This note is the fifteenth letter in the 104-days-of-summer-vacation series. You can also follow the full twitter thread here, and leave any thoughts and comments that might come up!
Being in your twenties is so weird. If you’re in your twenties too, I hope this piece is relatable. If you’re past your twenties, I hope this piece makes you smile fondly. And if you haven’t reached your twenties yet, I hope this piece is a preview of what might lie ahead.
I saw this quote today, wrote it down in my notes and promptly forgot where it came from.
What are your twenties if not an endless string of the ghosts you thought you’d become
This made me chuckle ~ it’s funny because it’s true. Today, I also listened to Late to the Party by Emei for the first time, turns out the party wasn’t the only thing I was late to, everyone I shared it with seemed to know it already.
🎵 hits repeat on Spotify 🎵
The notion that you don’t know what you’re doing in your twenties seems to be common knowledge. But almost as universally, why does everyone think (or at least look like) they know what they’re doing. Every year, I think I know exactly what I’m going to be when I grow up, and every year I’m wrong.
Instead, I slide smoothly between future visions of myself as small mutations build up day by day - by the next year I’m significantly different. And it’s hard to tell if this means I have to be more persistent on one thing, or whether this is behavior just about right on point.
This also begs the point, what about all those other visions that were real in my mind. Are they just some ephemeral step in a complex multi-sequence reaction? After all, I did genuinely want to live in that future, these dreams seem worth grieving. Maybe this calls for a prayer, for otherselves, to acknowledge past alternate realities.
I want to take this time to offer gratitude to dreams unrealized. In my dreams, I published novel robotics research in a journal at 17. I went to study in MIT then, I was a college dropout scaling an impactful startup. In my dreams, I reformed the education system to finally be personalized. I helped lots of people adopt preventive healthcare.
These dreams have shifted and transformed, and yet I feel thankful for the inspiration they have ignited in me. They were the audience cheering me along, the invisible hand gently pushing me ahead, the whisper in my ears which shaped my character. Every one of those dreams hold a special place in my heart, the lessons they have taught me are a lifetime long.
With humility and reverence, I honor the dreams of my past, my otherselves, and I recognize their significance in the self that is here today.
If you’re in your twenties, I hope a similar prayer might ease your spirits. With Love.