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  • On Love and Travel.

    On love and travel.

    I’m single. Very very single. Truth is, I’ve been single for a long time: I broke up with my last actual boyfriend in 2003. No, I didn’t misplace a one there. I said 2003. He’s...

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  • Me and the boys. They were pretty much the reason I went to Thailand.

    Same Same, But Different: Returning to Bangkok.

    There’s a smell to Asia. A mix of lemongrass and coriander and durian and mango. A mix of incense and sweat and fermented meat. Something like that. It’s a scent that’s enhanced with...

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  • Valentine's Day Cards you should probably give me.

    Valentine’s Day Cards you should probably give me.

    Valentine's Day is next week. So there's still time to profess your love for me and make reservations at White Castle. Not that I even like White Castle. But it would still be one of the most romantic...

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  • New iPhone

    Oh January, Oh.

    What I did in January What did I do in January? Not a whole lot. I’ve been trying to save money so I haven’t been going out much. Plus I still have a huge to-do list full of things I didn&...

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I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

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Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Val Bromann - Choosing FIgs

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten named Bacon. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Europe. After 3 years on the road I’m back in Chicago, exploring the city, decorating my apartment in too much teal, and planning my next adventure. Learn more.


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