I've been trying to figure that out over the last 77 days, and for the 35+ years before that, with the exception of a couple months where I didn't have the energy to care. I go through phases, though, and so do my beliefs. For awhile, I thought that purpose had to do with a god, proving one's worthiness, etc. Later, I seriously considered the possibility that love was all that mattered. Now, I'm wondering if the relationships that I have with people are really the purpose or, even if not the purpose, then at least my purpose. But I really don't know, I reserve the right to change my mind early and often, and, additionally, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that life has no inherent purpose, but that we are simply feathers on the wind.
Today, I arrived in Los Lunas, New Mexico to see my Facebook friend, J. 4 years ago, J was finishing up law school just as I was preparing to enter law school. Today, he's a prosecutor for the great state of New Mexico, a branch president for the LDS Church, and, in my opinion, a guy that really embraces the modern-day, hip-to-be-square persona. Upon my arrival though, I also became the best of Facebook friends with his wife, K, and his sister, J (well, technically, I'm still waiting on her to accept my friend request). I think it was my first time ever to be in the Land of Enchantment, and it was also my first time sleeping in a bed and showering in a shower in quite awhile. Sadly, you may notice the shirt that I'm wearing in the above picture has been making a lot of appearances lately.
At any rate, the problem has been resolved. I'm cleaner, less sleepy, and wearing a different shirt, so bring on the selphies (yeah, I used a "ph").
In my quest to eat large amounts of ice cream and discover the purpose of life, I asked J and K, while eating ice cream, something really subtle, like, "What is the purpose of life?" K responded, saying something to the extent of "I don't know," then listing things that weren't important. That's a tricky move, perhaps unintentional, and threw me for a loop. Who answers a question like that? If I ask you what you like on your hamburger, I don't want to hear the things that you don't like on your hamburger. That sounds like an exhausting way for us to arrive at the same conclusion.
But then I started thinking about it, and started to wonder if her method of answering my question wasn't exactly right. Yeah, it still might not make sense in regard to one's favorite burger toppings, but here I was asking about something bigger, something malleable, and something impossible to prove. I've spent three and a half decades not being able to put a finger on or verbalize my life's purpose, but, by borrowing K's brilliant approach, I can at least tell somebody what it's not. And that's a start. A very, very good start.