Goal #50: Have a Pen Pal

Letter from my pen pal

I officially have a pen pal! I got my first letter from my lovely pen pal Thistles and Whistles over the weekend. After realizing that we both have 101 things to do in 1001 days lists AND that both our lists contained the goal “have a pen pal,” a great idea was instantly born and we quickly exchanged contact info. Isn’t the internet an amazing thing? I don’t think we stop frequently enough to marvel at the potential connections and information always and instantly available. Never thought making a new pen pal friend from the UAE would be so easy!

It’s such a lovely experience to sit down in front of a blank piece of paper, scribble down some thoughts and opinions, telling someone halfway across the world about your life, then wrap it all up with an envelope and stamp and send it out on its long journey across the ocean. It’s almost like journaling, but you actually have a person reading and responding on the other end.

But what I really love about letter writing is the lack of instant response that we’ve all gotten so used to. Those different shades of pings, dings, and beeps regularly drawing us away from the present moment and uncontrollably pulling our gaze toward our phones and computers. With letter writing, you sit down with your cup of coffee, your most attractive stationary, your best inky black pen, and you use as much paper as feels necessary to tell another human what’s going on in your life. You don’t want or expect an instant reply. You want to wait. You want that other person to open your letter and leisurely read it over their cup of coffee. You want them to mull over what you told them for several minutes to several days before they pull out their best stationary and favorite inky black pen and give a thorough and well thought out response. You want to have forgotten about the letter you sent until several days or weeks later when you open your mailbox, surprised and delighted when you finally hold their response in your hands.

Speaking of which…time for me to compose my response! Hope you all get something good in the mail today.

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