New Year's Eve at EZ Inn in Chicago.

2017 Resolutions. To be, continued.

I can remember where I was this time last year. How empty everything still felt. I remember the nights I’d stayed up until 3am just because I knew going to sleep meant I had to wake up the next day and start all over again. I remember those other nights when I had so little to give that I’d come home from work, eat dinner, and go straight to sleep.

I felt like I had no control over my life. I felt overwhelmed. I felt like there was no time. I felt like there was nothing for me.

For the past year I’ve been trying to make my life in Chicago, my life, what I want it to be. Travel or not. And, it’s worked. I had a few vacations. I fought hard at work. I started doing all the things I always said I was going to do. All off a sudden, despite taking on way more responsibilities, I had more time. I had more energy. I had more.

I made so many strides, in 2016, towards making my life what I want it to be that all I want, in 2017, is to continue.



Continue to dance. Keep taking salsa lessons. Go out dancing. Dance in the kitchen to the sound of the microwave.

Continue to make music. Keep learning guitar. Maybe pick up a banjo. Sing, while playing, in the shower, at karaoke.

Continue to go to the gym. Work towards my weight-loss goal. Work towards a healthier life. Work towards feeling stronger.

Continue to travel. Leave the city. Leave the state. Leave the country. Go somewhere familiar. Go somewhere new.

Continue to decorate. Make my home into a place I love, a place I’m proud of. Surround myself with lovely things.

Continue to grow in my career. Keep learning as much as I can. Take online classes. Read. Design. Do freelance projects. Stop letting others talk over me when I have answers.

Continue to date. Meet new people. Put myself out there. Say yes. Go out. Talk. Flirt. Crush. Connect.

Continue to try new things. Go out of my comfort zone. Go after things I’ve always wanted. Go after things. Find things I love.

Continue to pay down my debt. Watch my spending. Budget. Be less wasteful.

Continue to work on my bad habits. Manicure my nails to stop myself from biting them. Pick up after myself. Do my dishes right away. Don’t let things pile up. Close cabinets behind me.

Continue to work on my confidence. Because I really am kind of awesome. I really do know what I’m doing. I just need to remember that more often.

Continue to be more selfless. Donate to causes I believe in. Both my money and my time. Put other people first.

Continue to be more social. Go out without worrying about responsibilities. Say yes to opportunities. Enjoy life. Have fun.

This year, all I want, all I hope for, is to continue on this path towards having a full life. To having a life that gives me such joy. To having a life that makes me excited to wake up in the morning. To go after what I want, to figure out what I want, to “choose figs.”

To continue.

To be.

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What are your 2017 New Year's resolutions?

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. 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, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

1 Comment
  • Ali
    January 2, 2017at3:06 pm

    I can totally relate to several of these! Confidence, travel, weight loss, try new things, decorate, career, be more social…. Great list, Val, I love it! I love that you were able to break out of your funk in 2016, add more things to your life, and actually end up with more time. I need to remember that for myself!

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