Do you remember the days of pen pals and handwritten letters? I do. If I close my eyes, I can clearly remember the anticipation of awaiting a letter in the mail. Seeing little scribbles and sketches on the envelope, surrounding my name and the seal of the envelope, was an indescribable feeling.
I remember the rush of emotions -- joy and gratitude. Joy at this little gift. Gratitude that someone had spent time thinking about me and that they wanted to share a piece of themselves with me. It was a beautiful experience, one I haven't had in years.
Letter writing is an art form. As much as we appreciate art, we've traded it in for efficiency. Letters can take a week or so to get to our recipients, but email and text messages send instantaneously.
Efficiency may be a step into the future, but it can be a cold, hard walk. People have endlessly debated whether or not we lose human connection in technology, but there's no denying the incomparable feeling of receiving a handwritten letter. It's the epitome of human connection over long distances. Anyone can send a quick email or text, and they can even think them out, but it takes more effort to write out your thoughts and feelings.
It takes a certain vulnerability. You can really tell a person's regard for you in the effort they've put into their letter, or in how they sign off their letter. Whether they sign it with "Love," "Regards," or even "Yours," you can see where your relationship stands in that moment.
Everything is more intentional with the written word.
You can't backspace if you make a mistake. You can't just delete it if you don't want to read it. You can hold onto it forever. I have personally kept every single card and letter I have ever received. They stay in a box and survive every move I've made.
Letters don't have to be bland, either. One of my favorite long-term pen pals was artsy, much like me. We decorated all of our letters with sketches and bursts of color. It was visually and emotionally appealing. You can make your message as old school or cool as you want.
When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone? I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and put thoughts to paper. I guarantee your time and effort will put a smile on someone's face. You don't have to spend a lot of money. Make a trip to the dollar store for some envelopes, buy some stamps, use whatever paper and pens you have lying around, and get to writing!