Issue #176 / December 2021

I’m sixteen and have just recently gotten really into your work. I was wondering: what advice would you give to your sixteen year old self and why?



Dear Taya,

This is an excellent question and I am often asked it, but I find it a very difficult question to answer. 

The difficulty is that I am, in fact, my sixteen-year-old self, just half a century older. Not only that but, sitting here at the kitchen table, with the sun streaming through the window, answering your excellent question, my older self, the current destination of my younger self, is mostly happy.

However, my older self is protective and instinctively wants to warn my sixteen-year-old self not to make the mistakes that I know from experience are going to cause him pain. But, you see, this older and more experienced self also knows that the painful things are often the things that ultimately give substance and meaning to life. My older self knows that life’s mistakes are destiny’s way of laying the tracks that will bring my younger self to the place where I am at this very moment — the mostly happy place, where I sit, with the sun coming through the window, writing an answer to your excellent question. 

Have a great life, Taya, it’s all ahead of you.

Love, Nick








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