A letter to me at sixteen


On Friday July fifth, I turned thirty. It feels like just yesterday I was adding streamers to my two-wheeler and counting down the days until summer. And now I’m a real grown-up with a full time job, a soon-to-be-husband and (gasp!) a few gray hairs.

Have you heard of Dear Me? It’s a collection of letters from older and wiser personalities–to themselves at sixteen. It got me thinking, what would I write to my younger self? Sixteen is such a tender age–what do you share and what wouldn’t you want to spoil? What would you write to yourself? Here’s what I came up with…

Dear Lauren,

Growing out those poofy bangs was one of (if not) the best decisions you’ve made to date. Good news–you make many more commendable decisions in the years to come. Life is good at sixteen, but it gets even better.

I know your parents were high-school sweethearts, but you won’t marry yours (and that’s a good thing!) Don’t spend all your time making out in your driveway–call your girlfriends. Your four “BFFs” will still be a big part of your life fourteen years later.

Remember how excited you were to see snow? You’ll see a lot of it when you get to college. And you’ll get sick of it real fast, but don’t give up. It get’s so much better. You make friends who will change your life and you’ll develop skills and passions that will enrich you in ways you never thought possible. Oh yeah, you will also meet the man you’ll marry. Sorry, no hints! I refuse to spoil the journey.

You will live in New York City and experience the best times of your life with the most inspiring people. You will also experience great disappointments and major setbacks–you will grow immeasurably from these moments so grit your teeth and solider on. Your parents will be your greatest champions and your best friends (hard to believe when they won’t let you stay out past 11 o’clock I know, but trust me).

Your silly bad luck will continue, so always carry-on when you fly and have a plan b. As you get older, you realize how much good is in your life and the rest will roll off you–or at least give you some material for that book you want to write.

Be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Its good to have goals, but you are your worst critic–you’ll give yourself ulcers (really!). Travel whenever possible. Love fiercely. Always dream and fight like hell for what matters.

xo Me (at thirty, which isn’t actually ancient)

The photo above was taken at my surprise sweet sixteen pool party. I still can’t believe I willingly posted a bathing-suit photo on the intranet (shudders).


  1. Claire Duffett says

    Just catching up on your blog and read this. Made me teary. So grateful I’ve gotten to be a part of years 18 to 30 and excited to grow older and learn more with you in my life. x


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