I wrote my nan a letter and this is what I learned
I live in the age of technology. All my communication is tech based. Emails, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Messenger etc. The list is endless. In fact, the tech world moves at such a quick pace that SMS no longer makes the above list. Hell, I’m even working for a company that’s producing an audio entry service to save users having to manually digitally type.
Writing a letter, or writing at all, has almost become alien to me. This proved to be so as within only half an hour of writing the letter my hand developed serious cramp and pain. I’d like to defend myself and save some face by admitting the letter was two pages, front and back, however my excuse is feeble.
The smallest of moments mean something.
Writing the letter meant I had to think about my recent activities. Initially I thought, oh no, I have nothing to say, however, my nan knows nothing of my life since the last time we spoke. This meant everything I have recently accomplished, big or small, was worth sharing. Trips to my local fruit and veg store, experiencing new restaurants and spending time with my friends were all mentioned within the lines of the letter. Even updating her on my cats being afraid of the fireworks was worth a mention. To my nan, this is interesting as it provides insight into the life of me, my friends and my cats. It helps her to still feel connected in an age that no longer considers the relationships and connections between the older generations and their grandchildren.
Sadly, it also made me consider if these smaller moments mean less to those of my age today. Social updates provide a filtered view our lives. They mask the truth and promote illusion. We share the exciting, the evocative, the thrill. We don’t share our recent trips to the high-street or the small but meaningful conversations we have with strangers. Yet these moments, to so many, still have meaning. They’re valuable, interesting and to those outside of the social industry are worthwhile and relatable. They encourage and rekindle connection.
I recalled fond, meaningful memories.
Writing the letter allowed me to recall happy moments between myself, my nana and my late grandad. These memories brought a smile back to my face and hopefully a smile to my nan also. Without writing this letter I’d have unlikely recalled these touching moments. It also allowed me to recall the guidance I was given as a child and the love and warmth my grandparents shared with me. These moments are felt when I return home and visit my nan, however the flying-visit nature somewhat dilutes them.
It creates excitement
I closed the letter wishing my nana health and happiness and my address in the hope she’ll write to me. I’m unsure if she will, however the anticipation she does reply builds hope and excitement. In 2018, I’m excited by the prospect of a pen pal. I’m excited that my pen pal is my nan.