I've been on a lot of dates.
I've been on incredible dates at the best restaurants in the city, dimly lit by candles, with men I thought were magical.
But, I've also been on bad dates with cheap Mexican food and one guy who spent most of our time relaying what he learned about his great-great-great-grandfather on his mom's side from Ancestry.com.
Professionally, I'm a journalist.
I spend my days meeting people, talking to people and interviewing people.
I expect the people at the receiving end of my questions to not only have answers, but good answers.
I expect answers that make sense and sound coherent.
I need to know there's serious thought and consideration put into the words they're saying.
Personally and professionally, I want people around me to be put together.
I want clean; I want to be prepared.
But in both parts of my life, there's one question I'm always asked.
I've become comfortable answering it in a way that's far from what I expect of others.
When I'm asked what I want, whether by my boss or a date, I almost always answer, "I don't know."
Here are the things I should say instead:
1. I want a fulfilling career.
I have a job I'm passionate about, and I always want to be able to say that.
I'm still getting my feet wet, and I can't tell you exactly where my path leads.
But, I know it's long and full of success and failures that are all mine.
I want to learn from the best and smartest movers and shakers who do their jobs unimaginably well.
I don't know what title I'll hold, what office I'll sit in or what company I'll represent in 10 years.
All I know is I want to still feel giddy about my day.
2. I want a family.
Besides my dreams of being a powerful news boss, I also want a house full of screaming, sticky and smelly little humans.
I come from a long line of strong women who raised strong daughters, and I have every intention of joining that legacy.
I think most women are scared to admit this.
This apprehension is exactly how I ended up at "I don't know."
But the truth is, I want to come home from work to another life that isn't about story deadlines.
I also want one that's filled with bedtime stories and imaginary friends.
3. I want love.
My parents really are to blame for this one.
They cursed me by setting a perfect example of what a marriage should look like.
After almost 30 years, they still love and support each other in a way that makes me a little sick.
That's what I want.
It's so easy to become jaded by bad dates and horrible breakups, but to have those under your belt and still boldly believe in love is extremely powerful.
4. I want time.
I want so much more time to do all these things, but don't we all?
I want to take advantage of time.
I want to steal time and borrow time.
I want to see the way time changes me.
I want to spend time doing things I love with the people I love.
I'm a strong believer in living in the present, but when I'm asked what I want, I don't just think about the now.
I think about the life I want to have in 20, 30 and 60 years.
What does October look like when I'm 77?
I'll always be praying for more time.