Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?

Last night I discovered this charming book called Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self by Joseph Galliano. The book features letters by 75 people of various fame to their younger selves. Included are notes from folks like Bill T. Jones, John Waters, Erykah Badu, Alan Rickman and Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi, who tells his teenage self  "It is that very foreigness, that outsiderness, that feeling of being 'other' that is your power, and your mutability is the gift – use them both!" (The Indian-born Mandvi's family immigrated to England and, eventually, the United States, during his youth.)

When I heard Galliano interviewed on the radio last night, I knew this book would be on my to-read list. Since turning 40, I have, predictably, pondered the many things I would do differently if do-overs were possible. I am not the first person to wish that my young self had been possessed of even half my middle-aged self's wisdom, confidence and self regard. Such is life, though.

Truth be told, there aren't a ton of things I'd change about my life until now, because I believe strongly that every bump and triumph made me the woman I am today--and I'm not so bad, really. But there are a few things I might tell 16-year-old Tami:


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