Dear Me -- A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self

Dearest Trisha,
You are about to have a rough year. Your 16th birthday was crap, I know, like a lot of your life so far, but I promise it'll be ok.

I feel a bit teary writing this to you, because when you needed me in those awful teenage years, I wasn't there for you. I disappeared because it was all too hard, and you know what? I'm really sorry.

The good news is:
You're going to have two, maybe three BRILLIANT careers! Believe it or not, you're going to join the Army! You'll have a blast, tho you'll do some dopey things, like get drunk + insist on using the men's toilet in the mess. You'll have to scrub a hallway with a toothbrush for that, and it wasn't worth it. :D

You'll miss out on a fantastic trip to the U.S. via Vietnam with your boss, because it's the 70s and women are not even allowed to FLY OVER a war zone, never mind land there. You know though, that protectiveness was kinda nice, even though it was paternalistic.

You'll get TOP SECRET clearance and spend hours in a locked room decoding and encoding messages between the Defence Chiefs and Vietnam, near the end of the war. It'll be amazing.

You'll meet another soldier called Richard when you're 21. DO NOT MARRY HIM.

When you have a big mess and decide to take discharge, it will be the best thing EVER. You'll fall into journalism and broadcasting + you'll end up on the radio in Melbourne, Australia, with a number one chat and music show. You'll rock at it!

About then, you'll meet a man called Mark. He's the love of your life, but it won't work out. Don't worry, you'll stay in touch + you'll always be close friends, even a bit more, on the odd occasion!

You don't know it, because you don't like yourself very much, but you'll make zillions of really, really good friends, who will be loyal to you your entire life. That's a total blessing, so don't forget that's going to happen.

You'll find your spiritual heart lies in Fiji. I'll leave you to work that one out for yourself. (Teasing, I know, not fair.)

The worst thing and the best thing in your life is that you will have a complete nervous breakdown when you're in your mid-50s. You'll fully recover, so don't freak. It will be one hell of a ride, most of it fully shitty, but LOVE will prevail, OK? And the upshot will be a whole new fantastic career.

Let me tell you your great qualities, because you don't know what they are.
You are:
a wonderful friend
really, really smart
good at pretty much whatever you want
and sexy as hell.

Now the sexy bit is tricky. You'll get brainwashed by two women's magazines in the mid-70s, Cleo and Cosmo. They'll tell you the Big O is yours for the taking, that if a man can have one-night stands, so can you, girl!! It's BULLSHIT. It will fuck you up, I'm afraid. But you'll make use of the mess it causes down the track, so again, don't freak.

So, my love, that's about it. Take good care of yourself, and remember always that I always already love you forever.

(This blog was inspired by my friend Joseph Galliano's book, Dear Me, letters from celebrities to their 16-year-old self.)