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Letters 2

As I said last December, I decided to do a happiness project, which entails that I do something unusual, strange or, outright silly every month that I would normally not do.  For the month of December, I chose to write letters to myself.

What does it mean to write letters to the self?  The idea came from my desire to see messages that I would like to receive.  How many times do we get rejection letters?  Or, “I am sorry” letters either in professional or personal capacity?  We get denied scholarships, promotions, credit cards and even visits from our loved ones for the holidays.  We hear the words “no” so many times!  Lately, I have received letters from short story competitions where I did not make it into the top ten.  As a writer, I am used to the idea of rejection.  But, it still does not make it easy!  So, I decided to write letters to myself that I would want to receive.  Call it a “pretend game” or a “feel good” game!  Whatever we call it, I wrote dozens of them this month.

The rules are simple.  Sit down and write a letter that you would like to see someone send you.  Address it to yourself on top and pretend that the person is writing it to you something really nice.  I wrote congratulatory letters about winning on short story competitions, being offered a new job, being admitted to another PhD program, winning on the lottery and having won a new car.  I also wrote letters from relatives both living and dead who would be happy to see me.  I wrote letters from people I have previously written to but did not receive an answer from.

Am I crazy?  Maybe, I am.  But, it did help.  It kept up my spirit.  I felt like a million dollar after each letter.  In my spare time, I reread the letters to make me feel upbeat!

Moreover, some of the letters I wrote, I actually arrived later on.  For example, I wrote a pretend letter from another author, to whom I wrote at summer time but, she did not respond.  Once I wrote down the pretend response, I actually received a letter from her.  The letter was even similar in tone and wording that I wrote to myself!

I recommend this game to everyone.  If you try hard in life, chances are that you will get a lot of rejection letters.  You can rationally explain to yourself that it is the result of trying, but it will still leave you with a sense of disappointment.  Letters addressed to yourself can take that feeling of disappointment away and provide you with extra energy.  Or, if you believe in magic, it might attract you the desired letters and they may actually arrive to you in the mail.  So, go ahead and give this exercise a try!  You can only gain by trying it!

M. J. Mandoki