Dear 16-year-old mePosted: May 26, 2011
Have you written yourself a letter yet? It’s fun, therapeutic and enlightening.
I don’t know if that is what Joseph Galliano had in mind when he invited Elton John and many more to address written correspondence to their 16-year-old selves, but he sure did a great job putting it together in the book Dear me: a letter to my sixteen-year-old self.
Thanks to my super cool brother in-law, I found out about this project and did it too. Enjoy and feel free to share your letters!
Read carefully and believe every. Single. Word here.
You are cleverer and more talented than you think. You are only starting to figure out what you want to do, where, how and why. Those are questions you’ll ask yourself every now and then. News flash: most of the time you won’t get straight answers. Which -and this is the best part- is absolutely awesome. Dreams like “changing the world” won’t go away, but will take on new meanings again and again. Enjoy that. And don’t overestimate your academic skills: you need to study. You also need to work on your writing.
Sorry to break this to you, but you probably won’t grow up to be as attractive as you wish – you are now at your thinnest self, thanks to all that walking around in Paris and spending money on museums, shopping, gifts and everything except a proper meal. Which is smart. Some of those clothes will still be in your closet 8 years from today.
Stop expecting sex to happen any time soon. It won’t. You are too scared and too goody goody to have it now. Don’t trust me? You’ll get picked up by a French guy at a bar downtown Lyon next summer. He is h-o-t, but you’ll leave right before any real action takes place. No need to worry: eventually you’ll get it and you’ll get enough and you’ll get it good.
One thing you’re doing good: working on those friendships. Most of the people who surround you now will stay in your life long enough for you to know that the time and energy spent on emailing them while you were away were definitely worth it. And you will evolve into a social whore, which means you’ll make friends by the hour. People appreciate you much more than you think. Value that responsibly.
One thing you are right about: when you finally decide to come out, you’ll come out for good. The stressful part of it will be so brief you won’t remember it after a short while. You are going to have the greatest time being gay. And, as the more experienced say correctly, when you least expect it you’ll fall in love. Hard. And he’ll love you back. And you both will be more than deserving of those mutual, core-shaking feelings. He is the best. Just be patient!
So, there. Final advice? Relax, have fun, and don’t choke attempting to eat the whole world at once. ;)