When I quit my fulltime job back in July, God was calling. Trust me, it takes much bravery & courage on my part to admit that to strangers who only know me by the slang in my syllables. But the quitting my job was God's plan, not my own.
Darling, darling, hear me good: The dark has stars that poke through the sky and the light, the light that pours on through, is thicker than you know.
The news of the tragic shootings in Colorado barreled over me this morning. Leaving me wordless. Feeling a bit afraid. Wondering how love might block out all this fear.
I’ve given up my birthday.
Ditching the cake. Swapping the candles & nursing no desire for a single card. Don’t you mail me… I repeat: Don’t You Mail Me.
Birthdays are nice. Sure. And 24 is sureeee to be a lovely age (though I have a clear disdain for even numbers and would rather plow for 25). But I don’t need to celebrate 24 years of dancing on this earth because clearly I’ve been dancing for 24 years of this and I’ve got it good. Got it Great. Got it Better than I could have ever hoped for and I don’t need a single thing.
So join me, please, in forgetting my birthday this year & buying a graduation card instead.
Her name is Eilis.
Her father passed away from cancer nearly two years ago and it hit the family hard. “He was the kind of father who got down on the floor to play with the kids, teased them but not too much and was firm with his expectations. Eilis was closest to him...her favorite parent.”
This year, Eilis turned 18. Had her senior prom in April. Will graduate in June. Head off to college in August.
Her life is happening. All. Over. The. Place. & just 5 years off from that very spot in life, I know how Crazy. Chaotic. Overwhelming. But Exciting it can be.
Eilis’ mother came to me with the hope that I would gift Eilis with a love letter for this brand new chapter in her life.
The first thing that came to my mind? Screw my birthday, y'all need to help me with this one!
If you love me, if you support me, if you have ever believed in a single thing that I do, then I need you… right now… to help me gift Eilis with the best bridge possible from High School to College.
In lieu of birthday cards, I am asking for graduation cards. Inspirational cards. Cards not to be opened until after Eilis arrives at college. Cards for Eilis in the Every Day of her life as she pursues her dreams with the memory of her father tucked close to her heart.
Be creative. Raid Target (the aisles are packed with grad cards!). Make playlists. Write what is on your heart. Tell your friends. Help me gift this girl with the best Bundle of Love Letters possible.
This time (and this time only) I am forgoing the More Love Letters PO Box for my own snail mail. Please send all letters & cards to:
Love Letters for Eilis
33 Belvedere Rd
North Haven, CT 06473
Please be sure to postmark your love letter(s) by June 5th.
Please & Thank You.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to dancing...
Self love is a concept more tangled to me than the mess of Christmas lights now harbored up in my attic for another 300 or so days. I’ve struggled with it. A lot. And every time another letter request comes to sit in my inbox, outlining the tracings of a girl who just doesn’t know how to value herself, I am reminded: I might not be so equipped to write this love letter. Some days I am. Other days, I need it myself.
Step One is always to write to her. To let her know that I am rushing to reach her mailbox. Her fingers. Her hands.
Step Two is to step back and find a way to speak love into my own arms.
Step Three is to write it all down.
Look up, look up,
For you are the littlest lullaby of New York City.
You are as brilliant as the sound that streams from the Old Man’s saxophone in Central Park.
You, you are as striking as the Sunday Times front-page photo, shot from the lens of a clever journalist who was standing right where he needed to be at midnight. To prop a digital to his eye and snap, snap, snap the Man who wore a uniform that told He’d Been Gone Too Long as he kissed the girl who wore a smile that simply said My Soldier Has Come Home.
You are as alive as the city that surrounds them, as the world sings down to twelve o’ clock and the confetti grabs and tangles in their hair.
You are as precious as the Little Girl with the ALDO shopping bag, the one bigger than her body, slung over her shoulder. She chews the ends of a noisemaker and lays back in her Mama’s Arms, leaving a subway to wonder, Did She Make it To Midnight Last Night? Or did her Little Girl Eyelashes fold into one another, like prayer hands, at 10pm?
You are as delicate as the antique camera the Boy holds in his lap. Stroking the grooves, thinking in Peter Pan fashion, “What magic will I capture on this first day of 2012?”
You are as unstoppable as a Café that holds a Floor that holds a Table that holds Two Chairs that holds Two Dreamers who hold the Power to Change the World deep within them.
And what’s more unstoppable than that Café that holds a Floor that holds a Table that holds Two Chairs that Holds Two Dreamer who hold the Power to Change the World deep within them is that they’ve realized, over Two Coffee Mugs and a Stack of Stationery between them, that they are Unstoppable. And they’ve decided to Never Stop.
You, you are as lovely as a page torn from a book, folded and carried beside Lip Smackers and Wrigley’s gum in the purse of a Lady headed towards 72nd Street. As lovely as the words she Reads & ReReads & ReReReads to herself on the days where it seems God forgot to put the color into the sky. “You your best thing,” she reads. “You your best thing,” she ReReads it again.
And Darling, you matter. You matter in the way that rain to the sunken soils of Africa matters to the Ones who haven’t felt the drops on their sunken shoulders in 17 months.
You matter in the way that the Girl with the rip in her tights and feather in her hair matters to the Boy who hurdles suitcases and becomes a running blob in a photo of the Korean bride as she kisses her fiancé at the top of the stairs in Grand Central Station. And he ruins perfect Save the Date photos just to find His Girl waiting at Track 26 for a southbound train, moving towards Away. He pulls her in by the arms and he tells her he’s made mistakes but this? Well, this would be his Biggest, if he let a train and his own fears rip His Angel away.
You matter in the way that bright lights matter to a City of Insomniacs who came here mostly because the bright lights assure them they, they too, were made to shine and shower light. In Some Way. Some Day.
You matter in the way New York City matters to a girl who has cut and pasted a world of high fashion & beauty how-to’s along her walls, waiting for the day when she won’t just stitch jean pocketbooks in her bedroom. Won’t just scan websites for internship opportunities in Manhattan.
You. You. You.
You are bright as the sun that peeks from behind the buildings-- tall like players who make a life out of jumping up to wrap their Big Hands around the Rims of a Net. To slam-dunk and dangle for a while.
You are bright as the stars that jut through the skyline like the tips of lead pencils poking through black cardstock. The light pours & pours with each poke.
You are something bright, something rare, something I cannot quite name all by myself. As timid as Adam the day he found a dove and struggled just to name her right.
But it's lovely, whatever you are, it's lovely. So name it when you’re ready.
Littlest Lullaby, you go ahead and name it when you’re ready.
It's been tough to write here lately.
If I am being honest, I work a good ten hours a day and all I am left with, when I reach the keys, is speechlessness. Over all of you and what you've done with this "little love letter project" of mine.
These days I feel my wings thumping from behind me. And I stop to remember how much I would have killed for this, lived for this, when I was sixteen years old. Full of Fear. Full of Hesitation. Wanting him to like me. Willing to pretend for just a single chance at a sacred word inflated with the Helium of Pretty Girls and Football Players, Popularity.
But today I have a chance, a chance to reach back and write a letter to a girl just like me... I've had the chance to speak with Hannah's family over the internet and this is what I know...
Hannah is a 16-year-old whose parents recently divorced. She’s taken the divorce hard and has recently become very depressed. Her letter requester wrote, “Hannah was picked on when she was younger and it muted her vibrant personality that she had when she was small. Now she is hesitant to let the real Hannah shine through, though she is a very artistically talented and beautiful girl. We really hope that these love letters will speak to her heart, and will be a spark for her when she feels lost and alone in the world.”
Oh, Hannah. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah.
The things I want for you already. And so today I am writing a love letter for you. And I have Kaleigh Somers, a girl whose heart absolutely swelled for you before she ever even knew your name, writing one beside me. And I am hoping that my readers, the ones tracing this post right this moment, will join me in writing a love letter for you today.
Please take the time today to write a love letter to Hannah today. All letters should be mailed to Hannah's Bundle, PO Box 2061, North Haven CT 06473. More details can be found... H.E.R.E.
Today I am reaching out to coworkers and asking them to write a love letter. Reaching out to my all-star team at She's the First and asking them to write a love letter. To friends & family & you, to script a letter for a girl who needs to find her wings.
Won't you join me?
This is a story made for the day when you wake up, Hair Knotted by the Pull of your Pillow, and stumble straight into Should’ve & Could’ve & Would’ve: a trio of sisters that the world should call witches, for they’ll snatch up your dreams and scarf down your desires, and Fix You Up Pretty in a Too Tiny Box that God Never Made You For.
One year ago today, life snuck up from behind me, handed me a black Sharpie, and announced to me that she was going to change forever. Right in Front of My Eyes.
“Here, here, take this,” Life said, handing off the marker.
“Why, what is this? What should I do with it?“
Life rolled its eyes. “Draw a thick black line down the middle of me. From now on you are going to look differently at me, as if I am two people. One part of me exists as Before and the other now exists as After.“
Before & After.
One year ago today, I wrote a blog post about the handwritten love letter, how I felt like the world probably needed more of these “Thank you for being alive” kind of notes and how I was finding a hobby in writing these kinds of letters and leaving them all New York City.
One year ago today, I made a promise to all of you that if you sent me your snail mail address I would write you a love letter. I didn’t know what I was getting into at the time. Not even after my inbox suddenly flooded with the most heartbreaking of stories that I had ever read, love letter requests from every pocket of this globe.
I didn’t know what to say to the lonely and broken-hearted in Japan or the struggling to look in the mirror Ivy-Leaguer. All that I knew was that there had to be something deeper behind all of this… there had to be something beyond a fun little project with nice stationery and postage stamps.
One year ago today, I was given a surreal glimpse at the poverty that gets us all.
Mother Teresa said it best, that poverty of the soul- hunger and thirsting for something to pull a person away from loneliness- is far different than the need for bread and water. There are a lot of us living in poverty right now. Some of us don’t even see it or recognize it after so hastily assigning the face of poverty to that homeless man or that welfare mother.
Poverty, in all of its forms, has lived in my inbox for the last year. I’ve written to the sad, the depressed, the lonely, the near-suicidal, the struggling financially, the struggling to embrace sexuality, the ones just trying to just get up out of bed every morning.
Am I always equipped to write these letters? No. Not really. I’m just a girl, biting her fingernails, who knows only the first few chapters of life so far. But at the same time, I never promised advice and I never promised therapy. I think the only promise I can make is to be there, in a mailbox, giving the only thing I’ve known to surpass all loneliness and all tragedy and years of experience: Love.
One year ago today, I never had a clue MoreLoveLetters.com would be born. I never knew that a dear friend, Becky, would come up when I needed someone the most and offer to help me with projecting this letter-writing out into the world. I never thought you'd be on board, writing & leaving your own love letters. I never imagined over 550 love letters in just one year.
One year ago today, I desperately needed this, more than I knew it at the time and more than I ever let it show on this blog. I needed an After to place next to a time in my life where I could not script a single line of love to myself. Where I could not even manage to look at myself for more than two minutes without finding hatred somewhere in my own green eyes.
One year ago today, I thought I was just a girl writing love letters to extinguish her own loneliness, not someone tapping into an untouched movement. I would have told you that a love letter left on a train in NYC might be nice, might be sweet, but it would have no real impact. I would have told you that this would never be my thing.
One year ago today, I didn't know a life surrounded by love letters & all the beautiful individuals who write them by the hour.
Today, I cannot imagine a life without them.
I decided to stop writing love letters on a Monday and a reporter from the Wall Street Journal called me on Tuesday to talk about... you guessed it: Love Letters.
That’s how it always works though, right?
We’re sitting before a pile of love letter requests from across the country, tapping a pen against a slab of stationery while simultaneously plucking syllables from the sky for a girl in Toledo who needs a lesson in Loving Yourself 101 when Divine Intervention cracks the back of our chairs like a whip. We sit up straighter. We pay attention the message we are getting.
Me: I am done…
Seamstress in the Sky: Excuse me?
Me: You heard me, Maker of the Universe and all the Cows and Zebras. Done. 400 love letters, finish up this pile, and I am done.
Seamstress in the Sky: (silence)
Me: I have tired fingers…
Seamstress in the Sky: Yes.
Me: Callouses the size of Kentucky.
Seamstress in the Sky: Yes.
Me: I need to focus on other things, I want to write books! I cannot write books if I am only writing love letters!
Seamstress in the Sky: Hm….
Me: Could you say a little more? I am drowning in my own pool of snot and ink right now.
Seamstress in the Sky: Who do you thinks a love letter right now?
Me: The world... duh.
Seamstress in the Sky: Beyond that... yo Daddy is no fool. You know who needs one, just say it.
Seamstress in the Sky: Conviction... say it stronger.
Me: Ok, ME! There I said it, I need a love letter... I need to learn how to write myself a love letter... I can hide behind another 100 or I can be a little selfish, sit down and learn how to write my own life into a love letter. But, you don't get it God, it is not so easy to just drop it, people need it. People have always needed these letters.
Seamstress in the Sky: Well, I gave you a recipe… didn’t I?
Me: A recipe?
Seamstress in the Sky: Yes, a recipe. You, leaving love letters on the trains in New York City and mailing them all over the world. A recipe if I’ve ever seen one.
Me: Love letters to those who need them? That’s a recipe?
Seamstress in the Sky: Yes, that was a recipe. I’ve used that one before, tweaked it a bit for your own Loneliness… Did you a lot of good, I’d say. And you wrote 400, bravo Little One! But does it stop there? Do recipes only get used by one person? Me: I guess not…
Seamstress in the Sky: What did you put into the love letters?
Me: Love. Encouragement. A few funny jokes? Sometimes my own stories…
Seamstress in the Sky: Seems like a solid recipe. Could others follow it?
Me: Well.. yea, of course.
Seamstress in the Sky: Then post the recipe somewhere, you love those domain names of yours. And see if people use it… If it is a good recipe, honest and true, other people will use it. Don’t worry about who or how, just cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Leave the recipe and step away.
And so here I am, crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s and finishing up my own pile of love letters and then passing the work on to you. Many of you have asked me how to get involved, how to leave your own love letters, how to be there for someone in need. It’s simple, really so simple, and all it requires is an honest and true passion to help another person, someone you might never meet, along with a stamp and your very best cursive.
So please check out MoreLoveLetters.com, or follow us here; I created the site to be a guide for those looking to do what I did for the last nine months. I can so honestly say that is an art that will fuel you, inspire you, fill you and turn you into a very bright spot that the world needs so desperately right now.
And if you do nothing with the site today, nothing at all but this, please consider signing up for the Love Letter Email Alert List… Each month we will send out a call for love letters and then bundle and give them to a person who needs it most that month. The first call for love letters will come out this weekend and so I would love to have you involved.
Please send all love letters to PO Box 2061, North Haven, CT 06473 with one additional stamp (the gods of postage have not blessed me just yet).
I can promise you that your love letter will be mailed out to someone in need today.
Or shoot me an email today at Hannah@moreloveletters.com and we can get you leaving love letters around your parts of town...
So the last time I gave an update on the love letters the Christmas bells were swinging and we were hanging mistletoe... I think it's about time I filled you in on the last nine months. ***This is actually an awful way to have your face frozen on YouTube... I DO NOT recommend it***
If you are looking for the Spark Notes Edition to this video, and I do not blame you, since October I have written over 368 love letters. The love letters have gone everywhere from the Bronx-bound 4 train in NYC to the crooks and crevices of Africa and New Zealand... This project has been absolute blessing to me and I will always have you to thank for fueling me with such an awesome opportunity.
Although I do adore writing love letters, I think I might enjoy it ten times more with you involved. So now is your chance to grab a paper and pen to start scripting a love letter to someone in need. Trust me, I will get it into the right hands. Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), bombard me on Twitter (@hannahkatyb) or comment below and I will be sure to send my snail mail address your way.
OR ambush your own town with the love letters. I have a strong feeling that there are plenty of strangers out there who would absolutely delight in picking up a mysterious handwritten note on the table in a cafe or on a park bench. I would love to hear how you spread the love letters out.
And, just as a note, the letters that I script are not a) Juliet Style b) Sexual or c) "I am watching from the bush in your backyard" creepy. They are merely notes of encouragement, love, support and positivity, hopefully delivered at a time when it is needed most.
And though I still have a healthy pile of love letters to write in the upcoming months, please do not hesitate to send me your snail mail address and I will send a love letter your way... But please don't wait by the mailbox. Unless you have a tent and an umbrella... My hand gets tired. I need breaks from time to time.
Thank you everyone once again! And I will be back to writing blog posts shortly.
We sat in over-sized Alice chairs admiring the spouts of our teapots, appropriately short and stout, as they poured a sweet elixir into the bottom of our antique cups. We clinked our tea cups together and we made a toast. A Toast to Loneliness, Calluses and Love Letters. Two Months of Loneliness. Two rounded calluses on my writing hand. Two Hundred & Seven Love Letters Written.
Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
I sat across from my Best Friend this weekend, a girl who has shown me a whole new dimension to what it means to miss someone in the last four months. We entangled the sharing of three cups of tea with dozens of Stories in one of my favorites spots in New York City. I moved my hands with each story, motioning all around me, to show her what I have learned from living in this Big City.
"I think I have learned Loneliness best," I told her.
Learned to greet Loneliness as if it were an old friend. Kiss it on the cheek and allow it to kiss back. Soft & Warm. Somehow Soft & Warm.
I never knew that Loneliness could be such a comforting feeling until it propelled me to write 207 Love Letters. Thank You, Loneliness, for teaching a lost girl just how to script her Sadness into Love.
As you may remember, two months ago I began writing love letters to strangers on the 4 train. I became quite accustomed to the thrill of writing to strangers and leaving my letters behind as if they were my own personal trail of bread crumbs. Central Park. Grand Central Terminal. A Slew of Diners claiming to have the World's Best Coffee. Through these letters I learned to pour out my heart to perfect strangers as if it were the same fine brew that spouted from my teapot. Leaving Letters Behind. For Some Romeo. Some Juliet. Some Heloise. Some Other Soul Who Needed Words That Day.
But the true gift behind these letters unveiled itself when you became involved. When we all stopped talking about Love Letters and we just started writing them. Asking for Them. Yes, yes, it all began when you pulled up a chair at my Love Letter Tea Party. Sitting Snug Between Ink, Stationary, Loneliness and a Cluster of Forty-Four Cent Stamps.
I never imagined on the day I promised a Snail Mail Love Letter to whoever emailed me their address that I would find my inbox full that night. Full of Requests from All Over the World. From Japan to Utah. From Canada to California. Some with Stories Tied to the request. Some Sad. Some Happy. Some in Desperate Need of a Linkage. Over 200 Love Letter Requests.
"So what are you going to do now?" My mom asked me on the phone that night, knowing that I was already quite overwhelmed by promising a handwritten note.
"I'll start writing," I told her. Because as much energy as it takes to write over 200 full pages of letters, I think it takes a lot more courage to ask a complete stranger to write you a love letter. I sent up a prayer to God for Strong Fingers, Strong Words and a little extra help on the postage, and then I began writing.
Anywhere. Everywhere. Each One Different. Giving me great practice in seeing all the ways one can dress up a single word. Love.
Some days writing Love Letters allowed me to tuck away my own Loneliness. Other days my Loneliness did her own little Macarena all over the stationary. And on the best days, my Loneliness unearthed itself from Behind the Ink & Signatures. Emerging like an extreme makeover contestant, coming out looking Radiant. Looking Like Love.
To all of you who asked for a letter, thank you for giving me the chance to write to you. To shatter the word "stranger" 207 times. That is an absolute dream come true for a girl adores any chance to shed the skin right off of that word. That is the best Christmas Gift I could have ever hoped to receive. You gave my Loneliness a purpose and for that reason I will never regret a single swooping of my cursive.
Many of You wrote your own Love Letters and allowed me to do the honors of sprinkling them all over Manhattan. Thank you for letting me pick the perfect spot. The perfect chance for someone else to hold that letter well & good. A Table in a Cafe. A Shelf of the NYC Library. A Pew in St. Pat's Cathedral.
And a few beautiful souls sent stamps. They supplied the fuel for those Love Letters to do their own globe-trotting. Thank you for those stamps in the mail. For Pulling Out a Faded Book of Liberty Bell Stamps, Sitting Folded & Pristine in Your Wallet, and Handing Them to Me. Trusting I would put them straight to work in the corner of some envelope.
But one person in particular deserves the largest thank you of all. I have never been driven so quickly to try to tame my tears as when a box showed up at my Bronx apartment. Addressed to "As Simple as That".I knelt down in my hallway, and opened the unaddressed package to reveal a Full Box, Bulging with Brand New Toys.
This is to the guy who sent a box full of toys to my class of preschoolers who might not have had Christmas gifts otherwise.
You attached a message that said you were not one for writing love letters. I hope you see that you wrote the very best Love Letter of all.
You taught me with your Gift that we all can write Love Letters. Some with Pencil. Some with Generosity. Some with Ears that Listen. Others with Hands that Hold. One way or another, we all have great potential to send a Love Letter off into this world. To Write Our Lives Into A Love Letter, with the steps we take and the lives we touch.
I grew up saying that I would one day become a Professional Love Letter Writer and maybe I have finally reached that point. After setting down 207 final points of punctuation, I think I am finally there. And what have I learned from the calluses, the loneliness and the inbox full of requests?
That we are all in need of a Love Letter from time to time. A reminder that we are doing o.k. We are doing just fine. That someone, somewhere is sending us Light & Love. Be it from the Biggest City or the Smallest Town. With the Loudest Voice or the Quietest Whisper. To the One With the Toughest Exterior or the Most Broken Interior.
Turns out the world really does need more Love Letters and it looks like we have only just begun writing them.
There is no way to defriend your own self on Facebook.
Come on Mark Zuckerberg, how did you miss this one? There absolutely should be a "remove as friend" button on our own sites. I would adore the prospect of clicking it right now. Click. Click. Click. Friend. Defriend. Friend. Defriend.
The girl I have been for the past few weeks is no one that I would ever want to be friends with. I wouldn't want to sit down and have coffee with her. I wouldn't want to have a Skype date with her. I wouldn't want to invite her into my home. I would very much delight in leaving her outside in the cold and watching her freeze her buns off as I sip my hot cocoa from the window of my third floor apartment. Ha ha ha! You lose! Ok. That was harsh, Hannah.
There comes a time and a place in all of our lives when we look in the mirror and we question who is posing on the other side of the glass. Not someone we know. Not someone we like. Not someone suitable for our friendship. But someone who seems tired and restless. Unhappy. Victimized.
And then we need to make a choice. Just like the Bachelor and all his friendly little reality star companions with their roses and shots of love, we too need to make a choice. Stay the victim or scream out the weakness.
There is a fine line between going through a tough time, having an off day, learning to wallow for just a little while and sinking the world with your Titanical tears.
You know what? We could cry So Loud right now. We really could. We could march right over to Central Park and have a festival of Cries & Whines & Shouts & Screams and maybe eventually we can even whine to the tune of Silent Night and have the Most Un Silent, Un Settling of Nights. But we won't get anywhere in Wallowing. We won't move a single step in Squeezing ourselves into Precarious Categories that keep us from our full potential. We won't go stronger. We won't make our lives the least bit longer.
A revelation came to me the other night as I watched the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center light for the very first time. Surrounded by half a million people, singing to Christmas carols that found as all with a memorization for their words, and looking up at the tree I began to cry. (I know, I know, Me crying? Say it ain't so). I wasn't crying over that moment. Nor the perfection of the season all around. I was crying because I had forgotten to say thank you. Night after night, age eight and upward, I would pray to the heavens that one day I could call New York City my home. While some girls wrote love letters to boys with braces, I wrote letters & symphonies & novels to this City.
And I am here now. Here Now. In the city who let me dream of etching my name upon its skyline for so long. And I never even thanked God. I never even said Thank You for making a dream of mine come true. For making my life into exactly what I asked it to be. Funny how we forget to say thank you. Funny how we forget a lot of things...
I may not know you. You may not know me. But I think you are strong, funny, endearing, resilient & capable. And don't you forget that! I wish I could wrap up every one of those attributes and sneak them right under your Christmas tree right now and then beg you to open the presents up early.
Maybe you don't even need those presents right now. But I certainly do!
We all need a reminder of this from time to time, that YES, life is hard. But We Are Kick Ass.
We were made for goodness. Sweet, sweet goodness. Oozing and dripping all over our lives just like the chocolate that trickled from my Max Brenner Chocolate Chai just the other day.
I was made for Skype dates with my best friends, near & far. Near & Dear. I was made for belting out an inconsistent tune to Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You." I was made for a big blanket under a string of Christmas lights, curled up as creations dance in my head like Sugar Plum Fairies. I was made for sneakers & barbels. Protein & Boxing Gloves. I was made for workouts & hard work.
I was not made to entertain guests like Doubt or Insecurity. I was made to build Gingerbread Houses with my Dreams & give Eskimo kisses with my creativity. To Go Snow Shoeing with Compassion & Sip Eggnog with my Love for Life. I was made to be an expert of wallpapering. Wallpapering my life with love letters, strangers, & simplicity. More importantly, wall papering the lives of others with Comfort, Kindness, Understanding & Companionship.
I was made for the Rudolph's of this world, the misfits, the lonely, the stepped upon. They are the ones with the Bright Red Noses, the stories that my ears perk to hear. They are the ones who light my way and I don't think I will ever stop seeking them out.
I was not made for a single "un" word. Not Unstable. Not Unworthy. Not Unable.
But it is one thing to say these things, write these things, voice these things. We need to live these things. Live Out Loud. Live So Loud. Let's Turn Our Lives into A Christmas Carol that the World Just Itches to Hear A Single Note of. A Single note is all it takes and then the world practically cries over good fortune that we actually came here to sing the whole song. The whole entire song. Yes. Oh yes, we were made to sing the whole entire song.
What were you made for?
P.S. Anyone up for a Skype date with some hot cocoa? I will bring the Holiday cheer...
It really is no wonder why Nicholas Sparks seems to have reserved seating when it comes to the New York Times Best Seller Lists. The man has found a fruit that most cannot ignore and he wrings out the sweet juices in almost all of his books.
The art of letter writing.
Let's be sincere. We love it. We adore it. We absolutely devour this idea of the soldier in his tent at night rereading the letters of his girl back home. Smelling Her Scent Between The Punctuation Points. We tear into a tub of chocolate ice cream as we sigh over the Two Lovers who forge communion in waiting for the post man to arrive.
A college professor of mine once told the class the tale of how she and her husband fell in love. They met one another at a time in their lives where Distance had a cunning plan to keep them apart. But, even being thousands of miles apart, they fell in love. Somewhere Between the Capital Letters and the Paragraph Breaks.
"It was really different during that time. You would spill your heart out onto a page, baring all your secrets and then you would drop it in the mail box," I remember her saying. "The test was in the waiting. Waiting to see what he would say back, waiting to learn more about him with every letter in the mail."
It is not just "mushy gushy" letters. It is any kind of letter where one sits down and dedicates the writing of words and syllables and sentiments with another in mind. I daresay, it is the most beautiful thing in the world.
It is knowing that someone, right next door or Miles Apart, will know themselves loved through just a few paragraphs and a signature at the bottom. Sincerely Yours.
If I have said it once then I need to say it ten more times: The world needs more love letters. More "Thank you for being alive today" letters. More "You are remarkable" and "You light up the world" letters. More "I think you will do great things" kind of letters.
***This is the part of the post where you take both of your hands and you place them on your forehead. Then you say out loud, "Oh no, Hannah. Where are you taking this?" Because, Lord knows, I never stop when idea comes into my head.***
Are you in position? Ok.
I am writing letters to people I have never met. Yes. I am finding it to be the best activity that I have ever taken up. A hobby, if you will call it, that delivers to me a smile every single time I place down a comma or a period.
It began on a train ride home from Manhattan, as most things usually do for me. I was feeling terribly lonely but almost comforted by the fact that everyone around me seemed terribly lonely as well. But instead of letting Loneliness trample all over commute, I pulled out my notepad and began composing a letter. To a person who I had never met. To a person who I can almost guarantee I will never meet.
It is a surreal feeling, to compose a letter to an individual that you have no ties to but at the same time you want the whole wide world for them. I wished them a bright day. A day full of laughter. I told them they were unique & special & really quite smashing. (I might not have used the word 'smashing' but I probably will in the next letter).
Really, we are not told enough, in a genuine noncommercial manner, how brilliant we are. How intriguing and wonderful we are. How much we should be commended for waking up today and deciding to take on the task of being human. It is not an easy task. It is not always fun. But it is wildly worth it. Better that we write all these things down.
And, with an anonymous signature, I left the letter behind on the subway. And on the sink of a bathroom. And on a table in a coffee shop. And scattered all over the place in NYC. Several anonymous love letters. The beginnings to many....
I have always wanted to live my life as a love letter. Why not do it with actual love letters? Who knows where my letters are right at this very moment. If they are sitting in the hands of some of corporate CEO as he sips his morning latte at his favorite coffee shop. Or if one is sitting on the desk of a woman who cleans that same coffee shop every single day to keep her children enrolled in private school. It makes no difference, I just wish for the individuals of this world to know themselves loved. And that means you. Yes, you.
So here is the deal.... If you send me your address, your legitimate "oh my goodness, I have to label an envelope" address then I will write you a letter. You will receive a genuine, handwritten, love letter in the mail. I promise you this. (Don't worry: I am not about to get creepy lovey dovey all over the paper).
Either leave your address below or via email: HannahKaty@live.com
My poor little fingers might regret this promise when they find themselves cramped from all sorts of cursive, but even if I don't know you that well, I think you are quite worth it.