from one mailbox to another

This week I received my first bit of mail at my new ‘home’. I was delighted to say the least. There is something about receiving mail to your new address that makes it all seem a little bit more real. Like, ‘hey I live here now, it says so on the front of this envelope’. As if all it takes is someone writing your name with your new address to make it so. It’s a surreal feeling in a way, especially in this day and age, with email, Facebook, Instagram and the likes. There are so many ways to communicate with one another from across the country (or world), that snail mail, as it has so accurately been called, is becoming less and less common. Which is a shame, as there is something so meaningful and heartfelt about sending and receiving real, handheld mail.

I remember receiving mail when I was in Australia. A few things here or there from friends, nothing spectacular that is engraved into my memory. But the thing I do remember about my mail, is that I kept it with me, even as I moved from place to place (3 different living situations in total). I always had it with me so that I could remember that even if I don’t get to talk to my friends and family every day, and even though I cannot see them, I am loved. It’s cheesy but it’s true. I live for the little bits of mail I receive. Hey even when I am not away, but that’s just usually the weekly online shopping packages I get in the mail.

I think my favourite bit of mail while away, and this is going to sound ridiculous to most, was a sample of adult diapers I received at my second ‘home’ in Australia. Now I know what you are thinking, but let me explain. My sister and I have had this weird mail thing happening, ever since we both moved out of our parents house (though I have moved back a few times). Her best mail prank to me was sending me a free sample of adult diapers to my University house. I died. Especially since it was done in the summer when my neighbours were collecting our mail for us. Now imagine my surprise when she found a way to send me a sample of adult diapers to my house in Australia. I am pretty sure I laughed so hard I cried. It seems silly to say ‘it was thoughtful’. But I mean, it really was. I was still able to joke around with my sister from the other side of the world. Not to mention, my roommate Nicole and I somehow managed to convince our friend Nick to put the diapers on over his skinny jeans and let us take pictures. I won’t humiliate him and post them, but they were pretty funny pictures.

In Thailand I did not receive much mail, and that was a bit hard. I remember being jealous when others received mail and/or packages, and I, none. My sister had sent me a package with art made by my niece, but I never received it. It broke my heart. But I did quite enjoy being the one to send mail. I sent postcards made by the app Postcard on the Run, where you can make postcards from your own pictures. I remember being so excited to send Ryan a package of random Thai things, as he had been to Thailand before. I threw in t-shirts that I had found for him, cheap sunnies, and random things. It’s so fun to put together care packages for people and send them, even if it is not always cheap.

So imagine my surprise when I have only been at my new ‘home’ for a week, and I get a nice orange envelope in the mail. It’s funny because even before I saw the return address written on the back, I knew who it would be from. Ryan’s mum has always been the sweetest lady, and always has the perfect cards and such, for every occasion. I opened it up to find a paper skeleton to hang up for Halloween, signed from his parents. Such a simple thing to send, yet something that made my whole week. I have already hung it on the back of my bedroom door, as a reminder that someone thought enough of me to send me something.

First piece of mail in my new ‘home’. Thanks Jimmy & Gail.

I am and always will be a huge advocate to sending real mail. Although I am thankful that there are other options. Emails are fantastic. Facebook posts are lovely. Being able to share my adventures on social media is quite remarkable when you think about it. But a quick letter in the mail, a card, a hand drawn picture; these things are priceless. And I am forever grateful to those who choose to take the time to send out anything. I plan to do the same, and write letters with my typewriter and send them to those I love. In fact, I am going to go out and buy some fun stationary today (here’s hoping there is a store here that sells such thing).

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