My twenty-year friendship with Holly began with a Post-it Note. I had recently started my first post-law school job in Madison, Wisconsin, and Holly was a co-worker. I was struggling with my new boss’s demands, and my lack of experience left me without the courage to voice my frustrations with the situation. I must have worn my emotions on my face, because when I returned from my lunch break one day, on my desk was a bright red gerbera daisy next to a Post-it Note that read “Tomorrow will be better. — Holly”
I kept that Post-It Note on my desk where I could count on it to bring a smile to my face every day. Six years later, when feeling stuck in my Los Angeles life and career, I doodled “I Welcome Change” on a Post-it Note at work. A full decade after that, I unearthed that tattered old “I Welcome Change” Post-it Note from the back of a junk drawer, and duct taped it to the dashboard of Princess Leia the Prius to serve as a guiding beacon of hope as Yoda and I spent the next five months driving around the country searching for change and seeking shama.
Last year many of my friends joined me in a month-long “I Welcome Change Post-it Note Challenge,” where we created a Post-it Note mantra welcoming a particular change into our lives. By seeing daily reminders of our Post-it Note mantras stuck in places where we were bound to see them on a regular basis, we found we started making choices and taking steps to help manifest those changes.
Suffice it to say, Post-it Notes have a very special place in my heart. As does my friend Holly. She recently told me that her daughter left her a Post-it Note on her desk that said “I love you.” She remembered the I Welcome Change Post-it Note Challenge, and she began to wondering what changes might occur in people’s lives if their friends would send them messages of love and appreciation on Post-it Notes. So she wrote one for me and mailed it off. It reads “I love and appreciate you for your honesty and openness.” I welled up with tears when I read it, because it arrived on a day when I really needed to hear those words. It now has a prominent place on my desk, much like the Post-it Note she left me years ago with the gerbera daisy.
A couple days ago I wrote some Post-it Notes myself, telling a few select people what I love and appreciate about them. As I walked back from putting them in the mailbox, I wondered if these people would feel as good about themselves as I did when I opened Holly’s Post-it Note to me. But even more than the thought that I might be making someone else’s day better, I realized I had improved my own. Days later, I’m still happy about sending off those Post-it Notes. That’s because I realize the power of telling friends and loved ones how I feel about them. It makes me happy, it improves my day, and it makes me love myself just a little bit more. It’s like a release of bottled up tension that allows a surge of positive energy to fill the vacant space.
You should try it too, another Post-it Note challenge of sorts. Write a Post-it Note telling someone what you love and appreciate about them and see what changes come about. You just may make someone a little bit happier, and that person could very well be you.