Monday, June 1, 2015

Letters

letters
via liz west
There are a lot of things I do not feel bad about getting rid of. Used tissues, for example, go straight in the trash can. Every now and again I’m willing to get rid of the things I hang on my walls, so that I can put new and different things up. I can throw out clothes I don’t wear, books I don’t read, and pens that do not work.

But it is incredibly hard for me to throw away letters.

I have a bunch of letters stored away in big envelopes—I found them cleaning out my room the other day, and took a few minutes to reread them. It’s no hard thing to get rid of the cards people just sign (Pro Tip: write an actual message under the card’s inscription, not just your name; it feels a lot more personal, even if it’s only a sentence or two). Other times, not so much…

I found letters with my Pen Pal from elementary school, and a birthday card from a friend I had moved away from. I think I have every birthday card my best friend has ever made me (which only serves to remind me that I never get her one; it is a good thing our friendship is not based off of my gift-giving skills). Things from grandparents, short notes from my mom that she put in my lunchbox. I found letters I wrote to myself, to give my future self a reminder of my past.

And I found letters my dad would write to me before I went to camp. I can remember the excitement of opening the letters he packed for me—usually one for every night. Every night I would spend time reading the words I knew he had written just for me, and share the jokes he enclosed. He enclosed so many jokes. Like, the majority of the letters were jokes—but that’s okay, because they still made me laugh and smile.

My dad made me laugh, but I think he put a lot into those letters I didn’t truly appreciate until now. I mean, I only just learned about Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke after taking economics, so when he brought them up I didn’t understand as well as I do now. But other things—an interest in talking about the stock market, always wanting to tell me the truth, and again, making me laugh and wanting me to be happy.

I think that’s why I have such a hard time throwing letters away. Some letters made me smile, and others made me tear up, but all of them seemed to do the same thing: they gave tangible evidence that someone loves me. Me.

Writing can do a lot of things for us—it can tell a story, tell us that the rent is due, record a recipe, and a multitude of other things. But my favorite thing about letters, paper letters with ink and writing and stickers and pictures and stamps, is that they say so much more than the words written on them.


Do you keep anything around that reminds you that you are loved? 

16 comments :

  1. I adore letters. I have three fancy-looking boxes dedicated to letters I have recieved from penpals and cards from family and friends. I write letters in journals and keep them to read later. To me letters are a bit of that person's heart that they're sharing forever with me on paper. It's super hard for me to throw them away! It's like they'll find out I threw them away and scold me! *hoards all the letters* Great Post :)

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    1. Wow, that's so cool! I should think of something similar myself! I don't write letters in my journals, but I tend to write letters to myself on paper and pen; I can't help but agree! It's exactly like you said: they're sharing their hearts on paper. :) Thanks for reading, Bethany.

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  2. I keep a lil memorabilia box in my closet that I can pull out on bad days. It is filled with birthday cards, letters, and sweet lil just because notes. I also have a scrapbook where I past photos, trinkets, pressed flowers, and written memories of times in which people did awesome things that I want to remember forever.

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    1. Aw, that's so sweet! I don't have a box or a scrapbook, but I still know how these are lovely memories to pull out on bad days and unfortunate events. It's awesome! :) Thanks for reading, Susanna!

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  3. This is so true! I always keep the letters that have meaning. By the way, I really like how you started this post. The first paragraph summed up my feelings exactly.
    Have a great day, Heather!
    -Bailey

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    1. Same way! *high fives* It's funny how we can throw some things away, and other things not at all.

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  4. Ooh, that's quite a cool thing to keep around as a memorial! I have a lot of trouble throwing away stickers and notebooks. The stickers are sometimes falling off but they remind me a childhood when I actually enjoyed plastering surfaces with painted plastic pieces. XD And notebooks for obvious reasons -- I don't care if the stuff in there is useful, it's just important.

    Psst, thought I'd remind you to watch the #WatchMeWrite since you did ask me to do so in your comment :P

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    1. Stickers are so fun! I can totally understand how hard it would to be to throw such things away. And obviously, never throw away a notebook. That would be WAY too much to part with, ever.

      OH YEAH THANKS I TOTALLY FORGOT THANKS

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  5. Aw, that's so neat that your dad would write you letters like that. :') I would probably never throw them away either.

    My friends and I used to write letters back and forth a lot. We went to church together, but that's about the only time we got to see each other since we lived almost an hour from each other (we always wished we could live right next to each other, or if we only had a teleportation machine. . .). So we'd exchange letters after church. I still have all of them along with some from a pen pal.

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    1. Yes, it's very, very special to me now that I'm so much older. I'll treasure them more as I get older and older.

      Oh, that's really cool! It's nice that you found a way to communicate despite the difference in area. I wish teleportation were a thing too, although I can't think of anyone I'd like to visit. And, hey, pen pals are just as cool. :D

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  6. I...am actually the least sentimental person I know. xD I throw away EVERYTHING. I don't think I have any cards left; I have a thing with clutter and they always end up being thrown away because I don't see myself being able to do anything with them and I can be stifling practical sometimes. *shrugs*

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    1. You've also mentioned that you don't like digital clutter, so that doesn't surprise me. XD But, you know, a clean place usually reflects a clean mind as well. Stifling practical people aren't all bad—someone has to get something done in this world. :)

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  7. Beautiful post! I'm actually the same about letters: I have every one that has been sent to me in the past 8 or 9 years, and possibly some from before that. Even little postcards with no special message, I saved them all. Not sure why (probably just because I'm a pack rat :p), but it is nice to look back on those. :)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. That's so cool! Nine years is a long time. It's always cool to look back and see who had you on their mind for all those reasons; and I think it's cool to know that other people work the same way as me. Thanks for your thoughts, Alexa!

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  8. It takes me a long time to decide to throw things out xD

    I love letters and cards, they are a great way to keep memories :)

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    1. XD I know what you mean. You just have to wonder if you're ever going to miss it!

      I agree; they're among my favorites. :)

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