Dear Zoe,

I still vividly remember the very first moments after your mom told me she was pregnant. I was immediately inundated with a cacophony of emotions as I processed and internalized your existence. But as that day progressed, that myriad of feelings hushed and my thoughts began to singularly focus on my hopes and dreams for the life you would live once we welcomed you to this world. I found myself reflecting on how blessed I had been to live such a charmed life, full of so much. I thought about how lucky I was to have found your mom, my soul mate, who brought so much vivid color to the monochrome life I had lived before her. The close friends that enriched every aspect of my life with fun, comfort, and new adventures. The loving family that continually encouraged and supported my own hopes and dreams as they evolved. The career I ultimately built that embodied my deepest passions and allowed me to make my dent on the universe in a way that strongly aligned with my personal values. The financial success that afforded me the freedom to design my life to optimize for my desired pursuits. As I reflected on all of these aspects of my life, I found myself wishing and hoping that you would similarly enjoy your own charmed life filled with all of these things and more.

But I quickly came to the conclusion that it wasn't enough for me just to hope that you would find such a life. I realized I wanted to pass onto you everything I had stumbled upon in my 35 years of existence that had enabled me to build a life full of meaning and happiness. And I thought what better way to do so than to write you letters sharing everything I have learned. Many of these letters won't make much sense to you until you're much older. But I do hope that as you go through your life, you find some nuggets of wisdom in them that enable you to perhaps pursue a straighter path to what you ultimately desire than my own meandering journey. And all the while, maybe you'll enjoy hearing about your mom and dad's adventures as I share the stories of how I stumbled upon my own life's most important lessons.

Zoe - I just can't wait to welcome you to this world.

Love, Dad