Across decades, mediums, and countless iconic images, it has been proven; nobody does it quite like Debbie Harry. The Blondie singer has made a name for herself by being unabashed, unafraid and drastically determined to succeed, It was a fire that started long before she grabbed the mic.
In the below letter, one which Blondie singer and new wave legend, Debbie Harry, wrote to her sixteen-year-old self back in 2009, the older and wiser Harry offers up some guidelines for how to deal with life. It’s full of nods to her past and lessons yet to be learned for when determination just isn’t enough. It makes for a touching read.
Back in 2009, Debbie Harry was asked, among a host of other celebrities including Jonathan Ross, Patsy Kensit and Emma Thompson, to write a letter to her teenage self. The idea was to compile these fascinating letters as part of a book. The sales of the book, titled Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self, were going towards the Elton John AIDS foundation with John himself contributing his own letter.
As reported in Letters of Note, as well as benefitting a wonderful charity, the book also offered everyone involved a chance to reconnect with their younger selves. It’s a powerful read and is rich in personal and universal truths.
While some letters are over-serious, others a purely comical. Instead, Harry’s effort appears to be deeply personal. Offering very little concrete clarity to her words, the singer shares sage advice and a promise that the sixteen-year-old’s confusion would soon work itself out.
Addressing herself by “Debbie, Moon, Debeel, or Deb”, Harry then writes: “Give yourself some time and all the ideas and possibilities that these names conjure up for you will become clear to you.” At the time, Harry would be at high school in New Jersey, but only a few short years away from pursuing her dream in New York City, no matter how many twists and turns were along the way.
In the second passage of the letter, Harry encourages herself to “go for it girl.” She further adds, “‘Nothing to fear but fear itself’ is such an old saying but if it helps you take a flying leap and if it’s the only thing that happens, you will have the lasting, lifelong satisfaction of having made a leap.”
She adds: “That you have the courage of your convictions and the strength within yourself to do anything, will be your core and your future can be enjoyed even when things get tough.”
The road may not always have been straight and clear for the mercurial singer but however difficult the path, Harry eventually clarified who she was and what her name was.
Read the full transcript of Debbie Harry’s letter to her sixteen-year-old-self below:
“Dear Debbie, Moon, Debeel, or Deb,
“Just because you have a lot of different names, and maybe feel like there’s a lot of different yous, don’t be confused. Give yourself some time and all the ideas and possibilities that these names conjure up for you will become clear to you. The pieces of the puzzle will reveal themselves and all you have to do is keep finding out what makes you feel happiest and this oftentimes will be the easiest thing for you to do. This is remarkable in itself. That the most obvious is often the best choice and can lead to something wonderful and satisfying.
“In simpler words, go for it girl. ‘Nothing to fear but fear itself’ is such an old saying but if it helps you take a flying leap and if it’s the only thing that happens, you will have the lasting, lifelong satisfaction of having made a leap. That you have the courage of your convictions and the strength within yourself to do anything, will be your core and your future can be enjoyed even when things get tough. They will get tough and they will get easy and when you look back at those times, the rough ones will often be the ones you remember best.
“Dreams Do Come True. Keep Dreaming,