Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sesame, open up!

When I started this blog I thought I will be writing more about penpalling but somehow I always end up posting about something else. Today I thought about how some people avoid personal topics in letters. I can’t say I open up easily, I am rather distrustful and often keep what is bothering me for myself, because some things are too painful, too shameful or simply I don’t want to stress other people with my troubles. So I only share personal things with closest friends. However penpals for obvious reasons, as letters are really personal means of communication, gain my trust faster. After all, I can’t imagine writing only about silly stuff. Therefore I can’t understand why people avoid talking about themselves. I never expect anyone to write all their secrets in first letter. This comes with time. But it’s so frustrating when you put efforts and the other person is closed like a safe, nothing personal comes from her or him and after a year of penpalling you feel that you really don’t know that person. I just want to scream, Sesame, open up! I am writing to you because I want to get to know you, be friends, share my life with you, not only happy moments. It can’t be one sided...

To all the people who are afraid to open up, I dedicate this song, which always comes to my mind when I think of penpalling.


  1. OMG, what a stunning lady! And what an interesting song and background ^.^ (I couldn't watch the damn video because it's not available in my country =.= so I've found a live version on youtube) Nigerian and Romanian Roma mix born in Germany ^^
    I guess I'm a person who really has nothing to hide! I don't share certain things with anyone and that's ok, I bet everybody does have things like that somewhere deep inside... Lately I've read a description of someone who was told to have many layers... You think that you know the person very well, but then you will discover another and another layer underneath... I guess I'm that kind of person... I don't see the point in writing superficial letters about exterior stuff... I believe the exterior stuff I write about still bears some prints of my personality because it's the world through my eyes... but still, I feel the need to talk about personal things... our feelings make us human... I've been used and hurt and told ~ don't just trust people, don't just lay everything to their feet... but if you don't give, you won't receive... You need to be able to glue your heart's pieces and move on ^.^ Give others a chance to get through to you!

  2. I can sign everything that Tanuki has written!! I don't open up easily to strangers in "real life", but in writing it is lots easier for me. My first letters share already a lot about me and I expect to learn more about my new penpal in the first letter as well. Lately, when I read several times in penpal groups that many people prefer short (first) letters in general and feel overcharged with long ones that share a lot of personal stuff, i have become a bit insecure. Who knows how many people I have bored to death already with my long personal letters!? ;D On the other hand, i think those people who are bothered by that and have problems to open themselves even after many letters, are not the kind of people I am looking for anyway. Just right now, I am struggling with the letters of a penpalship that started really well about 1,5 years ago. But still after that long time, i couldn't really reach the other person. I tried it many times and shared a lot myself, but nothing comes back. :( You are right, it is really frustrating and I have no idea where it will lead us. Not far, probably... I don't feel a real friendship can be developed like that, and this is what i actually look for when I start writing with someone.

  3. I hardly tell people I know in person anything about my and often I'm not really interested but thats also because my life is work and home which is quite boring I know. So when it comes to writing letters I end up pouring everything out that comes to my mind at that time but I also respond to what my friends have written too which can result in really long letters. There are still bits and pieces I haven't shared as they haven't come up but if they ever did I wouldn't not answer them. I think thats why its important to write more then 2 times a year to someone as you never get to know that person but also you miss out on so much of their lives.

    If I feel I don't click with someone I let them know instead of dragging the friendship on for some time only to feel a little disappointed when their letter arrives in the post.

    Ok I'm going to listen to that song now as I was in the living room when I was reading your message.

  4. What a beautiful song and location too.

    I forgot to say I wanted my my blog to be a little bit of everything but I've hardly posted anything for snail mail which I was thinking about lately and felt quite disappointed. The only thing is I don't know what to post even though I've tried thinking hard about it... one day I do hope to go out myself and take photographs of Bradford to turn into postcards to swap so maybe I'll dedicated a section to that but still... I don't know, I wanted to create postcards already to give to people on my blog but I don't know if anyone will request to take them or even suggested a cheer up for a friend.

  5. Dear Aga,

    I still have so many secrets, there are things that will take me ages to tell to a pen pal, I know it would be so much easier because I don't see the person, but I am a Person and I know how people easily fall in judgemental thoughts, even if sometimes it happens more like an instinct, it happens just because we can't rule our own mind, it rules us, right? There are things that hurts us so much inside and in some moments I wished to stop being so nice and tell them exactly like I am picturing them, full of blasphemies some people would cry to listen. Actually, did you ever realized how polite people tend to be in penpalling, I bet we all swear in real life, at least we say "sh*t" in our languages (or other languages too sometimes, I do!) quite a lot, and sometimes it would fit so much better in our written thought but we change it. It's all about trust, isn't it? Do you remember that time we shared ugly words in our languages? I was a feeling weird to write it. Today I don't really care to swear a couple of things with some people. I trust each person differently. With some I trust more this, with other that. Our personalities match at some point and in those points I trust one thing to one, and other side to other. Do you know what I mean?

    One thing I think many people never thought about. I do think we letter writers are more sensitive, we spend all our free time writing about us, analytic ourselves and the others and looking for a pen pal and not just a random person around us to be our friend is to look for that same sensitivity, to share. That's why we may trust more a pen pal than a person that lives next to our door.

    Some people are more shut to the world, due to personal, cultural or any other reasons, some time more to open, other never open themselves, but it is other issue. I do believe that most of the long/massive letter writers open easily, not in a random or vain way, we know what we look for and we know when we find that, we write long letters because we open our hearts and we need enough paper to write all that goes inside us.

    I had a pen pal for more than two years, she used to write long letters and used to say she liked me a lot. Happens that I as much as I liked her I couldn't feel bonded to her because she never used to mention personal/deep things, it was all about school, trips, she didn't use to send messages, she didn't use to interact through any other ways even if we were connected by them (as facebook, interpals,..) about half of a year and after listen quite a lot she would be sending me mail she never gave news and I gave up of her. I don't feel bad or that I wasted my time. It was an experience, I learned a lot about her culture but it ended.

    I also thought my blog would be about penpalling and even if I talk about it often I think that those topics we discuss about penpalling are quite strict and I feel they are too debated already. I spend hours trying to figure out something new.


  6. I think I wrote a letter! Not a comment! Geez I was scared when I got a message telling it was too long to publish and I went back and it had disappeared... one year less to live! uff

  7. It is an interesting topic. I used to be a VERY closed person. But I think studying psychology helped me to share my feelings and thoughts more easily. Besides psychology taught me not to judge without knowing the reasons. We all behave in peculiar ways because there is a story behind us. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Confidence is important.

    Right now I have a problem with a friend because in 10 years of friendship she does not dwell on any subject and not say anything when she's happy or sad. Is frustrating and sad for me ;___; I hope she changes someday.

  8. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts about this topic. I really appreciate that. I see I'm not the only one who is bothered by that. Of course I know everyone can't write all the personal things just like that and there are these things deep inside which most of us doesn't want to flow out in front of anyone. It takes time to trust people too. Everyone is scared of judgment and being hurt by people. I realise all these things. And I never think to push anyone to write everything but not even a little piece of emotion or feelings bothers me. I also think it won't lead anywhere.

    I am happy that if not all then some of you enjoyed the song as it's one of my very favourite ones and I think Ayo is gorgeous and with heavenly voice:)