I have to say, I haven’t been more excited to write a blog post than I have been until this evening. I was actually so excited that I just knocked over a ridiculous amount of mail off our coffee table that went sprawling everywhere (it could be, too that I consumed quite a bit of caffeine today and it has left me feeling a bit jittery).
There are three sources of inspiration that caused the sporadic writing of this post:
- Meeting the lovely Cait Flanders (www.caitflanders.com) in person for conversation over coffee.
- Curling up in bed for the next new book I am about to read If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher.
- Discovering tucked in the jacket of said book – a note hand written by a complete stranger, intended for a complete stranger.
Let’s start with #1 on this list – I was ecstatic to learn that Cait was able to make a stop in Eugene along her road trip for us to meet. I have come to learn more and more that living conveniently off I-5 allows for more meaningful connections with family & friends. To be honest, I was also very nervous! I have been following Cait’s content for a long time and she certainly is a true inspiration to myself & many people. When I finally stepped into Starbucks, there was a calmness. I gave her an instant hug, and we talked for 2 hours covering quite a spread of topics! There are a lot of positive things I took away from our time spent, but there are two in particular that truly touched me: 1) We are both communication majors & have a deep passion for written word (notes, letters, etc.). 2) Cait encouraged me that there is still content left for me to write, and it gave me a new sense of confidence that I knew I had in me somewhere. But honestly, I was floored to hear this from a very well-respected freelancer! I am so very grateful for our meeting, and still continue to be blown away by this wonderful community of people.
#2 – Curling up in bed to a new read is, quite honestly, one of my favorite past times. I have a passion for reading that spreads happiness in my mind and heart. It is actually quite incredible how much you can learn from characters (when in fact, a vast majority of characters are inspired by true people in an author’s life). Reading provides me opportunities to relate to people I may not have the chance to encounter in life which is fascinating. At the start of this year, my husband and I made a goal of reading 30 books. I have just surpassed finishing 20, and realize I need to pick back up on my momentum! I intend to do an overview of each book I read at the conclusion of 2016.
#3 – After reading the synopsis in the sleeve of the book I was about to embark on If You Find This Letter, I turned to the back to catch a glimpse of the author & her biography. I saw a white envelope peeking out of the sleeve, and almost flipped back to the front of the book – the white of the envelope practically blended with the white back cover of the book! I slowly pulled out an envelope that stated “This letter is for you.” I instantaneously flipped it over to discover it was still sealed and stated “Open Me!” I called over to my husband to come in the room to tell him what i found, and he excitedly told me to open the letter. I read it aloud. It was glorious and filled me to know that a complete stranger took time & energy to write a letter for another complete stranger. There is lots of generosity in this world, you just have to open your eyes to it and not be consistently blinded by the negative. Also, it was quite incredible because Andrew & I have left hand written letters in books at the public library as well. It makes me wonder how many open letters written by strangers for strangers are left to be discovered – there must be hundreds! At least I would like to wonder…what if every book you checked out had a handwritten letter from a stranger waiting for you? I cannot wait to write a new letter to be tucked into the sleeve jacket of this book.
It is enchanting to me how many connections with people I have now had with moments, conversations, exchanges, etc. that have come completely full circle. What are the odds of meeting someone new, sharing the same passions, and later discovering that very thing discussed appears at your fingertips unexpectedly. It really is serendipitous.
Thank you, Cait for your kindness to reach out and connect with so many people in life. Your positivity and stories to share truly radiate!
For Hannah Brencher the author of If You Find This Letter, I hope you recognize that your movement to show strangers they matter in life still has a profound effect.
To the stranger, or “the girl with messy handwriting“…thank you, for your kind words & time spent writing a letter to instill a spark of passion for me to write again.
And to you, if you find this blog post…please know that you are worth it.