What Advice Would You Give Your Sixteen-Year-Old Self?

Dear Me book coverWhat a neat concept for a book. In Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self, Joseph Galliano has enlisted seventy-five celebrities to write letters full of advice, warnings, and encouragement to their sixteen-year-old selves. With a group that includes writers, singers, actors, and musicians, old and young, you won't be surprised that the letters range from the humorous to the serious to the touching.

Some of my favorite advice:

Dear Angie, Treasure your abilities: you won't always have them.

"I can see. I can pee. I can hear.
I can bend. I can steer.
I can kneel. I can crawl.

I can run backwards.
I can chew.
I can do it all.
I can fall."

So, dear one, dance and ride your bike, but don't forget that, one day, you won't be able to get back on.

Angie Dickinson


...oh, one more thing, your "across the street" neighbor is going to ask you to learn guitar with him...I suggest you take him up on it.

Garth Brooks


Dear Gillian, You are completely and utterly self obsessed. If you spent a quarter of your time thinking about others instead of how much you hate your thighs, your level of contentment and self worth would expand exponentially...Oh and honey, expand your horizons; your world is a bigger oyster than your low self-esteem wants you to believe. Love yourself, think of others and be grateful. I love you, I believe in you, and I look forward to respecting you. Me. You. Us. P.S. Follow your dreams and not your boyfriends.

Gillian Anderson


Dear Jo, ...This must be a lot weirder for you than it is for me; after all, I know you. I also really like you, which you will find impossible to believe, given that you are racked with insecurity and self-loathing. Jo, give yourself a break. You're not the only one who feels small and inadequate; you'll realise eventually that everyone is the wizard of Oz...One last thing. One day you will not only meet Morrissey, but he will know who you are. I KNOW!

J.K. Rowling

I would tell my sixteen-year-old self that all the universe-stopping drama of high school won't add up to a hill of beans the day after you get your diploma. And I would be right.

What would you tell your 16-year-old self?