Pen Pal

Some time ago, a few of my good friends from SUCCESS magazine and I got together for lunch. I think it had been over a year since I had seen them, so it was great to reconnect. Misty even wore the “Sam Watson Official Fanclub” shirt (Japanese version) I made for her nearly a decade ago.

Not sold in stores.

At the end of lunch, my good friend Hugh, who I have always held in the highest regard, asked if I would keep him posted on my upcoming adventures. I have never been good at keeping in touch with people and I dismissed his eagerness to connect by saying to read the latest I am up to on my blog.

It might have been on the ride home that I started to kick myself for being so… me. I felt like I came off as a total jerk.

I don’t usually call or write to people. Everyone I hang out with is due to proximity. We work together or you are family or are my neighbor. Maybe I will see my good friends once or twice a year.

I consider myself a good friend in that if invited to your kid’s birthday party, or to help you move or to fix your computer I will be there!

However, I automatically assume that people are very busy with their lives and I don’t want to intrude. I am the worst at keeping in touch with people. Even though I think I am great, I don’t think that people would want to hear from me. They have got their own thing going on, right?

But this all led me to think about how life is all about connection. In high school, I wrote great letters to my friends with drawings and such. In college, I would write bad poetry on the train. I can only imagine what my adult letters will be like!

Then I thought about some of the great works in history: Seneca writing Lucilius, the Pauline epistles, and other works of philosophy came down to us as correspondence between peers. 

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

How exciting would it be to get something other than a bill in your mailbox? When I was a kid I would hear about people with pen pals in different countries and thought it sounded so cool.

Matthew, my replacement who worked with me at SUCCESS and was at said luncheon, told me that there was still time to make things right with Hugh.

Back in July, I ran a book giveaway and only five people entered. I ended up purchasing a book for everyone who entered (it was a really good book so I was glad to do it). There are a little over forty people on my mailing list and though the price of stamps has gone up, they are relatively cheap. My thought is, even if everyone signs up I can still manage to be a pen pal…

That is what I am proposing to you, dear reader. Being a pen pal!

My penpalmenship will start after I sell my house and move (we are set to close next month and do a two-week leaseback). So I’m thinking it might be October before the first mailing. Since I plan on having a more fluid address for a few years, I am looking into a virtual mailbox or something for you to mail back to. The return address situation will all be figured out by the time I send out that first letter.

Much like my unsubscribe policy, I promise to never sell your address or be a nuisance. This is supposed to be fun. If you differ from me ideologically and want to talk about it, I welcome your views!

I plan on always sending a letter back to every letter I receive. I’m talking about handwritten letters! So what do you say? Want to be a pen pal?

By Sam Watson

I'm pretty good at Microsoft Excel but a freak in Google Sheets.

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[…] some time ago, I created a signup form to become a pen pal with me. We had sold our house, and my son and I were on our way to Costa Rica […]

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