This week, I got two letters. One from a college best friend, and one from a California best friend. It was so fun to get actual mail! This week, I also went through some old letters from when I moved to Indiana from North Dakota when I was 13. It was also really fun to read through some of those, though I couldn’t make it through all of the high school angst before needing a break. I also have letters from Carl saved somewhere, and letters from college friends from summers away.
It made me really consider how special “real” letters are. Yes, email and Facebook are great for quick connections. I even have some older messages saved on old email accounts, and I could read through them. But the personal nature of letters, the handwriting itself even, make reading through them so much more special. It’s almost like reading the other side of my journal. I wrote letters that expressed similar feelings to what I might write in a journal, and these old letters provide the reflection from someone else back.
I’m getting ready to leave for 5 weeks for clinical boot camp. I will be away from home until July 29th, with a brief trip back for the 4th of July weekend. It’s not quite vacation, as I have a lot of work to do when I’m there. Still, I know I will have more time to myself, and a personal goal for this summer is to write letters. To those friends mentioned above, to Carl, and to the kids. I want them to have something special to look forward to when I’m gone, so I plan on writing to them each night and sending a daily letter. I make no promises about how often I’ll write to others this summer, but I’m going to write. This new habit may not make it far into the school year, when I again get behind on classwork and lesson plans and IEPs. But for the summer, in this more relaxed time, it doesn’t matter that I can type much, much faster than I can write by hand. I still will have 30 minuets a day to write some letters, to share encouragement with others, and to maintain connections that are very important to me. So, two friends mentioned above, be on the lookout for letters! One of them is already done, in fact, and should be on the way later today.