The main character in Moonfall–Tales from the Levant is a sixteen-year-old girl who makes a string of bad decisions. One of my readers recently asked, “If you could give your sixteen-year-old self some advice, what would it be?”
I thought back to what I was doing at sixteen … taking extra classes all year round so I could graduate early and attend university right away. Relationships took a back seat to the pursuit of knowledge for several isolated years.
So, here’s what I would say. Vanessa, get out of the library and live. Strive for balance. Spend a year between high school and college backpacking around the planet with a good buddy. Keep a journal and sketch random scenes that appeal to your senses—maybe sipping hot coffee on the banks of the Seine, or hitchhiking through the medieval towns of Tuscany, or climbing the cold mountains of Tibet in search of a real live Yak.
I posed this question to a close friend who said she would tell her younger self, Don’t be so impatient to experience all the ‘grown-up’ things your protective parents denied while living at home. When you’re 30, you’ll look back on those high school and college years as a special time before you took up the call of work and family.
What advice would you give your sixteen-year-old self? Do you think it’s ever too late to make up for lost opportunities?