One of the hardest things I have had to do during this quarantine is be away from friends and family. Social interaction is what fuels me and keeps me going. I love to hang out with friends, go on drives with my family, and spend genuine time doing the things I love with the people I love. To say that having to social distance and keep trips to an essential minimum was tough, would be an understatement. Earlier this year I wrote a few letters to a few friends because I love the sentimental idea that even years down the road, I will be able to read the words they send me.
Quarantine had me in a slump, longing for authentic interaction with those I am closest with. This sparked an idea in my head. What if I start writing pen pals while we are all stuck at home? There is nothing better than the intimate message of pen to ink that can lift the spirits of anyone around you. So I created my pen pal list. I reached out to friends and family to get their address so I could write them a letter. My letters tended to relate to the positive silver linings that I had happening in my life, small stories, and funny events that may have happened recently. I was not expecting a response from any of my twenty pen pals, but the week after I sent my letters, I was shocked. My friends started writing back! From then on the conversations began. It was a race down to the mailbox every morning and a lighthearted anticipation for the next time the mail carrier went on her route, hoping I would be able to hear back from a friend today. For the first time I had more genuine conversations with my friends and was able to learn more about them than I ever knew. There is a different feeling a letter addressed to you has that you could never get from a Snapchat or text message. Writing letters has helped me clear my mind while keeping social interaction buzzing in my heart.
If I could leave you all with any advice it would be to write a letter. It could be to a grandparent or a close friend. It could be ten pages or ten words. As we continue to battle hardships in life, letters allow us to keep an open network of support that has a deeper sense of connection than a phone could ever give.