Letter to my 16-year-old self…

Although i have no fucking idea why, i am often sought as a mentor at work – usually people early in their careers who are sorting out what’s next. i’ve had a run of these sessions lately – and it reminded me of this old post.

As i’m listening to these young men and women sort out not just career – but life balance – i am reminded that i REALLY need to write that letter to my 30-year-old self…

Trailer Park Refugee

Not that i would have actually listened, mind you… but a stumble into dearme triggered the thought exercise.  Exactly what would i have told myself at 16 that might possibly have made a difference?  Who knows…  here’s my best guess after a couple glasses of bourbon.

Dear 16-year-old daisyfae,

Christ.  Where do i start?  First off, lose the flannel shirts and owl glasses, ok?  You bear a frightening resemblance to Neil Young.  While you take some solace in this, and it may feed the deeply buried socialist songwriter hiding underneath that case of Oreos you snarfed down in your bedroom last night?  It’s not particularly attractive.

Off the top of my head:

– You are an athlete and a dancer, despite the fact that the mirror tells you otherwise.  Somewhere in your 30’s you’re going to figure this out, but it will be a tad late to start formal training.  Join the…

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20 thoughts on “Letter to my 16-year-old self…

  1. Explanation: Summer re-run. Although i have no fucking idea why, i am often sought as a mentor at work – usually people early in their careers who are sorting out what’s next. i’ve had a run of these sessions lately – and it reminded me of this old post. As i’m listening to these young men and women sort out not just career – but life balance – i am reminded that i REALLY need to write that letter to my 30-year-old self…

  2. gawd dammit woman I love you.

    And hells teeth, i wouldn’t know what to say to 16 year old Dolce. I’d probably ramble on for about 45 mins about not talking it all so seriously.

  3. As usual, your timing is impeccable. Had a long conversation with my best friend from teenage years last week, and have spent a few intermittent moments thinking about that kid who would become me. I had a bunch more to say here, but I may steal this idea and turn it into a post. Thanks!

    • you were one of the folks who commented on this when i first posted it in 2009! i’m still waiting for you to write that letter – and i would love to know what you’d tell 16 year old chris… get writing!

    • But if i did have that conversation it would go something like, try to avoid all the powders man, especially when you’re old enough to know better, eat more magic mushrooms and acid and smoke about the same amount of pot, make sure you turn down the adverstising gigs out of school to go surfing and then spend most of your time smoking pot and eating mushrooms and not surfing, as for the rest of it? just do whatever the hell you want and try not to leave to many skeletons in the closets or regrets on the floor..

      • You’ve got the right idea. We would never have actually LISTENED at that age anyway. Ok, maybe if i knew with absolute certainty that i was getting a message from my future self, i might give it a brief listen, but i was so god damned self-destructive at that age, i don’t think a direct message from God would have made a difference…

  4. I would have to tell my sixteen year old self that it does get better. And worse. That she is a survivor. That she is not (despite family mythology) either stupid or weak. And I bet she wouldn’t believe me. Trust issues do you think?

  5. Silly me! I commented on the original! I said this:

    Wow! And Ouch! Maybe even cringe!
    The shrink in me enjoyed the earlier comments.
    Looking back…I did some silly things ( as most of us do when we’re testing our wings), I missed a long trail of chances, but I’m happy with the “now.”
    And I still want Edith Piaf at my final send-off. Absolutely no regrets. 🙂
    Thanks for posting this.

    • It was very interesting for me to read the comments as well – this has been a pretty strange trip indeed! What do we really learn when we get it right? It was really all of those silly things that make us wiser…

  6. True about the shirt and glasses, but you look EXACTLY the same! What’s your secret? Are you gargling with embalming fluid? Do you have an aging portrait in the attic?

    I should make my daughter read this for a heaping helping of perspective.

    • Yep. I look the same. Zits and all… probably shouldn’t let your little ones read it. Not just for the language, but due to the dire need for additional editing. Thought about rewriting it and decided to let it stand as originally posted.

  7. I see a shyness that would later turn to a succulent confidence, eyes as beautiful as a butterfly’s wing and a smile that would persuade even the most reluctant and recondite of esoteric minds.

    Did I mention your great tits?

    • Well, look who stopped in? You know, you keep up with that sweet talk, fella, and there could be big trouble! As always, my dear, great to hear from you… just clean up after yerself in the bathroom and keep those big boots off the furniture. Oh, and get some rest, you’re gonna need it when i get home!

  8. Ah, ya made me cry! I LOVE this post and with your permission I would like to ‘jack’ this topic. I’m so far removed from my 16 year old self, I think she’s from a different family.

    • Didn’t mean to make you cry, lady! And i would absolutely love to hear your tale to your 16 year old self! i got the idea from somewhere, so please feel free to use it with reckless abandon!

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