I love letters.
As many of my friends can attest, I always ask for addresses when they move so I can send letters. Some friends write back, others don’t. In the end, I’ll still send the letters anyway. I know that it’s not everyone’s thing to write a letter, but I know they enjoy receiving them.
I love letters because there’s something intimate and personal about a handwritten note. Someone took the time to write you a letter, find a stamp and drop it in the mailbox. Of course I enjoy texting and social media because of the immediacy of information, but letters are beautiful and timeless.
I have two boxes of letters (and now I need a third!). A box for each stage of life, starting with high school, continuing through college and now for my twenties. Whether they are birthday cards or little notes or full-length letters, I keep them all.
I often look back at the musings of 15 year-old friends. I laugh at what we thought was important. I ponder the choices we made and the paths we took.
I meander through the college years, where we toed the line between long-distance friendships and staying connected to each other’s lives. I find notes of encouragement from points in life that were difficult.
And now begins the box of my post-grad/twenties stage.
To me, a letter is like a snapshot in time, more detailed than a photo, but more left to the imagination. I carefully read the handwritten words of my friends and am immersed for a short while in their lives- their questions of where they are supposed to end up, funny stories about boy drama, anecdotes from our past. I savor these moments that are almost a step back in time.
Letter writing is truly a lost art form. So maybe this year, instead of a birthday text, you’ll send an actual birthday card. Or when you go on vacation, send a postcard to a friend instead of a Snapchat. Or when you move far away from your friends, sit down and write a letter to let them know you’re doing just fine.