I LOVE Love letters.
I LOVE writing love letters.
I’m a pro at writing love letters.
I’m not lying or joking here.
See, this afternoon, I sat at my desk writing out a card. A thoughtful card to go along with a small gift for a friend of mine that I’m sending. This note is hardly a love letter, but it got me thinking about my history with letter writing, especially love letters. See the card and gift from today is for a male friend of mine. I say friend because that’s exactly what he is, a friend, but I realized that my notes, ranging in a wide field of emotion, to guys have gotten better, almost simpler – which is great and exciting!
I’m not quite sure why it was THIS Card that threw me into a time warp, but it did and I remembered the first love letter that ever wrote. It was my Junior year of high school and it was to a boy named Brian. Goodness how I loved Brian! He was super cool with his denim bomber jacket that he wore every day and his parted down the middle hair that came down to his eyes. In retrospect, it was more dorky than anything else, but nobody could say anything about Brian to me. I adored him! We flirted. A lot. We flirted so much that we had our seats separated in Chemistry 2 AP class. It was heartbreaking and yet, exciting.
Of course, though, there was conflict and my way of dealing with the conflict was to write him a note. This note, was more like a four page letter that went on about how much I liked him. I can remember writing it and I can remember giving it to him in the science wing during classes one day. I can also remember finding him and yelling at him for having shared the letter with his friends who teased me about the letter.
You might think that I would learn from that situation, but I didn’t. And once electronic mail came along, I found it even easier to write my letters.
You may now be scratching your head wondering why I chose e-mail.
I can explain!
After high school and college (although I don’t recall writing many love letters in college), I found myself in situations where I wasn’t always able to hand deliver a love note to the person. As a matter of fact, the guy I was crazy for, my first love, was in Ohio while I was in Washington, DC and so electronic communication was our means. My love letter to him was also my break-up letter to him and nicely delivered by yahoo. I wrote this one with a heavy-heart and excitement. I knew things were going to change. I would go on to have one of the worst periods of sadness from this relationship, but I will never forget ending my letter to him with, “Please know that I did love you, Sara”.
I never wrote a love note to Dane, at least I can’t recall one. I do recall all the angry emails at the end though, and the realization that I can slap someone across the face with my words when I choose to.
Okay, maybe that’s too much. What I realized with the lack of love e-correspondence with Dane was that when I feel strongly about something, I command my language. Not only do I command it, but the receiver feels it and so much so, that you can end up with a heated debate over who is the one to blame that accomplishes nothing.
And then came along Ellis. Yes, Ellis. Ellis the guy who inspired CDs (an entire 2-disc compilation complete with a professionally designed cover/case) and laughter, crying and all other emotions. I wanted his approval. I was like the puppy constantly needing to be scratched by him. I wrote Ellis my first “love-but-not-a love-letter” in the CD cover I gave him for his birthday. I still consider it one of my best. It was inspired by and started off with a quote from one of my favorite books, “The World To Come” by Dara Horn, “The world stands still, timeless and empty, until an act of generosity changes it in an instant and sends it soaring through arcs of rich seasons, moment after spinning moment of racing beauty.”
I would write another letter to Ellis that would be an end of ANY relationship email and while it upset me, brought me freedom and assertion and it definitely cut to the chase. This time around, I was also better prepared – when I got his “as honest as he’s going to get” response, I thanked him and moved on. Thanks to Dane, I had learned that sometimes you just shut up and grow up.
Which brings me to my most recent love letter. It was a love letter. Maybe the most real love letter I’ve ever written. Strongly written out of emotion that I didn’t understand, but completely dosed in love that it frightened me to write it. It spoke of how I didn’t understand why I felt this way, nor did I have a clue what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew that he, the receiver, was the person I wanted to take that chance of being confused with. I wanted him to come along for the ride. Even though it was delivered thanks to gmail, I wrote that letter by hand in my journal several times before it ever saw the white space on my laptop screen.
In comparison to my first ever love letter, it was short and sweet. It said what it had to say, was full of Sara, sincere, and honest. I think it was one of my best love letters. I am no longer the kid blindly liking people; I am the woman with more sense and attune to my emotions. I don’t discredit any of these men, or the letters that transpired between us. They were all learning lessons for me as I left my teenage and 20-something years behind. When I look at the 30-year-old woman who writes this blog and still writes her love letters, I’m proud. I’m proud that I’ve always picked up a pen, or in a few cases, typed out, my feelings and emotions.
Not all of my letters were positive, happy, love letters, but they most definitely are examples of the art of writing and the reason why people write in the first place – love, or great dislike inspired by love or rejection. You get the idea.
Maybe all of this flashed before my eyes because every thing I’ve learned in the course of these years showed as I wrote. Maybe it’s that if this friend and I suddenly were no longer friends, I’d be prepared. I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because the note comes from a place of love. I don’t know. What I know is that I love that I have a history of love notes and that they inspire other notes rooted in the same sentiment – LOVE.
I encourage you all to write down a love letter. Even if it’s not to a guy or significant other, write one. Write one to yourself. Why do you love yourself? WRITE IT DOWN! Love letters only get better with practice. So get going!
I don’t know what’s up with all this guy-relationship focused posts, but you know, they help me some how. I hope they’re helping you, too!