Spreading the Joy of Snail Mail
Writing is that loyal love that always makes me feel great, yet I neglect. Whenever I make the time for it, I feel empowered and more creative and genuinely happy. It's my way of taking all of the thoughts, ideas, and feelings that I have running amuck in my head and getting them out. Then why don't I do it all the time? I don't have an answer for that, just excuses.
Last year, I decided to no longer neglect my loyal love and to dedicate more time to writing. I set a stretch goal of writing every single day. And not just jotting down an idea on the Notes section of my phone or scribbling in a journal, but writing to someone. Every. Single. Day. Whether it be a 3 page letter, a post card from a new destination or even a quick hello on hotel stationary, I was going to be writing. To connect with people through prose. To spread the joy only snail mail can provide. To improve my penmanship because even I can't read it sometimes. To commit to something.
And write I did. I wrote to people if they crossed my mind. I wrote to people when they had life changing events. I wrote to people who needed a reminder how incredible they were. I wrote to people just because. I wrote letters to loved ones, even if I talked to them daily, as well as to strangers. I wrote on planes. I wrote from hotel rooms. I wrote from bed. I wrote from places near and far. I even once paused a date because I needed to write a letter (for the record, he was amused and found it adorable). I carried extra cards and stamps in case someone decided they wanted to write to someone as well. I just wrote.
Did I end up writing every day? No, I didn't. But I wrote a lot. There are a lot of letters that are written in my head but I haven't put to paper yet, the same way there are some sealed and addressed cards floating around in random bags in my home. Some letters may never make it to their recipient, not because I forgot about them, because I'm not ready to show them--some letters may be addressed to someone but they were written for me. How about the letters I did send? Well, some of them never made it to their intended destination (gotta love the postal system), but many of them did. And they were received with surprise and joy. They brought a smile to faces as the message was received and read (or barely read because while I hoped this would improve my penmanship, it missed the mark on that one). They spread joy. They reconnected me, or deepened the connection. And every once in a while, I was pleasantly surprised with a letter back.
I almost forgot about this goal and project of mine, until I received a reply tonight from a letter I had written earlier this year. While the act of receiving non junk mail was enough to make me smile, the memory of the goal I had taken on, as well as who wrote me back, will likely keep me cheesing well into tomorrow. While reaching a goal has its own highs associated with it, the journey towards reaching the goal was meaningful in its own way. I may not have reached my goal, but the thing about goals is that you can always try again, and try again I shall.