I had a dream that I was offered a really cool job in Washington DC that would pay me $100,000 more per year than my current job.
And I ...
... didn't want to take it.
Which is how I know -- really know -- that I'm living right.
While it would be nice in both my dream and my reality to make that much money, and it would be completely glorious not to have to worry about money, the bottom line was -- and is -- that living in DC would not make me happy, and the job, though cool, would not make me happy. What does make me happy is where I'm at and what I'm doing.
That's the important thing.
I've said time and time again that I don't need to love my work. I don't think loving my work is a prerequisite for a life well lived. I do, however, think it helps if you enjoy your coworkers, if you like the company you're keeping, if what you do makes you happy on some level. I don't want to live my job. I want to work at my job and live the rest of my life outside of it.
That's where I am now.
And it doesn't suck.
I think though, even as I write this, that there are people who would be super happy to have a cool job in DC and who think that turning that down -- even if it was only in a dream -- is insane. I get that. I also get this: what makes me happy might not be what makes you happy. So -- when you have that dream? Take the job, if that's what your heart tells you to do. Have at it. Go nuts. And when you wake up, if you're happy that you're in your bed and going to the job you have when you're awake? Sweet.
But if you wake up and you're sad because the dream wasn't real?
Make it real.
I woke up from that dream and I was happy that I was here, in this place, going to this job. That's important. It tells me that I'm on the right path. (Which, finally.)
Find it in your dreams, and find it in your life. Find your happy.