Miti Desai is our New York foodie on Feminine Boutique. She studies writing at Sarah Lawrence College just outside the Big Apple, but is actually from Mumbai, India. She calls herself a writer—which she finds to be a conflicting title some days. When she isn’t exploring the city, she can be found enjoying a cup of coffee and reading the day away. Besides Feminine Boutique, she works on many other writing projects such as Miti&Marta and a weekly newsletter.
Miti and I became friends two years ago while working on a business project we both did not particular enjoy. We connected as aspiring writers and avid readers, and bonded over our love of YouTube characters like VlogBrothers and Casey Neistat. We work on multiple projects together, most of them centered on writing, and keep each other motivated to being better people and better writers. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
With her time in college is coming to an end, she Miti has spent a lot of time thinking about her future life after school’s out forever. Her greatest aspiration is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. “With extreme overthinking and listening I’ve realized that every human being invariably makes a difference in someone’s life.” She is very self-aware, and makes sure she pays tribute to those who have positively impacted her own life. It pushes her to pay it forward, and keep the positivity flowing forward.
A big part of being able to meaningfully contribute to the lives of others is this, and a great lesson Miti has found over the years is this: “Help yourself before saving others.” Over and over again, this has rung true in her own life. There is no way you can be a positive influence to others if you do not positively influence yourself. This is part of another life goal for Miti: keep shaping herself as a person, and keep growing.
Miti is fascinated by the sheer breadth of amazing stuff in the world—she described to me one of her recent mornings. It went like this: “I spent most of my shift at work this morning listening to the new Rookie podcast, reading an interview about Vivian Gornick, researching independent magazines, editing a piece for class.” She mentions that she loves keeping herself busy, because there is literally no end to things you can discover. This reminds me to stay curious.
All this stuff drives her crazy, too. “There is so much out there that I don’t know,” she writes, “I keep myself busy with things to look at and projects I need to work on. All of that motivates me.” She spends much of her time with friends and family, her own thoughts, stories of others. It all drives her to keep doing cool things, and not to waste a single second of her life doing simply nothing.
I like talking to people about what they find their greatest challenge to be, and for Miti it is dealing with fear and anxiety—something I believe many readers can connect with. Worry and fear are just obstacles that, more often than not, we have to barrel through, knock down, swat away. By spending time meticulously planning and trying to avoid mistakes, we inevitably lead a life that is unsatisfying and unhappy.
Miti shared with me her way of getting past fear and anxiety, and it very literally is to say, ‘fuck it.’ Seriously, screw it all. “I am a very anxious person, I like to plan things and know where my day or life is headed,” she says, “But this pattern keeps holding me back, so I have been working hard to let go of the ‘knowing,’ and go with the flow.” She achieves a lot of this by venturing out into the city and allowing her to find new places and experiences on the go.
Miti is also hyper aware of where her fears come from, and it is from toxic thinking. “You are your worst critic. That’s the only thing that’s stopping you from getting what you want.” Kicking habitual thoughts like this is way easier said than done, but she strives to overcome it every day – and make sure the people in her life don’t fall into such negative thinking. Take a good look at yourself, and find the beauty therein, because it really is there! We are the only one’s getting in our own way.
At the end of the day, we just want to achieve some form of happiness. It is good to take a rest, and Miti’s life motto is eat good food. “That always makes me happy and who doesn’t like being happy!?” Take time for yourself, be generous to others, carry love in your heart, and everything else will fall into place. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Miti.