My Open Letter To Open Letters

My Open Letter To Open Letters

Dear Open Letter, I am so over you.
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If we're being honest here, I was never really into you. I'm still struggling to understand how this craze and fascination everyone seems to have for you has carried out for this long. Here, let me explain.

At first, I sort of got it. I remember scrolling down on my Facebook wall and seeing some Open Letter from a parent to a child, and I clicked on it. It was sweet. Vulnerable. A powerful imagery of love that I could see resonated with many.

After a little while, though, you started making a regular appearance on my wall. I found myself reading the titles given to you and feeling content to keep on scrolling. I had read a few, I'd seen it all. Then when I read the Humans of New York's letter to Donald Trump, I thought I'd give you a second chance. But alas, my enthusiasm for you was smothered once again.

You had become a quick format for people to complain, rant or flaunt some relationship or opinion that I didn't ask to hear. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate vulnerable writing, I value when someone pours their heart out on a page—God knows that's all I do—but if someone is going to write a letter, at least make it eloquent, not just relevant.

It seems to me that you're really just verbal vomit on a page. I want more than this from you. I want to be surprised by how angry you make me or, if you are going to be used to be blatantly superficial, it should be done so with a cynical or satirical lens. Point is, I want my brain engaged. Besides, anyone can verbally vomit, and anyone can engage people's emotions, it's not that difficult.

With all this said, I do not want to put the blame on you, dear open letter, for how people have mistreated you. You have potential, you really do. So I would like to take this opportunity to instead thank you for one aspect of yourself that I admire: you have gotten people writing letters.

The lost art of letter writing has been brought back to the light, thanks to you, and no matter how poorly written they may be, it's enough to see letters circulating once more.

As most young, typical strong-minded women fascinated by literature do, I love Jane Austen. This period of history fascinates me, and as romanticized as it may be, I find myself looking back lustfully on the days when someone would slave over a letter for a loved one, or for a friend far away.

I have recently been writing letters to a friend of mine studying abroad in Oxford and it has been an absolutely gratifying and refreshing experience. I would like to see more people writing letters that do not have to be shared with the world—that shouldn't be shared with the world.

I want to see letters how they were meant to be: intimately and exclusively shared between the sender and receiver. I would like to see people motivated to sit down and write a letter that won't be on display. And I would most certainly like to see someone sit down and write a letter just for themselves, perhaps write down their opinion in letter form and mull over it, correct it, form it. And then never choose to share it.

I know. It's a groundbreaking thought.

Moreover, there's something secretly delicious about a hand crafted letter, something beautifully rare and nostalgic. I wish we had more of this quiet isolated letter writing, and less of this hyper aggressive megaphone writing that has turned me so completely off to you. Maybe I haven't quite given you a chance.

You aren't all that bad—but don't start counting me in as one of your fanatics.

Yours respectfully,

Lindsey

Cover Image Credit: hercampus.com

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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