"I'm writing this on the first piece of paper I could find. It's the kids notepad - yes you have three of them (kids, not notepads...)..."
- David Arnold in Dear me : more letters to my sixteen-year-old self edited by Joseph Galliano
I spent Tuesday evening reading a book I randomly picked up from Manukau Library's display shelf. Some of my best finds happen that way. The book was Dear me : more letters to my sixteen-year-old self and is a collection of letters by celebrities who wrote words of advice, assurance, humour for their 16 year old selves. Some are funny, some are blunt, some are truly sad. All are quite poignant and touching. (Wait. Do those mean the same thing?) My favs were those written by Jodi Picoult ('He won't remember hurting you. But when you write, you will always remember what it felt like to have that bandage ripped off your heart. And that's why, when people read your stories, they'll bleed a little on the inside'), Amistead Maupin, David Arnold, Gillian Anderson (P.S. Follow your dreams not your boyfriends') and Alan Rickman ('Make your own unique messes, and then work your way out of them'). They all made me teary eyed and a little wistful. They also made me wonder what I would write to myself if I had to. If I'd have known at 16 what I know today...what kind of person would I be? One I'd like? One I could live with? I mean, think about it, if we could send our 16 year old selves a letter with a heads up about who to love/not to love or what opportunities to grab/ignore, then I'm not fully sure we'd any of us be the people we are today. And, speaking for myself, I'm actually ok with who I am. I don't regret anything I've done. It's more a case of regretting chances I hadn't taken, or things I hadn't just gone out and done without all of the planning and lists and angsting. If I could, though, if I could somehow write a letter to myself without adversely affecting time and history (think Bradbury's 'butterfly effect' here, people), this is what I'd tell myself...