The Value of a Handwritten Letter

The Value of a Handwritten Letter

Bringing back a soon-to-be ancient art form.
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In a day and age where convenience trumps sentiment, we're settling for the bare minimum when it comes to communication and emotional expression. There is a reason why your mother always made sure you wrote thank-you notes after every birthday. There's a reason why getting a letter in the mail is so exciting. Writing someone a letter is the rawest and most genuine way of showing them the importance of the words you have to say. It is a truly unique way to show someone how much they mean to you.

The great thing about handwritten notes or letters is that they don't have to be anything fancy to be meaningful. A messily-written ramble on a piece of scratch notebook paper can mean just as much as a beautiful, calligraphic letter written on the finest stationary. They both say, "You're important to me, and I wanted to take the time to write down these thoughts so that you can hold onto them forever." As the old saying goes, "It's the thought that counts," (not the handwriting). It can be a three-page love letter, or a simple, two-sentence note – no matter the length, there's something special about getting words from a loved-one in the form of a physical, handwritten message.

One of my favorite things about handwritten letters is that you can keep them for however long you want, and revisit them at any time. A screenshot of a sweet text doesn't quite measure up. There is emotion and passion behind hand-forged sentences. With every wisp of ink, you can feel the essence of its writer.

Unfortunately, this method of communication is seriously underrated today. As I once told a friend, "Split-message texts are the love letters of the 21st century," and unfortunately, that's the truth. We're saving screenshots to our camera roll instead of precious letters in a shoe box. We're replacing thoughtful little notes with kissy-face emojis and telling ourselves that the sentiment is the same.

Our generation is all about speed and convenience. But, to be honest, sometimes you have to slow down to show someone how much you care.

Want to show your significant other how much you love him/her? Write down how you feel about them in a letter and seal it with a kiss. Want to show your mom how much you appreciate her? Leave a thankful note for her in the kitchen. Mail a funny card to your friend who lives across the state/country/world just to let them know you're thinking about them. I promise you it will mean much more than you know.

While phone calls and text messages are easy ways of letting someone know you're thinking of them, there is magic in the permanence of a physical, handwritten note. So go get out a pen and a piece of paper, and write a letter to someone you care about. Maybe we can start re-filling each other's boxes with sweet sentiments, and leave the texting for making plans.

Cover Image Credit: theguardian.com

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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