move to New York together and I know the wait is totally worth it. We are not married yet, but I know we will be. […]”The stories were posted, and that was that… Until this week.I checked my email and found this waiting in my inbox."Dear Brandon,About 6 weeks ago, on a sunny afternoon at Washington Square, my girlfriend and I shared our story with the Strangers Project. It made us incredibly happy to be a small part of your amazing project and I wish you all the best for the future.Since then things have been great! We are very much in love and I plan to surprise my girlfriend with a marriage proposal next Saturday.Next Saturday, a series of love letters will take her all around New York City until we will meet at the final destination for the marriage proposal.Would you possibly be willing to take a small role in the ‘love letter rally’?Thank you so much for filling this great project with life. Just writing down my story on a single piece of paper helped me realize that getting married to my wonderful girlfriend would be the most amazing decision of my life.”Of course, I had to say yes. We exchanged a few more emails, and we made a plan. We decided that he would write the final letter—the one leading her to the place where he would propose—and that it would be shared for her, and the world, to see. The story went up yesterday, the world cheered them on, and I’m happy to share that…SHE SAID YES!Congratulations, Daniel and Adriana, and best wishes for all of the new stories you’ll be creating together.Original Stories:
His Original StoryHer Original StoryYesterday’s StoryPhoto Credit:Kelsey Combe

Hi everyone! I have an update for you regarding yesterday’s story. Some of you might have noticed the handwriting looked a little familiar. A few months ago, I posted two stories back to back. They came from a couple who unknowingly wrote about each other and the incredible amount of love they were sharing.

Her story starts: "I’m meeting the boy I will marry half-way from where he lives and where I live. We made this decision, our “New York City” decision, two years ago in a bar of Hamburg’s red-light district. […]”

And his: “There is this girl. We met two years ago and since then, time has been amazing. Not easy, of course, different countries, different continents even. We finally managed to move to New York together and I know the wait is totally worth it. We are not married yet, but I know we will be. […]”

The stories were posted, and that was that… Until this week.

I checked my email and found this waiting in my inbox.

"Dear Brandon,

About 6 weeks ago, on a sunny afternoon at Washington Square, my girlfriend and I shared our story with the Strangers Project. It made us incredibly happy to be a small part of your amazing project and I wish you all the best for the future.

Since then things have been great! We are very much in love and I plan to surprise my girlfriend with a marriage proposal next Saturday.

Next Saturday, a series of love letters will take her all around New York City until we will meet at the final destination for the marriage proposal.

Would you possibly be willing to take a small role in the ‘love letter rally’?

Thank you so much for filling this great project with life. Just writing down my story on a single piece of paper helped me realize that getting married to my wonderful girlfriend would be the most amazing decision of my life.”

Of course, I had to say yes. We exchanged a few more emails, and we made a plan. We decided that he would write the final letter—the one leading her to the place where he would propose—and that it would be shared for her, and the world, to see. 

The story went up yesterday, the world cheered them on, and I’m happy to share that…

SHE SAID YES!

Congratulations, Daniel and Adriana, and best wishes for all of the new stories you’ll be creating together.

Original Stories:

His Original Story

Her Original Story

Yesterday’s Story

Photo Credit:

Kelsey Combe


12, April, 2014
Dear Adriana,
Today, a series of love letters made you travel all around New York City. Now, as you read this letter, I can assure you; you are very close to the finish line.
At first, I sent you into our past to show you how much I love our story. You are the love of my life and I thank you for all the joy you bring to my heart every day.
The journey continued, you took the F train uptown Manhattan and you met friends and family along the way. You learned how much I need you by my side. Your sunny attitude and optimism make me a better man and I cannot imagine being without you anymore.
In the end, you met strangers along the way and you saw the bright future that lies ahead of us. We never had it easy. We had to say goodbye too many times. But we never gave up. Instead, we built bridges and overcame the ocean that separated us. We are a team and I will always be there for you.
This is the last letter you will receive today. Still, there is one more thing I have for you.
Adriana, if you feel ready, then meet me today at 3PM at the Angel fountain at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.
I will be waiting for you with my arms wide open, ready to hold you and determined to never let you go.
Love,
Daniel

12, April, 2014

Dear Adriana,

Today, a series of love letters made you travel all around New York City. Now, as you read this letter, I can assure you; you are very close to the finish line.

At first, I sent you into our past to show you how much I love our story. You are the love of my life and I thank you for all the joy you bring to my heart every day.

The journey continued, you took the F train uptown Manhattan and you met friends and family along the way. You learned how much I need you by my side. Your sunny attitude and optimism make me a better man and I cannot imagine being without you anymore.

In the end, you met strangers along the way and you saw the bright future that lies ahead of us. We never had it easy. We had to say goodbye too many times. But we never gave up. Instead, we built bridges and overcame the ocean that separated us. We are a team and I will always be there for you.

This is the last letter you will receive today. Still, there is one more thing I have for you.

Adriana, if you feel ready, then meet me today at 3PM at the Angel fountain at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park.

I will be waiting for you with my arms wide open, ready to hold you and determined to never let you go.

Love,

Daniel


I love my mom and dad. I hate being their kid.
I love reading queer studies. I hate trying to explain why to other people.
I love helping people. I hate that I don’t know why I do sometimes.
I love sunrises. I hate that sometimes I don’t want to see them.
I love writing. I hate that I don’t know how to make people understand.
I love summer sun and winter fires and crinkling leaves and trees turning green.
I hate trying to understand how people stop loving each other over time.
I love the world I live in, and I hate that sometimes I don’t love it at all.

I love my mom and dad. I hate being their kid.

I love reading queer studies. I hate trying to explain why to other people.

I love helping people. I hate that I don’t know why I do sometimes.

I love sunrises. I hate that sometimes I don’t want to see them.

I love writing. I hate that I don’t know how to make people understand.

I love summer sun and winter fires and crinkling leaves and trees turning green.

I hate trying to understand how people stop loving each other over time.

I love the world I live in, and I hate that sometimes I don’t love it at all.


I am the mother of 3 kids – one is about to graduate college – one is about to graduate from high school. One still has 2 years to go in high school. I have been divorced for 6 years now and if I felt alone while my kids were in my daily life – how am I going to feel when they move on and develop their own lives?
Time to do something for me! I want to move away to warmer climate – but scared to be too far from my kids. I know it’s the right thing for me I just have to do it!
I have always been a goal setter. I completed the Ford Ironman in Florida in 2007 – in 12:34 – hard to believe now that I did it. But besides having kids – it’s the best thing I have ever done!
I need to get back to goal setting - it was the happiest time of my life when I pushed my body to see how far it would go! My plan – is to do that again. Maybe another Ironman?!
This was an interesting concept – writing my story – I have so many! The city is a fun place to visit – but I am a by the sea type of girl. 
xoxo

I am the mother of 3 kids – one is about to graduate college – one is about to graduate from high school. One still has 2 years to go in high school. I have been divorced for 6 years now and if I felt alone while my kids were in my daily life – how am I going to feel when they move on and develop their own lives?

Time to do something for me! I want to move away to warmer climate – but scared to be too far from my kids. I know it’s the right thing for me I just have to do it!

I have always been a goal setter. I completed the Ford Ironman in Florida in 2007 – in 12:34 – hard to believe now that I did it. But besides having kids – it’s the best thing I have ever done!

I need to get back to goal setting - it was the happiest time of my life when I pushed my body to see how far it would go! My plan – is to do that again. Maybe another Ironman?!

This was an interesting concept – writing my story – I have so many! The city is a fun place to visit – but I am a by the sea type of girl. 

xoxo


I don’t think this might be a story, but more of an idea. We all go through our own difficulties in life, some worse than others. I guess my worst is my parents divorcing when I was 15 years old. It’s made me lost. I still feel as if I haven’t found myself. I kind’ve gone off the rails by smoking. I remember storming out of the house hyperventilating and crying. That night I was offered my first cigarette. Smoking was easy because everything around me was hard. What was hard? Walking in on my father crying - the first time I have ever seen my rock crumble. Walking into this house everyday where tension is a presence. A presence that lingers that you can’t push outside the door. I’m healthier now. No cigarette for a few days now. I want to be the healthiest I can be by age 20. I want to be an English major and teach. I want to impact lives like I’ve never been impacted. My thoughts are so random, and so scattered. I’m not one to talk much either. I don’t express my anger to others. I let others push me until I have to get up again. And when I get up, I explode with rage. I scare myself and it makes me scared that I will light up another cigarette. A cigarette to me is like a psychologist - helps you with your problems, when you can solve them for yourself. Then again, I’ve quit smoking, but started going to a psychologist. I walked by a lit cigarette today, and it smelled so good. Live.

I don’t think this might be a story, but more of an idea. We all go through our own difficulties in life, some worse than others. I guess my worst is my parents divorcing when I was 15 years old. It’s made me lost. I still feel as if I haven’t found myself. I kind’ve gone off the rails by smoking. I remember storming out of the house hyperventilating and crying. That night I was offered my first cigarette. Smoking was easy because everything around me was hard. What was hard? Walking in on my father crying - the first time I have ever seen my rock crumble. Walking into this house everyday where tension is a presence. A presence that lingers that you can’t push outside the door. I’m healthier now. No cigarette for a few days now. I want to be the healthiest I can be by age 20. I want to be an English major and teach. I want to impact lives like I’ve never been impacted. My thoughts are so random, and so scattered. I’m not one to talk much either. I don’t express my anger to others. I let others push me until I have to get up again. And when I get up, I explode with rage. I scare myself and it makes me scared that I will light up another cigarette. A cigarette to me is like a psychologist - helps you with your problems, when you can solve them for yourself. Then again, I’ve quit smoking, but started going to a psychologist. I walked by a lit cigarette today, and it smelled so good. Live.


I am a 22-year-old cisgender girl.
When I was a kid I found myself attracted to girls, but not sexually. I could never imagine myself sleeping with a woman. I assumed that meant I was straight. I’m a girl, I don’t want to have sex with another girl – it seemed pretty simple. But I did consider myself an ally from the moment I learned what it meant. I think I was eleven. It never occurred to me that some people are asexual—I was TWENTY before I knew what it meant.
And it still didn’t occur to me.
I always thought there was a stigma surrounding losing your virginity too late, like, “what’s wrong with you?!” So as I aged and the years went by and I still had no boyfriend and still hadn’t lost my virginity. I got desperate. Then I turned 21 and FINALLY lost it. The only thing I ever really felt afterward was relief. Nothing else. And it still didn’t occur to me.
I’m 22 now and I don’t know how it finally came to me, but I’m ace. I AM ASEXUAL. I’ve been in a rough spot recently. I’ve been anxious. Depressed. Suicidal. But I’ve finally started telling people. Not everyone has understood, but the people who matter accepted me. I feel better. It finally occurred to me, I’ve finally admitted it, and it’s getting better. 
It’s okay to not get it. It’s okay to doubt yourself. But don’t give up. People love you. It was a long time coming for me, but it’s never too late. 

I am a 22-year-old cisgender girl.

When I was a kid I found myself attracted to girls, but not sexually. I could never imagine myself sleeping with a woman. I assumed that meant I was straight. I’m a girl, I don’t want to have sex with another girl – it seemed pretty simple. But I did consider myself an ally from the moment I learned what it meant. I think I was eleven. It never occurred to me that some people are asexual—I was TWENTY before I knew what it meant.

And it still didn’t occur to me.

I always thought there was a stigma surrounding losing your virginity too late, like, “what’s wrong with you?!” So as I aged and the years went by and I still had no boyfriend and still hadn’t lost my virginity. I got desperate. Then I turned 21 and FINALLY lost it. The only thing I ever really felt afterward was relief. Nothing else. And it still didn’t occur to me.

I’m 22 now and I don’t know how it finally came to me, but I’m ace. I AM ASEXUAL. I’ve been in a rough spot recently. I’ve been anxious. Depressed. Suicidal. But I’ve finally started telling people. Not everyone has understood, but the people who matter accepted me. I feel better. It finally occurred to me, I’ve finally admitted it, and it’s getting better. 

It’s okay to not get it. It’s okay to doubt yourself. But don’t give up. People love you. It was a long time coming for me, but it’s never too late. 


Since moving to the city two and a half years ago, I’ve had four different jobs. All of them have had their ups and downs, but the thing that has essentially remained the same is my attitude towards them. Sometimes I feel like happiness depends on situations, but after talking to a near-suicidal friend who has made it up the ranks at a big film distribution company, I realize happiness is more about your attitude. Still serving people food but with a different outlook on how I do it. Going on a date with a customer soon, boss loves me, and I’m at a comfortable standard of living. Change yourself, and your situations will soon follow.

Since moving to the city two and a half years ago, I’ve had four different jobs. All of them have had their ups and downs, but the thing that has essentially remained the same is my attitude towards them. Sometimes I feel like happiness depends on situations, but after talking to a near-suicidal friend who has made it up the ranks at a big film distribution company, I realize happiness is more about your attitude. Still serving people food but with a different outlook on how I do it. Going on a date with a customer soon, boss loves me, and I’m at a comfortable standard of living. Change yourself, and your situations will soon follow.