Chicago Women's March

The year I didn’t blog.

This was the year that I quit. I quit everything. I quit guitar lessons. I quit salsa dancing. I quit my softball team. I quit relationships. I quit blogging.

I guess that quit might be too a strong word. Stopped might be better. I stopped going. I stopped caring. I stopped showing up. I didn’t purposely leave any of those things. I didn’t yell, “I QUIT!” and storm off in a huff. There were no calculated decisions. No pros and cons lists.

I just didn’t have the energy to keep going. With anything. And so, I stopped.

I spent most of the year trying to claw myself out of a bad situation. But the more I tried the more I got pushed back down. And then everything felt even worse. And so, I stopped trying at that too.

Sorry if I’m vague here but it’s something I can’t talk about online. I promise I’m OK. I’m just not happy.

I never stopped blogging. Blogging has always been one of the things that’s made me happiest. But, for a time, this year, I rarely wrote anything. In all, I wrote 21 posts this year. 22, I suppose, if you count this one. Five of those were in January. The next five spread from February through July. There were four months where I didn’t write a thing. Part of it was that it was hard to write when I knew I couldn’t write the truth, what I was really feeling. And that cloud over my head was a cloud over my writing. And then I just lost any energy to write anything at all.

I’m back, though, kind of, sort of, with a renewed energy and a different focus. I’m taking different steps this time. Stepping towards what I really need instead of temporary fixes. It sucks more in the meantime but I’m hoping that, eventually, things will work out.

Sorry, vague. Whatever.

Anyways, since I was absent here, here is the year that I didn’t blog…


I marched at the women’s march.


I ate. A lot.


And had a lot of doughnuts.


Speaking of eating a lot, my friend Nick came to visit for a weekend. And we ate. A lot.


I went to some festivals.

And, yup, ate some stuff there.


And I went to Ribfest

Where I watched other people eat in the ribs eating contest.


I celebrated Fourth of July in Chicago for the first time in almost 10 years.


I played some skeeball.

The one thing I didn’t quit.


I went to the Field Museum to see the tattoo exhibit.


And the Smart Museum to see…concrete…


And I briefly dated a guy who took me to see concrete.

Making art in a bar.


My mom fractured both of her shoulders.

I had to take care of her and her crazy dog for a week.

Yoda the dog


And I did a bunch of other random things…


And, in case you missed it, here are some of the things I actually did blog about this year:

I made New Year’s resolutions that I certainly failed at.

I organized my recipe collection.

I wrote about why I need a husband. (Mostly to have someone to make me pancakes and do the dishes.)

I turned 36.

I saw Hamilton. (And, sorry, wasn’t as obsessed with it as you probably are.)

I got a fig tattoo.

I took in all the cats. OK, like three.

I took a DNA test.

I got rid of my fig tree and got a new shower curtain and a new duvet.

And I organized my apartment based on the KonMari method. Including my clothes and my papers.


The year I didn’t blog. This year I did a lot of things. Blogging wasn't really one of them.
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I hope your year was better than mine. But here's to the new year. Right?

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.

  • Tom Dunne ("Jose Dunn" on Facebook)
    December 28, 2017at12:03 pm

    Maybe you just need a NEW fig tree?

    All in all, blogged or not blogged, it looks to me like you had an interesting year… Of course, I say that as someone who LOVES to eat (and drink beer, and visit museums, and festivals). Heck, the hi-light of my year was making it back to my hometown (Milwaukee)_ for State Fair in August… so that I could get cream puffs there, for the first time in years!

    I’ve been living in California for a decade and a half (can’t stand the midwestern cold… although I STILL love summers and early fall there!

    I’ve gone through writer’s block for years now…
    Over the years my bad poetry evolved in to a “blog” for a few years… and then back to bad, twisted , often politically charged (angry, but with snarky humor) poetry… and now the most I can stay focused on is a great line or two to start, but can’t complete.

    In case you’re the least bit curious…

    Any, way you seem like you’re really an amazing, interesting person. I have enjoyed your blog (when you do blog), and hope you again find some enthusiasm for doing it!

    Sometimes, words are evasive… but in time they do return!

    Here’s to a Happier 2018!!!

  • Jen
    December 28, 2017at2:46 pm

    ::Hugs:: Here’s to a better 2018! And you’re right, you are less obsessed with Hamilton than I am. Got my tickets to see it again in Seattle!

  • Diane Marelli
    January 3, 2018at10:48 pm

    Hope to read more of your blogs in 2018! Here’s to a good year…

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