Last year at Burning Man, USA I asked 25 strangers to write a letter to themselves in the real world or “default world” as it’s known in Black Rock City. This could be anything – whether it be a memory, a feeling, good advice for the future or just something they wanted to express to the “default world” version of themselves.
The messages were heart-warming, most following a theme of embracing one’s self and remembering to love. Fascinatingly nobody held back on sharing their hopes, dreams, fears and insecurities with themselves and someone they’d never met.
I took each person’s address and brought the letters back to England. Now five months later (when hopefully these people have completely forgotten they ever took part) I have returned the messages to their rightful owners with letters going out all over America, Australia and Europe.
I have always expressed my belief that we are closest to the true versions of ourselves at festivals (aside from the drinking and drugs associated with most) – we are free; free from our jobs, our commitments, the days of the week, the time of day and the problems of the world.
In these letters most people, in one way or another, told themselves to remember a feeling. We are thrust back into the real world so suddenly after an experience that we quickly forget how free we were and how easily we found happiness – so what better than our own words to remind us?
Everybody I asked to write a letter was delighted, excited and grateful for the project and it made me feel wonderful to be able to give such a gift. That’s why I’ve decided to continue gifting around the world and launch the #NOTETOSELF project.
I invite you all to join me and spread the #NOTETOSELF project as far and wide as possible! Whether you’re at a festival or event, travelling, on holiday or even celebrating in your home ask yourself if somebody around you would want to remember the feeling of right now.
1. Find anything to write on and ask someone to write a letter to themselves in the “real world”,
2. take a photo of that person with their letter at that place and time,
3. ask them to write their address on the back then post it when you feel the time is right,
4. ask that person to do the same for someone else next time they have the chance.
5. Lastly write one to yourself while you’re there!
Please Tweet or Instagram your photos using #NOTETOSELF or email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can build an ever-growing online gallery that we can all look to when we need to remember a bit of happiness.
This is a free gift you can give to a complete stranger and yourself. Enjoy it!
Check out the full up-to-date gallery here.