I've written a lot of letters in my life; some to other people and most to myself. None of these letters were typed out. If and when they were, I called them e-mails.
I recently got back into the habit of writing long-winded and conversational letters. Not too long ago I shared one with a friend who was shocked that I still did this. I looked at her and wondered if there was something wrong with me. As it turns out, she was shocked because:
a) my handwriting was still legible... apparently in these days of the keyboard, peoples penmanship has taken a turn for the worse... and
b) she actually enjoyed reading it.
Some of the letters I have written have gone along the following lines:
When I was 12, I wrote a letter to myself at age 16. I wrote a list of things I needed to have done and accomplished by 16. I also wrote down my 12-year-old thoughts about how the world would look at age 16. I put the letter in an airmail envelope, and highlighted the front, "To Me at 16. Do not open till 16th Birthday." Strangely enough, on my 16th birthday (which, mind you, was life altering enough for me to never forget) it was the first thing I did. For four years I had played and replayed the contents of the letter in my head and knew exactly what was in that envelope as I opened it. Still, the idea of reading it thrilled me to no extent. Nevertheless, I had accomplished 2 out of the 10 things I had listed. I haven't written such a letter ever since. At 16 I learned never to set timelines for myself, because life should be lived small goals at a time.
I have written letters to three guys in my lifetime. One in elementary school, one in high school and one during my university years... this one ended up being one of those e-mails I mentioned earlier. Though I will never disclose the contents of these letters and to an extent, go flush-faced every time I think about them, I don't regret ever writing them. I have always found writing therapeutic. I find comfort in expressing my thoughts and ideas with a pen on paper, rather than speaking them out. When i do speak, I get nervous, I feel judged, I feel like a flake and I also find that I repeat myself.
I wrote a letter to my father at age eight. The I wrote one to him at 12... 14... 15...
I have written numerous letters to my family overseas. Most of the time, I never get a response. However, the letters I send never come back, so I know they receive them. Therefore, I keep writing.
I still think mail, the old fashioned way, has the power to bring a smile to anyone's face. However, bills or flyers do not count.
When I put my thoughts and ideas down on paper, I feel as though they are being absorbed into an honest place. The paper does not judge me... it just takes whatever I have to say, line after line. You may be wondering here, what I'm doing writing this blog via keyboard... Well, the content of this blog was written while I rode the subway a couple of nights ago, on my way home from work. In a book. With a pen... when I should have been reading for my 8 a.m. class the next day.