A Letter to J in Indiana

I used to fret over a mess in my inbox. One of my goals last year was to make it a weekly ritual to empty the darn thing completely. And while that is a lovely sight to see, I haven’t had an empty inbox since February 4, 2014.

Such a specific date, you may notice. Surely there is a story behind this, you may think.

There is.

Sometime last summer, I subscribed to the Listserve. Thanks, Justine! It’s an email lottery with (as of right now), 24,556 subscribers, each of which has a chance to win every day. The prize is a single email sent to everyone else. So every day I get an email from someone, somewhere.

My absolute favorite came on February 5, titled a change in my life. In its entirety:

for a long time, i needed the attention of strangers on the internet to feel good about myself, but i don’t anymore.

have a good day,



This single sentence is the most profoundly hopeful message I have ever read. Every time I read it, it affects me again as strongly as it did the first time I read it. On the rare occasion I briefly ponder what I might write about if given the chance, I think how could I ever come close to this?

Thank you, j, for your words. Thank you for encouraging me every day with your message of change.

I only wish that you had included an email for me to thank you directly.

10 Comments on “A Letter to J in Indiana”

  1. Elisha says:

    I admit that sometimes I need the attention of strangers on the internet. Just tonight, I noticed in three hours I lost 39 wordpress followers. I told my husband and he looked at me and then said, ” why do you care?” I have been thinking about his response and then this post ever since. I wish I didn’t care…

  2. Wow, what a sentence! I love it! thank you for sharing!! much love xx

  3. marwil says:

    Wow, that’s a powerful message. And I didn’t know about this, sounds very interesting!

    • April says:

      It’s terribly interesting! More than meeting someone new every day, because sometimes you get such a wonderful slice of their life or a point of view you’d never imagined.

  4. susieshy45 says:

    Did J mean that he/she found a new live friend and not internet friends ?
    Or did J mean that he found his/her inner self and realized he/she didn’t need the approval of others to be him/herself ?
    I wonder.

  5. […] I thought of the book, no one else is going to have exactly the same reaction to it as I did. Even a single sentence can bring this about, as I learned after a certain Listserve email. Thanks for that, William, if […]

  6. […] months ago I wrote about the reason I haven’t had an empty inbox since February 4, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s