I always feel better after writing a letter. Whether it’s a paragraph long or three pages, my body always feels calmer. There’s a strange sort of romance to letter writing. And a nostalgia that is hard to describe. It makes me feel more connected to the person I am writing to. You see, there’s an intimacy to seeing the way somebody curves their s or loops their e.
I began writing letters to my friends when we went our separate ways for university. It was a way to stay connected with my two best friends who were miles away. And though there was (and still is) texting and instant messaging and Snapchat and Skype, it always felt more real to send a letter. My relationships felt stronger because I could see the emotions in the writing.
I am a sloppy writer when I am fraught with emotion. When I’m really missing my friends or I’m upset there’s a drawn out, deliberate style that comes forth. But when I’m really, truly happy, my writing changes. There’s a rushed, cramped style that only shows when I feel the excitement in my bones and I’m trying to get it all out on paper.
It’s impossible to see these things in a font like Times New Roman on a backlit screen. So I write letters. To convey my emotions and with the vague hope that my friends will feel them like I did when I was writing the letter. I feel like that romance and intimacy that comes from being next to someone sitting in silence also comes through in my letters. And I like that. I like it a lot.
So I write. And it cramps my hand and makes me feel 80 years old but, I like that, too.