Back in August I made a call out on Facebook for anyone who might be interested in just going back in time and receive postcards from me.
You know, I am a bit disappointed not many people took up the offer! In total I received 12 requests for postcards. Granted, it is possible that Facebook has filtered this post out of many people’s feeds but why don’t you want postcards?
I’ve always been a ‘writer’
I’ve always loved writing, and not just writing in the sense of journalism, but writing, the act of picking up a pen/pencil and gently create lines and shapes on a piece of paper.
When I was younger I kept a diary for years, from year 7 all the way to my university days, I wrote once every second day on my observations of the daily life, things I did, people I met, funny things that happened and secrets to be kept.
I wrote about my dreams, aspirations and lessons I learnt.
I wrote about girls at school.
I wrote about boys.
I stopped writing a diary after my trip to Peru, after I met Will. I don’t know why. I just stopped. By then, I had accumulated around 20 books of diaries stored away in a corner at my parents’ place I no longer remember where.
Picking up pen and paper again
In the past few months I’ve picked up the pen and paper again, and began to write letters to a friend back in Melbourne. Yes, a physical letter, of which I will sit at my desk, with nice fancy letter paper I bought from the shops and craft a narrative in my handwriting describing my days and what I have been up to.
Old fashioned? Yes, but haven’t I always been?
I am surprised how much my ability to write by hand has deteriorated. I used to be able to write a ten page essay in an hour without feeling the cramp in my hands but now, after a couple of pages I needed to stop and rest, so that my writing doesn’t slur too much and eventually become illegible.
However, once I’ve finished the letter, folded it neatly into an envelope, scatter a bit of confetti in it for effect and posted it off, I often feel a sense of calm. The wait is long for a reply, for I believe Australia Post is no longer the efficient oragnisation as it once was (it took 4 weeks for my letter to arrive, when once it used to take 2 for overseas mail), but the feeling of getting a reply in the mail, in the same handwriting I recognise as my friend’s and sitting down to read with a cup of tea, is simply bliss.
Pen-pals and postcards of the past
Those who were in high school during the early 90s might remember a big craze with having pen-pals, or is that only a girl school thing?
It usually start with a name and address passed on by a school friend, and you just start writing a letter to this person, could be from another part of Australia or somewhere as far as Ireland or Colombia. A sheet of paper, to say hi and introduce yourself, and maybe enclose a paper flower you’ve folded yourself.
Then you wait. In those days, for a few weeks, for a reply. It might or might not come but when it does, when that envelope with your name on it bearing a foreign stamp arrive in your letter box, you feel like it was the best day of your life, and you quickly hop back into the house, close your bedroom door to read every word your new friend has to say to you.
Gradually, you build up a number of pen-pals who you got along with and you share everything with – what you learnt at school, the boy you have a crush on, which girl at school is a bit of a bully etc.
I remember I had about 5 pen-pals whom I kept writing to until email took over, and the sad thing is – when that happened, we just stopped writing. It is as if the electronic communications that is supposed to keep us more connected took away the joy of writing letters, and because we all felt pressured into keeping up with the technology that we all simply stopped writing.
Postcards went through the same cycle. I used to love sending and receiving postcards, they were my little connection to the people at home, to give them a sense of the destination I have visited, and my window to someone else’s journey when I receive one.
Not that we don’t do that social media these days, but postcards made it special, and when you receive one, you knew that the person who sent it thought of you and it was you they chose to send something to.
Sadly, in the days of email and social media, people hardly send postcards anymore, and even with a call out offering to send people postcards, only 12 people took up on the offer.
So, anyone want a postcard still?
If you missed the August call out and would like to receive a postcard, use the contact me form on this blog to let me know your postal address.
I’ll post one out to you. I can’t guarantee what it’ll be, I can’t guarantee when, I can’t guarantee it’ll even be from a destination (could be an inspirational one), but that’s not the point is it? It’s the anticipation, the joy and having something handwritten that will hopefully make your day!