“Dear Me” from Seniors

“A letter full of cheer is coming from a loved one.”

writing desk

It was International Women’s Day this past Sunday. As part of the celebration, people posted “Dear Me” videos on Youtube sharing the advice they would give to their younger selves. A tech-savvy retirement home in Seattle discovered #DearMe on Twitter and decided to join in on the fun. They uploaded encouraging videos to spread cheer to young women. Eighty-eight-year old Arleen Nelson said, “I would tell you not ever to get trapped into a five year plan. You don’t know what’s going to happen in four years or in ten minutes.”

In the senior year of my high school, we were instructed to write “Dear Me” letters to our future selves. This entailed a five-year plan of where we were going to end up. Besides graduating from college, I also wrote about starting a writing career. Although I had a few detours along the way in terms of the writing profession, here I am today.

What would you say to your younger self? 

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  1. I would have married the same wonderful woman in my life – my late wife.

  2. I would tell my younger self to trust her gut more. I tended to resist it. Always went with the more logical rather than with what might have been more desired. :)

  3. I was never encouraged to write such letters when I was growing up in France. Retrospectively I thik it would have been great. I lived (until I had my kids) on Carpe Diem mode, although I always went to school and got a job in the field I wanted. I have the feeling that it would have provided some form of guidance when I felt alone on my little boat.
    I always love to hear from older people about their advice. Experience is a good tool to use for younger folks. I like this on your blog, how you tie your mother, wife and writer’s life to the Asian wisdom and lessons from elder in general. As for IWD I am in favor a such a day and also blogged about it. In a very different way, which is also why I like blogging so much. So much diversity around similar events and topics. See you soon, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      I think letters can either help us achieve things or hem us in. Advice from elders, though, is always appreciated.

  4. Listen to your intuition.

  5. Thank you so very much for sharing this!
    -Jill Chang from Bayview

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