Originally posted on July 12, 2013
When I was really young, I want to say 2-4th grade, because I really can’t remember when it was, (The memory thing you are going to learn is a big issue with me.) we all participated a in a pen pal project. Somehow I feel like I was still living in Louisiana when this happened, but I’m pretty sure many of the surrounding districts were doing the same thing.
We were to write a letter to a kid living in an underprivileged country, or at least that’s what I like to believe now as I don’t remember the exact details. Well, after a few corresponding letters passes between us and the kids we were writing to the teacher encouraged us to keep writing to our pen pal, but that we weren’t continuing the project in the class room anymore. I would hate to see what the contents of the letters contained. Those couldn’t have been very interesting conversations.
Well, not to speak for everybody else, but I did keep up the correspondence as long as possible. In reality, it was probably only a couple of months, but to a small kid it seemed as if we kept up our pen pal duty for about two years. As a young girl, I just knew that what I was doing was fun and not at all important. Now that I think back on it though, I feel that those kids found it even more amazing than we did. I feel bad for having stopped writing, but how could I have known the impact it would have on me, or that years later I will still wonder about that person that I was writing to and how they felt about the pen pal situation or even how they felt when the letters stopped coming.
Over the years I never had a pen pal of that sort again, but I’ve always wanted a way to start a pen pal relationship with somebody across country or even overseas, but who even knows how to get one of those going? So I do the most logical thing that comes next. I write to my friends. I send them letters all the time and every once in a while I receive a letter back.
My letters aren’t conventional. I have a very old style in the way I like to send my letters. Email, is the closest thing to a letter and using a phone or texting is too modern. There is something magical in putting pen to paper, your thoughts flowing through you, and letting someone know you care enough about them to take the time to sit and write by hand. There is nothing equivalent to it in the world.