My Listserve Experience

I signed up for The Listserve prior to its launch. I wanted to be apart of an experience where I could learn from many people living all over the globe. I find people fascinating. Sometimes it involves a chuckle or a head tilt, but fascinating nonetheless. You may be wondering, “WHAT IS THE LISTSERVE?” You can read in more detail about this project in my original post here.

I wanted to share with you some parts of the emails I have received so far. I will be copying their words precisely, so if there is any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes within the quoted text, this is why. I have also concluded that words are spelled and used slightly different in other parts of the world than how we may use them in America.

 This first piece is from Emily, living in Virginia. She chose to write an essay about a girl’s experience, maybe even hers, at college. Here is a snippet of it…

“…While most students would probably celebrate this cancelation, she felt empty, as empty as the room she was standing in. Instead of the interaction she longed for, even if it was forced, she was once again thrust into an abnormal solitude.”

Nicholas who is journeying from Germany to France wrote…

“…When I turned twenty I had reached a point where my earthly possessions could be summarized as the clothes I was wearing, an old bag containing some more clothes, a few science-fiction books, and my guitar. No money, no place to live, just a bunch of friends who helped me out of the streets and put me back on my feet.”

 An Anonymous Listserver from London, England shared some of their secrets.

“…I’m going to just share some secrets with you instead.

 1. When no one is watching, I like to dance as if I’m in a hip hop music video.

2. I haven’t washed my hair for four days. Dry shampoo is one of my favourite  inventions.

3.  I’ve always wanted to break my arm or leg. I don’t want to really go through the pain, just ever since I was younger I’ve been jealous of the slings and crutches involved.

4. I like Justin Bieber’s new song… I don’t want to and it pains me to say it, but I think I do….”

This person did not leave their name or country of origin but had this to share…

“…If we can all seek to find what is a large part of ourselves, perhaps we can use that knowledge to secure better lives for ourselves, each other, and our children.  If I can do so, I give all appreciation and thanks to those who have made my life full of wonder.  Only the mistakes have been mine.”

Wissam from England had this to share…

“…There is beauty in the world and guess what humans being are part of this beauty. So say Hello to it as much as you can.

Goodbyes are part of life. If they hurt it just means that the first Hello involved was a blessing.”

Sam from Providence, Rhode Island…

“…I can choose to force myself to consider the likelihood that everyone else in the supermarket’s checkout line is just as bored and frustrated as I am, and that some of these people probably have harder, more tedious and painful lives than I do.” But the point is not so much what you should think, rather that you get to choose what to think, and especially that you can choose to be happy. Strive to be happy.”

Anh from New York…

“…When I lost my job, I was poor, eating cliff bars for meals and collecting free samples of eye cream from Sephora. Today, I am still poor, eating cliff bars for meals and collecting free samples of eye cream from Sephora.  What’s different, however, is my preconceived notion of my career path and who I am.  Hitting rock bottom was the catalyst for me to reinvent myself and try things I never thought I could do.”

Megan from New York said this…

“…But today, I need a break, and I’m doing the things that make me feel healthy and happy.  Before I go out and conquer the world or something.

Before I go, a really fantastic high school student asked me to tell you this: “Everyday is a Restart Day.”

Sandra from San Francisco had to be one of my favorite emails. Her began like this…

“…You are a unique, badass, and multi-faceted human being. There is no one else even remotely like you. Who are you to withhold your greatness from the world?…”

Maura from Astoria, New York shared a childhood memory.

“…Memory is a funny thing, though. It turned out that the two girls had actually died when I was in kindergarden, on a May day in 1981. This fact came up by accident on Saturday, when I was sitting in my parents’ kitchen, the same one where I ate breakfast every day before trucking off to school and seeing that painting…”

 Shea from Austin, Texas not only shared his favorite pizza recipe but began his email with this to say…

“…Every single one of us is going to be worm food in a hundred years, so have fun while you’re here and try not to worry so much.

This used to scare the shit out of me, but we’ve been dead for the last 14 billion years and have had no objection to that.”

 Chris from Cedar Rapids, Iowa shared what he called… GOOD, LIFE CHANGING NEWS he received…

…There is forgiveness for my failings.

There is grace for my faults.

There is love I can’t understand.”

Kip from Portland, Oregon shared his experience from a 1987 civil rights march and how it affects his life today.

“…I tried to turn my body into a shield I directly faced these people screaming the most hateful and violent words I have ever heard uttered. I thought I had understood racism and prejudice. I understood nothing.”

Sam from New York shared his experience about his job…

“…It’s a place where we can build, where dreams are celebrated, but only if they are followed up by action. Where ideas are great, but not as great as the process of building, of showing others…”

Philipp from Passau, Germany shared this…

“…After all, we are forced to get along together. There is no way of escaping our home planet and, as yet, there is nowhere else to reach besides our pale blue dot.”

I have also learned about computer software, bees, and 5 tips to starting a business, as well as about Patrick of Ireland.

Chris from Juba, South Sudan shared his version of a recipe for a “Solid Bloody Maria” I think that’s a recipe for a drink called Bloody Mary from where I live.

Elsa shared her love of Albania and described this “hidden gem.”

Arthur taught me how to survive India

Jamie from Australia shared his regret about never thanking the man who saved his life when he and his family went on a vacation when he was a young boy. He is hoping that man is on The Listserve.

David from Lancaster, U.K. shared his experience traveling to Vietnam.

Trevor from San Mateo, California encouraged us to finish whatever project we begin.

Cathleen from New York shared her regret over wondering what could have been.

And most recently, an Anonymous Listserver from New Mexico had this to say…

“This listserve, like the real world, is a better portrayal of how much more kind, thoughtful, and accepting people actually are… May I humbly suggest that none of us know the inner workings of every human heart. Religious zealots may have been indoctrinated, the poor may be so because they support others, and the classically uneducated may be wiser than their lack of a degree may evince. If I could share something from my life experience that I think could help all of you, it would be to not only to treat people justly and rightly, but also with respect. I’ve had personal experiences with people who, in retrospect, have been astonishingly wiser than I, but who were easy to dismiss because they had learned that wisdom is its own qualifier…”

To date there are 20,554 people from 93 countries signed up for The Listserve. I am excited to be apart of a project that allows me into the life of 20,000+ strangers, who I would have never have learned about otherwise.

I have no idea when my email address will be picked and although I have jotted down some notes, I really don’t know what my message will consist of.  So for now I’ve decided to wait for that moment, and enjoy and learn from the many people living all over the globe!

Are you interested in being apart of this experience? If so, this is the link here.

Would you want to remain Anonymous (this is an option) or share your name with others?  


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