Without Dreams, You Won’t Know Where You’re Going

Dreams give your life direction.

Merre Larkin
5 min readOct 2, 2021


Picture of ocean at dusk.
Where I now live. My dream come true. (Author’s pic)

I’m referring to dreams you have for your future, not dreams you have in the middle of the night. Personally, I prefer the term dreams to goals. I can’t ascribe to the term goals. It feels too hard in my hands, the edges too sharp. I prefer dreams. Softer, lighter, malleable.

Dreams may seem wishy-washy, but I’m living proof they can come true.

I’m here. I’m living in the place I always dreamed of returning to, and I’m loving it. It’s only been a week, but I know I’ll continue to love it.

It hasn’t been easy. The move was a nightmare. The U-Haul truck wasn’t there when my son went to pick it up. Finally, one showed up. As the move commenced, I caught my son’s friend in the truck asking why I don’t just get a Kindle. He was tired of lugging boxes of books into my new place for me. (He had a point, but I feel comforted by having books around me.) My sons, friends, and I didn’t get the truck unloaded until 3:30 in the morning. It wiped us all out.

But here I am. Yesterday I was driving home from my first interview for my first job opportunity here, and the ocean was within view for half the drive. I have not known such joy for many years. Not like that.

I’m where I’ve wanted to be since I left California more than thirty years ago and returned in 2011. This was my big dream. I am realizing it. I am reveling.

I was never sure this would happen. I often doubted if I’d ever get the chance. I definitely wondered if I had the courage. I’ve written before about a violent crime happening to me here in this town. I was raped while taking a walk along the beach. Where it happened can be seen from many vantage points around the town. I didn’t know if I could manage that reality every day of my life living here.

How do you keep a dream alive that you’re not sure you can ever make come true? That’s a good question. I think the answer is different for everyone.

How I kept my dream alive.

I did a ton of exposure therapy. I came to this town several times a year. I brought my children. When my daughter would visit from the East coast, she and I would come…



Merre Larkin

Writer and avid reader. Life coach. Educator. Counselor. Marathoner. Survivor. Here to share, here to learn.