On Purpose

As part of Edwina’s Episodes 370, I’ve been nominated to declare what my purpose in life is and what I’ll take home with me when I leave.
Heavy, huh?

I’ve probably said and written a hundred times or more that I am here to enjoy my life. I really do mean that. Life is a gift, and I fully intend to use it as best I can.


My gifts are no greater in number and no more special than those of others, but I did identify them early in life, so I teach and I write and I cook and I grow things and make things and all that’s fine and good. Deeply Satisfying.
But there were gifts I recognized later in life, like the ability to hope. Not everyone has this sorta unshakable hope. I have so much hope, I wish I could smear it on people, pin it to them, dip them in it — I’m sure I’d never run out of hope despite how many people need it.
However much fear I contain, I’ve got a thousand times more hope.
That is no small gift.

The purpose of my life continues to elude me. Although I teach a great deal to many, and I consider myself influential, there seems to be something looming before me…something that hasn’t all come together yet.
I love my current day-to-day life, and am content, dare I say happy, most days? Yet I can still feel whatever it is out there.
In bad moments, I assume it’s the worst —  seemingly unbearable suffering from which I cannot recover.
In good moments, I assume when the student is ready, the master appears.
In moments of quiet contemplation, I question that it’s not this life, but the haunting of an old life, or a future life I can’t live now.

Most days, I just do what I can with the tools I’ve been given, and await further instruction.


Perhaps it’s not what we think it is, the purpose of our life. Perhaps instead, there is our own personal fulfillment and our universal contribution.
Perhaps we’re not to know our purpose. Maybe it’s not up to us. Maybe our gifts are specific to others and best decided by the mark we leave on each person whose lives we touch.
Like all the other species, we’re here to survive and reproduce — but aren’t we also here to love? The way humanity loves must surely be a universal purpose. Our acts of love, what we do for one another, so varied in style or magnitude, whether grand or in deference, surely those are more noble than the things we take credit for?

Love is what I’ll take home.
It’s the gift I’ve received the most.
All of me is marked by love.
Love in a million different packages.
It’s eternal, you know.


Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to share the purpose of your own life and what you’ll take home with you when you leave.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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40 Responses to On Purpose

  1. That was wonderful Joey. I love the fact that you have so much hope, and are so positive. You may be right in the fact that we are not meant to know our purpose here. Many of us don’t even think about it anyway, but I feel there must be some purpose we are meant to fulfil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherry says:

    beautifully said 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    “I have so much hope, I wish I could smear it on people, pin it to them, dip them in it”—Loved that, Joey.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. reocochran says:

    Joey, wow what a fantastic summary of a young person’s life (yours) who has already reached a lot of goals. Your ability to hold eternal hope will also be your lasting testament. And giving love while taking it for your journey. It would be hard to write something since this is a “tough act to follow.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope and love are definitely two of the most important things in life. Loved your post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sammy D. says:

    Joey, this is one of the most uplifting testaments to what it means to be human I’ve ever read. Thank you 💝

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Smear some my way, willya? 🙂
    I have to tell you, that you are the first to claim “hope” as your totem. And that’s an amazing thing and I’d love for you to talk more about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hollie says:

    So much to think about in one post! And such a beautiful response to what you were asked. I wish you could smear hope on people, too. I’m tired of negative Nellies.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan Antion says:

    This is a great post Joey. The hope and the love comes through and I feel better just reading it. I’m gonna hold off declaring a purpose. Mine seems to change but I do think that people and events move us toward the things we are meant to encounter. Good luck with the discovery process.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Susan says:

    ” A thousand more times hope than fear” – I admire that.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Anxious Mom says:

    Truly, truly enjoyed reading this ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cardamone5 says:

    Agree, agree, agree! I have hope now too, and gratitude, which I didn’t always have. I can now see all of the gifts given to me by those I love and by God or the universe or whatever you believe. At the time, my limited perspective did not allow me to recognize these gifts. I am a late bloomer in mind, body and spirit. It takes me time to learn things. I have to sit with things, pick out the bad first and then see the beauty. But, I am learning to look past the bad sooner, and sometimes ignore it altogether because those moments in which I feel the gratitude and bask in it are what I will gladly take home. I thought this this morning: people are out there looking for miracles, when those miracles (children) and the thing that makes those miracles (love) surround those of us blessed with them all of the time. I am blessed to have changed enough to recognize this simple, but undeniably true fact, and try and appreciate and give back the love I receive from them. That is my purpose, and my homecoming.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Benson says:

    We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    I always liked that. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pistachios says:

    I heard a quote a long time ago that went something along the lines of “If we knew the meaning of life, there’d be no point in living”. Sounds like you’ve got the right idea by focusing on enjoying life!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: On Purpose | Petal & Mortar

  16. Annie Emmy Evans says:

    I could not love this post any more if I tried. EXCELLENT. And such a wonderful reminder for all of us. I especially love what you had to say about hope. I’m the same way. I’m the eternal optimist, the Pollyanna, the never say die, silver lining type of person. If I could, I would smear it all over everyone as well. Maybe that’s my purpose in life. To smear hope everywhere I go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jewels says:

    Aw I love this Joey! ❤


  18. markbialczak says:

    And how are we supposed to follow this gem, Joey? This, this, this lovely, smart, genuine reflection is why you are a gift to me every day I spend here in BloggyVille. Thank you, my friend.

    I accept but must take time to mull.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: The What For | Mark Bialczak

  20. Outlier Babe says:

    Joey, I thought your post was amazing and I think you are amazing.

    Now I will answer your challenge, and be perceived as one of those “Negative Nellies” or “Debbie Downers” or whatever some choose to call it.

    I have a life comprised of such a long chain of unfortunate events–not tragedies, mind you, for I have all four limbs that mostly function, and I have my sight, and hearing, and speech–you get my drift–and some people have been very kind to me sometimes–but now forty years of unfortunate events where people–both those who know me and complete strangers–say on a weekly or sometimes daily basis:

    “But that’s never happened to anyone before!”

    And those who know me, when we’ve examined the circumstances of each new event, have been forced to conclude that, in most cases, there is no action I took that contributed to the misfortune–that my shoot-self-in-foot syndrome is responsible for much, but not most, of my ill luck–

    So–what life lesson have I concluded from this?

    I have not concluded that I am a bad person being punished.
    I have not concluded that I am an average person but God wants me to realize something I have not yet realized.
    I cannot believe my life is a statistical anomaly like a cancer cluster.
    I refuse to believe that I am a Jonah, or that Jonahs really exist.

    Since it would be ludicrous, after forty years, to hope for change (and spirit-crushing to live like Charlie Brown and the football), and I want to find a positive meaning in all of this, I have chosen to believe exactly what I claimed in my “Luck Magnet” posts on my blog: That seeming-Jonahs like me, by attracting so much bad luck, enable the charmed lives of our opposites, allowing them (you, perhaps?) to spread happy, happy ripples in life’s pond. And, as long as I can take the pain with an element of good will, I am dong my friggin’ happy, happy part in holding up my end of the cross.

    (sustained applause)

    No, no, please. No need to thank me. Well, maybe just a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I would never dream to compare miseries, and if we had a contest, you might well win. I do not have a charmed life, but I prefer to think that most of the bad things that happened have taught me incredible compassion, that suffering IS temporary, or at least has the decency to change venues 😉
      I rarely mention pain of any sort on my blog, because the blog is a journey of hope. You won’t find the big things in my life on my blog. My pain is small in comparison to many and I have more spoons than most in my position. My emotional pain is wrapped up in tidy, well-analyzed packages. thank you, therapy, and my anxiety is the only dangling ribbon, so to speak. While emotional baggage is my own, and I claim it, it generally involves other people who would feel burdened or guilty for having caused pain, and I wish that on no one.
      I live in gratitude and it has changed my life considerably. I struggle to live in gratitude, but I do it.
      I appreciate your holding your cross, but I don’t believe that anyone who wrote what you wrote can live in darkness at all times.
      Thank you for your lovely compliments, and for sharing so much.
      (Sustained applause)
      Now, can you link me to said Jonah posts?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        I, too, make a point of living in gratitude, and also struggle to do so. I imagine there are few people who live like After Cinderella, and even those who seem rich and happy may not be. We none of us can be in the shoes of the other, so those who say aloud “Oh, it’s not as bad as you think or say it is” should think it only. I agree, however, that those who say “Woe is me” ad infinitum should learn a new phrase or perspective, or both.

        My blog has many purposes, for me. Two of them are:
        – a diary and place to purge and heal,
        – a place of potential healing for others.
        The second goal prevents full disclosure, which is, then, in conflict with the first goal. Still, the posts get grim enough.

        This tangent is by way of saying almost the entire blog could be linked to, and I’m going to provide more links than you requested. (And thank you so much for requesting any!) But read or ignore as you are inclined, of course–every writer should expect no better.
        Luck Magnet series
        Mommy Hyde series
        WWJD In a Condo


  21. Outlier Babe says:

    Joey, since I see that my reply to your reply to my original self-serving comment is still awaiting moderation, I would like to do two things:

    (1) Offer you an apology for ever placing the first comment on your very beautiful post, and thus marring its beauty. I am, rightly, ashamed.
    (2) Make a request that you remove it.
    I have just come from Mark’s blog, where I also besmirched, as I put it, one of his usually-upbeat posts, also. I clearly need to get my house in order. Two spoiled posts in a week. Once before, on my own blog, I spewed like this, and it was a sign I needed to step back.

    The place for these was in a post of mine, or in my own mind, or in comments to an intimate friend. Not on your post. I am most sorry. Whatever you wish to do at this point (since it is your blog!): Leave the whole mess–all three of my comments–or delete them all. I know which I would choose, but as we’ve already seen, I should not be doing the choosing.

    I think I’ll go watch some Tig Notaro to help regain perspective. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      NO no! I’ve been on vacation all week and have been using my phone, so I didn’t do much on WP at all. You’re always welcome to “spew” on my blog. Sometimes I find it easier to spew elsewhere, so I don’t clog up my own blog with my ickiness. I’m not bothered at all, and you are too hard on yourself. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        You are too kind. And I am not too hard on myself. But thank you. I feel a little shy yet about sending love or kisses back, but here are some hugs, in my new just-issued self-declared “Reversal of Illogical Keyboard Representations”:
        X’s are forever after hugs, and O’s kisses:

        Liked by 1 person

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