I have a writer friend who posts writing prompts on Mondays. She calls them Monday Muse and it’s a fun segment to look through from time to time. (if you are looking for some writing prompts or just various writing things she posts here)

Usually I don’t write with the prompt because when it comes to writing prompts I’m actually super picky. But reading through her blog today I was struck by inspiration. Kind of. (Here is the blog that inspired this post)

I was working on one of my other blogs and started thinking about what kinds of things I would tell to someone whom I had never met before about life.

So I thought I would give it a shot. Flex my letter writing muscles and see what comes out. So here you go.


Dearest stranger,

I am not sure by what means you came by this letter but I can only imagine that if you did, there is a reason. Perhaps you are going through a rough time and need guidance. Perhaps you just need to feel like you’re not alone.

Or maybe this isn’t at all what you are looking for. I guess neither of us will know that until we get to the end of this, will we?

I’ve decided, for this letter, to write a few things I’ve learned about life. Well…not life necessarily so much as how to survive it.

Lesson One:

People are going to resent you when you decide to do something they love.

It’s going to happen. If you pick up something you’ve never done before-even if it’s an interest you’ve had for years-if you know people who love that particular craft they are going get mad at you for it. I don’t know why this happens. But it does. Whether it be music, painting, photography, writing, building things, drawing things whatever…someone you know will resent you for suddenly doing that thing. The trick is to not let their attitude affect you.

That’s harder than it sounds, trust me. Especially if you are like me and are hyper aware at all times what everyone in the room could possibly be judging you for.

But if you let what other people think of you deter you from doing something that brings you peace then you will live a terrible existence.

It took me a long time to get to this point-and I’m not even fully there. I’m always conscious of what various people I know will think when I post anything at all anywhere. In order to get past it I wait for the split second where the voice is silent and hit “publish”  Then I have no choice but to deal with it-and neither do they, really.

But I need to do things that make me happy or I will go insane. And so will you. So just do it.

Lesson One-point-five:

You are going to resent people who do the same things you are passionate about.

At some point in your life you are going to find someone who likes/loves the same things you do. And, rather than being able to bond with them over it, you are going to get irritated every time they bring it up. It might be because of how they bring it up and the fact that they give people who do your craft a bad name, or it might be because you feel threatened by them. They might be better than you. If not today then maybe someday. And it’s entirely possible they are going to be more successful than you are someday. And that’s hard to stomach for us ego-centric human beings.

Or it might be for some completely un-explainable reason and you know you’re being irrational but you can’t help it.

These are natural feelings to have, but you have to be careful with them. They are feelings for you and maybe your significant other or best friend. Don’t take your crazy out on this person who is doing or finding something they love. Even if you think they are just awful at it. Even if every time they ask you what you think you cringe and try to find the nicest way to put the fact that you don’t like what it is they are showing you. Still be nice. Still be supportive. You get nothing out of tearing them down and you really wouldn’t like it if the people mentioned in Lesson One did that to you.

Lesson Two:

Never underestimate the power of a best friend.

I have had exactly two best friends in my life. One was from Kindergarten through sixth grade and then I didn’t have a best friend again until about two years ago. I’m not an overly social human being. I don’t like to be in groups of people. Too much noise, too much chaos makes me unbelievably stressed and then the people in the room just think I’m a bitch because I don’t say anything and will occasionally leave the room and come back a few minutes later. Unfortunately those are the types of situations in which one typically makes friends.

I got really lucky finding my best friend as she is married to my boyfriends best friend. There have been some times in the last few years where having Molly to talk/complain to helped me keep my head together. I can ramble at Molly and she helps me clarify my thoughts so I can talk to someone else more clearly about them. She doesn’t take anything personally-like when I take days to respond to her messages and I don’t have to sit and really think about what I’m going to say and then spend days thinking about how she could have perceived the message I sent her. She helps me get out of my own head which is really important to someone who over thinks things to the degree that I do.

Having someone like that for you can make your life so much easier. Having one person in the world outside of a significant other who you can talk to is really important because sometimes you are going to need to complain about your significant other and it’s just not constructive to do it to their faces until you can calm down and clarify your thoughts.

I didn’t realize how important that was until I had it in my life.

Find that person if you don’t already have them You won’t regret it.

Lesson Three:

There is nothing in the world that a nice warm cup of Hot Chocolate with Pumpkin Spice creamer won’t fix. At least for a while.

The world is a dark and strange place filled with dark and strange things. The most I think we can ever hope to get out of life are little moments of peace and occasionally finding someone who understands us.

Best of luck on your journey,




One thought on “A Letter To A Stranger-Response to a Writing Prompt

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