Choosing Figs | Neurotic as Hell | A Travel, Lifestyle, and Life List Blog

On blogging.

A month or so ago I was talking to a friend who said to me, in so many words, “your blog is your passion.” This hit me like a ton of bricks because, really, it seemed like something so trivial and so silly and so stupid to be passionate about. I mean, I know I write in my blog a lot and I probably post at least twice as much (if not ten times as much) as some of my friends, but to call it my passion? It seems so insignificant. Especially so when the person who said this is one of the most passionate people I know, who has so much drive and so much ambition and who is probably the one person on Earth who I wish more than anything would see me as someone amazing.

In truth, I don’t think it’s my blog that is my passion, but instead it’s a medium to explore my other passions: writing, photography, web design and, most importantly, trying to live a life that’s worthy of writing about. I started writing this thing just over two years ago (my first post was January 7, 2006). I had returned from a trip to California a few weeks earlier to visit Mat.

On this trip, he had told me that he loved me and for once I didn’t actually believe it and for once I didn’t actually say it back. He didn’t say it at the right time and he didn’t say it when I actually needed him to and I knew he had only said it because he wanted to sleep with me. I’m not saying I didn’t sleep with him then, I’m just saying I knew it was a lie. When I came home he stopped returning my calls and started completely ignoring me. This was nothing strange for him as he’d often go through patches of not talking to me.

He had said something else to me, though, that affected me more than the fake declaration of love. He had said, in so many words, that I had no life and that I had no friends. And I couldn’t argue back. I rarely went out, and when I say rarely I mean I sometimes went months without seeing a single friend (and often felt like I had no one at all) and my life basically consisted of watching TV and sleeping.


I wanted to prove to him that I did go out, that I did have friends, that I had a life, that I was an amazing person. I guess I kind of thought that if I could show him that I was social and that people liked being around me and that I did more than just sit around alone in my room, that maybe he’d actually mean it the next time he said he loved me.

So I started my blog. I had had a website for years that had dormantly taken up its space on the web and I’d had a livejournal which I posted in only a handful of times. I combined their forces but still realized that I needed to do something in order to fill the pages. I started being a bit more proactive. I started hanging out, for a while almost daily, with someone who’d I’d been kind of friends with for years but had never really hung out with. I got a passport and decided to accompany another friend to Europe. I more and more started to do the things I always wanted to do but never thought I could. More and more I wanted and needed to fill a pages and pages with stories and pictures of everything I did.

Did my blog become my passion? Maybe. But more so (and this may sound even more trite) it became my lifeline. I don’t think I’d do half the stuff I do if I didn’t have this tool to broadcast it to the world. It motivates me to want to do more to see more to experience more so that I can have something to write and so that I can take photos to share. I’m afraid that if I didn’t have this blog I’d revert back to my old ways and that I’d be as depressed as I was and as sad as I was and as lonely as I was.

I know that I tend to post a lot. A lot. I hope I don’t bother too many people with the fact that I blog nonstop about every intricacy of my life and will post anything short of what I had for breakfast each day (well, about 95% of the time that would be nothing anyways.) Truthfully, I now write this blog more for me than for anyone else and that as many people as do actually read this surprises me. This blog gives me the motivation to go out there and be the person I want to be, and compacted into 472 entries, my life over the last two years seems pretty damn amazing to me.

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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.

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  • Sid
    January 9, 2008at5:25 pm

    you know, the more I hear about this Mat character the more I’m convinced that he’s a waste of space.
    also, you do seem to put more into this than most people do their blogs, but I dunno how much of that is the fact that you know html and can make it happen easily…if i were to set this sort of thing up like you have, you’d all have to call me obsessed, as I am a braindead lump when it comes to html

  • val
    January 9, 2008at6:27 pm

    i agree with you on all of that. I do also think that part of the reason i put so much into this is that it’s all mine instead of using an outside service to control it.
    p.s. the person in paragraph 1 is not the same person from the rest of the entry.

  • heather
    January 9, 2008at7:31 pm

    i think ur neat

  • val
    January 9, 2008at9:02 pm

    i think you’re neat too heather

  • Josh
    January 11, 2008at11:03 am

    I think you’re rather neat as well!

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