Posted in letters, WordPress, writing101

Reinvent the Letter Writing 101

giveaway1

Dear WordPress,

Today’s assignment is to reinvent the letter. May I ask what you mean? What is a letter other than a consonant or vowel used to make words? If you are referring to the archaic communication method of using a pen or pencil, paper, envelope and stamps to share my thoughts and feelings with another person in another location, I need to inform you that letter writing is a long-lost art. Today’s emotions, news, achievements, worries, love etc are shared via electronic media. Cell phones, Twitter, Instagram, E-mail, Facebook, WordPress there are so many ways that modern people share their lives. Lives are now on public display. It is old-fashioned thinking to consider a letter. Why would anyone want to share private thoughts, concerns and emotions with just another person? Why would anyone want to hold in his/her hand a piece of paper which shows someone else took time out of his/her busy schedule to put words to paper?

Of course I am being sarcastic but unfortunately, what I wrote is much too true for today’s generation. Communication is quick and efficient but not necessarily heartfelt. There are too many shortcuts, abbreviations and a real lack of time spent thinking about what they are writing. Words and thoughts are shared that will remain in cyberspace forever but most likely will not be remembered by anyone.

A real letter, words put to paper or card, share emotion in so many ways. Is there a hint of scent that reminds you of home? Of a lover? Of a friend? is the penmanship steady or does it show signs of age or worry or impatience? Is it descriptive, full of colorful words or does the writer choose simple words that feel as though the writer is holding back? How many times do you hold the letter? Smell the letter? Reread the letter? Save the letter?

I have a box of letter and cards that my ex-husband and I wrote when we were dating. While my marriage suffered an untimely death when my ex decided he had for 30 years a foot out the door. I have those letters and cards which speak of hopes, dreams and love. They are there for my children and any future generations to read, to hold, to smell and to get to know us 100 years from now.

Posted in communication, friendship, love, Mail, Writing

Text vs Email vs Letter

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According to the internet there are six billion texts and 100 billions emails sent every day. Personal, handwritten letters are almost extinct. When I searched online for how many letters are sent everyday all I could find were estimates from several years ago and it was for total pieces of mail. The number was about 700 million which would include advertisements, bills and just general junk mail. So there is no definitive answer to how many personal letters are sent daily.

Should it matter how you communicate as long as you communicate with those you love? Speed would be the primary argument in favor of a text. You write it. You hit send. And the message is almost instantaneously received on the other end. Argument for e-mail is that it allows a time trail of communication with each email sent being time and date stamped. So aren’t those methods the best? Don’t they make the most sense?

If you are trying to send a simple message, then yes, those methods work. But I was thinking about the importance of a handwritten note or letter and why it has so much more significance. First it takes time and effort to hand write a note, then address an envelope, stamp it and mail it. So just the very act of doing it says to the receiver you care. Second meaning can be carried in the handwriting itself. Handwriting is personal. Everyone has a slightly different style. And over time a recipient can see changes in the writing. Does your mother’s hand look weaker than normal? Is your friend stressing certain words differently? Next, a note or letter can carry the scent of the person who wrote it. We’ve all heard of the perfume scented letter but what about one that has the scent of smoked wood, or vanilla or anything that leaves a personal mark. It creates a sense of being closer when you are aware of the scent of the sender. And if we only communicate by text and email, when we are gone from this world what will remain of us? How will future generations know we loved our family and friends? What written evidence will be left? Certainly not our texts and emails.

So take a chance. Go buy some inexpensive note cards (they usually don’t allow a lot of room for writing so the sender doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the need to fill the page), buy some stamps, compile a list of five friends or family members and write them a short note. Make it a habit. When I receive a note or letter in my mailbox among the bills or junk, it completely brightens my day and all for under $1.

Posted in Blogging, Dreaming, Experience, Faith, family, friends, God, Hiding, love, New life, Uncategorized, Writing

Why don’t I listen?

Our assignment in writing 101 was to look back at our posts and stats. Clearly the letter I wrote to myself was the most popular. As I reread the post I am slapped in the face with an ugly fact, as good as the advice is, I don’t take it. I need it. I definitely need to take my own advice but I am fighting an internal war.

Little battles are raging and I can’t seem to find the energy and focus I need to not only win a few battles but to ultimately win the war. I have to completely rethink who I am and what my life meant and what it will mean. It’s like I have spent 30 years looking into a warped mirror so the reflection I saw wasn’t the real me. It was the warped image controlled by my ex-husband that I saw. I saw only what the narcissist wanted me to see.

Now it’s imprinted on my brain. All those warped messages are carved deeply into the recesses of my mind. Can the damage be undone? I am not sure. Websites about narcissistic abuse have helped but finding a counselor that understand the seriousness of the damage done by a narcissist isn’t easy. I only have health insurance through the end of the year so if I don’t find someone soon that can help me see my reflection as it truly is, I have no idea what I will do.

So fellow bloggers, keep me in your prayers. I haven’t found a job and I am weary of the search. I am weary period.

Posted in New life

Reinvent the letter

letter

  This is an interesting assignment because on my other blog Living Like Demelza I wrote a post about the lost art of letter writing. I hand write letters almost daily and mail them to friends and family. I am choosing to write a letter to my younger self.

Dear Dede,

I know you will doubt the authenticity of this letter. You’ll wonder how you could actually receive a letter from your future self. It doesn’t really matter how it happened, just be thankful that it happened. As a parent, I realize you may take none, some or all of my advice. All I ask is that you seriously ponder what I have to say because if you choose to listen and embrace what I say, I can guarantee your future life will be better than what I made of it.

  1. You are loved. I know you doubt that statement. When your mother yells, “you just wait, one of these days you’re going to do something and I’ll be out of here”, she isn’t saying you are the cause of her problems. She is just frustrated, unhappy and fights depression. She loves you and she needs your compassion.
  2. You are smart. Your family might tease you and say, “well you just think you’re so smart” but they don’t do it to make you feel bad. They just don’t know how to say you’re smart and it makes them proud. Sometimes they don’t understand how to talk to you. That’s okay. Be proud of yourself.
  3. Dream and dream big. Don’t bury your dreams because no one at home encourages you. Dig deep and find your own drive and go study in France. Find a way. If you don’t, you’ll spend the rest of your life regretting it.
  4. Stop comparing yourself to everyone. God created each of us to be unique. What a boring world it would be if we all looked the same and thought the same, the world would be a boring place. Ready the book, People by Peter Spier. It is a simple book but you will understand being different is a good thing.

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5.  Take care of your body. Exercise. You aren’t always going to be able to eat ice cream without consequences. You can’t start slow. Love your body. It is healthy. Keep it healthy and understand that there is no perfect body. There is no need to change what you have, but take care of it.

6. It is great to be in love but not all men are worthy of your love. They will use you and do their best to undermine all the confidence you have built. They will try to convince you that you are less than other women and should feel grateful they love you. They won’t beat you with their fists, but they will use words, mind games, your own insecurities to their benefit. Learn about narcissistic personality disorder. Learn to spot their traits because if you don’t, you are destined to make a huge life mistake.

7. Beautiful things are wonderful. Living in a big house is great. A luxury car is nice but things are not what makes life wonderful. Fill your life with memories, not with things. You will be able to keep the memories for a lifetime but things wear out, get lost, go out of style or you just tire of them. And if your happiness is based on things, you’ll never have enough. The empty hole you are trying to fill will never be full.

8. Trust God’s plan. I know sometimes you like to get ahead of yourself. You want to help God out and take care of things for Him. It is not necessary. That doesn’t mean to sit around and do nothing. What it does mean is to surround yourself with Godly men and women, find a church home, get involved, spend time in God’s word. Take time to be quiet and listen. It is the only way to hear Him.

9. Be creative. Learn to play an instrument. You don’t have to be perfect at it, but learn it anyway. Try painting, writing, sewing etc. Keep your creative juices flowing. Your creativity is one of your greatest gifts. Don’t let fear stop you from going down that path.

10. Know that you are loving, kind, compassionate, empathetic, fun, beautiful, smart, a life long learner, a truly wonderful person. Never question your value.

You are probably shaking your head and thinking who is this person. Why is she telling me all of this stuff? What does she know that I don’t know? I am you. I allowed insecurities, fear and a narcissistic man to destroy my very core being. I am now having to rebuild it ground up at age 55. I can say he gave me the two greatest gifts in my life, my two daughters. If you make different choices he won’t be in your life, but I am confident God will still send you the same two wonderful girls so don’t feel any pressure to marry quickly. Save this letter. Read it daily if you must. Memorize it. Hold on to it. It will change your life.

Your future self, Dede