Its Quarantine 2020: you just finished how to bake sour dough bread from a video off of Tiktok and now you’re scrolling through your social media feed, finding what can bog your time until its close enough to bed time so you can look at memes in bed rather than the couch.
Don’t worry most of us are doing a very similar routine, but I think I got something that can spice up your day a bit.
If you’re like me you are missing the small moments in the day.
Not the big planned hang outs with your co-workers and friends, but more so the person you see in the hallways at school or the passerby’s at work. It is those little meaningless interactions that we are now finding out are truly meaningful.
Yet even if we do end up calling our friends, everything feels like a chore right? And how many times can you tell your friends you “haven’t been doing much lately”?
It’s time to get personal and connect with one another in ways that stretch beyond your 13 inch computer screen.
Send them a letter because:
1) Letters are always unique to the recipient
Whether it’s the penmanship, the content inside, the way it is dated to fit a certain time frame in each of your lives or it just has some cute artwork on it, letters are inherently meant to be sent to single person as a message.
The envelope keeps them hidden to the public, and its even a crime to open mail that isn’t yours (who knew smail could get so much leverage in court huh?).
For example, a couple years ago I used to send one of my friends my color pencil drawings and even more recently I sent an previous highschool literature teacher of mine one of my midterm essays about Hitchcock this month because we connect over film!
Every relationship is different but its about how receiving a letter makes the other person feel.
2) Letters are wonderful to open
Receiving a letter nowadays is like finding a five dollar bill on the ground because you decided to take a different route for your walk than usual.
It’s one of those events, however small, to celebrate and leaves a lasting impact.
I’ve been sending letters to my friends for the past 3 years. I started out with one penpal, who I met working at a summer camp, and soon that became two and three, and they somewhat rotate in and out because you don’t always need to send letters to the people that are actively part of your life.
Yet with all of us isolated, its an opportunity to share your personal stories with someone.
Tell them about how you tried to make that whipped coffee and were confused at how aesthetic it looked but didn’t change the flavor (I haven’t tried, but it looks like it just takes longer to make than regular).
Or how you recently found this wonderful recipe for your pasta and cooking has been one of the things that make you happy everyday. Or the music you listen to, or the shows you’ve been interested in, the different things you’ve decided to learn, or even how difficult life is right now.
3) They serve as a documentation for your life
One of the main reasons I started writing to more friends is the idea of legacy.
Life is unpredictable, now more than ever.
A couple years ago, someone in my community passed away unexpectedly and it shocked a lot of us, especially because they were my age (I’m currently 19).
Yet from it, I thought more about what it is I desire from life, and what I want to be remembered by.
I realized that although the interactions I had with people will stick with them as a memory, letters are like checkpoints in life that document a certain period with your struggles and victories.
They remember the people you had a crush on in the cold November of 2018, but didn’t work out because you had different life plans. They remember the efforts you’ve been taking in your new job and how its been such a wonderful adventure for you, but a demanding one nonethless.
They remember who you are; stories that can be read, and read again without hesitation in their desire to be heard.
So start writing!
Grab a paper envelope, or make one out of a Youtube origami tutorial and write to someone you love. Tell them you love them and help show them that you still care.
Life is different right now, but its still beautiful.