At 21-years old, I have been called a number of times, the oldest 21-year old you would ever see. While I hopefully think this would be a compliment on the wise advice I have (which no one seems to take), or my appreciation for the The Godfather and the AFL and ABA, it is usually for my mannerisms reminiscent of an AARP member.
At home, I will wake up at 8am to read a printed newspaper while eating a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. I prefer a dilapidated book over an E-book. And even though I text and email as frequent as any millennial college student who is employed, I also write handwritten letters. And this is a creative art I would love to see this digitally-teched generation return to.
Since the fall of my junior semester, a friend of mine who lives in California and I have routinely kept in touch via letters. We lived at Moore-Strong my freshman year, became close friends over the next two years and after she graduated, we did the normal things friends do after graduation. We of course kept in touch through Facebook and text.
However, I don’t remember why, but we thought it would be nice if we continued these conversations, but also added handwritten letters to our forms of communication. And as someone who typically writes a letter or two each month, it is craft I highly recommend to try.
Unlike a text or email, where you are juggling your ability to write as you watch “The Walking Dead,” with a letter, you are completely focus on the parchment in front of you.
Letter writing is a very personal activity as you think about the recipient of your words who sits miles away. It also allows you to just sit back and appreciate the person you are writing to. You want to make sure every word has meaning and is perfect, so you clean and edit your writing as neatly as possible.
And I tell you, it is truly a satisfying feeling to go to your mailbox and see that someone sent you a letter. Someone has taken the initiative and time to actually send their thoughts and emotions on paper, TO YOU. And though Skype is another great way to keep in contact, a letter is a more special and intimate channel.
You can reread that letter as many times as you want. It is something you can hold onto and want to read, rather joyful or upset.