How Strangers Can Change Our Everyday Lives


You never know of their existence until you meet them.

They’ll come into your life as strangers when you were content and thought you had enough. You will forget when, but your paths will cross. Somehow, you make the introduction. You see them. You judge them. You like them. You know immediately that you’ll get along with some of them. You stay away from some of them. Some of them are forthcoming, and you wonder why. Some of them keep their distance away, and still you wonder why. But in a simple twist of fate, your paths intertwine — a first conversation, a meeting, a change of place, caprice of life.

At some point, you see these people every day. And for some of them, you’ll met a few times over several months or even years. Your surmise was that any passage of time will thwart your desire to welcome people again, to be open to them, to let new strangers in. But in their unparalleled deeds and baffling simplicity, you decide to make an exception just one more time, time and again.

They are people you least expected in your life. They are people you laugh with. They are people you laugh at. You get so used to seeing them every day. But as nothing is ever permanent, a schism doesn’t worry you. You know that if your bond changes because of the distance, it’ll only nourish over time. They are people who’ll tell you the brutal truth when you don’t want to hear it. They will want you to take the high road. Their silence will comfort you in the same way as their words. Some of them will say many things, and some of them will need to be understood.

They are people you may not speak with very often. You’ll think of them when you’re listening to your favorite song on the radio. As you travel and look outside the window, you’ll always wonder whether you’re enraptured by the scenic beauty across the glass or fleeting thoughts of them. You are not afraid to tell them about your misdemeanors. Because you love them so much, you always want to say the right things, but don’t. They’re people you’ve tucked into a special place, the people you visit when you need them most.

They’ve seen the best and worst of you. And as you watch them, you learn about them, too. Their imperfection allures you, and they’re studded across the invisible walls you once created. The sturdy wooden doors slowly start resembling glass, and you lose track of when the open door replaced the locked door knob.

They are people you travel with. But they are mostly people you travel to. Every moment spent with them is extraordinary, even in the most ordinary times – even in the most humble places. They make every year more meaningful by aggrandizing your life. You don’t know how long they’ll stay. You want them to stay forever, but you’re not afraid to admit that you’re unsure. But you find solace in knowing that having them now or having had them in your life made it worth living tenfold.

You start replacing a full stop with a few ellipses that suggest a continuum. You are surrounded by these strangers. They end up becoming people who just make you really happy. You know that opening the door and letting them in was the best thing you could have ever done for yourself.