“Free hugs. Free. Hugs. Who doesn’t like free? Better yet, who doesn’t like free when it comes with a hug from someone not creepy. Creepy is relative though. I definitely chased some people down and forced a hug on them. I told them they would thank me later. That may or may not have been creepy. I’m not in jail, so I’m going to go with “not creepy.”
This all started 8-ish years ago when the free hugs video came out. I didn’t see it until a couple of years later and since then I wanted to be apart of it. I kept telling my self every 8 months or so, “soon. Find the perfect place and do it.” But the reality was, I was more afraid of the rejection and failure of the project than anything so I continually put it off.
So I connected with The Bucket List Life and they helped pick a day, set a time and we did the damn thing. I had one goal of finding that one person who needed a hug more than anything and be the person to change their whole day. I achieved that goal and so much more. I started with an arbitrary number of 25 hugs or something to that effect and quickly surpassing that goal, we kept walking.
I will not forget this one lady who came running at me to give a hug. I thought she was running away! But the person who had the biggest effect on me was a woman who gave me a hug and said “thank you…I needed that” with tears in her eyes as she walked away. That was what I had been waiting for. All I could do was smile as she walked away, with tears of my own.
I guess the best advice I have for someone who wants to do something like this is, JUST DO IT. Seriously. You won’t regret it. For every person I had turn me down, I had 5+ come running for hugs. Literally running. Or group hugs; I had one guy stand away from his group of friends and I said, “don’t you want to join?” and he goes “yeah, but I want my own.” Haha! Pick a project, set a date, establish a time and just freaking do it.
Forget the fear. Forget the rejection. People will end up changing you in ways you would never have expected. I live in Colorado and I was high all day long- off the rush of the 2 hours spent giving free hugs!
Thank you to The Bucket List Life for helping me check off this item! #thebucketlistlife rocks!”
~ Cassie Beermann