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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 teal couch. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. I lived my life in limbo. 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, learning guitar, decorating my apartment in too much teal, and planning my next adventures.

                 

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

Where do you want to go?

In 2006 I got my passport and quit my job to travel for three weeks. In 2011, I quit my job to travel for three years. I’ve now traveled to 36 countries and 26 states. Explore my stories and travel along.

My Life List

These are the things I want to do in my lifetime. What do you want to do in yours?