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  • The Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans.

    New Orleans. Alone.

    I love traveling alone. By myself. Solo. I can be on my own schedule. I can do what I want to do. And only what I want to do. I can go where I want to go, eat where I want to eat, drink where I want t...

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  • Leaf

    An on and off life…

    I went on a date last week. I’ll wait while you pick up your jaw from the floor. Better? OK. Moving on. So, I went on a date last week. We met on Tinder and he asked me out right away. So we met...

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  • Stars of the Opera at Millennium Park

    September stint.

    Looking back on September, I realized something: the whole month focused on work. Not in a bad way, really. But most of the events I went to were work events, most of the times I went out it was with ...

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  • Tarot cards in a voodoo shop in New Orleans.

    Life List #119: See a psychic.

    I may be one of the most skeptical people you’ll ever meet. For every extreme political meme you post on Facebook I immediately go to Snopes to fact check. I assume all news stories are grossly ...

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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.


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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Where do you want to go?

My life list. What have I checked off? What do YOU want to check off?