January 15, 2014

an unprovoked argument for letter writing

I'm taking a break from my unplanned blogging hiatus to scribble out my feelings on the importance of letter writing.

(HELLO BLOG! It's been over a month! Oops...)

The decline of handwritten letters has been an unfortunate result of, let's face it, the internet. Now, by no means am I complaining about the wwww (Wondrous World Wide Web), so hear me out!

Without the internet I honestly say that would not be in England right now. Without the security of (fairly) easy communication with my family and being able to see Drew's handsome face at least once a week...

(flashback to the October when we didn't have internet and I thought I was going to die and be shipped home to my parents in a box)

...there is absolutely no way I would have had the courage to take this crazy life detour. I love that I can check in on my friends via Facebook and twitter. I adore the fact that things like iMessage and Viber exist. I enjoy documenting my travels and oversea experiences on Instagram. FaceTime is my best friend, etc.

HOWEVER, I am mourning the loss of letter writing as an art form in our generation.

As a lifetime note hoarder and personal journaler (yeah yeah, "journaler" isn't really a noun but I am by no means a "journalist" so whatever) it was easy for me to transition into letter writing when Drew left for bootcamp this past summer. Since we weren't able to communicate at all apart from the coveted weekly letter, those letters became conversations. Conversations with ourselves about struggles of the day, longings of our hearts, the bitterness of separation, prayers for strength, and as much encouragement as written words can possibly provide.

Hooray for an email or text message than can be read one whole second after the writer hits the "send" button, no denying that! But what is to be said about the time and energy that goes into physically writing a letter? The character of personal handwriting? The anticipation of actually having REAL mail in your mailbox? The beauty and detail of stamps....I mean there's a reason people have entire collections of the silly (expensive) things! There's a reason why "evites" still haven't really caught on and there's a reason why writen cards, invitations, and thank-you's are still the social standard.

*sidenote, ecards should NOT be a thing. No one likes them. No offense.

That reason is personal connection.

When our parents were in college, they wrote and received letters from their parents! How awesome would it be to have those to reflect back on your relationship? Wouldn't it increase the gratitude and affection that you feel for them?

When our grandparents were young, the wrote love letters to each other during the war....imagine the history and love story in those letters!! BOOKS are written from letters, history is discovered through letters, inspirational quotes are pulled from personal letters...and what are we giving ourselves? Super crappy, disorganized, and eventually deleted archives of emails.

I fell 100% more in love with Drew by exchanging letters with him this summer, and still enjoy writing him letters while I'm in England even though we are lucky enough to talk on the phone daily. I feel more connected to those that I've had the time to send notes to, and I need to do more of that. I feel 100% more affection and more connected to people who have bothered to send me even a short note or a Christmas photo card while I've been here. I appreciate you all more than you know and will cherish your written words of encouragement for the rest of my life! (Like I said, serial note-hoarder).

So, end dramatic rant of the day. Go write someone a letter letting them know how much they mean to you! I promise you won't regret it.



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