“EVERLY!” my T.I. shouted before chucking an envelope at me. My dad had passed my address on to a friend I had known since middle school and she sent me letters to help me survive the hell that was basic training.
11 years later, we’re still writing each other, its just no longer by the light of the latrine and I have much prettier stationary to use. We have managed to to keep up with each other during all our life changes with a few pieces of paper and some stamps.
I have have picked up other penpals over the years, keeping up with old friends and making new ones all over the world. My daughter already has her own penpal, and she is super exited when something shows up for her in our mail box.
Why do I bring up this archaic hobby of mine?
Often when the concept of social resiliency is brought up, we think of parties, going out drinking, or participating in sports. Not knocking anyone who enjoys those things, but they are just not appealing to some people; crowds just really are not your thing and being out in them does more to drain you than build you up. Well, like it or not social is a pillar of resiliency and you have to find something that fills that void.
Que snail mail. Writing and receiving letters is a wonderful way to make new friends and stay in touch with old. You can exchange video game recommendations, talk about the weather, or role play as an airship mechanic in the year 1888. All things I am not great at in person at times, but when I have time to write them out on paper it is fun! Then add the anticipation of receiving happy mail in return gives you some thing positive to look forward to to help you get through your day.
How does one get started writing letters? Not everyone is going to put up with having letters chucked at them by a slightly unstable man who is supposed be responsible for you and 40+ other young women….
The International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club is a great way to meet fellow nerds, geeks, fans, etc.
Between their forums, twitter activities, special swaps and pen pal sign up rounds you can find friends across the world that share your geek loves.
As a matter of fact, sign ups for their next pen pal round are open right now:
Sign up here: http://geekgirlpenpals.com/ All genders are welcome!
Another suggestion is Postcrossing: https://www.postcrossing.com/
Send a postcard to someone somewhere in the world, get one back from someone else somewhere in the world. I must add that is one perk of living in North Dakota; I add some pretty unique cards to folks collections. You get the opportunity to learn about other countries, cultures, and languages, while receiving something fun in your mail box.
I have had the opportunity to write to schools, old folks, and even a cat! The cat was definitely my favorite; I had my own furry friend write to them about the local rodent population.
So, if you are looking for social interaction form the comfort of your own chair, grab a pen, paper, some stamps and get to writing! It makes this wide world a little smaller.