A letter to my forty year old self

Dear Naina,

Hi! I would explain why I am writing to you but you are future Naina so you must know. But just in case you are too busy enjoying yourself on our FORTIETH(!!) birthday let me tell you. This is a letter describing what I wish for our future, all my hopes and dreams.

As a 20 year old, I had wanted my 20s to be about achieving milestones. I wanted to get my first job, first pay, my first car and house. But looking back at the milestones I hit and the ones I miss, I don’t remember the feeling when I achieved the milestone as much as I do the journey leading up to it. I remember the friends who cheered me along the way. Which is why I don’t care about the milestones that make up my thirties I care more about the moments that make up my 30s. So here are some moments that I hope get to experience in my 30s.

Sense of purpose. It doesn’t matter whether this purpose comes from launching a product at work, from doting on my child, from loving my partner, or supporting my friends. I just want to feel that someone’s life is better because of my existence.

Intense creativity. I recently started taking on more creative projects in my late 20s and they are definitely projects that I look forward to tackling on the weekends. Which is why I hope that my 30s are filled with more creative pursuits. I hope that I pick up more projects not because of an ulterior motive (help me with my job, make money, etc) but because working on those projects make me happy and fill me with creative energy.

Owning myself. I have hidden my opinions and never claimed or asked what I have wanted, preferring to let the group be happy over my individual happiness. This is why I hope my 30s are filled with moments of me owning myself. Be it my body, my cuisine preferences, my opinions. I hope that I don’t cower down to others and am truly confident in who I am. I hope I acknowledge my own self worth.

Sustainably happy. Someone recently expressed this phrase to me and it immediately clicked with me. I hope that when I think of my 30s I remember moments of sustainable happiness. I hope I remember easy moments of happiness surrounded by loved ones, I hope I remember weekends spent with family, I hope I remember a sustainable work life balance with productive days and no work related worries creeping into my personal life.

Independence and comfort. This is a dichotomy, isn’t it. The last set of moments I hope for are those filled with me owning my introversion and independence, where I find pride in my solo pursuits. But I also wish for moments of comfort shared with a partner. A partner who I can support, who I can take comfort in, and a partner who cheers me on.

This letter is definitely vague, but that is intentional. I don’t care what goals I have hit by the time I am 40, as long as I am happy, confident, in love and loved.



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