Friday, May 15, 2009

Write On

I got to have dinner last night with a woman from my church congregation who I have admired pretty much since I moved here. She had a really fantastic career in Journalism and then gave it all up a few years ago to raise two darling kids. She was a single mormon female until well into her thirties and she was nice enough to spend some time talking to me about her experience. As we talked our conversation drifted to the letter writing project I mentioned a few weeks ago. All of the sudden I was hyper aware that in many many ways I was sitting across from myself ten years from now. She understood so clearly the frustrations and fears I was telling her about and as she gently shared with me the advice she would have given herself at 32 I couldn't stop crying. What she said wasn't anything I hadn't heard before but somehow, to get it from someone who really did know almost EXACTLY how it feels to be where I am-it was a jolt like I haven't felt in a long long time. It made me feel even more passionate about getting great women to write letters to themselves and then share them with each other. We just have no idea when the hard/good/funny/awful things we dealt with can end up being just what someone else needed to hear.

So. I've sent emails to the girls I know and gotten a good response but I want to cast the net wider still. I'm posting the instructions for writing and submission here so really anyone can do this. Feel free to forward this along.

Hello and welcome to the Dear Me project!

Dear Me is the collective wisdom of a group of fabulous women to younger versions of themselves at crucial points in their own personal history.

Here are some guidelines to help you write your letter.

-Your younger self can mean 6 or 16 or 46! There are no rules about how old the recipient of your letter should be-just younger and in need of your older and wiser perspective.

-Pick a specific moment in your history to write about. For example, the day you left for college, the night of your first break up, a moment you said no when you wished you said yes…the more context you can put around your advice the better.

-Don’t feel pressure to be profound! The best advice is usually simple!

-Funny advice is just as welcome as serious advice. If you really think your teenage self should have ditched the blue eye shadow (paging teenage me!), tell her!

-Be genuine and be honest. It’s OK to admit that you weren’t always as smart and put together as you are now.

-Keep it focused. Remember that other people will be reading so make sure details and background are truly relevant

-Length is up to you. But short and sweet is advice I would give to MY young self.

-Invite your friends. We want as many letters as possible so please pass this opportunity along!


Please send your letters to katieclifford AT gmail DOT com. You can attach a word document or just lay it into your email.

Letters will then be posted to the Dear Me website at I will inform you when your letter has been posted.

I will start posting letters on June 1 so let's get after it ladies!

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