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Letter 011 - Personal Letters

Letters

Read letters from an antihero

Letter 011 - Personal Letters

Christopher Bartley

Antero,

It's been a while since you've gotten a written piece from me. Over the last couple weeks I delved into podcasting, image-rich posting (i.e., Instagram) and finding where the shaming conversation already is via Twitter. I still want our site to be a quiet space for restoration. Sidebars, landing pages and pricing tables have their place, but not in the personal reflection areas of our cabin—like the Library, Radio, and these Letters.

I got a suggestion from a friend to write a specific letter to a recent high school valedictorian who was homeless while school was in session. I'd then publish it on here and reach out to them in person. I thought that was an amazing idea! And then it hit me like a ton of feathered-bricks: "Why don't I use this space to write personal letters addressed to other antiheroes?"

Like a well-written movie that abandons voiceover narrations, I'd find an artful way to interweave their profile and the antihero context within the conversation for you. And you'd then transition from the second person point of view (addressee) in these letters, to the third person learning about other antiheroes and where they are in the Antihero's Journey. You'll have even more affirmation that you are not alone in this process.

How does that sound? I'm pretty excited about it. And here's a preview. While I still deliberate on whether or not that notable valedictorian is not just someone who's experienced shame, but an antihero who's encountered a pivotal shaming incident, I found someone who's been in headlines recently that while probably make a great case study for us all to learn from: Mr. Sepp Blatter and the Fifa corruption.

Right now, it seems as if Blatter's oscillating between Stages 3 and 4 of the Antihero Journey—between Rebellion and Ruin. But one thing is certain, just as we've all experienced, his influence has significantly decreased, which is one of the attributes of the Antihero Profile.

However, let's be clear. This isn't going to be sensational journalism that keep you updated on the latest scandal. It won't even be journalistic. These are letters. And they'll be written to the dead and living, the notorious and the unknown.

I'll give you an example of an unknown to many if not most of you: Sterling Cunio from Portland, Oregon, who's now serving a double-life sentence, along with 23 additional years, with no possibility of parole until he's 64. He was 16—a juvenile—when he committed the crimes. But Cunio, has risen above Stage 4 and is probably in Stages 6 or 7 of the Journey—while in prison for the rest of his life. This is probably the closest story to the Samson narrative I know about. He's "chained" but changed.

Anyway, I've given you the first two letters that I'm currently working on. It's taking much research (I know nothing about soccer or the legal nuances of juvenile life-sentencing). It'll take some finesse and a constant reminder to be authentic, while crafting these specifically addressed letters I know you'll be reading. And it'll take some faith to believe that some day our living antiheroes will see the letters addressed to them.

This is exciting. It reminds me of the olden days or even now, when snail mail was shipped off and you hoped the messenger (or postal service) successfully delivered your message. Sharing these two letter ideas with you also adds a bit of accountability.

So, let's get it in. The word for the week is grit. James Clear's newsletter and Lebron James' post-interview after winning Game 2 of the 2015 NBA Finals has confirmed it.

Here's to the grit,

-bxrtley