In the past two months, I think my heart has grown two sizes.
In fact, it’s now dangerously oversized. It’s to the point where I can feel it in my chest – where it’s beating too hard out of that breath-stealing, heart-racing kind of love. It’s beginning to warm my entire body. I’m getting those tingles – those wonderful, blue-moon tingles that make me want to smile and cry and cuddle under a blanket with hot cocoa and my best friend on a cold winter’s night.
It started when I fell in love with a stranger.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has felt love. Yet I pass by these everyones every day on the street, and I never give them a second glance. I don’t even give them a second thought.
I never wonder who they are or what their story may be. I never wonder who loves them, who has changed them or – god forbid – who has walked out on them. I don’t know who brings a certain magic to their lives or if they’ve ever felt as though they’re living their own special fairytale. I never wonder if anyone lies in bed at night thinking about them, dreaming about them, crying over them. I don’t know who in their life appreciates their quirks – those weird little oddities that make them so wonderfully different from anyone else in the history of human existence. I don’t know who sees them in their raw, no-makeup, no-filter state and chooses to believe in their beauty and goodness anyway.
I don’t know who tells them that they are irreplaceably and irrevocably loved. I don’t know if anyone ever does, and it makes me want to cry.
Because I believe that you can fall in love with strangers – complete and utter strangers who you’ve only known for a few hours’ time. I’ve done it once before. Only once. But it was one of the most enchanted, unforgettably haunting moments in the entirety of my life.
I know how it feels to fall in love with a stranger, and I’m aching to fall again. I’m willing to fall in love with the people whose stories I don’t know, with the strangers who I happen to run into on a random Friday night, and with the future friends whose lives may be beautifully tragic – or simply tragic.
Maybe the love of my life is standing around the corner. Maybe my new best friend is ready to spill her most intimate secrets on listening ears. Maybe a life-changing moment is waiting to happen.
Above all, maybe someone else in this world just needs a little more love in their life.
That nameless classmate, the unmet next-door neighbor, the risk-taking, traffic-dodging biker, the High Street bar-hopper, the donut-shop regular and all the other everyday people who happen to cross our paths, if only for a fleeting moment.
We may only see them once in the course of our lifetime. Only once. We have one chance to love them, one chance to know them and one chance before they’re out of our lives forever.
I’m taking my chances, and I’m falling in love with these strangers – before I lose them.
I hope they know they are loved.