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Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self - Book Review

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by Connie Ntentis (subscribe)
A Melbourne girl at heart, I'm always looking for new adventures...
Published January 8th 2013
Sneek peak into celebrity teenage minds
If you wrote a letter to your sixteen-year-old self, what would it say?

Would it be a warning of things to come? Would you give yourself some advice or comfort?

At sixteen years of age, I was lost in more ways than one. It had been rough couple of years and my confidence was dwindling, but the hardest pressures were the ones I put on myself. What am I going to do with my life? Do people like me? Am I cool enough? Will it get better?

Now, looking back, it seems that I hit the ground running and haven't stopped since.

But I'm not the only one who has grown and changed from my younger days...

In this touching collection of letters, Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen-Year-Old Self, gives us a rare insight into the lives of many admired personalities.

With contributing authors such as Hugh Jackman, Kathleen Turner, J.K. Rowling, Gene Hackman, Rob Thomas, Stephen King, William Shatner, Alice Cooper, Sarah Ferguson (the Duchess of York) and many more, this anthology is at times moving and funny, but real. These people have survived the tumultuous troubled teenage years and are sharing the things they have learnt along the way with their younger selves, giving us a rare insight into the teenagers they used to be.

Each person writes with their own style and their personality shines through as they remember how they felt at sixteen. Each letter is written with honesty and in their own words. These letters give us a glimpse into the people they were at sixteen, as well as reflect on the people they have become today.

In its heart-warming style, each letter reminds us of what it means to be young and that hough there may be obstacles along the way, that despite your fears, and despite yourself, you will survive it for the better. At sixteen, the world is yours to do and live the life you want. If only I had known that at sixteen...

These letters, written with wit and humour, are at times heart-breaking. While the authors vary in age, the vulnerability of which we felt and the ways in which we viewed the world seem to be shared across generations. While the specific events that shaped us and moulded us into the people we are today may have been different, the end result is the same.

We survived, we grew, we changed, we learnt, but most of all we lived. And at times it was hard and we were afraid but we made it through.

We can look back now at our younger years with kindness and empathy, for once upon a time that was us. We know how it felt and we remember.

From first loves to fights with Mum and Dad, from embarrassing fashion trends to life-changing moments, this anthology reminds us about the vulnerability, naivety and intensity that comes with sixteen, as we learnt about ourselves, about life and about growing up.

At the end of the collection, there is a space for your own letter.
It may seem like a silly exercise but it is not as easy as you think. It can be confronting and emotional. To consider how you've lived and what you've learnt along the way. To think about how you've changed, for better or worse, but most of all for all ways you've stayed the same and kept the essence that is who you are deep down.

Or you can make your letter light and funny as you recap on some on your more mischievous adventures still ahead for your younger self.

You can choose to keep it and just take part for your own cathartic purposes or you can share it with the world on their website.

A heart-warming collection for anyone still feels sixteen at heart.
I guess the question remains: If you wrote to sixteen-year-old self, what would you say?

*If you choose to buy this book, keep in mind that for every copy sold a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.
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