I wanted to share my guest blog post on The Letter Project blog. The Letter Project is an organization that writes letters to women and girls from ages 5-100 years old to empower them when they need the extra support. Letter bundles are requested by family and friends or the girls/women themselves and sent out in hopes that they will find comfort in the kind word. Check out the entry below that I shared on my experience for this wonderful charity. If you’re interested in getting involved, please visit theletterproject.org.
The year of 2020 was a challenge for me. I was dealing with the “new normal” of a pandemic but I was also forced to confront my lowest point of mental health head-on. I began talk therapy in August 2020 and am still actively going. In therapy, I talk a lot about myself, but my first therapist decided to send me on the journey of talking to others. My anxiety was very severe at that point in my treatment and I needed to be taken out of my own head and find the connection that I was missing so much in a world where social distancing was a safety measure. To fulfill the missing connection, he wanted me to write letters to other people also in need of connection or encouragement. I went to Google and started looking for the right fit of letter writing and how I could embark on a safe and emotionally fulfilling journey, which is how I found The Letter Project. I signed up to become a letter writer and began to read through the requests for bundles from the women and girls on behalf of themselves or the family and friends on the behalf of their loved ones. After reading through the requests and writing my first initial letter, I was hooked.
I loved the idea of sending encouragement out into the world to others who needed it, just like I did and still do sometimes. I loved reading the brave stories of people who solicited help for themselves, but I am also touched by those who solicit help for the loved ones who may not always see themselves as worthy of needed encouragement. I was eventually able to request a bundle for myself, in hopes to have my very own little piece of this beautifully baked pie that this organization had created.
I didn’t really understand the impact of the bundle until over 20 plus letters from all over the world began to filter into my mailbox.
Hand-written, decorated, and beautifully written words of encouragement began to pile up and I was in awe. Let’s face it, 2020 was a challenging year for humanity globally, so the idea that so many people read my story and chose to take time out of their days to lift me up was life-changing. The bundle of letters made me feel seen, loved, and like I had a cheering section from all over the four corners of this beautiful planet.
I wanted to pay it forward in some way and offer a connection of hope, the same connection served to me in a time where I believed in so little of hope myself.
The letters offered me a chance to give myself a break from worry and stress. A chance to sit still and read over and over the importance of small but impactful gestures. Every week became my moment to pause and pray that I would deliver the same feeling to girls and women around the world. I wrote for every letter that I received and then some. A cathartic process that allowed me to realize what I had in me was not just a gift to others, but myself as well.
As I took the time from my day with a message of hope and encouragement via stamps and handwritten letters, I felt an unspoken network grow. We all need little reminders once in a while that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, no matter how big or small. It was to a point that every letter I wrote I felt a piece of myself become stronger knowing that I could make the same impact I had been blessed with. It has been a full circle process and so unexpected, just as the past year has become.
As we begin to transition back to our normal “before” lives, I gained a lasting effect to reach out and not only find the sunshine in the clouds for myself but also provide it to others who are on the same journey I am and may not even know it.