Magazine article Out

Dear Me

Magazine article Out

Dear Me

Article excerpt


If given the chance to transmit one letter back in time, how would you address the teenage you? That question is answered by an assortment of notables - from J. K. Rowling and Kathleen Turner to Suze Orman and John Waters- in Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self (Atria Books, $20). Would you caution yourself to go easy on recreational drugs (like Stephen King), or would you urge yourself to let Jeremy from the swim team make out with you (as Dustin Lance Black does)? Below, actor Alan Cumming's note to his young self, which gives advice on dealing with aging, heartbreak, and feeling sexy.

Dear Alan,

First of all, you're right. You're right about who you think is wrong. You're right to trust your instincts and to be your own person.

Second of all, slow down. Before you know it you'll be away from home and you'll be living your own life. Don't waste energy trying to make time move faster, because it won't until one day when you don't want it to and you'll wonder if all those nights spent longing for the future are now being paid back by making a beautiful present more fleeting. So please, if only for my karmic peace of mind, chill out about it, OK?

You're going to be really, really happy one day and you're going to have a life that is so far from your comprehension right now that I'm not even going to try to explain how it happens. I can hardly work it out myself. You just have to go with the flow, Alan. Just let go and tumble through life. It will all be OK.

But it's not a commercial. There are really shitty bits. You don't even know it but right now there are things happening to you that are too painful to process and so, like the adults around you, you're just not dealing with them, suppressing them, locking them up in a box in your mind. …

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