Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cool things I have sent out to the world via USPS in the past week or so

I've sent so many cool things out via USPS recently that I compiled a list:

1) A surprise to my friend SH. I will post a photo after she receives it, since she occasionally reads this blog.

2) A letter to the parents of a late friend, NG, who passed away about five years ago. She was only about my age, and had lost a hard battle to a particularly vicious cancer. I had stumbled upon an email from her, in which she shared with me the news that her cancer had metastasized to her lungs, and that, given the poor response her cancer had previously shown to chemo, she was feeling "a bit buggered" about the situation. But she claimed life and gave it her all, and it was heartening and astonishing to see. She returned to her field work in Indonesia (she had been pursuing her master's degree in wildlife biology, and spent her field work studying critters in the jungle there).

... after the obligatory period of hiding under my duvet with a bottle of vodka, I emerged bloody-minded as ever and determined to get as much out of life as possible whilst I still could. I finally dragged my parents onto a long-haul flight and went on an amazing safari in Tanzania, and then went out to work in Indonesia over the summer as planned... I got back from there in September and got in touch with the drug-trials unit at the hospital which has been treating me. They had a few possible trials I could join, but none of them are without side effects, so I decided that whilst I was healthy enough to travel I would carry on going. I went out to do a bit more work in Malaysia in November, and then went on another holiday with my mum and dad. After Tanzania they’d both got the safari bug, so I didn’t have to do much persuading to get them to go to South Africa for xmas and we spent new year’s eve on a sand dune in Namibia!

She was incredibly courageous, and funny, and kind, and unselfish. She closed her email with, "I was really thrilled to see you finally got your Masters' after all your hard work, and its great you’re on the PhD track too... Keep focused on your PhD plans and get yourself that big fuzzy doggy!"

So I printed out the email, enclosed it in a card, and told her parents how much her words had meant to me, and that I was, indeed, finishing up my PhD, and that I have not one big, but two medium-sized, fuzzy doggies. And I thanked them for creating such a rare person and a precious friend.

3) An unsolicted cover letter and resume to a tiny company that I'd like to work for and with whom I have no contacts, even after scouring LinkedIn. I had heard that there was no point in doing that, in today's world. But then thought, why not at least try?

4) My braid to Locks of Love.

5) A birthday card HL, to one of my oldest and dearest friends.

6) A New Year card to SA, an old friend from high school days with whom I hadn't been in touch since the late 90's. He found this blog, and dropped me a line! What a wonderful surprise! It's been a nonstop email conversation since, and he mentioned in passing that he sends New Year cards instead of Christmas cards. I mentioned that I did that, too, but for practical over ideological reasons--I just never get them out on time! So I sent him one of mine from past years, showing scenes in and around Fairbanks. It's a bit different from Tokyo, where he lives now!

After thinking carefully about each item on the list, and what the relationship reflected in it has meant, I feel very blessed. I am a lucky person indeed.

Final, irrelevant note: Apparently, fruit and veggie shares will deliver to Kotzebue. And Maija ate a mango. In Kotzebue. Who knew?


bt said...

FWIW -- I think the unsolicited approach is more likely to work with super small companies.

It's how I got my first real job, actually... When getting ready to graduate, I sent an unsolicited resume and cover letter to a company that didn't offer me a job the first time I interviewed. They were so flattered that I remembered them and wanted to work there after they rejected me (and apologized for their mistake because they guy they hired instead was horrid).

Debs said...

Loving the fact you've written to NG's parents - they'll be thrilled to hear from you. I still think of her often. She really was an inspiration (it's easy to just say that about people, but I do really, really mean it).

Arvay said...

BT, I'd love to get an apology for being passed over. :)

Debs, there's a LOT I say about NG that sounds trite but is true of her. It's too bad so many words are so devalued these days. She was truly amazing, kind, and good. :*)