“Dear Me ” — A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

Oh Boy! I had a fun time trying to decide how to write this post… what to spill and what not to spill so as to keep you wondering.

If you haven’t read this book, I suggest you do, it’s a must read. I came across it while browsing the book shops in the middle of Christmas shopping with hubby and when he noticed I became engrossed in the first couple of pages he offered to buy it for me as part of my Christmas gift. After all, it did intrigue him also.

It’s like stepping into a time shell of some 30, 40, 50 and even 60 plus years of not only the rich and famous, but best selling authors, dishy doctor, film directors, comedians and even an Archbishop, along with Actors, and pop stars. We are treated to a unique insight of their lives and thoughts, resulting in a moving, sometimes tearful, uplifting and often hilarious read, dotted with young pictures of themselves, some typed others hand written with cross outs and all!

Sir Ranulph Fiennes starts his with …”Since you’re 16, please accept this letter purely as it’s meant…friendly advice on being “an adult”, the next stage up from “teenager” which begins with some folk when they’re 60.….” And then proceeds to list these, with the first being… Take a bath or shower as often as possible.

Jackie Collins starts….”At 16 you know a lot – maybe too much!! You are a wild child ready to try anything once. But fortunately you are street smart and wary of horny old men (30, 40) on the make….”

Joanna Lumley’s advice to herself is cute… “Volunteer for everything because that way lies adventure…”

Julie Goodyear’s “Look at you-so confident-so insecure-so cocky-so very shy…” leads to some very strong advice.

Julian Clary’s “it’s hard to swallow, but in a few years time you will swann around in black rubber consuming men like After Eight Mints”

And there are the moving four pages from Stephen Fry.

I resonated with the moving thoughts and advice of Jane Fonda and Julia Sawalha.

And so the list goes on from Emma Thompson and Yoko Ono to Will Young and Rosanne Cash, the amazing Hayley Mills, Debbie Harry, Denise Lewis and Edmund White….to name just a few.

The idea of the book and compilation was Joseph Galliano, a freelance writer and editor, published by Simon and Schuster, and it serves to raise funds for Sir Elton John’s Aids Foundation and Doctors with no Boarders, (Elton’s letter to himself is within the foreword).

Here also is a website for the book:…http://www.dearme.org/readersletter/

I wonder! If you sat down and took a moment to think of what you would write to your young selves back then, or if you came face to face with your sixteen year old you!

What would you say, what advice would you give, would you have predicted your life to have turned out the way it did?

 Interesting isn’t it?

What would your letter be to your Sixteen-year-old Self? I would love it if your comment consisted of one specific piece of advice you would give yourself!

This could be fun!

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About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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36 Responses to “Dear Me ” — A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

  1. Cathy Mealey says:

    Stephen Fry = genius. I can’t wait to read what he wrote!

    Thanks for the review.

  2. Julie says:

    Sounds incredibly juicy and fun! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I opened your post and thought I was going to read your letter to your 16-ear-old self. Was I surprised to learn it was a book. Funny they asked that question of three contributors to the Today Show this morning. I know one thing I would tell my 16-year-old self — “don’t feel pressured to make up your mind about what you want to study in college, your career and your direction in life. You really don’t have a clue until you lived and had many life experiences. Let life guide you.”

    • LOL … Yes its become popular, I actually saw it noted on Zoe’s website when I visited there a couple of days ago and thought I must review that book. Wow! thats good advice and surely one I would probably tell myself to. Thankyou so much for sharing Pat!

  4. Catherine Johnson says:

    You listed some of my favorite celebrities, I have to get this book. It’s right down my street this klind of thing. Thanks Diane!

    • Your welcome Catherine. Right from the onset, I thought I must review this book, just as a curiosity of what people would say to their 16year old self. Certainly makes interesting reading.

  5. Thank you so much for suggesting this book. I would say ‘Be true to yourself and try to fight against the pressure of peers to conform to some homogenous norm.’

  6. anniecardi says:

    Aw, great post! And the book sounds fantastic, too. I’d want to tell my sixteen-year-old-self that it’s okay to be nerdy; the kids who like reading and laughing at Tom Lehrer songs are better friends in the long run. And the best adventures are still to come.

  7. clarbojahn says:

    I would tell myself that I am loved and not the poorly thought of child I was raised up to be. I would try and raise my self esteem and tell myself that I have the whole world to discover.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post. 🙂

    • oh my! that hit quite close to home to me. I would definately be trying to raise my self esteem. It is very through provoking isn’t it. 🙂 glad you enjoyed this post Clar.

  8. Heather says:

    This book sounds like a very good find! When I was 16, I was lucky enough to work in a toystore with a woman who told me “People will tell you the High School years are the best years of your life. They’re wrong. It just gets better and better as you grow older.” What a difference that made for my nerdy little self! She was right, too.

    • Oh that’s very cool! Amazing isn’t it, how what someone may have said to you back then still registers today. Thankyou so much for dropping by, please call again.

  9. Pen and Ink says:

    Oh, I want to read this one. I wrote two letters to myself when I was 16: one to bo open at 21 and one to open when I married. Then we moved and I lost tem. I always wondered what I said.

    • LOL….. oh what a shame you lost them, Pen and Ink! That would have been interesting, I’m sure. Great Blog name by the way. (checked your blog out and loved the t shirt!..lol.) Don’t be a stranger.

  10. Jackie says:

    This sounds like a really fun book. Wonder what would happen if it were reversed. Like if kids wrote a letter to their older selves? Humm… wonder.

  11. Amy says:

    This sounds fascinating! I’m definitely going to look for it. I think I’d tell myself to not take it all so seriously or be so worried about making mistakes.

  12. Jen says:

    This sounds amazing. There was a popular song in Japan a couple years ago called “Letter to my 15-year old self” that was beautiful. Here it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jFd8oa-1ms

    I think my advice to me would be: “Never do anything solely for a boy”

    • Thankyou for stopping by Jen, thankyou also for sharing the youtube, it was beautiful, and thankyou also for sharing your advice to yourself. That was so cool.

  13. JenFW says:

    Wow. What an idea to contemplate. Thanks for the recommendation; I’ve added it to my TBR list. However, before I read it, I want to write my own letter to my sixteen-year-old self.

    When I was fifteen, some friends and I were asked to predict where I would be in ten years. We sealed those predictions in envelopes, and the question-asker kept them. Ten years later, they mailed them to us. I was amazed to discover how close I was living to my prediction. My world had expanded beyond what I was able to predict at fifteen, but the theme was the same. I still find that fascinating.

    • Thank you JenFW for your comment. I had thought of doing something like that years ago, but bury it in my own yard so then years later I could dig it up. Just as well I didn’t as we sold and moved some 15 years later. Mind you I probably would have forgotten it anyway. I thinkk you will find this a facinating book.

  14. Madigan says:

    I’ve heard of this book and was a little underwhelmed by the concept – but your enthusiastic review got me thinking that I should give this book a try, after all!

    • It’s very interesting on all levels. Funny, sad, your name it. Some great names makes for very interesting reading. I am sure you would find it very cool, thanks for dropping by Madigan, do call again.

  15. Bill Kirk says:

    Cool post. It must have been fun to put that book together, not to mention reading and reflecting all the way through it. I’m glad I stopped by your place during the Comment Challenge. Couldn’t help myself browsing among some of your other posts as well.

    • Hi Bill, nice to “meet” you. I hope you find my blog interesting. Yes it must have been fun getting all the stories together to complete the backaged article. Hope you manage to come across it, you will find it fun. Glad you found me on the Comment Challenge. Pop back anytime.

  16. I had heard of this book but couldn’t remember what it was called. I have a post on my blog not published yet called Letter to my younger self.I thought if the celebrities can do it so could I. One would be to stay on at school and don’t leave at sixteen,boy I was stupid! I want to know what your piece of advice to your younger self is? Brilliant post as usual.

    • Thankyou for your comment Anne, I will certainly look out for your post on letter to your younger Self. To myself, well there would be a number of things….like, look ahead when everything looks black there is a light at the end of the tunnel, life gets easier and better. Don’t let the past control you, nor the things people say now narrow your vision of yourself and your expectations of the future….,

  17. clickerbug says:

    I would have two pieces of advice for myself; I can’t separate them and figure out which is the most important. The first would be, “Follow your heart, don’t worry what others think.” The second would be, “My god you’re still a child, don’t worry so much that the world is passing you by!”

    I guess I can sum it all up under, “Don’t worry!” 🙂

    • That’s good advice…. “follow your heart”. I think we all worry when we were younger…. we had no idea what was before us, did we? Love your comment and thanks for stopping by. Come back real soon.

  18. MotherReader says:

    I had not heard of this book or website and am intrigued. Thanks!

    • Your welcome, MotherReader. Going by what I am reading on the website I think there are more than one book out like this….. possible part 2! Pop back anytime.

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