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Neurotic As Hell

Choosing Figs Blog

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 exaggerated. I assume all personal stories are grossly exaggerated. I read marketing text and say to myself, "50% fewer calories than what?" And, if you drag me to a motivational speaker, I will probably spend those three hours rolling my eyes and trying to hold back laughter. I just don't buy into a lot of crap. I'm jaded. I'm cynical. I'm skeptical as fuck. But psychics? Psychics....

I'd been to Seattle three times before. The first time, in 2009, I did everything my guidebook told me to do there. The second, in 2011, I explored for a few hours between a train from Vancouver and a flight back to Chicago. And the third time, in 2013, I spent a few days after a trip to Hawaii. I went back to Seattle, for five nights, for the fourth time, a couple of weeks ago. I had friends I could stay with and just needed to get away for a few. Part of me always feels like I should travel...

A few weeks ago, I had a day. A day where I was both upset over something and excited about something and my emotions were all over the place. And all I kept thinking, all that day, was, "I need change." "I need to make my world what I want it to be." "I need to reclaim my life." So, that day, I signed up for guitar lessons and bought a Groupon for salsa lessons and looked up tattoo artists and booked a flight. Because, sometimes, I go overboard. But anyways. I booked a flight to Austin that day because it's been on my list...

Things have started getting better. I've started feeling better. I've started feeling more alive again. Of course, when I'm feeling good, when I'm feeling alive, I tend to go overboard, I tend to take on more things. I tend to overextend. I'm hoping, now, I'm able to balance. I'm hoping, now, I won't fall down another rabbit hole. I suppose we'll see what happens next. But, August. August was a good month. Here are some of the things I did...

I had but one goal for my four-night vacation in Austin, Texas: eat everything. Austin's food scene excited me. The city is probably best known for tacos and Tex-Mex and barbecue. And who wouldn't be excited for tacos and Tex-Mex and barbecue? But it goes beyond that. There are food trucks on seemingly every corner, in every empty lot, attached to every bar. And those food trucks specialize in every cuisine and fare imaginable. Indian food. Eggrolls. Bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Peruvian creole. And there are just as many brick and mortars, from tiny whole-in-the-walls to fancy cocktail joints. And...

Someone once asked me why I like long-term travel. I thought for a second before replying, "When you're home you wake up every morning and think, 'What do I have to do today?' But, when you're traveling, you wake up and think, 'What do I want to do today?'" It was harder going from a full-time life of wants to a full-time life of have-tos than I led myself to believe. I was more depressed, coming home from travel, than I led myself to believe. That's not to say that being home isn't what I wanted. That's not to say that having a...

If you asked him, he'd tell you that I cry at everything. And, I suppose, in some ways, that's true. Because the girl he met did cry at everything. The girl he met was timid, shy, anxious, innocent, naive, emotionally unstable. Crying was her knee-jerk reaction to anything, everything she couldn't handle. And there were a lot of things she couldn't handle....

Every Fourth of July the best eaters in the world congregate at Coney Island and go head to head in the world's greatest hot dog eating contest. Half of those eaters are women. You might not know that from the media coverage of the contest. After all, the men's eating contest gets broadcast on ESPN while the women's is only ever available online. The women's contest is lucky to get a thirty second spot on the televised broadcast. And Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie, ranked the number one and two eaters in the world, dominate the press, become trending topics on Facebook,...

Do you want to know what I did in July? I walked. I got up early and ran on the elliptical before work. In the morning, I got off the train two stops early and walked the last mile to work. At night, I got off the train a stop or two early and walked home. I walked around the park, dodging the children and teenagers and adults hunting Pokemon. I walked around my neighborhood, winding down all the streets I've never before visited. I took six mile walks to other neighborhoods. I took ten mile walks along the lake. Much to...