Dear Me: A Letter to Woodstock at 16

I have been a fan of OutQ radio on Sirius for a number of years, I especially like Derek & Romaine and listen to them on my long ride home.  A few days ago they had a guest on author Joseph Galliano who wrote a book called Dear Me: Letters to my Sixteen Year Old Self and Dear Me: More Letters to My Sixteen Year Old Self.  In this book he asked famous people to write and submit to him letters they have written to their sixteen year old selves.  The concept is brilliant, kind of in the vain if I knew then what I know now what would I change.  I have not read the book yet it is on my wish list, but the idea of what you would tell your sixteen year old self is amazing and cathartic.  So I decide to challenge myself to this task here is my letter and picture of myself at sixteen.  I challenge you to do the same and if you do leave a comment so I can find out what you had to say. 

This is when I got the nickname Woodstock
October 27, 2011

Dear Woodstock,

Greetings from the future I come in peace.  I know at this moment your whole world seems like it is in a tail spin with no safety net to catch you and that mom has just gotten out of the hospital acting like a zombie, but soon everything will be explained.  The past 3 years have felt like a war in the house and the only casualty is you, but you are not the only casualty, you need to remember the people you are fighting against the hardest are the one that one day will be your ally.  I know I am vague about what the future will hold for you, but I don’t want you to avoid all the pain, suffering and positives that will happen as you grow older.  You will do things in your youth that are unwise, burn bridges, seek solace in the wrong places, date a lot of assholes, but one thing is you will survive with a better understanding of the world and people.  These life lessons you have to learn on your own because you are so bull headed something that does change as you grow older.  You will learn that the argument is not about rebellion but about your beliefs that beauty is just as your mom said skin deep and that a personality will get you farther in life then having huge breast and straight hair.  You will learn to love yourself and accept your fault; you will wear them like a badge of honor like a solider coming home from battle.

Woody, do not give up on your dreams though they will change so much just keep believing in them.  I know that things with dad are crazy, but try to remember he is in pain too.  Listen to him when he tells you stories of the past one day they will guide your memories when you long for them the most.  Forgive him now so later the rage doesn’t eat you alive. Be patient with him his heart is suffering more than yours, his wife is suffering as is your mother. Learn from him about unconditional love though you don’t feel it now you will understand soon what it truly means. Spend more time with mom in the next few years, hold her, read to her, sing to her , do not get angry when she forget your name, soon it will become clear and the regret you will carry later on will be devastating.  As for our family give them a break sometimes the constant meddling get to be to much but their hearts in the right place. Stop blaming your sister for being who see is, no she is not your mother, but she is a close second.  Put away your selfish ways and open your heart to what you can learn from her during this time.  You will always butt heads, but not so much out of anger as love.  Talk with your brothers more try to let them get to know you better you have a lot of perspective to give so don’t let your fear get in the way.  I will tell you this my sweet hard head self that life will get better you will find love and peace and yes along the way you will fall sometime truly far down the hole, but you will always remember what dad said, “pull yourself up by your boot straps, because the way you can go now is up” believe me it will save you more times than you can imagine. 

So remember to eat your vegetables (trust me they are good), get plenty of sleep, love yourself, and every night thank God for the gifts you receive (they are plentiful) and stop blaming God for all of this because he does answer prayer sometimes it is not the answer you want to hear, but it is an answer you will appreciate later.

I love you



atm1721 said…
Great Post Shean. Very endearing...had tears in my eyes. I will have to try this...the difficult part would be recollecting who you were in my case 14 years ago, going on 15. But i think this would be a really rewarding exercise because it would show you of how far you have come in life. Good thoughts though...i thoroughly enjoyed it.
Shean, This says everything about you. My entire blog has been an open letter to my 16 year old self. It is the moment in time my life completely changed but also arrested my development. I hope you will find as I did that forgiving myself first let me forgive everyone else. It seems we are very much alike.
I have so enjoyed my time knowing you through your wonderful paper art and posts. I wish all the best for you Shean. Elizabeth
Georgie Horn said…
what a sweet letter to yourself. Don't we wish we could actually do this. There's a quotation that I like: "Youth is wasted on the young." We have no idea what we have until we are older and wiser. Come get you some puddin n pie:

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