I’ve been wanting to start this up for awhile now, but I put it off until recently, as I’ve been feeling socially isolated and lonely. I’ve been this way for four years because of an illness, that changed everything about my life. It’s a long story – it’s been hard for me, but also really good for me. Anyway, when you can’t do anything about being in this situation, it can still be really depressing knowing this, feeling like you’re missing out and being left behind. We should all be happy and socially active and out there in the world, but there are people, like me, who are not. But I know how I can fix that.
When I was around 15 or 16, I got onto instagram. I posted my poems and random pictures on there, and people starting commenting about how great they were. A young girl, whom I assumed was a lot older than me (but was actually two years younger) – 20 or something, said she liked what I was writing. We had a mutual love for writing and I found a friendship with her. She made me feel powerful, she made me more motivated to write and go outside and be kind to myself. We exhanged emails, and I looked forward to them everyday. It was really special to me. We eventually got to writing letters. I’d send her a letter with pressed flowers, music recommendations and drawings. It got me creating more which I love, it got me outside taking pictures, it got me to love myself and do things I enjoy. I put effort into what I was doing, and I was proud of that. The thing with letters is they are a lot more personal than sending a lame message on facebook. There’s no connection through the internet. With writing a letter, you actually have to pick up a pen and write your feelings out, which is really soothing. The person recieving your letter can see your handwriting, which I think is really cool and more personal. It’s something you can see and know about someone, if that makes sense. Although you’re not there with them, apart of you is. You touched the paper; you neatly folded it into the envelope and wrote the address. It’s also really fun and has made me really happy.
My pen pal and I often forget about each other, as life does get in the way, so that’s why I was feeling down. So we have gotten back in touch, and she’s sent me a letter. I’m very excited to get it! Having a pen pal is a great distraction for feeling socially isolated. It helps you get out of your head – because it’s really busy up there sometimes. A lot of negative thoughts intrude.
For Christmas, we both sent each other presents which was really lovely.
So I want to make a pen pal society for those living in isolation and social isolation, those who have a disability and are cut off from people, who’ve lost friends, those who don’t get out a lot and because of this, feel really low and like they’re missing out. I wanted to share that with others and start up a pen pal project where you can find someone with the same interests and just write to them, or just write to anyone. it’s a really great thing.
So if you’re interested, please comment below with your email and we can start from there.