IntroductionLife in TucsonSelf-motivation

Postcrossing: Sending and receiving a postcard

Do you like postcards? Have you ever sent or received one? Well, I love postcards. I’ve been sending postcards to some friends and I have received a few as well. It makes me happy 😊

One of the postcard that I wrote. Some friends who study abroad have this postcrossing program, to send one back to schools in Indonesia. And I take part in it.

Actually, I started sending postcards when I first came to the states. I sent some to friends across the states, then I sent some back home. When I was sending them, I just thought that, maybe, somehow they’d be happy when receiving and reading it. I might be conservative. I mean, with the technology where we can just pick up our phone, call, or make video calls, why bother hand-writing a postcard? And it takes sometimes for the message to arrive. And there’s no guarantee that the postcards will be delivered, especially when I send one to Indonesia, where the addresses are not always “clear”. *sigh But, well, I don’t know, I think hand-written messages, albeit taking some time to be delivered and then read, is meaningful. You take the efforts to buy a postcard and stamp and write. You put your feelings into it, and there’s this trepidation as well as excitement waiting for it to arrive. I guess I love such “sensation” 🙈😅✌

I send postcards to motivate people, too. I came from a poor family in a village or a countryside. Being able to study abroad with a scholarship is such an achievement. Thus, I want to motivate them, everyone who are in the same state as I was and even those having a better life. I mean, if I can, then they can also give it a try. And if they live better than me, then they definitely can try to do better. Well, I know how it feels to be scared even just of dreaming. You don’t even dare to dream. You are insecure. You feel discouraged. You feel helpless. You see no way to develop yourself and get a better life. You feel stuck. Etc. I know exactly how it feels. I myself didn’t even think that I’g do abroad like this when I was a child. So I want to motivate, encourage, and inspire them. Or, at least, share a little with them, albeit only stories. I am blessed with all these opportunities so I feel like I have to share some with others.

Thus, I sent postcards to the schools I went. I remember visiting my elementary school when I went back to Indonesia in 2016. I was glad to see that it’s much much better now (They said they got some fund from USAid. Thank you!) I remember when I was studying there everything was limited, very few teachers, no computers, no library (there was one, but in teacher room, let’s just say one shelf). Seeing how more beautiful it has become, however, really made me happy. I know it might be nothing to people whose school have many graduates studying in universities and abroad. But mine is different. I didn’t mean to brag though yes I might sound boasting but yes I was the only graduate to reach this level, the only graduate who could study abroad, so I hope my coming there could motivate them somehow. I mean, if one whose school lacked facilities, who didn’t get to go to kindergarten, and whose parents didn’t even finish elementary schools could study abroad, then they, whose school is much better now, who got the chance to go to kindergarten, and whose parents have higher education than mine did, shouldn’t feel insecure since they have the same chance; and they can do it if they work for it, try and give their bests! And, oh, the teachers said they were happy when the postcard I sent from the US arrived and it was read during school ceremony (it did arrive! I sent it like in early 2015 😍😍😍), and said they’d be happier to see me in person. (Though in actuality, I think they seemed to be more interested in my pictures that I showed them than in my stories on how I got to study in the US 🙊🙈😂😂😂)

One of the postcards that I received from back at home in Indonesia 🙂

I also received happy messages from friends who got a postcard from me. I’m happy that I can do a little thing like that to make people happy. I mean, I don’t know what else I can do, so I just do what I like and can, and I’m glad to find that people actually love it, too 😊 And, oh, actually, when I sent a postcard; I didn’t expect people to send me one in return. I send postcards because I want it and love it and I don’t want people to feel obligated to return it. I just want to make them happy. And I think receiving it unexpectedly is more worth it. Like, for example, if someone suddenly wants to send me a postcard, and I didn’t expect that s/he actually would send me one, it makes me happy: to find out that they actually think of me. It’s different from when I actually request them to send me one. Thus, I scarcely request people to send me one, because the feeling is different. It’s like they send me one not because they want to or because they think of me or because they want to make me happy. There’s not much feeling in it, so I kinda avoid it. (Well, unless we are really close, then maybe we can request one from each other. Hhe)

Anyway, I also love sending some to random people, too, I mean those who actually are not close enough to me, and maybe a few who request one from me. I just think that not everybody has someone they can request it from. Not everyone has a friend who studies abroad and can send them one. So if they receive one from me, who knows it will brighten their day and make them happy. Unfortunately, I cannot send postcards to just everyone. International stamps are quite expensive too. Well, if only I could send more postcards, but I need to save money so I can travel too. Thus, I’m sorry that I cannot send a postcard to everyone, but I really hope that somehow they will get the chance to either receive it from someone else or to visit the place themselves. Amen.

And, oh, I feel bad that some people back at home do not receive the postcards I send them. Some of the addresses in Indonesia are not quite clear so maybe it’s hard to find and thus the postcard isn’t delivered. I don’t mean to break their heart; they must have been looking forward to it. But what can I do? Once I sent them, I no longer had control over it. And if I shall send another, I’m afraid it won’t be delivered as well, so I’d rather not. It’s better to spend it on another address, right? Which is why I don’t really like sending a postcard to the same person twice or more. I want to use the money for the postcard and stamp for other people. It’s better to share with more people, right?

Anyway, postcrossing is fun. Yesterday there was this girl saying hi on my postcard post in Instagram. She asked if it was possible to exchange postcards. And I don’t know why; I just agreed. I thought, why not? Sometimes we just need random things like that to make us (or others) happy. If making someone or being happy is that simple, why make it difficult and complicated, right? So now I look forward to receiving my first postcard from China😊

This is the note I put behind my mailbox, which the post officer replied 🙂

And, oh, sometimes I am too lazy to walk to the post office, so sometimes I just put the postcards in my mailbox for the post officers to pick them up. I remember putting this note behind my mailbox last year. And guess what? The post officer wrote me back with a smile, too! (See the pic). It makes me happy that my writing means something to them. It makes me happy that they take the time to reply. I mean, they can just ignore it and it would be perfectly fine because they don’t have to anyway. But it’s still sweet and nice that they do 😊

Well, I don’t know what else I have to say now. But, well, I hope I can send more postcards and make more people happy. (I’m also considering sending one to myself when I am traveling to other places because I don’t know if I can get a postcard from someone from those places I visit. Haha Gosh, I’m such a narcissist 🙊🙈😅✌✌✌)

PS: I somehow hopes that this trend of sending postcards will also get popular in my country. I mean, not only sending to or receiving one from abroad, but also to and from the different regions or provinces within the country. My country has fabulous landscapes so the pictures will be so beautiful for postcards. And when people get fond of sending and receiving one, it will be better for the post office in Indonesia, too 😊

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