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Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. -Mary Schmich 


My post today is double inspired by Mary and Dear Me Books.  


Dear sixteen year old Carla,

Today all the wobbly Aunties are going to pinch your cheeks and cough up a lame old joke with a little spittle of phlegm, 

Happy Birthday lovey.

They’ll all say.

Sweet sixteen and never been kissed eh?

They’ll all chortle.

Just smile and nod your head. Only you know about that boy in Surfers.

The one who stared at you in the sauna, waiting till the bubba in her nautical one-piece and gold neck chains had left before launching himself, without warning, at your lips.


In a few weeks time your mum is going to walk out on your dad.


You will immerse yourself in your year twelve studies and avoid the darkest places that are stained purplish-green with blame and hatred. 

You should know that you will eventually find out secrets that will shift your perspective.

You will see that your dad’s eye, the one that was a little lazy, the one that he squinted with, wasn’t quite so lazy after all.


You will, one day, applaud your mother for being brave.


Don’t hide your chest under chunky sweaters. It’s damn fecking annoying that the world is this way, but this is the truth. Your boobs have powers. Take advantage of them. 


When you are eighteen you will be high on life and without the need for artificial substances. On the dance floor you will notice a dark haired guy staring at you. 


This is the man that you will marry. 


On the night that you meet him my advice to you is- don’t change a thing.

When he smiles and motions for you to come over, keep dancing and nod no. Then look up at him through your lashes and motion for him to come to you. 


Trust me he will come.


When you are twenty your boyfriend will be tempted to go solo to a party, by his cousin- the one who likes to play devils-advocate with the relationships of others, because he has a cavity in his own slow-pumping heart. 

When your boyfriend tells you that he has decided to go to the party whether you effen care or not, hold your head up high and drive yourself home. 

There is no need to tell him it’s officially over. Your total absence, your lack of voice will allow him to work this out. 

Do not shed a tear when you hear he has walked into every shop at Chaddy looking for the one who has employed you that Christmas. He would never have found you anyway. It was your day off. 

You will never receive the letters he leaves in your mailbox or the flowers under the windshield wipers. Your mum and sis will sanitise the world for you, because they think that you need it. 


Drive to Queensland and have a wild time with the cop who pulls you over one night, blue lights flashing, just to ask you for your phone number. He already had your heart racing anyway.


In six months your ex-boyfriend will lay his heart out on a sandy beach.

He will walk  back so as not to influence your decision.

You can choose to step on it with your spiked heel and watch its’ flesh split and bleed.

Or accept the mournful beat it plays.

I suggest you leave it for just a moment longer than necessary before cradling it in your arms. 


That organ needs to learn a lesson.


When you are twenty-one your Uncle, the one who offered you a toke, will make another stupid mistake. This will change the relationship that you have with your family forever.

Tears and tantrums will never traverse a divide and they have no effect on any amount of dumbass.

Remember black sheep are unique. And anyway, people always root for the underdog.


Enjoy Europe. It is the last time you will truly be on your own.


At twenty three don’t listen to your mum when she tells you she has a secret. This way you will be genuinely surprised when your boyfriend offers you a carat at dinner.


On your wedding day you realise that you are marrying a man you would die for.

Ignore the short, dark haired woman in the corner who is crying.

She will cry tears of happiness in a few years time. When your belly swells.

Until then you will have to be patient.


When your boy arrives your perspective shifts.

You will now gladly push your husband under the bus to save your baby.

This is a warning. Do not tell him.

There are some things better left unsaid.


At the required hour you will stand in front of your religious leader and request permission for something that is eternally important to you.

You will be denied.

You will want to leave in a dignified manner, but at the last minute you will turn to the leader and beat at your chest and point to the sky and furrow your brow.

After this agony of conviction the balance of power is swayed.

Your wish will be granted.


One day you will sneak into a pumpkin patch and avoid all that is blue.

The thing you hold in your hand is like a wish upon a pinkish star.

When your girl arrives contentment will plump out your heart.


Think twice before sending your daughter to crèche. It would be better to wait one more year before returning to work. It’s feasible that she’s going to meet her bestest-besty-best-friend in the entire world at school anyway.

The universe works in strange ways.


Don’t make business decisions based on emotions.


Learning how to render your emotions  to create a subjective self will be the most difficult task of all.

It will feel as though you are trying to split your own personality.

You will revolt to do a voldemort but this is very important.


Do not accept being treated as inferior when dealing with the boys of the world of finance.

Remember those boobs? They have powers for both good and for evil. Use them wisely.

By the time your nemesis is completely mesmerized you will have also won him over with your intelligence. Intelligence is the only way to garner respect.

How you captivate your audience to prove your intelligence is up to you.


Some may not want to reckon with your forces. That is okay.

Smile at them and if you get the chance, in their presence, push your sunglasses up your nose using your middle finger.


After smelling like coffee for seven years you will desire to know what it is like to smell like paper and ink.

When you see that advertisement in the newspaper know that it really is a sign.

Do not ignore your own yearnings, the ones that have been buried under maternal duties and wifely duties and work duties.

You are not being selfish.

Everyone will survive.

In fact, they may even be proud.


And now we have arrived here.

Not at the end of the story,

and not even half way through it.

The chapters that remain are yet to be named and the pages are yet to be numbered.


But for now you are still just sixteen.

The world will feel as though it is a mystery.

But I can tell you,

The blood you bleed,

The aches you feel,

The swells of joy.

It is you,

who is the mystery of the world.



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