Letters and my lost words 

I am terrible at keeping in contact with people.

I have good intentions – such good intentions – but they somehow always come apart. 

I am the person who constantly begins emails apologising for being a million years late in replying. 

My Ma, on the other hand, is incredible. She buys cards for people and writes letters to everyone she has ever met. She still writes to people she met as a child. 

It’s this beautiful, special thing. 

When I first moved out of home, she would write every week. In the midst of all my moving, I don’t have these letters anymore. In all the many moves since first leaving home, and having to cut and cut down possessions, they were lost. But Ma has kept all of the letters sent to her. They are kept in boxes in cupboards, to be taken out when needed. To be kept simply because they are special and they can.

Moving to London feels like a new start. And why not? It’s a whole new country on the other side of the world, in a new job, with the fewest possessions I’ve ever owned. 

Why not start a little afresh?

And so I am trying to be more like Ma. 

I keep lists of who I need to email now. Technically this is so I don’t forget. So I don’t do that thing I constantly do whereby I start an email, get interrupted, never finish it, and then in my head assume I’ve replied. It’s a work in progress. Lots of my emails still begin with apology. But it’s a start of trying to make my marshmallow lala brain a little more accountable.

And I’m buying cards to send to people for no other reason than the cards seem right for whoever is in my head and I have heir address. Obviously I’m now also trying to get people’s addresses. 

There’s something nice in receiving unexpected mail that isn’t a bill and is actually for you. 

I guess – in finding myself in this huge city around me – and in making a new life with more lists – I’m also making sure to not lose my ties to the ones I love who are now far away. I want to make sure they know they’re loved. 

I want to make sure I say all my words to them, as much as possible. That none are lost. 

And so I’m writing lists and writing to people in all the forms I can, even if the love is a little delayed.

Sometimes it needs more than a like on Instagram. 

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