It’s time to begin the series of weekly posts on my new blog. And since most of you, dear readers, love letter writing as much as I do, I thought it might be a good idea to start off with a post about penpalling. So, this week’s theme will be : my penpalling journey.
For a start, I must say that I am still quite “new” to that wonderful hobby, compared to those who’ve done it for 10, 20, even 30 or 40 years. I had my very first penpal at school, ten years ago (I was 11 back then), because my class was taking part in an exchange with another class in the USA, so we were all assigned a penpal. However, I wouldn’t consider that as a real penpalship, because back when I was 11, I could barely speak English, so the letters weren’t even a page long, and all that I wrote was what the teacher told the class to write. What a thrilling exchange, isn’t it?! So, needless to say that the “penpalship” ended as soon as the school year did.
Yet, this was enough for the “snail mail virus” to bite me. When I eventually got a computer and Internet at home (when I was 15), one of the first things I did was browsing through penpals websites to find a girl or two to exchange emails with. Yes, I started with emails, because I didn’t feel confident enough to give out my home address to people from the Internet (and my mother would have never allowed me to, either). After a couple of years exchanging emails with people around the world (none of these penpalships lasted for more than a couple of months, though), I finally decided to give snail mail a try back in September 2011.
And oh my, what a cleaver decision it has been! Never ever have I regretted it, not even for a second. My very first penpal was a boy from Sweden. We exchanged very interesting letters for six months before he disappeared without a word, I’m still trying to figure out why. That was my first and only experience of penpalling with men, by the way.
The disappointment of being dumped by a penpal, with a message explaining why or even with no reason appearing, happened to me a couple of times. I also had to drop penpals myself, too. I guess this is part of the “penpalling life, I’m pretty sure it has happened to all of you, too. It hurts, but the good things penpalling has earned be definitely overweight the bad aspects. Now, when I think about it, I can really say I have real friends, people who won’t forget of me for the only reason that we don’t see each other daily, and people who really know me, who I don’t mind sharing personal thought with. Of course, not all my penpals are that close friends of mine, but some definitely are. Before starting penpalling I didn’t think it was possible to make friends on a distance, now I know it is.
I have had a quite long period, last year, during which I wasn’t feeling any motivated for writing letters. At first I tried to force myself to write, because I didn’t want my penpals to have to wait too long for their replies. It quickly became more of a duty than a hobby, and I even though, once, to stop completely. But then I thought of all the friends I’d lost and decided to take a break instead. Things have calmed down in my life, and the writing mood came back, slowly. I guess it’s just like with everything: there are times you’re in the mood, and others you aren’t, that’s just how life is and there’s no reason to force yourself when the mood isn’t there!
Now, the next step would be to meet my penpals in person. So far it has never happened, but since I am going to move near the German border next September, I hope I’ll get the chance to meet some of my German penpals then! That’d be amazing.
How long have you been into penpalling? How did you start?