Hey friends, happy Saturday!
I hope your week has been going well. It’s been a pretty busy one for me here at school. Aside from classes,work, and skating on the canal, I’ve also had interviews and training for some volunteer organizations I’ve been working on getting involved with here in Ottawa. More to come on that as soon as it’s all confirmed!
But this week I also set aside an hour of time to do something seemingly small but oh so special. I wrote a letter to a friend who’s currently living out of the country. I bought a pretty card, caught her up on what’s been going on in my life, wrote some little encouragements, decorated the envelope and then sent it off. I wrote another one to my sister, wishing her luck with her high school exams. It’s such a small thing to do but I know that when I get a letter in the mail it is so exciting. I think this is for two main reasons.
- It’s unusual. With the crazy connectivity of social media, we kind of have no reason to send each other “snail mail”. It’s just not a social norm anymore. Why bother when you can send someone a text and get an instant response or call them on FaceTime? So when you get a letter in the mail, it’s totally out of the ordinary and that makes it exciting.
- It’s personal. Getting a letter means that someone was thinking of you. It means they took time out of their day to intentionally sit down and communicate with you, even when you weren’t together. It shows that they truly care enough to keep in touch. I think that letter writing is the most personal form of communication other than actually talking face to face.
Honestly, it’s just special. And I love doing it, it’s kind of fun to sit down and actually write things by hand and make little jokes and address the envelope….it feels novel! So here are some “tips and tricks” to send some snail mail of your own!
- Write naturally. This is your friend! You don’t have to try and sound the way you think a letter is supposed to sound or start and end a certain way. Greet them the way you do in real life, tell them a story. Remind them of an inside joke. Write the way you talk. It’s just an ink and paper chat.
- Be encouraging. Getting a letter in the mail can be such a joyful occurrence. It’s like an unexpected ray of sunshine in a regular day! So write some kind words of encouragement, tell them you’re proud of what they’re up to or that you’re grateful for their friendship. It’s just nice to hear and be reminded of the things they already know. And the best part about it being written in a letter is that they can read over it another day when they need a friendly word.
- Decorate the envelope. This is my absolute favourite part! It’s so fun and the envelopes look so cute afterwards. I always draw flowers and little designs on the envelopes when I send mail to people. In my mind, I also always think that it might make the mail carriers smile. It’s worth the extra time.
Maybe it’s because my love language is words of affirmation or just because I love to talk and letters are an excuse to jabber on without interruption, but I really think that writing mail is a lost art form that we should revive. I realized how much it means to me to get a card at camp the past couple of summers; getting mail literally gave me so much joy it was ridiculous. Especially when it was from my old campers!
I tend to be pretty bad at keeping in touch with people long distance (sorry friends) but writing a letter is an intentional and momentary activity: a one shot deal. I’m actually able to “talk” to people without feeling like I have to be in constant contact via Snapchat or text.
So that’s that. Just a quick little post about something I’ve been trying to do more of and why I think it’s so great. Send a letter this week to someone you love and let them know you were thinking about them!
Until next time,