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8 Unforgettable Humans of New York Stories that Touched Our Hearts

Walk in someone else’s shoes.

| January 5, 2018

4. This ER nurse that remind us that it’s okay to admit that we’re hurting (October 18, 2016)

“I don’t communicate my feelings. My entire family was like that. We’ve always sort of just swept things under the rug. I think that’s what makes me a good ER nurse. I don’t take things home with me. I can separate myself emotionally and just focus on what needs to be done. But it also makes me pretty bad at relationships. I met Gavin while traveling in Europe last year. We traveled together for two weeks, then he came home and met my family, and then we went to Mexico for a week. After that, we talked every day. Gavin was the opposite of me. He was warm and happy and touchy. He’d even tell random strangers that they looked nice. But I pulled back the moment we got too close. Because I don’t like the feeling of being dependent on someone. Gavin was killed in a car crash at the end of January. He was alone in England and I didn’t even find out until days after it happened. I’ve tried to handle it like I always do. I try not to think about it or talk about it. But it’s not working so well this time. I’m taking things more personally at work. If a patient comes to the ER with similar injuries, I always ask myself: ‘What if this was Gavin?’”

 

3. This writer who inspired us to pursue our dreams (March 23, 2016)

“I graduated fifteen years ago with a degree in theater, but I wasn’t really doing anything with it. I was working at a theater box office. I was writing just enough so that I could tell people I was a ‘playwright.’ I’d tell my wife I was going to the coffee shop to write, but I’d end up just staring at the screen. I was about to give up completely. The city has a way of crowning young geniuses that makes you feel old. But my wife always had an unending belief that I had something to offer. It got to the point where even that belief was hard to hear because it made me feel like I was letting her down. Finally, a friend of mine convinced me to do a small reading at his theater. He just kept bothering me about it. And when I finally agreed, so many other people stepped forward to help. I wasn’t living in the vacuum I thought I was. Once I lit the fire, people came and sat around it. So many people were willing to lend their craft to my idea. I’ve put on four plays in the past three years. They’ve all been very small productions. I’m much more frantic and stressed now. I lay awake at night wondering if I’m going to sell any tickets. But at least my life has urgency and purpose. My wife is proud of me. Though now I’m sure she wishes I wasn’t so absentminded. And that I’d remember to close the front door. And that our living room wasn’t always filled with props.”

 

2. This kid who just might become a president in the future (October 24, 2016)

“I was born in Venezuela. I moved here two years ago. I want to be President of Venezuela to change things and make better the world. Did you know that sometimes in Venezuela people shoot each other on purpose? I will change that. Also, there will be rules against pushing people or thinking bad thoughts about people. I will make a rule so that there will not be too much cutting or killing of trees. And there will be a rule against killing too many animals because animals eat insects, and we can’t have too many insects. I will also make sure that we don’t waste water or food. Or if there is food left over, we have to be sure to put it in the trash. I can’t be president now because I’m only eight. But I did skip first grade.”

 

1. This piece of advice from the former President of the United States (November 10, 2016)

“I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working. But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself—if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ – then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.”

 

What’s your favorite HONY story? Share with us in the comments section below!