Alyssa Sellers

USPS: The First Five Months


I’ve worked for over five months as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.

I seriously never thought I’d see the day. People, delivering the mail is HARD. Way harder than you think. Well, at least harder that I thought, I really can’t speak for y’all as a whole, but I digress. What I can speak to is that I am much stronger physically, mentally and emotionally than I was on September 7.

For starters, I spent the week before Thanksgiving until the week after Christmas walking 13 miles in a hilly neighborhood carrying 20 to 40 pounds of holiday parcels and paper in snow, sleet, hail and 20 degree temperatures.

I spent the fall learning to parallel-park a right-side drive vehicle like a BOSS.

I have delivered mail on almost 40 different routes out of nine different stations in the Portland Metro and counting.  A few of those were on those super scary windy roads I was concerned about. I hit nothing and no one died, WIN!

I’ve seen little kids’ eyes light up when they see me walk up the stairs to their homes. I’ve heard snarky remarks from bartenders and office managers.

I’ve NOT been bitten by a dog, BUT I’ve had a few grab the mail from my fingers through a mail slot. I’ve been barked at PLENTY; once by a dog sitting in a house wearing a doggie snuggie. But let’s face it, I’d probably be barking, too.

I’ve adjusted to someone else telling me my schedule and changing it and letting me know at 5:30 in the morning that my start time is earlier or that I need to report to a different station. Yeah, I’ve adjusted, not well mind you, but adjusted nonetheless.

I guess what I’m saying is I survived thus far and I honestly didn’t think it possible.

There were days in October when I knew I just need to make it through this day to the next one, not the next week and certainly not to the next month.  I’d psych myself up with speeches like this one:
“Today… God will provide me with the strength for…today. Tomorrow will bring new mercy. So focus on this day, Sellers. Or better yet, this moment. We can totally get through this moment.”

I sang a lot, too. Mostly inspirational stuff, but sometimes when it’s really cold I find myself making up songs like, “I can’t feel my face. But it’s OK. Because my face was overrated.” It’s surprisingly catchy, but I’m afraid it’s more in the style of Nickleback than Imagine Dragons. Who knows what the neighbors think.

I listened to The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack and Oceans by Hillsong and Ember by The Groves and For Now from Avenue Q on repeat. I cried on Sundays, my one day off, as I thought about who I was and where I wanted to be and how most of this makes little sense to me.

And then it was the New Year. I had completed 90 working days, that insurmountable goal, and suddenly, somehow, things don’t look so awful.

Trust that I still have truly awful days. Like yesterday, when I was sent to the Eastside and delivered MOUNTAINS of mail, in 25 degree weather, on a route I’ve never been on, while 32 MPH winds whipped down the lanes and over the giant staircases leading to EVERY SINGLE DOOR.

But then there’s today; a short 5 hour day where I delivered mail in the snow, vehicle free, to my neighborhood and had time to work on my book proposal and blog.

And to this, I raise my cup and in thanksgiving I sing, “L’Chaim! To Life! L’Chaim!”


2 thoughts on “USPS: The First Five Months

  1. I was thinking of you yesterday Alyssa as my leaf blower and I were out attempting to clear the sidewalks and steps of 1748. I admire you <-----> (this ) much. Lots of love and may God bless you with WARMTH in all ways!


  2. I always knew you were tough and resilient. Now you do too.


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