Going outside of your comfort zone is always scary, but also always beneficial. I recently had a class assignment where I had to go to a random Chicago neighborhood and ask random Chicago strangers if I could take their picture and learn a little bit about them. Yes, it was basically a Chicago version of the blog, Humans Of New York.
A lot of people told me no, some people told me to get lost, but a few people told me the most interesting, the most captivating stories about their lives. While I wouldn’t do this on a regular basis, this assignment was a nice trip outside my usual comfort zone.
Here are the people I met and the stories they told:
“I don’t really like the Humans of New York blog. A friend sent me that and the first story I saw was about an abusive reform school. I could have gone my whole life without knowing that.”
“Wait, what’s that? I don’t know what that is…”
“That’s because you don’t know the difference between a Twitter and a blog.”
“I was a high school science teacher, had kids, and decided I didn’t want to go back. I fell in love with photography and now I get to make my own schedule. It’s been the best decision of my life.”
“I’m on my hungover walk. Every Saturday and Sunday. It’s better than attacking some greasy burgers to fight it off.”
“I’m from Ukraine and we came here 20 years ago, knowing no English. I learned it at Truman College, but now, I’m so old I’ve lost a lot of it!”
“Today’s my belated birthday day. We’re about a month late, but we figured today was a good day to celebrate. The plan is to go to the zoo—we go there all the time—then to Half-Shell for dinner, and finally to the movies to see that new Goosebumps movie.”