With self-isolation in its fourth month for me, I’ve been desperately looking for ways to keep myself entertained and connected. Social media had always been that outlet for me in the past, especially when I’ve been too sick to go out. But with everyone in the same boat, I started to switch off Instagram and Twitter and looked for something else.
Enter the world of pen pals. Specifically, the Geek Girl Pen Pals program.
I’d had a few pen pals a few years back, but it’s a lot harder to keep up with than what people expect. But I thought I’d give it another shot, and I’ve really been loving it. I’ve been talking to two different pen pals and while we can’t send each other snail mail at the moment, it’s almost as nice to get an email about something that isn’t a sale as it is to get snail mail that isn’t a bill.
I wanted to share my love for pen pals today because I think it’s sadly a little bit of a lost art. It’s such an incredible way to meet people you never would have otherwise. Sometimes you have a lot in common with these new friends, and sometimes you learn new things. One of my pen pals is a bookseller and is trying to get back into crafting, just like I am. An older pen pal of mine was Dutch, loved photography and tea.
For someone who finds it really hard to make and keep friends, getting to meet new people this way is so great. You don’t have to continuously cancel on them because you’re too sick or anxious to go out. And as blasphemous at this might seem, sometimes you need friends who aren’t part of the same online communities as you. The ones who don’t spend hours looking at Twitter drama trying to work out what the hell has happened, or who aren’t talking about the same three books as everyone else.
I’m just saying…pen pals are a gift.