I miss you. I wish we could play together. Hope you’re having fun.
PS – If you could be any Powerpuff Girl, which one would you be? I’d probably be Bubbles. But since my hair isn’t blonde, I guess I’ll be Buttercup.
Alright, so I don’t exactly remember what I wrote in my very first mailed letter, but I remember who it was written to. I remember scribbling the address on the pink envelope in pencil and my mom instructing me to rewrite it in pen. I recall putting the letter in the mailbox and pulling up the flag for the mailman.
I vividly remember waiting.
Each day, I’d run down the driveway to the mailbox, eagerly hoping for a letter in return. Finally, the day came when I spotted that heart-stickered envelope with my name on it. Let me tell you – it didn’t matter if the letter came from my cousin or the Queen . . . the simple fact that I received a letter written especially for me is what made the moment so thrilling.
Since that very moment, I’ve been a writer.
From Letters to Journals to Blogs
As I grew up, letter writing to friends became less frequent and journal writing took its place. Now, I wasn’t writing to a specific person. I was writing to God about everyday circumstances, problems, hopes, and dreams. Though these letters went unread, I know they didn’t go unheard.
With every turn of the page, I’d pour out my heart in these journal letters, perfecting the craft that I learned to love with that original pink envelope.
It took 24 years and a whole lot of struggle to crack that journal open and share it with the world for the very first time. My goal was to pay homage to letter writing and my desire to share ordinary lessons from my journal, so I launched the Sincerely Letters and my very first letter on June 12, 2019.
There is no type of writing that I love more than writing letters to specific people at just the right time.
How Your Letters Can Impact Others
You know, there’s a reason why I fell in love with letter writing as a child and used it as a genre of writing for my blog. It’s the same feeling you might get when you deliver food to a sick family, hug someone tight, spend hours with a friend, or buy the perfect gift for someone. Letter writing is how I’ve learned to use my gifts to impact others for the better.
And I believe that letters can impact the way you live your life too . . . and I’m not just talking about the kind you stick in an envelope.
Letters are personal.
While the ideas for each of my letters come from life circumstances, I write each piece with one person in mind: You, the one walking through the same thing.
During times in my life where it felt like I was drowning in shame, all I really wanted was for someone to say, “Me too.” Those two words are the most freeing, life-giving, and personal words anyone can say. You see, letters allow us to be personal, even if they aren’t tucked into an envelope. When words are personal, they are powerful.
Perhaps your letters aren’t the written-kind. Maybe your letters are the kind that come from your oven or your wallet or your hands. Regardless, what are some personal ways you can regularly reach out to others with your letters?
Letters are inconvenient.
After a party or shower, it’s easiest to blurt out a thank-you and leave it at that. On the other hand, a thank-you note is inconvenient. It takes thought, time, and a little bit of money. It’s impact? More lasting, personal, and meaningful.
If we’re honest, it’s inconvenient to go out of your way for people. It’s inconvenient to remind people of their importance. The truth is that we all have one person in our lives that desperately needs a message in the middle of their season.
Is there something you would usually resist doing for someone else because it’s inconvenient? Try putting a date on your calendar to do the inconvenient thing. I promise, you will not regret it.
Letters are intentional.
Every letter, no matter how formal or informal, is written with a specific intention. On rare occasions, letters are written for no reason other than to say hi – but even these types of letters are written with an intention! To bring a smile to another person’s face.
Just as my letters are crafted for a specific person walking a specific road, your gifts can be used with intentionality. Find out your person’s current situation. After getting to know them more, ask yourself,
- What are this person’s fears, dreams, needs, and wants?
- How can I use my strengths to better their life?
- What would be the personal and inconvenient thing to do for this person?
Pick Up Your Pen
Each letter I sign on this blog ends with a “Sincerely.”
That’s for a reason. In my experience, the older people get, the harder it is for them to be sincere. In a world where performance is key to survival and success, image really matters. Rarely is it okay to say, “I’m not okay.” Seldom are people honest with themselves to voice, “I’m struggling.”
It takes courage and authenticity to be sincere, so as a reminder to myself after each letter, I sign it with “Sincerely.” Sometimes, that word will beckon me to go back and do some editing, because I’ll realize that my intention is more about making me look good than helping others feel good. Other times, “Sincerely” fires me up, because when you’re living your truth, being fired up is a natural result.
Today, I’m giving you the same challenge I’m giving myself:
Pick up your pen.
The one on the keypad or in your heart . . . You’ll know what to do from there.