Emma headshot

I was up to my eyes in deep-thought-thinking this weekend with a friend, and it all started when he asked me about my “dream car.”

Look, this isn’t going to shock any of you, but I am not a Car Person. I know that I do, in fact, drive a car (as opposed to a van, a truck, a bus, a limousine, a horse and buggy, a Zamboni, etc.), and I could tell you the color of the car.

And to be honest, even that’s a stretch. When I was pulled over in Augusta a year ago for going 13 miles per hour over the speed limit, the officer wrote that I was driving a silver car. I thought, “Sir, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you seem to be mistaken.” It’s more of a…beigey, boogery sort of metallic color. Maybe grayish with a khaki sort of tint? Who the heck knows? See? Not a car person.

But my friend asked about my dream car. I told him I don’t believe in the concept of a dream car.

I don’t believe in the concept of “dream” anything, to be honest.

I find that a lot of people go through their lives looking to reach some sort of pinnacle in their careers: their “dream job.”

Maybe they fantasize about their “dream house.”

Maybe they have a Pinterest board with 45K posts helping them plan a “dream wedding.”

Maybe they build up a “dream man” or a “dream woman” in their mind as their soul mate.

I don’t hold with any of it, and I’ll tell you why.

I think goals and ambitions are extremely important. I think if you know what you want and you know how to get it, you owe it to yourself to go for it. But for me? I just want to be happy.

(Cue the “Awwww” from the crowd.)

I’m serious, though. There are about 100 jobs that I feel like I’d enjoy doing. There are probably thousands of places that I could live where I’d be happy as a clam.

Dream wedding? Stick me in a white dress in a church somewhere and let me have a reception in a backyard. I don’t need much. I just need pizza and an open bar. You’re all invited, by the way.

I think sometimes people get caught up in Dreamland. They like to plan and plan and plan and have these “dream” elements of their life, but life is unpredictable. The last thing I want to do is place too much stock in and romanticize my “dream job” and then, sometime down the line, have to “give it up” because life threw me a curveball.

Generally, I hate the term “go with the flow,” but I think that in my life, I’d rather take it day by day. Do I have career aspirations? Sure. Are there places where I’d prefer to live to others? Of course.

Will I be deleting my “Someday, My Prince Will Come” wedding board on Pinterest? Certainly not.

But I am going to be open to letting the inexplicable course of life guide me a little bit. I think I could be happy most places, doing any number of things. What I can’t imagine is having to let a “dream” go because I put too much stock in a narrative that didn’t account for, well, life.

OK, so I’m not a “dreamer.” I don’t think I ever have been.

Is that depressing? I will say, it sounds a little depressing, but I stand by it.

I think I just look at it differently, and maybe I can’t put it into words that well, but being happy is priority numero uno.

I can’t get there myself if I’ve got my head in the clouds, dreaming.

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