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

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


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451649642
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 10/25/2011
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.72(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Joseph Galliano is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Times (London) and the Guardian (UK) as well as various magazines internationally. He lives in London. Stalkers, Future Selves, and other interested persons are invited to visit him at

Read an Excerpt


At age sixteen, I did a lot of staring out of windows—filled with terror, worrying about who I was or what I was going to be. Was I good, clever, hip, decent, fun enough? Was the world going to end? (This was the 1980s, after all, and the cold war was no joke.) Was I going to make it? I wore a troubled brow.

As we get older, some of our teenage intensity will ease, but when in the maelstrom, we don’t know that. When we are young, we so rarely take the advice of grown-ups, but would you have taken advice from someone like you? From your older self perhaps?

My family have always been letter writers, and pens have always been precious to me. My mother’s beautiful italicized script flowing from the left-handed gold nib of her Parker pen always struck me as the height of adult elegance. When, as a child, I would go away from home for any period, there would always be a long and comforting letter from her in my bag. And, of course, writing thank-you letters was as much a part of the holiday season as tinsel.

A few years ago my partner showed me a heartbreaking letter that he had received from a troubled classmate while he was still at school. It made me want to send a hug back in time to say, “You’re okay, you’re just fine.”

But in reality, of course, that’s impossible. (Time-travel mailbox in development anyone?) Instead, the “Dear Me” letter was born. Writing my own letter to myself and hearing what this experience has meant to this book’s generous contributors has proven to me that composing a letter to your younger self is a cathartic process. The act of addressing yourself with kindness and adult understanding can give you a better sense of who you are now—for indeed, in many ways our childhood self is our parent. As Bob Dylan sang, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

Reading this collection is to be rewarded with an intimate glimpse into the backgrounds and emotional makeup of a wonderfully varied group of fascinating people, without the filter of the usual interview process.

I hope that you will smile, laugh, shed a tear, and take some comfort from these time-traveling missives and remember once again what it was like to be sixteen.

Joseph Galliano
June 19, 2011

© 2011 Joseph Galliano

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Dear Me 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
J_Lockwood More than 1 year ago
There are several letters that are hand written, rather than typed, and they are not formatted for the Nook which makes them almost impossible to read. You cannot "zoom" in to even see the words properly. Otherwise, this is a good book.
klarsenmd on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This is an amazing book. The letters it contains are a mix of touching, intimate, amusing and sincere. The commons threads they contain are what makes it relatable to all of us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My crush likes me back but he hasnt made a move. How do i ask him out? Thx Carissa Clark-Lawerence
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey im locked out its really starting to piss me off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have changed it to together forever result 2!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this boy and i THINK he likes me back but he likes this other girl better. How do i find out that he likes me? And how do impress him? Also i want t go to the school ance but m parents think im to little. What should i do?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So i lik this guy but he liks someone elts but hes lik super nice to me and then yheres this nate kid who liks me and on the last day of scholl befor winter break he told me he liked me but befor all of that the kid i lik came and lik picked me up bf and gf stile and nate saw and then he go upset and started crying i dont lik nate i lik the other kid confussed idk what to do plz help
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey, this is fox. I have a boy i like, and he asked me out. We got together and hang out a lot, but i don't think his friends like me very much. I'm to shy to ask them why because i'm scared of what they are going to say. I'm in 7th grade now and i have been bullied by 1st grade all the way to 6th. The only way i can really express how i truly feel is with art. What do i do? ~foxtail36
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay i like this boy. He is really really cute and we hang out alot. Soooooo wut r signs tht he likes me?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To all who gave leo advice:... first of all thats my advice. And us girls dont really like it when boys play with their hair. We think its gay lol. To leo: if i were you id tease her. Not a lot and not mean. Make sure your smiling when you do. Invent a little game to play with her like taking her stuff and hiding it.