The Fig Tree

One of the most life-changing books I have ever read is The Bell Jar. In the height of my lowest low, I remember reading it for the first time and thinking to myself “This is it– this is what I’m experiencing.”  I actually had to read it in two parts because it resonated so strongly with me.  I don’t blame Sylvia Plath for her choice to leave this earth; it was a different time and it was a harder life for women.  But this novel made me realize that I needed help, and I will always thank her for that.

Anyway, here’s the passage that inspired this blog:

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

I have decided to lean in to the indecision and the finality of it all.  Even if I don’t pick a fig in time, I’ll have climbed the tree and gained more introspection; more understanding.  I’ll have embraced the figs I can see and I’ll reach figs I never even imagined.  I can take as many figs as I choose.

You guys, I don’t think I’ve ever written the word “fig” this much, like, ever.  I don’t even like figs, so I hope you get the metaphor.


3 thoughts on “The Fig Tree”

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