Out With the New, in With the Old: Pen Pals During Quarantine

When quarantine started, I felt lost — a type of lost I hadn’t experienced before. Before COVID-19 started I had a lot on my plate, which made me happy and excited about 2020. But once everything occurred, I felt like I was watching everything burn up in front of my very eyes. 

School had officially postponed in-person classes, I was moving between my apartment and my parents' home constantly, and just about everything felt out of place. 

When I officially moved back into my apartment, I was excited to spent time with my girlfriend and adventure out around Orlando (at least, as much as one can during a pandemic). Instead, I got dumped, gained weight, and became more broke than I had ever been. It's ironic and funny now — but then, I was heartbroken. Feeling extra alone because I was unable to see my friends, I turned to something close to it: crafts. Big surprise. 

First, I tried to paint, but painting for me can get heavy. And in the case of my breakup, it got heavy to the point where I was loving the color black...and my favorite color is green. Anyways, I decided maybe painting was too broad for me. I needed to bring back a habit of mine that would only spew positivity. In other words, I knew I had to venture back to something that only gave euphoric vibes to my life: stationery. 

If there's anyone who truly knows me, it’s my grandma. I’m grandma's favorite and she’s mine. My whole life I grew to adapt her habits of reading, writing, and collecting antiques and stationery. That woman continues to amaze me as I grow, and this activity made me miss her more than ever. But now, onto stationery. 

First, I tore apart everything craft-wise that I had and found stickers, glitter, lavender, and everything else a good letter needs. I hand-painted the envelopes and wrote sweet messages for everyone. At first, this activity was basic; I posted on my Snapchat to my friends to ask if anyone would like a letter during this time. The idea of giving your address out is enough to scare me, so I made it known that they were getting used for only that and would not be posted anywhere. 

At first, I got anywhere from five to 10 requests for a letter. By the end of the month of July, I had sent out over 50 letters to people all over the United States. I made posts on Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok (where it blew up), and it turns out a lot of people loved the idea! From California to Florida, I made friends and followers at the same time. Some even sent letters back! 

I’m still looking to have more pen pals, so if you’re interested, please feel free to message me on Instagram at @kilasonthelamb!