Letter to my 16 year old self

Have you seen the book “Dear Me, A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self“? An array of celebrities write a letter to their teenage self. If you could jump in the DeLorean and head back to the future to meet up with the kid you once were what advice would you offer?

Here’s my attempt.

Dear Janine

As you read this laying on your pink chenille bedspread,  the huge ABBA poster above your bed, I need to offer you some pretty important advice.

Firstly, turn to the left, there is something you need to know about those cute guys in the posters. Rob Lowe- he’ll disappoint you for a while there will be a sordid little sex scandal, but eventually you will forgive him and thirty years on he’s still pretty hot. Scott Baio – enjoy him now, you are seeing him at his peak – it doesn’t get much better than Happy Days for him. Matt Dillon – he does OK, even gets an Academy Award nomination, you keep losing track of him but every now and then you wander into a cinema and he pops up unexpectedly on the screen reminding you of another time. By the way, you don’t marry any of them.

Now look there’s a few things you need to do.

  1. Accept the place at Canberra University to study Professional Writing – you will spend the next twenty eight years trying to legitimately claim the title of writer when three years in the mid-eighties could have got you there much quicker.
  2. Be bolder, braver, take more risks.
  3. Give up the chips and lemonade. I know it’s hard to believe the stick-insect, size 8 creature that you are, but you get FAT. So stop now, or you will end up blogging about your weight loss goal in a thing called Project 44 where you lay your life bare to potentially millions of readers. Blogging? Look I don’t have time to explain now, but that single computer  in the maths room, it really catches on.
  4. Lose the nice girl thing you’ve got happening. Nice girls  finish last. You need to find a way to release your inner bitch or people will walk all over you.
  5. Get rid of those drama queen tendencies – I think they keep attracting chaos and stress to your life – and you will pass the drama gene down to your second child who will expand upon it beyond anything you could have ever imagined (and you have a degree in drama studies)!!!!

There’s a few things you need to know.

  1. Life gets tough (but not as tough as some have it). You turn out to be much more resilient than anyone thought possible.
  2. You learn to hide the shyness.
  3. You do eventually meet a boy who wants to kiss you.
  4. The way you imagine life is gunna turn out? Nahh.
  5. At the worst of times two little individuals will wrap their arms around you and say “we love you Mum” – and you won’t care that you never made it to being a reporter on 60 Minutes.

Lots of love.


PS The perm won’t be a good look and you need to get the contact lenses much, much sooner.

23 thoughts on “Letter to my 16 year old self

  1. I have to say, I really enjoyed this. You don’t give away too many details and you give some great advice. I’m going to try this someday. I think I still have a while to go before I get there though. Something to look forward to for the future 🙂

  2. Yet again another thoughtful post – you always seem to grab me in a funny emotional way.
    I am going to do this and maybe let my daughter read it!
    Thanks Janine.

  3. Pingback: Dear Me, A Letter to my 15 Year Old Self | klextin

  4. very sweet and loving. would you really change anything? isn’t going through all the ups and downs what made you the resilient, strong, and independent person you are? also that family piece – you have what is important. joy to you, janine!

    • Would I really change anything? I don’t know. I do feel there were at least three times in my life where I probably did make the wrong choice – wrong in the sense I made things harder for myself than they needed to be. I probably also don’t believe that making the different choices would have necessarily meant missing out on what I have now. That whole six degrees of separation thing – the friends I made in Sydney may still have introduced me to my husband when I visited from Canberra – or his brother was in Canberra at the same time as I would have been – so we could have met that way. But there is that quandry that you only realise the mistakes by having lived through them and learnt from them.

  5. Hi Janine,
    Thanks for a wonderfully insightful post-yes, when you look back, there are things you ponder may have been “mistakes” or better changed, but life has a funny way of helping you ‘grow’ with it- and survive. In fact, you probably became a ‘stronger you’ because of it:) Like you, at 16, my life was full of dreams and ‘can’t wait to get out of here’ feelings, (plus lots of days that I NEVER wanted to relive!) I agree with your last line….-thinking back, maybe sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. Llife throws us often difficult choices-and how we handle the ups and downs, is a testament to some kind of inner strength that keeps us afloat. I think you are “floating fine!” 🙂

  6. Great post, just found a few minutes to read through some of your older posts, too. Seems like we have a similar view on life in general!

  7. Pingback: 7 x 7 Link Award | Shambolic Living

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