Today, Chris and I flew into Phoenix and met my parents for our long weekend of exploring Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon National Park. As an added bonus, I arranged some time with my friend from Wellesley, who I haven’t seen since graduation almost six years ago. She moved to China to teach English, found an expat she fell in love with, got married, and moved back to Arizona with him.

It was hard to read her husband in the beginning. He was very quiet, serious, and had interesting eye movements. He was soft spoken most of the time and seemed very intent on… just observing. Based on what I know about my friend, I knew she would not pick a boring mute as a husband, so I knew he was a deep-thinker type, so eventually he started opening up, and I discovered his crazy sense of humor and wit that would no doubt attract my friend who I traveled to China with. He’s a balloon artist (not the clown type), and his goal in life is to make kids happy. If someone else said this to me, I’d call their bluff. When he said this to us, I really believed it.

After they generously dropped us off at our hotel at the end of the evening and we were parting ways, he gives me a big hug (as he’s a big man) and says, “Even though we spent the last several hours together, I realize I didn’t really get to ask you much. What is your purpose in life? What do you live for?” The question caught me so off guard that I initially just laughed. Because it was a big question for the minute we had left together, I said to him that I was still searching for my purpose and didn’t quite know what it was just yet.

In the midst of all my traveling, reading, brain games, theater, cooking, eating, exercising, grocery shopping, friends, family, cute things obsessing – what the hell is my purpose, anyway?

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