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

On Guilt

Today on the el a man sat near me, turned to me, and asked “change for the homeless?” I normally just shake my head and turn away, figuring that the money is just going to liquor and drugs. I knew, though, that I had some loose change in my pocket so I reached in and he started thanking me. I figured I had a couple of quarters but when I pulled out my hand all I had was a nickel and some pennies, no more than twenty cents in all. I gave it to him and he thanked me again and said that it was still something. When he left the train he said goodbye and said “may God bless you.” I felt guilty giving him only pennies despite the fact that I don’t have a job and he doesn’t have a job and I could have given him nothing.

Lately I have been feeling sad over something that didn’t really happen to me. Although it could have happened and almost did, several times, it didn’t. My imagination, though, can be rather vivid. I can remember what did happen and can sometimes empathize myself so much into the what ifs that I will start to cry. And then I feel guilty. In a way I feel as if I am not justified in feeling as bad as I do. Do I even have the right to feel so depressed over something that never actually happened when it has actually happened to so many other people?

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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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