There’s no use mourning the dead trend of love letters, because that was a different time and today you’re lucky to even receive a letter in the mail, period. Nevertheless, they still exist today, just in a different format. Our modern-day love letters are the sweet notes left on our kitchen counters when we go to work, the Buzzfeed posts we leave on our friend’s Facebook wall because it reminds us of them, the birthday Instagrams, and the meals where we set our phones down for a little and embrace human communication in its purest form: out loud. And what people don’t realize is that this ability to speak out loud and, most importantly, share our love out loud is what defines our generation and gives us infinite possibilities that never existed before.
For, you see, love letters were a product of a time when people were distant and silenced – sometimes these letters spoke of forbidden loves, lost loves, or loves that were struggling to hang on despite their current situation. They were tokens of affection – something to hang on to and treasure in the long, lonely nights. Today, there’s no such thing. Lonely nights are filled with Netflix, or with mindless Internet scrolling, or with long drives – luxuries that did not exist when love letters were prominent.
We no longer need love letters because constant communication is our norm, and the beauty of our fast-paced, outspoken world is that no matter who you are, what you do, whom you love, what color your hair is; someone supports you and loves you out loud. Someone somewhere is not afraid to show their love and admiration for you just the way you are – transgender, gay, straight, curvy, skinny, young, old, whoever you might be. If you put your love out there, it will be returned, and even the government is learning that there’s little they can do to stand in the way of love when it’s strong.
It’s like when Dumbledore told Harry that “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who deserve it.” Except the world is our Hogwarts and anyone seeking love and companionship need only speak out loud and love will be given. Whether it’s in a support group, in a church community, in an online network of people who embrace the same values, love will be shown to those who bestow it upon the world by loving themselves enough to live their life out loud.
Love is more than a traditional relationship with a marriage and a family; it is a way of life, it is a conscious choice, it is a stand that must be taken. Choosing love means letting go of hate, vengeful thoughts, and all other sorts of negativity that threaten to drown you in the swelling waves of life. It means putting yourself out there for all to see – something traditional love letters never did – despite the often harsh realities of the world.
Every time you share something you love – photos, fashion, books, quotes – you are sending your own little love letter to the world with the message that this is who you are, take it or leave it. You stamp it with your intentions and seal it with your sincerity, hoping all the while that it reaches a safe destination.
And then you get to do something that people never did after writing love letters – you watch your love flourish, grow, inspire, and return to you tenfold.