NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A local veteran launched an anonymous traveling journal to connect strangers to each other.
Letty Rammal drops off blank journals in random places.
"I noticed the trend was — although we’re very different and don’t know each other — a lot of our stories are so much more alike than we think," Rammal said.
She calls the traveling journal "My Page Matters." People write an anonymous entry, then give the journal to a stranger.
"Maybe your story is relevant to the person who got the book before or after you," Rammal said.
She hopes her passion project restores people's faith in each other.
"I think human connection is important because amid COVID and political and religious standpoints, we have faced such a divide in this country, and it was scary as someone in the U.S. who served in the military," Rammal said. "I hated seeing it, and I felt as though if I could make a change and help unite us in a way, this would be how, and this would be my why."
Once, she left her personal journal at a cafe. She saw a stranger pick it up and read it. That's when the idea evolved.
"I think with my transition from the military and moving out of state and starting my life all over again as a civilian, it was really hard," Rammal said. "And so, I expressed that being lonely is okay, and being transparent with yourself is a healing process."
Now, hundreds of people have penned their thoughts. Some writers will also submit their journal entries on her website so that the public can read them.
"I cried to a few of the stories that are submitted online on our website; they’re very compelling and gut-wrenching, so I let the audience know. I submit them online and put up a trigger warning. Some of them are about going through cancer, going through divorces; some people have explained their childhood traumas, and it can be healing to other people," Rammal said.
One of the traveling journals made it all the way to the United Kingdom.
“I don’t know these people, and I wish I could just give them a hug, but that story that impacted me may help someone else heal and recover as well, who may be going through the same situation,” Rammal said.
Her next phase of the project will be a traveling prayer journal.