Monday, March 21, 2011

my baby she wrote me a letter

Well, it's quite obvious that my blog views depend on my self-pimping on Facebook and Twitter. Yikes. Hopefully people will find this.

Shari asked me to write more about my Lenten Letter Project. Well. It all started my senior year of college. I was in class one day, thinking about graduation and "fear of the unknown", which led to me thinking about all the people who helped me get through my four years of college. Financially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically...you get it. So, I started writing letters. Handwritten thank you letters to people who I felt made a significant impact on my life during college. I think I wrote about 80 letters total. I wrote from everyone to my freshmen orientation leader to Melinda. From the friends from high school who I stayed in touch with to my sorority sisters I had lost touch with in those final years of college. It was an incredibly refreshing and liberating experience. Those letters were some of the most heartfelt writing I had ever done in my life. No editing, just straight out telling people how I felt, and thanking them for their support. The response was over whelming. I got the sweetest reply letters, thank you cards, etc. From then on, I made it a point to write handwritten notes and cards to people. I tried to do it for Lent last year, but I didn't make it past much further than a few of my co-workers at Cristo Rey. No doubt, they deserved to hear how much I loved them, but so did everyone else in my life.

So, this year, I sat down and wrote out a list of names of all the people whom I wanted to write too. It's long. Much longer than 40 names. It's not nearly 80, but enough that I have to do two a day for the first week or so. (You can do the math). Some of those people I talk too daily, others I rarely speak with. I just want them to know I love them and care about them, and that I am praying for them. I started just assigning dates to names. Once I look at the name of the person, I take out my journal and make bullet points of everything I want to say. Then I write the letter, and, again, it is straight from the heart. I've gotten a little teary with some of them already, because sometimes it is so hard to express to someone what they mean to me. Anyways, the response so far has again been outstanding. I've gotten texts, e-mails, a crying mommy (sorry mom), etc from people, thanking me for the letter. It is just further proof to me that it so so essential for us to express to one another how much we care.

So, I'm going to challenge everyone who reads this to write one letter. You don't have to write forty, you don't even have to write two. Just one. Handwritten. Tell someone you love them, what your relationship with them means to you. I promise you will get as much joy in the experience as the person receiving the letter. You may even get addicted ;-)

Here are some other things I've written these past two weeks. Not exactly my best, but, oh well.

“Jasmine”
This will seem pretty obvious to some of you, but this was written about one of my favorite students. It's pretty simple, but I got my point across. I love you, Jazzy!.

All her life she’s been told
She won’t make it out of here
That she’ll end up just another statistic
They tell her no one likes a kid from Detroit
But they’re wrong, so wrong
She’ll make it, she’ll fly
She’s got dreams of going to the moon
First she’s got to discover
Just how much she’s worth
She believes in the power of music
And keeps a journal for her thoughts
She’s seen too much and grown up too fast
But she’s got more strength than you could believe
And I know she’ll make it, she’ll fly
She’s got dreams of going to the moon
First she’s got to discover
Just how much she’s worth
She deserves a day without tears
And to let go of all her fears
I can’t wait for her to prove them wrong
She won’t get lost in the shuffle
She just needs someone to believe in her
Girl, believe in this
You’ll make it, You’ll fly

“never coming back”
It was only just now that I realized how much this is similar to Taylor Swift's "Back to December". Oops. This isn't about anyone in particular, it's just a common theme in my life that people tend to leave.

Don’t care until it’s too late,
Don’t care until you’re gone
And now you’re never coming back
Never coming back to me
I take the blame, this one’s on me
I could’ve had you back then
But I watched you walk away
I should have chased you
Cuz I knew you were never coming back
Never coming back to me
It’s all hitting me now
I’ll never look into those emerald eyes again
Oh how I wish I’d realized what I had
You were my everything, now you’re gone
And you said you’re never coming back
You’re never coming back to me
Why do I always do this?
I don’t care until it’s too late,
I don’t care until you’re gone
And now you’re never coming back
Never coming back to me
If I had one more chance
Just one more try to get it right
I promise you’d never want to leave
Oh, please come back to me


“The Boy In The Striped Shirt”

This is my favorite because of the way I wrote it. I had a ton of different phrases written down in my journal that I wanted to use for song lyrics. Rather than trying to come up with 6 different songs, I just mushed them all together, and this is what I got. I bolded the phrases that I had written down.

We were comfortable
That’s what you said the day you left
I’ve never known that to be negative
But I guess I got too close
I’m a lost cause without you
Weeping with the rain outside my window
Memories are chasing me out of sleep
And I have a drawer of lost things

I’ll put your picture there tonight
You know they warned me about you
They said watch for that boy
That boy in the striped shirt
He’s just the type to pack up and go
And he leaves a trail of destruction
But avoiding you was not that easy
I’ve never seen myself this weak
I’m a lost cause without you
Weeping with the rain outside my window
Memories are chasing me out of sleep
And I have a drawer of lost things
I’ll put your picture there tonight
I should have listened when they said
That boy in the striped shirt
His smile is a thorn to the heart
He’ll be gone by September
He’s just the type to pack up and go
Did anyone warn you about me
The girl in the
She falls fast, you see
And she’s just the type to stick around
So don’t you try to pack up and go
She’ll be a lost cause without you

2 comments:

Shari said... Add Reply

You are SUCH a talented writer - and I feel like I'm being repetitive by saying that, but it's just so true. This is my favorite line from the pieces you posted: "She’s got dreams of going to the moon." There's just something so hopeful and inspiring about it.

And thank you for writing about your letter project! I'd been curious what originally inspired it and really enjoyed reading all your thoughts. I agree with you 110% about the important of expressing how much we care about people, especially through something as personal as a handwritten letter. I still write love to write them :)

JayJay said... Add Reply

I didn't realize I'd get homework if I read your blog!
Seriously, a really good idea. I'll be waiting for my letter as I'm sure I'm on that list! ;)