“Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self”

5 12 2011

On a recent flight on Southwest Airlines, I came across a feature in their Spirit magazine.   A book was just published calledDear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self’, edited by Joseph Galliano, which is a collection of 75 different letters by a variety of different celebrities (actors, comedians, writers, etc) writing their own version of a letter to their sixteen year old selves.  I have to admit, it caught my attention and made me remember all of those times I was young and told myself, ‘when I have kids, I will never do …..’.  To this day, I have no idea what any of those things were, I just know that my eight, ten, twelve, sixteen year old self made a mental note.

I’ve always been a huge supporter of journaling and reflecting on my day-to-day life, not only to sort out the troubling times but also to keep those exciting, adrenaline rush memories alive.   And, most importantly, to get to those ‘AHA!’ moments; because, if you write just to write, whatever you are feeling, without judgment, and with the expectation that not even you will be reading what ends up on the page, you WILL get an ‘AHA!’ moment.

The idea of writing a letter to your former teenage self is such a unique way to reflect on what was most likely a time of self doubt and self-absorption and reflect on all of the lessons you’ve learned since then.

So here is my version of ‘Dear Me:  A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self’:

'Six Year Old Traci' - Read this in 10 years - it will be waiting for you!

 Dear Traci,

 You have curly hair!  You have to stop fighting it and accept it.  Yes, it may take you until you are 25 to be able to figure out how to style your hair, but you do finally figure it out, and everyone is jealous of your curls (you even learn how to blow it straight!).  You will one day find your hair stylist soul mate who knows exactly what to do with your mane, and despite what you think now, a ‘wash and wear’ hairstyle that does not require any blow drying will never work for you.  

 It is okay if it doesn’t seem like you have found your clique of friends yet.  Your best friendships are yet to come.  You will have great friends in life.  Friends that know exactly what cartoon bird video to put on to make you feel better, friends that you will stay up all night with for no reason at all except that the conversation never stops.  Friends that encourage you to follow your passion and friends that encourage you to leave your comfort zone, but are protective enough to say, ‘make good choices’ before you embark on a new adventure.

 You will discover that school and grades are not everything.  Yes, you will have a fluke genius moment and get 100% on your first calculus test when you were sure that you had no idea what you were doing.  (It was short-lived and lasted only for that one test).  It is not so much what you are learning, but the work ethic that you learn from your dedication to school and extra curricular activities that keeps you moving forward and rising to the top; and, ultimately allows you to enjoy life to its fullest. 

 Don’t worry.  You end up doing so much more than you ever thought you would.  You do not take the traditional route that you think you are destined for.  You discover a fork in the road that you did not even know existed, and for your willingness to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you and your commitment to take a chance on the unknown, you are rewarded with a career filled with travel, excitement, and a sense of confidence in your abilities that will stay with you always.  Trust your instincts because they have proven to be trustworthy and make sure you take risks, because they always seem to put you in the right place at the right time.

 And boyfriends?  It’s okay that you’ve only had one boyfriend back in 7th grade (there is another one in your future before you graduate).  You are picky, and you don’t waste your time on crushes.  You like who you like, and if you aren’t absolutely positive that you like him, it means that you don’t.   Unfortunately, you will experience heartbreak but you will also experience a love and companionship that still surprises you.  It’s supposed to be easy, and when you find the right person, it is.  And guess what?  He’s American!

 Love Always,

28 year old Traci

28 Year Old Traci

 I am so glad that I came across the excerpt from this collection of letters.  Feeling a bit of writer’s block lately, this inspired me so much that I felt the need to take out my laptop and write this 35,000 ft in the air somewhere between Denver and LA.  It’s nice to know that with all of the pop-culture, media-diluted content out there, that these pieces are finding their way to people and that a few words from the heart can still make such an impact.

**  This post was Freshly Pressed on December 13, 2011 **

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391 responses

13 12 2011
Abigail

Ahhh, I’m gonna cry.

13 12 2011
Magnet for Foolishness

Yep, what Abigail said! Thanks so much for sharing this!

17 12 2011
baggedemotions

Me too that was so beautiful…I think I need to wait a few years…I was sixteen 3 years ago. I can’t wait, I hope it’ll be epic!!!

18 12 2011
barefootlisa

so i am among the 300+ folks who are commenting on this post! Let me tell you (again!): this is lovely. What a great idea. This is the second time I am reading your post. I am touched by your willingness to put this out there to the world to see. Thank you. You’ve encouraged me to do this in my own journal. Blessings, Lisa

13 12 2011
everyonelovesacookie

So beautifully moving. Thanks for sharing this.

13 12 2011
The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife

What a great idea! Loved your post.

13 12 2011
emilymullaswilson

I’m a high school teacher, and I love having my students write letters to their younger selves. They say hindsight is 20/20, but if we never stop and take a look back, we never benefit from that clarity of vision. I love your letter.

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Emily! That’s a great idea for your students. A lot of people have said past teachers have also had them write letters to their future selves, to open at graduation, etc. It’s hard to stop and take the time to reflect sometimes.

14 12 2011
racheldeangelis

I’m a high school English teacher, and you both are giving me great ideas for writing assignments for my students! Thanks for sharing this post! It’s beautifully written :-D

14 12 2011
tracilee

Rachel – would have LOVED to do this in high school, or been able to read a letter now that I wrote to myself then. Good luck with the assignments.

15 12 2011
theamberlight

I think this is a great idea. It is a wonderful tool I am going to use with my coaching clients. I specialize in helping people increase their personal power and part of that is telling your past self it is okay to have gone through those experiences b/c they make us who we are and will become.
A letter to a past self seems like a perfect way to let go of old hurts and confidence robbers. I did an collage in 8th grade HomeEc that was pictures of things in my future. Mom gave it to me a couple of years ago and I cannot believe how many of the things on that piece of poster board have actually happened during the past 30 years! The power of our heart and mind combined is so amazing! And I was the girl with straight hair that always wanted curls. It only took me three perms to figure out that if I wanted nice looking curls I would have to do them as needed. (I just discovered THE MOST awesome!!! curling iron from Jose Eber that will curl MY straight as an arrow hair all day with NO PRODUCT required!!!) This is a well deserved Freshly Pressed!! Keep it up! :) AmberLena
P.S. I too always took the untravelled ways, they seem so much more interesting and rewarding!

13 12 2011
Mikalee Byerman

LOVE THIS!

(On a side note, I also LOVE that you read a Southwest Spirit magazine — I wrote an article for the November issue!)

Anyhow, I’ve got this on my “to-do” blog list as well. Ah, the perspective we’d all have if we could only hear from our future selves!

Fun post — congrats to you!

Mikalee

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Mikalee! I always take the time to look through the Spirit magazine – and I’m glad I did this time too. Send me a link to the article you wrote for the November issue – I’d love to read it – congratulations!

13 12 2011
TR

Loved this! I spotlighted it on http://www.bleditor.com. Keep up the work and I might have to do the same :)

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks for the spotlight~

13 12 2011
justtenminutes

Thank you for writing. As I sit here thinking about my two sixteen year old daughters, I wonder how I am ever going to get them to take the time to read your beautiful essay.

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thank you! I haven’t read the ‘Dear Me’ book yet, but I’m hoping to get it in my stocking this year. It could be a great gift for your daughters and give you a conversation segue – just reading 2 – 3 of the letters that were featured inspired me to write this one to myself. I wonder what my 16 year old self would have thought of it…

13 12 2011
randomlyabstract

Cool:)

13 12 2011
Cathy

There are several letters I’ve written to my future self. Maybe this time I should write something to my past self. Hahaha

13 12 2011
SameNewSame

Writing to your future self. Now THAT’S an interesting idea. I think I’m going to write all myselves!!! lol Seriously.

13 12 2011
tracilee

I think you’re on to something. Past, present, and future – all interesting letters to write.

15 12 2011
Cathy

One good tip: Include the goals you wish you have achieved at a certain age. When that time comes, read it again and it’s either you’d regret all the time you wasted or being so happy and grateful for actually achieving them. I hope it’s the latter, for both of us. Haha

13 12 2011
Samantha N Burton

This is beautiful.

13 12 2011
Arindam

A post that made you to take out your laptop and write it 35,000 ft in the air somewhere between Denver and LA, deserves a place in that Freshly pressed section for sure. Nice post. Liked it. Congrats to you.

13 12 2011
A Bahamian In Austria

Wow, that’s crazy! I’d have almost the convo with my 16 yr old self too! Curly hair acceptance, check; succeeding by ‘taking the path less traveled’, check; only boyfriends that matter, check!
Congrats with being happy with yourself at 28 and enjoy the journey forward!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Good luck to you too! Curly haired and taking the path less traveled!

13 12 2011
Cassie

The curly hair was totally me at sixteen. I got up, sat on the toilet, and straightened it every morning! Good job girl, this was awesome and such a good idea. I might have to take a break from work and do this. :)

13 12 2011
Laura

This is a really great post. And you’re only 28… imagine what that letter will be like when you’re old like me (45!). Even more interesting that self-letters is confronting childhood experiences through your own children, trying to steer them away from your own mistakes, misunderstandings, and places of hurt while accepting that they need to make & navigate their own. Also, I can totally empathize with the ‘curly hair issue’! When I was coming of age, “hair products” beyond shampoo and conditioner didn’t even exist! Then came mousse… then gel…. finally, the right combination of leave-in conditioner and other potions to manage curls. My daughter has the advantage of a flat-iron (which I hate). Anyway, bravo!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks for your comment Laura. A fine balance of moisturizing shampoo/conditioner, curling serum, roman oil and glossing cream. If only I’d known all this back then; however I was adamant that I wanted a wash and wear style, so I probably wouldn’t have touched the products! Thank goodness for diffusers!

14 12 2011
Laura

I wash & wear now, but it wouldn’t be possible w/out Sebastian Potion 9. LOVE LOVE. Also, I recently learned to only use shampoo (no sulfates of any kind) 2x a week. The other days, I “wash” with conditioner only. Really helps with dryness. What glossing cream do you use?

16 12 2011
tracilee

I use the Fekkai Glossing Cream from Target, and sometimes I add some of Umberto Beverly Hills Roman Oil (also from Target).

13 12 2011
jordantrumble

Thanks for this; it was beautiful! I think I might even have to write one myself…

13 12 2011
Yatin

I don’t you’d ever have thought of writing something from 35K ft height!!
Height & flight scares some people, nice to some one getting inspired there.
Congratulations on being freshly pressed. That itself is another height!! ;)

13 12 2011
jandestories

you go girl…at 6, 16, and 28

13 12 2011
Huffygirl

Wonderful advice Traci.

13 12 2011
Gail-Tzipporah Saunders

Honey, curly hair rocks. Remember that always and know that women spend hundreds of dollars to get what nature has belssed us with. Rock it, rock it now and always, and I mean it.

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Gail! I have definitely embraced the curls and make this mane my own!

13 12 2011
Eileen黃愛玲

I can totally relate about the curly hair. I still blowdry my hair straight on a daily basis, though. :) Love this post!

13 12 2011
PCC Advantage

*Sigh*…oh how I wish that I had curly hair. If I had that hair at 16, I would have been the happiest girl in the world! I guess we all want (at 16) what we can’t have (at 16).

I actually wrote a post a while ago called “Things I Would Tell My 17 Year Old Self”. I ended it saying that I would have punched my 17 year old self in my face for pulling all kinds of attitude on my grown-up self…

Clearly, my post was not nearly as lovely nor as eloquent as your beautiful letter! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! :)

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks for sharing Christy. Send through a link to your “Things I would Tell My 17 Year Old Self”, I’d love to read it~

13 12 2011
Leah H.

I needed this today, thank you so much! Sounds like your sixteen-year-old self has plenty to be proud of! :)

13 12 2011
fireandair

I’d say two things:

“Don’t expect validation or even understanding from ANYONE, and NEVER wait around for it.”

“Never, never, never, never give up. Everything takes more time that you think.”

13 12 2011
mohanmohan

For some people it works out. Others just get steamrollered. Go figure.

13 12 2011
sylwilson

I so can relate! I too have naturally curly hair and it was so hard to figure it out as a teen. Really good post and congrats on being on the “freshly pressed” page of wordpress!

13 12 2011
kamielverwer

It is a surprising format of self-reflection indeed. Thanks for this post

13 12 2011
RedheadClone

Great idea!!

13 12 2011
VivianaAyre

I loved reading this. It really does make you think back to your dreams and ideals in the future compared to now.

On an ADD note you are absolutely lovely! :) Very, very pretty. ^,^

13 12 2011
Oranges and Avocados

Lovely and inspiring. I am definitely going to write a letter. I wish that by telling her to use sun screen, she would listen!

13 12 2011
justalittlebrit

I LOVED this. What a cool post and I was so enthralled with it. Thanks for sharing :)

13 12 2011
Ryan@Sproutconfidence

This is creative – gonna spread the word about this now!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Ryan!

13 12 2011
jenniesisler

Lovely photos and words! Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed”

13 12 2011
autumnsunshine124

I loved this :) it’s so well written! I totally identify with the curly hair, too :) I stopped fighting it, too.

13 12 2011
Im Dating A One-Percenter

I truly love AHA moments! This is a great little post gem that brought a smile to my face. I may become addicted, as I have with Oprah and OWN!! Keep blogging!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks! Happy to be your new addiction. Those “AHA” moments are the best aren’t they.

13 12 2011
Lynn Atic

I love the concept. Maybe I’ll try to write myself a letter as well =)

13 12 2011
artistrybyadele

This is a wonderful post! So happy it was freshly pressed!

13 12 2011
valentinedee

Your letter was wonderful and you turned out perfect! I wrote a letter to myself not that long ago and I’m way older than you. Phew, it was a real tear-jerker.

Val

http://valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

13 12 2011
mikeyinterupted

that was a nice post. beautiful pictures and the message was heartfelt and personal, yet something we can all relate with. thanks!

13 12 2011
mdaron

Love it! Love your writing! xo

13 12 2011
sportsjim81

This is a great piece. I have been thinking about a similar idea myself. I have recently written letters to my two little kids which I enjoyed very much…but I think it would be fun to talk to myself back then. Loved it!

http://sportsjim81.wordpress.com

13 12 2011
Kayla Perry

Wow I really loved this post being only 18 I’m always wondering if everything is going to work out and if I’m gonna be happy when I’m older and I’m always telling myself all these crazy things and to hear form someone in a letter to themselves like this it’s just really nice to hear. Thanks so much for this post.
Kayla

13 12 2011
tracilee

Kayla I’m so glad that you were able to read my letter. Although I can’t give anyone advice except to my younger self, I think it’s all about feeling comfortable with yourself, learning how to work hard and always striving to continually improve. That really made me keep moving forward and taking advantage of the different opportunities that came my way. Good luck with everything!

13 12 2011
collegeincognito

Your letter is so inspiring! Since I am still technically a teenager (though over 16), I always love hearing about what people would tell themselves if they could go back in time, since I am at that age they usually picture when they think of their younger self! I get to enjoy the live-and-learn, without having to do all the living first :)
The fact that you start you letter talking about being okay with curly hair really made me smile. I also have curly hair that I used to vehemently wish was straight, or at that I at least didn’t have to spend gobs of time fixing so it wouldn’t be a mass of frizz.
Though, since I’ve already figured out how to make my hair work for me, I guess my “don’t worry about your curls,” clause in a letter to self, would be for the 13yr me.
Great post! Loved it!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you felt inspired by this letter – even though it was directed to my 16 year old self, it was a great experience to reflect on where I am now, and how different things turned out from how I expected them to be back then. It’s funny how small things can seem so important (ie. frizzy hair), but at the same time make such a big difference in how you see yourself (my hair stylist does say that your hair is the accessory that you wear every day!). So glad that you have discovered the secrets of curly hair early in life!

13 12 2011
ziggyshortcrust

Inspiring post Traci. Well done on being “Freshly Pressed”

13 12 2011
Oh, hey there 16-year-old self! | Mandie's Miscellanious Musings

[...] it, the blogger wrote a letter to her 16-year-old self. I’ve heard of other people doing that, bestowing knowledge [...]

13 12 2011
Eva McCane

i can’t wait to read this book and your letter was lovely! i recently wrote a blog that was a letter to my puzzle piece…aka, the love (or loves) of my life. now i’m inspired to write a letter to my 16 year old self…or maybe 14. could spare myself a couple years of poor choices :) thanks for sharing!
http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

13 12 2011
Dounia

This was a lovely letter to read and a wonderful idea. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

13 12 2011
lifeandwonderland

Wonderful post!

13 12 2011
jamieahughes

What a fun writing activity, one that could really go a long way to help the writer put things in perspective and pay that knowledge forward to someone who is sixteen years old right now. I have a cousin who’s at that awkward age, and he doesn’t fit in with anyone. With this, I might be able to help him see we’re all in the same boat…no matter how “together” we might look to outsiders. Great post!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Jamie. It was a letter and a blog post that seemed to write itself, which makes it the best kind, because you know it comes from the heart. There have a been a few 16 – 18 year olds who have commented that they were happy they came across this letter because it was relevant to them. I hope you’re able to connect with your cousin, and that he’s open to your words. From what I’ve read of the original book, I would recommend it – I can’t wait to read all 75 letters and see what tidbits of wisdom and I learn from.

13 12 2011
LadyT

This spoke to me… Thank you for sharing.

13 12 2011
moanti (moe·on·tee)

What a phenomenal idea! I bet this was very therapeutic for you to write to your 16 year old self, as teens always have so many concerns about the little things and fears about the future. I think that another possibility is to do it in reverse and write a letter as your older self (older meaning 50 or 60) and reassure yourself of any fears that you may have about your future. Perhaps it could change the course of your life in pursuit of being the person that you want to be! Who knows…. ;)

13 12 2011
passing rosecrans

This type of loving self-reflection is so important, and inspirational. Funny enough, I recently wrote similar (and of course different) sentiments to a younger me while in an airplane (nothing like being tens of thousands of feet in the air to gain some perspective). Beautifully done!

13 12 2011
rachelalexanderum

I like this a lot. It makes me want to do the same :)

13 12 2011
Nakib

It was amazing. Thanks for taking the trouble to post this “35,000 ft in the air somewhere between Denver and LA”. Thanks

http://freedomtosurvive.wordpress.com/

13 12 2011
Michael

Love it. Eloquent, heartfelt, and resounding, great post!

13 12 2011
Lauren Fach

Well done, Traci. I am the same age as you. It’s funny I could almost read along like I wrote parts of it. Glad you are over your writers block. Rock on.

13 12 2011
tracilee

Hey Lauren, glad you found it an easy read and could identify with my words.

13 12 2011
jeremyr83

This was a wonderful read.

13 12 2011
suzycripps

This is so beautiful! I’m sixteen now, and its so relevant to me!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Suzy, I am so glad that you read my letter. I think we all wish we had the wisdom at sixteen that we end up having years later, and that we have the ability to help our younger selves through some of the tough, uncertain times. Good luck with your teen years – enjoy them, but remember that it’s just a matter of time and you’ll grow out of the awkward stages too.

13 12 2011
prudentcupcake

I love your letter. In the 6th grade my teacher made us all right letters to ourselves for our high school graduation. She had our addresses and mailed them to us. My friends that I still had sat with me as we read them remembering the day we wrote them in class together. It was amazing. I now write a letter to myself about every 5 years to read 5 years later. It is really, really neat.

13 12 2011
phishlips

Brilliant! I wish I had written a letter to my future self when I was sixteen, too.. I remember my mom pulled out a letter I had written myself back in 2nd grade about our future. I wanted to be a cat.. go figure.

13 12 2011
tracilee

I too probably wished I was a cat in grade 2 (I love cats….still do). Funny story!

13 12 2011
Letter To Yourself « Writing For My Life

[...] What sports are to me now is just memories and hard work. I’m realizing that in order to make my writing even better, I need to write about anything and everything. I can’t just sit here and focus on just one thing. I will never gain experiences or be able to talk about experiences if I’m limiting myself to one aspect of my life. So, I start by writing the post I am now. Just about 10 minutes ago, I looked at the front page of wordpress for maybe the first time in about a year, and the first post that I clicked on was about writing a letter to your 16-old-self. [...]

13 12 2011
Christina

this was great. my letter will be rolling out later today…and the wisdom in the comments that followed are just as helpful. <3

13 12 2011
neverending1

Did you write this letter to yourself on paper? If you did, why didn’t you show it? It would have moved me a lot more than the computer version of it.

13 12 2011
Jayashree

This was amazing! I sure hope I can say the same thing someday when I am older..especially about styling my hair ahaha.

13 12 2011
angrymiddleagewoman

I was thinking of this exact thing today while driving. I would love to write letters to my 16, 21, 28 and 31 year old self! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Your writing is beautiful.

13 12 2011
Kayoh

This is so beautiful and very sentimental! Thanks for the share :)

13 12 2011
midnitechef

We all need to write this letter :)

13 12 2011
Lauren

Wonderful letter…I loved reading this! I did the opposite and in 8th grade wrote a letter to myself to open at age 30. 5 years to go! I wrote another letter to myself when I graduated from college (to also open at age 30). I am looking forward to what my younger self has in store for me :)

13 12 2011
tracilee

Lauren – I’m excited for you! I can’t wait for you to read your letters at 30. I may just write a couple letters to my future self as well.

13 12 2011
Ginger in the City

I did something very similar to myself. I thought it was a really great way to show and remind myself of important life lessons that I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown.

http://gingerinthecity.com/2011/10/31/a-letter-to-my-14-year-old-self/

13 12 2011
“Relax, It’ll be ok”; a letter to a slightly younger me. | byo. piece of inspiration.

[...] by a Freshly Pressed post, I felt highly encouraged to write myself a letter… to myself. So here it goes, a [...]

13 12 2011
Ryan Auberson-Walsh

I posted a little link to this…
because it gave me the inspiration/courage… whatever you’d like to call it…
to write one of my own, although I’m struggling to remember what I ate breakfast… so i knew i’d have no hope of delving into the mind of a six year old me…
i decided to go with eleven. ;]
plus it’s my lucky number.
Loved your post. :]

13 12 2011
tracilee

Ryan I’m so glad that you were inspired to write a letter to yourself. Whatever time in your life you write to (past or future), it’s a great exercise that allows you to reflect on where you are now. Look forward to reading your post to your 11 year old self.

13 12 2011
Prettylittleraindrops.

Aww this has almost made me tear up! Great post!

13 12 2011
adalamar

Saw this on Freshly Pressed and really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing!

13 12 2011
sharonholly

You’ve inspired me to do the same, but I might write to my 18 year old self. I have lots of advice to give to her!

I’ve written several letters to my future self over the years. I remember doing it because it was an assignment in elementary school, and then again in my adult years because it was advised to do so in a writer’s handbook (wish I could remember which one). The recent letters were emailed to me one year after writing them and were meant as a way to inspire and encourage my future self to keep writing.

Thanks for the great post!

13 12 2011
Rebecca

I liked your post! As I read it, I was thinking about what I would say to myself at 16. Feeling inspired to write…
Thanks!

13 12 2011
Pearlene Tan

Thanks. After reading your post. I sat on the bed and flashes of my teenage life appeared in-front of me like a big screen movie. It was so funny that as we get older we forget about the past…. Well, I can still remember how I look like and yes…. I hate my curly hair and the fact that I am not attractive to boys of my age then as I’m much a bigger build….. …
Well, I’m going to write a letter to myself tonight.
It’s a really great post. :-)

13 12 2011
tracilee

It’s funny what can trigger those flashbacks. Good luck with your letter Pearlene!

13 12 2011
zenlifefrugal

great post!

13 12 2011
justanotherwakeupcall

beautiful post.. loved it!

13 12 2011
Angy Sanchez C

This post is beautiful, it makes me happy to think that things that at a moment in life were so concerning with hindsight they turn out to be not so serious, like the boyfriend situation or being accepted by friends (this one especially made me smile), and the curly hair, yes I finally accept it and actually miss my curly hair from when I was sixteen. Carry on writing, all the best for your future self :)

13 12 2011
iMassiekur

Transitions in life are usually marked by big events-the birthdays, graduations, and the wedding. But sometimes, the greater transitions come out of the smaller moments when we look back and see how far we’ve come and then we see how far we still have to go.
I loved your letter, I thought it was funny and so cute.

-Madeleine

13 12 2011
tracilee

So true Madeleine. Thanks for reading!

13 12 2011
becauseimbecca

Thank you so much for this. It was very encouraging to this 16 year old!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Glad you stopped by Becca and hopefully you can take some of the lessons learned that I wish I had known at 16.

13 12 2011
nyrdubs

Very nice and unique blog, I really like the angle you implemented :)

check out some of our site its really everything about life

http://www.zazenlife.com

13 12 2011
Sarah Stackhouse

Traci- I found this post on the front page of wordpress and I’m so glad I did! I too have been having some writers block and this was the best remedy I could have asked for. Thank you!

13 12 2011
tracilee

Glad you found this post. The article definitely helped with my writer’s block – the letter and post pretty much wrote itself.

13 12 2011
joahnadiyosa

This is absolutely a gorgeous write-up! I’m going to write to my sixteen-year-old self soon! :)

13 12 2011
Kapri Genaye

Great story. Thanks for sharing. I love AHA moments!

13 12 2011
laballerina7

Love it. That letter definately spoke to the 16 yo version of me. I am 29 and still dont know how to style my curly hair. My favourite part that really hit home was “You like who you like, and if you aren’t absolutely positive that you like him, it means that you don’t”. I swear you stole some chapters from my life. Great blog, keep it up. Definately need to write to my sixteen year old self.

13 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks so much! Glad you could identify with my stories. Just goes to show that no matter how much we think that we’re the only ones going through these things at 16….well, we’re all in the same boat. Good luck with your letter.

13 12 2011
astrangerinyourmidst

stumbled upon this but it’s lovely xx

13 12 2011
Sydrah M.

i just turned 25 and i’ve been thinking way too much about what has been happening for the last 10 years.thank you for this letter.it just made my day :)

13 12 2011
RE: “Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self” « russian ramblings

[...] here with my “Dear” posts. Dear life, Dear women, and now, Dear Me. When I came across this post that a friend shared on facebook, I thought it was the perfect idea to add to my growing ambiguous letter collection. That, and when [...]

13 12 2011
gaycarboys

That’s so sweet. I remember being 16, in the 70′s:)

13 12 2011
kharlamovaa

Traci – this is so cute! I kind of copied the idea to write my own letter to my 16-year-old self after a friend posted this on facebook.

http://wp.me/pIDSF-mg

13 12 2011
abichica

OOh my gosh!! this is so emotional, it brought tears to my eyes.. wooww.. thanks for sharing..

14 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks for commenting abichica. I’m glad you were so moved.

13 12 2011
Manoj

Great post. Make’s you think for a moment how you were back then…

13 12 2011
San Antonio Tourist

Great post! Thanks for sharing. I turned 50 this summer, which caused me to contemplate my life thus far. It was good to review all the different eras of my life. Know this: It keeps getting better! Cheers, Denise

14 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks! Cheers to being 50 Denise, and all the wisdom and experience you have to share!

13 12 2011
eyeronic

Hi Traci. I’m new to your blog, but really enjoyed this post. You’ve inspired me to do one of my own! Thank you. :)

13 12 2011
C.A.Hayes

This note was awesome!

13 12 2011
Jessie L.

Awesome! :)

14 12 2011
Cally

I don’t want to write 16 year old me a letter. That jerk thought she knew everything. She probably wouldn’t even read it.
Great post. :)

14 12 2011
kristieenriquez

I love this. I’ll definitely add this to my to do list. :)

14 12 2011
sixflightslater

At 16, and now at 24, I’m still waiting for the giant billboard telling me what to do with my life. It’s a good reminder to think about how much I’ve learned along the way and how much further I have to go. Thanks for the reminder and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

14 12 2011
myaphotoblog

That was so lovely and touching

14 12 2011
tormentedworld

this is lovely <3

14 12 2011
tcaniel

this is a great post. you have inspired me to write my own letter. thanks for the inspiration!

14 12 2011
kate

love it!

14 12 2011
dapithapon

i can relate to some of your sentiments in this post. :)

14 12 2011
LoveRachal

I’ve seen that very book in Hallmark stores and often pick it up to read where I left off last time I was in the store. I should just buy the book to fully embrace how wonderful the book is for the reader, but I haven’t. I loved how you did this for yourself and am considering blogging about this too. Thank you for the inspiration!

14 12 2011
tracilee

Haha. Funny Rachal. I can’t wait to go through the whole book of letters. It’s funny how varied they are – from ‘you’re a punk, smarten up, you know-it-all’ to ‘be gentle with yourself and accept who you are and you’ll be fine’.

14 12 2011
Naveeka

And I’m so glad I came across this post. There’s nothing great than to recollect your childhood past.

14 12 2011
Jaded

This is really interesting. I think I’m going to try it :)

14 12 2011
munchyapple

Congrats on being freshly pressed!

I was just strolling along wordpress and came across yours. I’m glad I did and I loved your letter. It’s come across my mind a few times in the past years to do the same thing although I’ve never gone around to doing it — but now I think I will!

Have you ever heard of futureme.org? It’s where you can send emails to your future self. I’ve done it a few times, it’s fun and encouraging to get letters from your past and see what obstacles you thought you could never get through, yet did.

14 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Melody. And thanks for telling me about futureme.org, I’ll definitely check it out. Good luck with your letter!

14 12 2011
didiet

I like this post. It’s very interesting.
Warm greeting from Indonesia …..

14 12 2011
itsokaytorant

I’ve been inspired! Articles like this are what we should read in this media- distraught and pop culture dictated society. hmmmm..thanks for this!
have a great day!

14 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks!

14 12 2011
Karen Rosario Ingerslev

ahh so moving. When I was 16 I wished I had a letter from my future self. The question is now do I write one? And if so, how do I get it to myself…? ;-) Thanks for sharing.

14 12 2011
perspectivesandprejudices

Oh, I loved reading this! :) I think I might share it with a few friends… :) Congrats on being freshly pressed! :)

14 12 2011
zandrinal

Great idea!
Beats writing New Year’s resolutions. ;)

14 12 2011
ruthpinto

Hello Traci,

This was a joy to read. I too believe journalling and self-reflection are daily essentials. I’ve been using FutureMe (futureme.org) for the longest time now. Having emails sent to your future self has helped remind me of how I felt and reacted to various experiences that I would probably have forgotten with time (especially experiences that were particularly thrilling, or painful). Writing to the past must be quite a fulfilling task; shall give it a try soon.

Always remember to follow your own rhythm,
Ruth.

14 12 2011
tracilee

Hi Ruth, Thanks for your kind words. I just heard about futureme.org from another comment, and I am definitely going to try it out. It’s like opening up a box of notes/letters from your childhood and being able to remember things that, at the time felt like the most important thing in the world, but that you didn’t even remember happened. I’m going to make it a point to write some emails to my future self.

14 12 2011
The Pencil Pirouette

It sounds phony what I’m about to say, but your post was really heartwarming. I think I just might write one for my 16-year-old self tonight.

14 12 2011
mdprincing

great idea, I could of used a letter to myself to reassure and motivate.

14 12 2011
metan

Wonderful post, if only those letters could time travel and just drop into our 16 year old hands. Imagine the help they would have been! Congrats on FP too :)

14 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks! It’s so true – imagine if we could have actually sent ourselves a letter – and if we actually listened to ourselves. I’m sure our parents, aunts/uncles, cousins, siblings tried to impart this wisdom on us…..but we shrugged it off, because really, they didn’t know what we were going through :)

14 12 2011
metan

You are right, I expect that if we had recieved the letter our first reaction would be to do the very opposite!
I love your hair, I am 40 and have only just begun to embrace the curl, still through gritted teeth though!

14 12 2011
mayibongwe

it reminds us to keep those dreams we had when we were young alive and that its okay to look back at the past and realise what we did not manage to accomplish and being honest with oneself.dnt knw bwt the curly hair tho gdluck

14 12 2011
ponde22

You are really pretty and I love your curls! :D It was very touching! :)
Please read my blog! Pretty please?
http://ponde22.wordpress.com/

14 12 2011
tegantallullah

What a good idea! I love the concept of talking to your past self like that. I feel quite inspired to do something similar, although as I’m only 18 it might have to be to a younger younger self to make the full impact.

When I was about 8, I had a dream in which I met my teenage self in a shop. It was a very strange dream and it stuck with me, although if I told you anything revealing came of it I’d be lying.

xxx

14 12 2011
emptyhat

Really beautiful. I think I’ll write one to my future self to see if I turn out the way I think I’m going to. :)

14 12 2011
mschristiner

This is such a wonderful letter to yourself. I often wondered what I would say to my 16 year old self to my currently 28 year old self. After reading yours, I think I would say similar things about friendships and education (but my fluke 100% score was actually in Biology which was short lived too!). I’ve subscribed :)

14 12 2011
tracilee

Haha – how is it that we can be geniuses for such a short time and then it just disappears. Glad you enjoyed the read Christine and thanks for subscribing.

14 12 2011
stvolpina

love the post! so honest and written in such an easy style..
I especially connected with the idea of the path forking and encountering friends with whom you can spend entire night just talking and laughing!
great post:)

14 12 2011
Mok

Such a good idea and what a great letter to send yourself. If only you could and you did, and subsequently wrote another letter, how different would that be.. my head hurts..

14 12 2011
F.

Great post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed :D

14 12 2011
literarykitty

That was lovely – and I hear you on the wash and wear hair!

Think I will hunt down that book of letters now :)

14 12 2011
Jocelyn

Love this! I might have to write one of these to myself!

14 12 2011
dropopp.com

Thanks for sharing…I love it!

14 12 2011
Blushing

This post is just beautiful. I think I’ll try to do the same thing. A friend’s little sister was recently in anguish over what major to choose in college. I wrote to her and realized that I wish I knew at 18 that it doesn’t really matter, and that everything can turn out ok no matter what you choose. I might do my next post about that. Thank you.

14 12 2011
tracilee

Good luck with your post. It’s amazing how much effect a heartfelt letter can have.

14 12 2011
Rems Park

Lovely idea and it was beatiful to read. Actually, I really have to do this for the child I’ve been…

14 12 2011
everythingswaiting

So cute! Now I want to do this :0) Congrats on being freshly pressed yesterday.

14 12 2011
Erin Spens

Really love your post (and your blog!)

14 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Erin!

14 12 2011
marginalessays

Neat. Writing is a powerful tool for personal reflection, but so few people use it for that purpose.

David Brooks did something similar with his “New York Times” column. He asked people over 70 to write letters reflecting on their lives. He then wrote a few columns pulling out the features of both successful and disappointed people. Many of the same themes emerge in his letters as in yours: having a close circle of friends is important; taking chances and following instincts can be rewarding; and that life is defined by eras and chapters rather than specific instances or events.

You can find David Brooks’s blog and letters by looking up “The Life Reports.”

14 12 2011
tracilee

That’s cool. I’ll take a look at the blog and letters. Thanks for sharing.

14 12 2011
marinerassurferas

So beautiful words!! everyone should writte a letter to his younger himself… Yours was lovely, passionate and awesome! Congrats!

14 12 2011
I'd Rather Be In Iceland

It’s a great idea. I’ve even seen therapists recommend it on Oprah so it must be true. : ) Nice post!

14 12 2011
therealwomenofny

That’s a great excercise. I am going to use it for myself and a group of friends I have.

14 12 2011
Efficiency Hacks- Do less, get more.

“You will discover that school and grades are not everything.”

This is so true. I have seen many with good grades but end up in a life of anonymity, and people with less stellar grades but still enjoy a prosperous life. I think the perfect match is grades + passion + compassion + social ability +ability to cooperate.

14 12 2011
Sunshine

A charming and inspiring post Traci! Thank you :)

14 12 2011
Roshni

Loved this post! I found it to be such a brilliant idea – the thought of writing to your 16 year old self… reliving through all the thoughts, dreams, hopes, joys and sorrows that I lived through then…and realizing how I have changed in the past few years… :) Definitely something I’ll be writing about in my blog! Great work! Loved the writing style and the way you express your thoughts! :)

14 12 2011
Melissa Barlow (@mcbarlow36)

As a fellow curly-haired girl, I’m still trying to figure out how to style my mop. Thanks for the inspiration of knowing it can be done. Sweet post!

14 12 2011
kohllinedeyes

That was an amazing post right there :-)

14 12 2011
Megan

This is so sweet!

14 12 2011
Niall McCrae

Brilliant and inspiring

14 12 2011
pornoscopy

This is really interesting. I’m 17 and I just wrote a letter to my 47 year old self because I’ve got a copy of this book.

14 12 2011
aixsha21

Awwww <3 I love this :')

14 12 2011
Indie Evie

wow. I’ll be honest I skipped the rest and only read the letter but that was so emotional. I especially loved seeing you as a kid then the current pic at the end. I wish I could do that but im 15 so :/
But thank you for sharing.
Its funny where life can take us and how things change.

14 12 2011
tracilee

Never too early or too late to write. It is true how funny it is where life can take us and how things change – and how you can surprise yourself with how things turn out.

14 12 2011
Pamela Haley Design

Oh, I love it! I may do that myself. I’m so glad I’ve grown up enough (in the last 2 years) to know better than what I would have written if I wrote this 2 years ago. I just think I would have listened but, it would be a short term realization until I kicked back into depression.

14 12 2011
josephricafort

I’m so touched. I hope I could also write to my 16 year old me when I got 60.

14 12 2011
pickledjar

That was so beautiful! :’)

14 12 2011
Kenneth Mark Hoover

Very nice statement. This was extremely thought provoking.

I suppose if I were to write a letter to my 16 year old self it would read “You will survive” because frankly in the house I grew up in that was problematic.

14 12 2011
TheBathOutlet

This is a great idea! A lot of middle schools do that now and it really makes you look back on life.

14 12 2011
Jess Witkins

I absolutely love this piece and the reason you wrote it. I’ve been journaling since I was 13 and you do find AHA moments along the way. Wouldn’t it have been a wonderful, magical moment if your sixteen year old self could have opened this letter. Imagine the relief you would have felt knowing your hair becomes manageable, your hard work pays off, and that your destined for new adventures. Thank you for sharing this. What a lovely post to read this morning.

14 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks Jess. I probably would have missed out on a lot of AHA moments if I hadn’t spend so many hours journaling in the corner of a coffee shop, on a train or late at night. The best part about journaling is that, even if there’s no one else you can be truthful with, you can be truthful to yourself in your journal – and if you know that you’re holding back something you can call bullshit on yourself.

14 12 2011
trialsinfood

What a great letter! Your 16 year old self is very lucky!

14 12 2011
Almost Wrecked

Thank you! You have inspired me, too!

14 12 2011
I Made You A Mixtape

What a sweet letter you wrote to yourself. Such an inspiring idea. What I would write to my 6 year old self, whom I remember vehemently thinking I will “never become like one of them”!! (parents and family), that just to relax and enjoy the ride- you will become exactly like one of them…lol.

14 12 2011
Katrina

great post, I might have to do this myself

14 12 2011
theicingonthecrazycake

Love this! It made my day — what a heartfelt post.

14 12 2011
joaquinbarroso

At almost 34 I wish I could send a letter to a 28-year-old me! :-/
Congratulations on being FP!!!

14 12 2011
bellonitabella

very nice! :)

14 12 2011
cravesadventure

CONGRATS on being FP! – YAY!!!

14 12 2011
The Hook

People LOVE this concept of literary time travel, don’t they? I’m not so usre I’m in support of it though; better to let life unfold than risk tampering with the end result. We are the sum of our experiences, after all.

14 12 2011
Lady Bethezda @ Bethezda's Preocupations

Thank you so much. I love it. Will be doing the same on my blog.
Cheers!

14 12 2011
Kavi @ Lab to Fab!

Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Great post. Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!

14 12 2011
Self-Confidence

OMG. I am totally going to write a letter to myself from myself 10 years from now. In other words, I am 22 and gonna write my 22-year-old self a letter from my 32-year-old self. Because worrying is so pointless, and I still do it like a madwoman! But the things I worried about at 16 are already irrelevant, and it’s only been 6 years. Think how irrelevant I will see the things I worry about now in 10 years!

14 12 2011
The Boho Life

Truly inspiring. I can’t wait to write a letter to myself. thanks for sharing!

14 12 2011
Cole

This is awesome. I have to pick up this book. I am going to write to young me and future me…God only knows what I can invent for my future:)

14 12 2011
Simply Sinncere

[...] was reading through some blogs and fell accross a very interesting post that was freshly pressed (https://tracilee.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/dear-me-a-letter-to-my-16-year-old-self/). The blogger was inspired to write a letter to her sixteen year old self after reading about an [...]

14 12 2011
Jacqueline

Great post and how fitting that I’m also 28 and have naturally curly hair. I’ve been meaning to write a letter like this to my future self, so this was added inspiration! Awesome letter and so glad that you have been able to see and do all that you thought you would (and wouldn’t) and that you did meet an amazing American guy who honors and loves you for who you are!

14 12 2011
Molly

Creative topic. Loved your letter.

14 12 2011
Vinatge-Gypsy

This is an amazing post. Ive seen a few celebrities do this kind of thing, and the most memorable one was Pinks song, ‘a conversation with my thirteen year old self.’ Its good, as a 17 year old, trying to find herself, that it might just get better.
Thanks

14 12 2011
Jawiman

Im gonna write a letter to myself too. Thank You for inspiring me!! God Bless!

14 12 2011
Yodia25

I’m so touched! nice post…. like it so much… I will make my own letter to the younger me.. back when I was 10 years old. :)

14 12 2011
Yodia25

you are beautiful.. :)

14 12 2011
fremdenscham

I love love LOVE this! I might steal this idea sometime. Wonderful letter to yourself.

14 12 2011
Emily Warren

I love it, were you inspired by this….
http://www.thatvideosite.com/video/dear_16yearold_me

14 12 2011
beatriceawalters

This was a beautiful post! Like most 16 yr olds, I dealt with many of the same things you did (including the curly hair). If I had one wish, it would be that my two boys never had to deal with feelings of inadequacy or second guess themselves when they reach the awkward teen years. But seeing as everyone goes through it, I just hope that they end up in a place like you- content and happy with how things turned out. Beautiful insight and very inspiring!

14 12 2011
papipnarong

สวยงาม = beautiful

14 12 2011
Author

Loved your letter. I did the same in September… I wish I knew then what I knew now.

Including accepting my curly hair!

Julie
http://dailyhodgepodge.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/a-letter-to-my-teenage-self/

14 12 2011
Dear Me: A Letter to my 10-Year-Old Self. | JAwiman

[...] the computer. Then i started reading other people’s blog and i came across this one “Dear me: A letter to my Sixteen-year-old Self“ and it moved me. I was a bit confused because the title was sixteen yet she wrote to the [...]

14 12 2011
Dear 16-year-old me | Mandy travels.

[...] (Inspired by TraciLee.) [...]

15 12 2011
indiraadams

I am sixteen years old, and I truly wish an older me would write the current me a letter, letting me know that it will all turn out great.

My favorite quote is by Oprah Winfrey. She said, “When I look into the future, it’s so bright, it burns my eyes.”

http://indiraadams.wordpress.com

15 12 2011
kdiocampo

Dear Traci,

Challenge accepted. As your potential new best friend (I call our clique, Clique AWESOME), I shall try to make your days brighter with funny cartoon birds. DO NOT LOOK AT THIS UNTIL YOU ARE GOING THROUGH A BAD DAY. Please read disclaimer before clicking…

*by clicking this link, you fully agree and consent to the potential fate of head explosion from funniness and hilarity. You will not hold kdiocampo responsible for any brain splatter, injury or potential death that may result from this action. Also, you agree that Superman is a douche. Seriously, why make a hero whose only weakness is a big green rock? You might as well create a concept such as a card game in which you always get the same best hand or a movie in which you can tell what’s going to happen within the first 3 seconds. DC Comics, go hang your head in shame you terrible hero creating bastards.*

15 12 2011
tracilee

This is kind of creepy kdiocampo! I completely understand your ‘How I met your mother’ references (and I love that show) AND that is the exact bird video that cheers me up on a bad day! Maybe you are my potential new best friend? Although the bar is set pretty high already.

15 12 2011
crtnyhks

What a lovely post! Isn’t it wonderfully satisfying to realize how much & how little has mattered over the years in the grand scheme of things? I’ve been thinking about writing a letter to my younger self, too. You’re inspiring!

Congrats on being FP’D!

15 12 2011
yishawei

im really moved by your letter :)

15 12 2011
theringerreport

I think on my 20th birthday, I’m going to write a letter to my 10 year old self, and then do it every 10 years. As well as write to my future self to see the way I’ve changed and if life turns out the way I expect.

15 12 2011
Dear Me: A Sarcastic Letter to my 16 year old Self – see if you can pick out autobiographical moments « A Spoonful of Suga

[...] was a popular post on WordPress Entitled: “Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self”. Every time I came onto WordPress I came face to face with this post, and like the dude in the [...]

15 12 2011
afighter

Fresh read, after a long long time.

15 12 2011
qldps

Interesting reflections on High school life

15 12 2011
nv

Lovely post, great idea!

15 12 2011
yurtdışı dil eğitimi

thank you for sharing this letter!
İts impressive!

15 12 2011
schmolphin

awww… thanks for sharing! I just came across this after I wrote my blog, “When I was 17..” inspired by MTV when I was 17 and I can do this too! But maybe a different version! Thanks for sharing! It’s very emotionally touching & I love the way u wrote that letter to yourself!

P/S: I love that curly hair of yours!!! <3

Xoxo;
Lia
http://schmolphin.wordpress.com/

15 12 2011
Moniba

I absolutely love this… i’m going through almost all the same situations nowadays, but this is just.. sooo insprational. I guess all sixteen-year olds have theses days :) . Jazakillah, Traci.

15 12 2011
Yul

thanks for sharing. it really is inspiring. :)

15 12 2011
gloryrain

very inspiring!

15 12 2011
Pacha Photo

i had the same problem with the curly hair,
and i’m a guy :\

15 12 2011
Notes « Older

[...] come across. Recently, I really loved a post from Traci Lee, where she writes her past self a letter. I don’t know that I want to write myself a letter, giving past me too much information could [...]

15 12 2011
Clare

What a great post! I think this would be really fun for me to do. I don’t know that I’d blog about it (because it might be too personal) but as a personal journal reflection, this is perfect. I love that you have so much insight into yourself. I admire that!

15 12 2011
bizzareness

just wonder if life had rewind buttons… absolutely priceless, it will be:/

15 12 2011
Warrior Poet Wisdom

What a wonderful idea. I’m inspired now. :)
Peace & grace,
~Miro

15 12 2011
goingtomx

This is an awesome idea! I now want to blog about it.

15 12 2011
JamieCurtisBaker

If only we could send letters back in time…

15 12 2011
Romantic Asian Guy

Hi Traci

I really enjoyed reading your post! Your writing style is easy to read, informative, and brings out your “depth.”

I especially love your comment to write–without judgment–in order to find those “Aha!” moments. I tend to overthink things, killing momentum and enthusiasm when it comes to writing.

Anyways, thanks for your insight. You’ve come a long way:)

15 12 2011
4writermom

I’m so borrowing this! LOVE it! I have a lot to warn my sixteen year old self about. Thank you for this!

15 12 2011
rissaroma

I got so emotional reading this !!! I might have to do this myself it was very inspiring ;)

15 12 2011
Life Should Be 3D

What a great idea! I can totally relate to the hair advice. :-)

I’d tell my 16-year-old self to save all those concert t-shirts and clothes that go out of style, because someday they’ll be worth a bundle!!

15 12 2011
Renee Rowell

Love, love, love this!!! Thanks so much for sharing, & congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

15 12 2011
meladjusted

Thank you for this post – the concept of writing to a 16 year old me has really rung a bell across my consciousness and the picture that you posted first made me wonder if I could ask my daughter (6) if she had any thoughts on being 16 – what a wonderful gift that would be – Thanks again for the Inspiration!

15 12 2011
ieatmybrocolli

this was a great idea :) loved reading it.

15 12 2011
writenaked

This is fantastic! You have inspired me to write a letter to myself as well! Truly a moving idea. I gotta check out the book too.

15 12 2011
paperclip101

I’d do this, only I AM 16, lol. I may just write a letter to my younger self, though. :) Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the FP! :D <3 Paperclip101

15 12 2011
uravnrep

Nice!

15 12 2011
Sonia G Medeiros

Such a lovely post. All that stuff we suffered through at 16. If only we’d know the good stuff that was coming. I try to remember that now whenever I have hard times. I tell myself there’s good stuff coming and not to be so stressed.

15 12 2011
nattypn

That was touch and inspiring. I might try this as well! Great photographs too :) Thanks for sharing.

15 12 2011
Melissa

Love your letter. I giggled to myself when you mentioned your struggle with curly hair. I too have curly hair and I remember hating it in my teenage years. You have me thinking that I may also want to write a letter to my 16-year-old self. I think she may learn a thing or two. ;) Thanks for your blog post!

15 12 2011
gigglelicious

Traci, I truly love your post and your curly hair. I hope you don’t mind but I think I will write a letter to my 16-year-old self on my blog as well. Even though I can barely remember 16!

15 12 2011
Shelby

This is so beautiful… [:

15 12 2011
brittany220

This is great! I felt warm-hearted just reading your letter. I’ve written this type of letter to myself before too and it is a nice thing to look back on. If only we could actually communicate with our younger selves back when we were uncertain of things, lol.

15 12 2011
topiclessbar

Great post! It was sweet how you seemed to want to care for your younger self. : )

Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

15 12 2011
Thank You « Adventures On the Road

[...] ‘Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen Year Old Self‘ post was my ‘I can’t wait to post this blog because I love it and it’s [...]

16 12 2011
Dear End of 2010 Me « moza.rell.a

[...] I put on my orange nail polish this morning, I was reading this post on writing letter to your 16 year-old self (inspired by the book Dear Me : a letter to 16 Year Old [...]

16 12 2011
Felicity Fox

I couldn’t possibly know what to write to my 16 year old self as I still think I’m 16. I think this realisation is going to trouble me all day. I’m nearing 30 and starting to feel the panic set in as I’ve not quite evolved as much as you have. Dear 16 year old self – please rewind. Interesting post and one I’m felt pondering.

Felicity Fox

16 12 2011
Lesly Chanimal

I’m a college student right now going right through the bad grades and fluke genius moments (and the boyfriends and just about everything in your letter). Thanks for the inspiration Traci!

16 12 2011
tracilee

You’re welcome Lesly. Good luck with college. Definitely take time to enjoy it – it’s a time in life that you never can quite recreate.

16 12 2011
PocketSafari

Really upbeat and positive post.

I’ve always wanted to write one of these letters, but at 22, I think I need to let a few more years pass before I talk to my sixteen year old self :)

xoKxo

16 12 2011
Himawan Pradipta

I just cried.

16 12 2011
tracilee

The best compliment you could give me. Thank you.

16 12 2011
Amanda Surowitz

I really love this. I write myself a letter a week or so after my birthday every year, talking about what seems most important at the moment, what I’m struggling with, and my hopes for the next year. In a few years, I will write to my younger self, rather than the future me.

16 12 2011
tracilee

Great idea Amanda. Always a good idea to ‘check in’ with yourself once in a while.

16 12 2011
beerlaughlove

Awesome letter. High Five for the Freshly Pressed!

16 12 2011
Blink

my my ..this is so emotional..
I truly can relate myself to this honest and sweet letter of yours, in fact anyone can
this is so true that our priorities keep on changing with time.

16 12 2011
Letter to My 16 Year Old Self « AdaLamar's Blog

[...] Letter to My 16 Year Old Self Filed under: Ada Burch, ADALAMAR, bucket list, Building a life, career, chances, Christmas, compassionate, curiousity, dating, dreams, faith, faith in love, family, fate, feelings, funny, gifts, girls, giving back, healing, home for the holidays, honesty, hope, human spirit, humor, learning, lies, Life, Love, love affair, loving parents, memories, men and women, relationships, sassy, sassy girl, strength, the future, thoughts, true love, trust, wanderlust, women, Writing — Leave a comment December 16, 2011 This post was inspired by a post I saw on Freshly Pressed: https://tracilee.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/dear-me-a-letter-to-my-16-year-old-self/ [...]

16 12 2011
umanbn

Actually did something similar to this for my daughter….and will do every seven years. To write a letter to her future self outlining what’s important to her now and what she thinks, likes, wants to be doing in seven years time…….

16 12 2011
gunjansahni

wow…………….brilliant idea……….and brilliantly put…loved your creative thoughts

16 12 2011
The Time Between

Pretty sure my 16 year old self (and quite possibly my 22 year old current self) could have done with the curly hair message as well!

16 12 2011
bachfuguenbminor

I haven’t even reached 15 yet but, I think this is so cool. I think I’ll do this after I’ve settled down. Bought a house, gotten married, had a kid or two.

16 12 2011
l0ve0utl0ud

Beautiful letter! I know about this book and some of the letters are very touching. I feel it will be time to write my own one soon :)

16 12 2011
16 12 2011
HopeBetweenTheDreams

Love this! Thank you for reminding me about that book… I had meant to check it out & forgot about it until I read this. Your letter is amazing :) Now I want to do this too!!!!

I added you & hope you’ll do the same as I’m new to WordPress & still figuring all this out & only have like two friends on here so far. Hahaha!
<3

PS – What a beautiful picture! And you're right… your hair IS awesome curly!!!

16 12 2011
EternalHyperion

Very Touching, I’m inspired to do my own version now. =)

16 12 2011
Dear Me: A Letter to my 16-Year-Old Self « Heart of the City

[...] “Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self” (tracilee.wordpress.com) Share this:EmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

16 12 2011
princedapace

that was a life touching post, I love it, God bless you.

16 12 2011
A Letter to my 16-Year Old Self: 5 Years Later | The Misadventures of a 20-Something Cook

[...] the concept has been going on in for a while through other blogs and books. However reading this writer’s post to herself, was strangely therapeutic and enlightening for me. While her story is different from my [...]

16 12 2011
Nezza@Hella Sydney

I love how you wrote about finding your boyfriend. I think if more people were assured and confident that they’ll eventually find love, we’d all be happier and find our loves faster. Here’s to travelling!

16 12 2011
goodsassy

I think I want to write a future letter for myself too. I just started to write again..Nice one Traci!

16 12 2011
cinova

Isn’t it awesome when you find an inspirational piece of writing that cures writer’s block! Earlier this year I wrote a response to an old journal entry of mine.
http://cinova.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/lines-from-1986-4/
Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

16 12 2011
msladyg

Fabulous idea behind your post. It’s a great way of reflection at any age you choose to write your “Dear Me” letter to.
Also wonderful idea to write a future “Dear Me” letter, not for goal setting necessarily but on the perspective of spiritual & self-fulfillment. I’m afraid if you write something goal-setting & don’t accomplish those goals then it would not be a great read.
Or what about a reflection for someone else & their impact on your life? Grandparents, special friends? Have it printed & bound. It would be a memory to cherish & one they can read over & over.

16 12 2011
moment2smile

Warm and fuzzy feelings! Loved it! Thanks for posting (o;

17 12 2011
Jenny

Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t know you, but you have reached out to me with this. So thank you.

17 12 2011
mrmarymuthafuckingpoppins

i really liked this post it was great to read. Really inspiring really. Made me want to get out some more and enjoy myself a little more than I have done lately. Great work and I look forward to hearing more from you

Mr Mary

17 12 2011
Grace Cadenilla

This is a wonderful post. It moved me. I saw myself in it. It’s a good way to reflect on the blessings we have right now that we used to worry if we’d ever have them. It is also a reflection of how far you’ve gone in this life. You’re letter is wonderful. :)

17 12 2011
Audrey Cary

This was so cute. I really enjoyed it! I just discovered your blog, and I’m really liking it so far! I’ll have to look around and read more.

17 12 2011
toneddownandvintage

Aww Traci, this is inspiring. And you wrote to sixteen-year-old self well. <3

17 12 2011
geologyfreak

love the concept and perfectly framed…… Enjoyed!! :D

17 12 2011
disturbinglynormal

That’s really cool :-) I think I shall try this!

17 12 2011
GG

I simply loved your idea, Its a great idea to reflect on ourselves…

17 12 2011
psopit

Love this! I’ve always wanted to write one to myself and I know I will by the time I’m 30. I love the way you ended it, because I’m also dating someone ethnically different and I see myself ending my letter in the same way ;)

17 12 2011
havecoffeewilltravel

I remember looking at myself in the mirror when I was younger and telling myself not to worry, that it would get better. And you know what? It has :) Thanks for your inspirational words.

17 12 2011
fmerza

Wow. What an amazing topic! What an amazing letter! The teens is such a tumultuous time when everything seems like life or death. , Unfortunately, only time will settle the dust.

I remember when I was 16… I wonder what my letter to my 16 year old self would be like? Maybe I should take the plunge and write one, in hopes of spreading this phenomenal idea!

Great post!

17 12 2011
fotofototour

Nice flashback for our life. Good things will happened and bad things also, And these will too pass..

17 12 2011
Soraia Zohdi

Loved it! Especially the first part about the hair; I have wavy hair and I’m still trying to figure out how to style it. Tried Everything!

Maybe I should write one as well just to calm the 16-years old me, I remember when I was 16…everything was seemed so…chaotic!

Great post!

17 12 2011
Devina

Thank you so much for sharing! I’m only 18 so I’ll wait in a next 5 years or so before I get started on mine!

17 12 2011
leandro931

I’m only twenty years old. My sixteen is so close behide to me that I cann’t see it. I may wait my past get more older, wait my past be my past entirely.

Very nice post. I will remember this when I get ready to write my own letter to my 16-me.

17 12 2011
ssse101

I really liked this! Teenage awkwardness is endearing, in retrospect. I wish I could tell my 16 year old self that slutty does not equal sexy and I need to lay off the electric blue lycra halter necks. Your post was very charming.

17 12 2011
takingcandyfromababy

Today I went on this random day trip with three people from my past…from when I was 16 years old, come to think of it…and our drive was a bit like your letter to yourself. We spent a long time talking about what we would tell our your selves if we could…and then I came home and wrote this….which, will definitely be a foundation for a future post of mine. GREAT stuff….Thanks.

18 12 2011
Dear Whoever… #53, « eshysletters

[...] back to my original reason for posting this, that blog post on Freshly Pressed. It’s here: https://tracilee.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/dear-me-a-letter-to-my-16-year-old-self/ Essentially the same thing. I like the song version better in my opinion but then again, he is a [...]

18 12 2011
nileshalate

very good blog worth to read by everybody….

18 12 2011
daenira

It can actually be very therapeutic to write a letter to your past self. It almost heals the inner child within when you give them credit for being the person they were. I really enjoyed this post. I think I will write a few letters to myself since it has been a few years since I have done this exercise. Nicely written!

18 12 2011
ClaireMcA

You will be a wonderful mother.

18 12 2011
Dear Me: A Letter To My Insecure 16 Year Old Self « HelloMissPatterson

[...] is based on another WordPress post I [...]

18 12 2011
Krishna

Wonderful concept. I must say i loved reading the letter….At many instances of reading it it kept striking me how simple yet so much engaging this can be.
Now im happy i stumbeled on to this blog…!! Lovely…!!!

18 12 2011
asoulwalker

I feel that I would have to write a very different sounding letter. Great topic for a post. Cheers.

18 12 2011
barefoot_med_student

This is awesome. I think I am going to be a copy-cat and do the same. I shall post a link here when I get to it.

18 12 2011
khatija

Such a unique thought. I wish I could send a letter to my 16-year-old-self.
Nice post!

18 12 2011
nickrokicki

Dear 28 year old Traci,
I found your article well rounded and I was impressed with all the “inside scoop” you allowed your 16 year old self to know. Life always has a way at surprising us. Intact, even six months ago, I wouldn’t have even realized that my first children’s book would be published on Feb 29, 2012 ( if you wanna peek go to http://www.PeteThePopcorn.com).

I really appreciate you posting your letter !!!

I sincerely hope you can write your younger self for many decades to come!!!

Nick

18 12 2011
fivereflections

a very interesting post – a very creative letter – thanks for sharing

david in maine USA

18 12 2011
Randy's: Delightful Discoveries.

Oh, how I loveddd this! It’s so weird because I recently wrote a poem which I intended to write to my childhood self..it was very therapeutic. Check it out!

http://randysorensen.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/stay-strong-my-dear/

I hope you like it!

18 12 2011
thebarbiesyndrome

This is wonderful :)
Thank you. x

18 12 2011
Letter To Me — Write For Your Life

[...] What sports are to me now is just memories and hard work. I’m realizing that in order to make my writing even better, I need to write about anything and everything. I can’t just sit here and focus on just one thing. I will never gain experiences or be able to talk about experiences if I’m limiting myself to one aspect of my life. So, I start by writing the post I am now. Just about 10 minutes ago, I looked at the front page of wordpress for maybe the first time in about a year, and the first post that I clicked on was about writing a letter to your 16-old-self. [...]

18 12 2011
thegolar

Great post and great idea, although mine would be a lot shorter.

“Get your arse to the gym you whiny little porker. Also, Twitter. Write it down.

Sincerely,

25-Year-Old Golar”

18 12 2011
riz

wow. really powerful from the very first line! :)

“these pieces are finding their way to people and that a few words from the heart can still make such an impact.” – yes indeed.

and yeah, i used to dream of having curly hair when i was little. hihi. never came to pass. lol.

18 12 2011
David Pinkham

I like this idea. As a near sixty, I’m eager to think about what I would tell my 16-year-old self. You’ve inspired me.

18 12 2011
dzhamlett

I really like this post. I have to build up the courage to write my 16 year old self a letter. I like how gentle you were towards her/you. There has to be oxygen in that.

18 12 2011
TheresaMC

great idea. i may mull over what i’d say to myself and do a post like this!

18 12 2011
kmaixner2

This is great! I am gonna write a letter to myself right this moment :)

18 12 2011
Susan

Loved your post! I am an activity director in a senior care facility and I am going to make this an activity in January for my residents. I know they will enjoy it as much as myself!

18 12 2011
msjfreckles

This is awesome. I feel nostalgic over my own 16-year-old self. Thanks for doing this. :)

19 12 2011
Makena

great idea! pure joy!

19 12 2011
Pamanner

Such an inspiring post! I’m going to do the same :-) Thanks for the great idea!

19 12 2011
Mz. Practicality

A great idea indeed! Thanks so much for sharing your letter with us… very inspiring!

19 12 2011
mapassion5

Very inspiring. nice post.

19 12 2011
leadinglight

I’ve done letters to my future self : once for a creative writing class and once for a camp. My camp letter is being mailed to me in six months. I haven’t gone into the past like you though.

19 12 2011
itzcoolso

Reblogged this on promptwrite and commented:
i loved this prompt…will go down that lane…

19 12 2011
jseaford

You know there was a moment when I was around five or six, I was walking to school, it was a beautiful day – lots of blue I recall – and I remember feeling kinda bumbed out by being so young. I think I just hated school. I remember spending a bit of time dreaming about what I would look like, how mature I would be, or how many toys I would have? James, if you’re reading this…. 21 56 25 65 85 45 (December 31, 2010) – buy a lotto ticket!

19 12 2011
Dear Me: A Letter to Myself 10 Years Ago | comebacktobeditscold

[...] Originally taken from “Dear Me” adapted by “Adventures on the Road“ [...]

19 12 2011
anabelaxton

That’s really sweet, no doubt any person can get inspiration from your blog! It’s really well written too!

19 12 2011
joeypanetta

Amazing letter to yourself! So beautifully written…I can understand why you chose that particular fork in the road. My wife and I recently made a huge decision in our lives and packed everything we could and moved from Toronto to Madrid (one more check off the old dream list)…Keep up the amazing work and keep following your intuition! Your inspiring…that´s a priceless asset that you will always have, no matter what ;)

19 12 2011
tracilee

Toronto to Madrid!? Wow Joey, that sounds so exciting. I’m sure the move will pay off with some pretty exciting adventures (plus you can’t beat the weather – a little different than the -20C in Toronto in the winter). Thanks for your nice comment and good luck to you and your wife!

19 12 2011
ais ariani

dear Traci, i’m from Indonesia, and i found this post when i opened WordPress. I have blog for two years, and the last few days (er.. week.. or month i think..) i have writer’s block. And when i find this post, i just say to my self: i’ll do the same…

thanks for sharing Traci…

well.. i share your post in twitter :D

19 12 2011
jlsheehan

Well said 28 year old Traci, and well done 16 year old Traci also.

19 12 2011
Prience Shrestha

WOW.. u wrote it in a flying plane, somewhere 35,000 ft high,.. hmm,.. you should have also mentioned it in the letter that you shall be actually writing a letter to yourself sometime after a decade,.. and in an airplane!! the 16 yrs traci would have been so excited to learn that,.. ;)

19 12 2011
doreeweller

Really great blog post! Thanks for sharing. Oh, and thanks for telling me about that book… I’m going to have to get it now!

19 12 2011
A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self. « Young Notions

[...] “Freshly Pressed” section of wordpress last night I came across a blog entry entitled “Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self”. It talks about a book that recently came out by the same name in which a bunch of celebrities [...]

19 12 2011
wulf11

This is such a great idea! Oh the things I would tell my 16 year old self! I guess mostly I would say “hang in there… there’s more. But it does eventually get better”. Thanks for posting this. =)

19 12 2011
writeallyoulike

I love it, it was like nothing I have ever read,it was a reminder of why I fell in love with writing.

20 12 2011
Dear Me: A Letter To my 16 year old self | dramaLand

[...] Tadi… pas buka WP, saya nemu postingan dengan judul yang menarik, mirip dengan judul yang saya buat  –> Dear Me: A Letter to my 16 Year Old Self  [...]

20 12 2011
evilnymphstuff

Wow this is a beautiful post! Great letter… and awesome idea for even thinking about writing to your 16-yr-old self! :) I so love how you encourage yourself and all… it suddenly makes me feel better… because I’m 16 too right now so… Thanks for sharing!

20 12 2011
fyrependragon

I was 16 three years ago (almost!), and even though I’m going to wait a little while to do this, I think I’m going to write one to my older self… kinda like a time capsule thing….

But beautiful post and I love your hair!!

)O(
~Fyre

20 12 2011
“Dear Me: A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self” « The Baby Brain

[...] came across this letter at the Adventures on the Road blog while reading a “Freshly Pressed” selection tonight. [...]

21 12 2011
shannonray29

Amazing writing piece. Thank you so much for sharing.

21 12 2011
If I Could Write to My 16-year-old Self… « Saad's Stories

[...] Idea for this post comes from Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self discovered here. [...]

22 12 2011
youhavemyword

Such a valuable exercise – so good to reflect and see what we’ve learned, even though we sometimes wish we could have learned it earlier. Thanks for this :)

22 12 2011
Katrina

thanks for sharing this. beautifully written and very inspiring. :)

22 12 2011
Sports & Concert Updates

Made me think how I was during my 16′s… And yeah, I’ve got my own hairstyle now. :)
Great work. :’-)

24 12 2011
adamdickson

Thanks, Traci. What a great idea. My letter to my sixteen year old self would be largely one of reassurance for the trials ahead. Yes, you will survive them and emerge a stronger person, just hang on in there, buddy!

24 12 2011
lindacee

Ha, I write letters like that all the time but mine aren’t as nicely put as your’s, if I had to describe this post with one word it would be: INSPIRING (yes in capitals, because while I may be able to say it in one word doesn’t mean I want to and this makes it more… um, right? I can’t think of the right word at the moment but I know what I meant :))

28 12 2011
tracilee

“INSPIRING”. Thank you Lindacee. I was inspired to write it so I’m glad that I could pass on the inspiration!

26 12 2011
SarSaparillameliSSa

I read some extracts from the same book in the Guardian newspaper magazine on a train recently on the way to Brighton. I found it incredibly inspiring also. Beautiful letter to yourself, really lovely way for me to start the day :-)

27 12 2011
marie

This was so entertaining to read, and since I’m 17 years I’m curious about how my letter is going to look like when I “grow up”. So inspiring and I’m definitely glad I came across your blog:-)

27 12 2011
cindythea

This impacted more than you know. I have just started my blogging venture and am trying to build.
You speak to a place in our souls we seldom tap into, or if we do we are scared to reveal for fear of ridicule or being ignored. I applaud your willingness to put something out there that has meat. bravo!

28 12 2011
tracilee

Thanks for taking the time to read my post Cindy, and for your kind words. It’s been three years since I started mine and it can definitely become a staple in your life. Good luck with your blog!

28 12 2011
Milan Sok

Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write on my blog something like that. Can I take a fragment of your post to my blog?

28 12 2011
slim coffee

Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

1 01 2012
tracilee

hey slim coffee. You should be able to go into your comments subscriptions on your dashboard and opt out of the ‘notify for new comments’ tab. Unfortunately I can’t do anything on my side. Good luck!

2 01 2012
Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self. | fremdenscham

[...] randomly came across Traci‘s blog and immediately fell in love with this post. Traci wrote a letter to her 16 year old self, after reading a few letters like that, written [...]

3 01 2012
yeahiloveit

Nice post!
Can we use couple paragraphes for our site http://yeahiloveit.com ?

5 01 2012
tracilee

Thanks! Sure you can use some excerpts from the post – just trackback/link back to my site.

3 01 2012
fremdenscham

I finally wrote my own version of the letter! :)

3 01 2012
tracilee

Great fremdenscham! I wonder if your 16 year old self would have believed you if you told her how much travel to the US you would be doing in your future. Nice letter.

4 01 2012
orange county website design

Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thanks . “All things are difficult before they are easy.” by John Norley.

4 01 2012
sudokunerd

Oh, that was great to read! :D

5 01 2012
12 01 2012
lettersfromawhoremongerswife

I loved reading your letter Traci… I thought about doing this after I heard about the book, but quickly forgot about it. You’ve inspired me to pen my own Letter to Myself.

By the way, your hair is beautiful!

Danita Clark Able

19 01 2012
Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self. | fremdenscham

[...] 11 Comments ShareI randomly came across Traci‘s blog and immediately fell in love with this post. Traci wrote a letter to her 16 year old self, after reading a few letters like that, written [...]

20 01 2012
bellatrixsereine

Talk about deja vu! I recently read the same article in the same magazine on a Southwest flight from Los Angeles to Denver. Maybe we even picked up the same magazine! I’m currently sixteen and you’re absolutely inspirational :)

20 01 2012
tracilee

Thanks Annie! That is a pretty cool coincidence – same flight path, just reverse! Glad you came across my post and enjoyed it!

27 01 2012
Dear Me: A Letter to My Pre-world-traveling self | Jennifer Quayle

[...] few days before I left South Africa, I came across this blog post featured on the Freshly Pressed page of WordPress. Changed forever by my first (and [...]

31 01 2012
Mijn persoonlijke ontwikkeling

As soon as i read this a started to write a letter to my younger self too.Thank you so much for the idea!

9 02 2012
16 02 2012
chemistryofray

I am going to write a letter for my self when I was 12 years old :D
Cute

21-year-old Ray

1 04 2012
Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self | WORLD MAF

[...] a nutshell, it was the blogger’s take on the “Dear Me” project. The premise was simple: if you have to write a letter to your [...]

12 10 2012
Deanne Barufaldi

Thanks a lot for sharing this post. Definitely users will find this as very helpful. Thanks.

18 11 2012
Nat

Hi,
we will reblog it here BeTheLocals.com if you agree with link!

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