Would an alpaca sniffing your hair make you put down your phone?

A letter about anxiety and an offer of help

Fiona Cameron Lister
2 min readOct 8, 2023


Image: William Lister

Dear Millennial/Gen Z person,

So, I have this idea and I need your feedback. Bear with this 60-something for a few minutes please.

I know you’re suffering from myriad problems. Social anxiety, lack of self-confidence, fear of the future… you wonder what you are supposed to do with your life and if this is all there is.

You seek solace in screens and validation in a virtual world. And who can blame you?

We’re the ones who left you this legacy of constant connectedness — the Internet was supposedly “born” in 1983 — and yet we berate you for it.

I haven’t got kids (my choice) but as Father Time machetes his way relentlessly through my life, I have come to a point where I am thinking about how I can give back and how I can help.

The Universe awaits! Image Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

So — back to the idea. I want to mentor you. Zoom, email, old fashioned letters — maybe you can even come here to Tuscany!

I want to build your confidence and calm your anxiety.

I want to listen to you and for you to feel heard.

I want to show you that this world has great beauty and magic.

I want to show you what it’s like to hold a warm, newly-laid hen’s egg, or have a baby alpaca sniff your hair.

I want you to look up from your screen and see the stars shimmering in a Tuscan sky.

I want to show you the Florence streets, where da Vinci walked and Michelangelo crafted the most famous statue in the world.

I want to help you cook real food grown in a garden.

Aren’t you fed up of this? Image Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

I’m not an Internet influencer or A-lister. But I think you’ve had enough of those to be honest.

I’m a British writer who’s led quite an interesting life, most of it in Italy. But you’d walk past me in the street, probably.

So, tell me I’m deluded or arrogant or out of touch. That this is probably a stupid idea.

Or let’s both take a leap of faith and do this.

Contact me on the address in my profile.

Love, Fiona



Fiona Cameron Lister

Experienced British writer/editor/mentor in Italy | MWC semi-finalist| Loves words, history, humour, unusual subjects| Contact: fcameronlister@gmail.com