Gail Benick invited to write a “Dear Me”
If you could send a letter to yourself aged sixteen, what would you write in it? Gail Benick was invited to write just such a letter to her younger self and present it on a panel at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
We’re curious, Gail. What did you tell your sixteen-year-old self? Did you give her practical advice or is your letter filled with metaphysical musings? Gail told us that her letter is a combination of both. She wrote to herself: “When you are invited to make a presentation at the local Rotary Club, accept the challenge, speak your truth and, whatever you do, don’t dress up in your best pastel cashmere sweater set with a string of pearls. Just wear black.”
Gail advised her teenage self to embrace the F-word: feminism, of course, not the other F-bomb. “And trust your abilities,” she urged. “Your homework is to trash that judgmental inner Girl Scout of yours and sending her packing.”
One final bon mot Gail shared with her younger self: “It’s never too early or too late to get creative.” Immerse yourself in stories. Write regularly. You may be lucky enough to published one of your short stories titled “The Pickle Cellar” in Parchment in 2014, when your teenage years seem like a vague memory of a time and place you’ve thankfully left behind.