C’est La Vie


C’est La Vie

A blisteringly hot summer afternoon as I pulled into the carpark to collect my daughter from surf camp, and I couldn’t be more excited as she climbed in next to me and gushed about the two new friends she had made that day.

As she shared enthusiastically how not only were they funny and smart, they actually lived in Paris… one of both mine, and her, favorite cities in the world, I could hardly contain myself.

“Sweetheart that’s fantastic, you can be pen friends” I trilled, excited for her at the mere thought of having a true connection in the beautiful City of Love and Lights.

I could have sworn I saw the the color drain from her face as the smile dropped and she looked at me like I had suddenly grown a second head.

“Pen friends. What IS that. Really, how old are you mummy?”

I was so shocked and taken aback that I was left swirling for a moment as the words rattled around my head in pure confusion, working to find a simple and logical answer as to WHY exactly, she thought it to be such a strange and alien concept.

To write a letter, to a friend, who lives in another city, state or country. How could that really be such an unusual notion?

Ahh yes, but of course.. that little issue of modern day technology, text messages, social media and emails.

Clearly the apparent archaic skills of letter writing by hand, not just using our digits to type, was slowly fading, soon to be rendered obsolete. All the same end result but just a shocking and startling reminder of how the world has moved on and the need for personal connection and expression of feelings has been replaced by impersonal, and sometimes easily misunderstood, platforms and ‘gadgets’.

Call me old fashioned, or, in the words of my daughter, simply ‘old’, I prefer to say just a tad traditional. I have to admit to being a sucker for the old school way of doing things. Calling people to talk to them, not just texting, writing a card or a letter, not just typing an email or actually having a face to face conversation, not just a direct message chat.

I challenge you to recall the last time you received a hand written letter or note, but if you can, how did it make you feel?

The fact that someone cares and thinks enough about you to take the time to not only choose the paper or the note card, but to then sit down and to compose something really personal, no matter how brief. To write your address, to find a stamp and then journey to the post office or mail box. That is what connection is all about, and that is what is missing.

I truly believe that sending a letter, a card or a small note, really is the next best thing to showing up personally at someone’s door.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelo
Jessica Headey Gandolfi

Jessica Headey Gandolfi is a children’s author, born and raised in England, now living in Venice, California. Jessica studied creative writing at UCLA and is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). She is currently pursuing her passions of writing, education, and love.

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