Monday, November 14, 2011


My friend was recently reading, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, and shared this quote, which applies all too much to my life:
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 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 think of all of the different directions my life could go with each different decision I make.  I clearly see the consequences of each action, yet I sit there.  Sure, I've mastered the little things, but the big ones - love and career mostly - those are the decisions that elude me.  I need to learn to take action before all those ripe figs whither.

I don't think it is indecisiveness stopping me, I think it is fear.  I'm afraid that if I choose one branch instead of the other, that it isn't the most right decision - I know all of them are right decisionsI'm a perfectionist, which can often lead to perfectly impossible expectations.  I need to take a leap of faith towards one of those branches, living each day in that moment to progress with and embrace the life I chose.    

Sometimes, "I know I made the right decision," is simply making any decision at all.

The cool thing about branches?  They continue to branch, leading us to more decisions and more opportunities if we continue to grow instead of sitting there like a literal bump on a log.


S.R. Braddy said...

I don't know if you saw it, but Keri had some pretty nice things to say after the original post:

Larissa said...

Hmm...While I full-heartedly agree that we can try MANY figs, we do have to choose a path, which hopefully leads to many other awesome blessings. Sometimes the paths cross with other decisions we possibly could have made. Yes, I can be a wife and a performer, etc. But, if I choose to marry George, can I also marry Ringo? Nope. THOSE are the decisions I refer to that I have to leap at and cling to.
Does that make sense? said...

I think this quote strikes a chord with both of you, but for different reasons. The advice I gave to Stephen does not necessarily apply to Larissa.

In Larissa's case, my advice would be to just choose. You can feel good in the knowlege that you are making an educated decision about what the best fig for you would be. And you're probably right, any of the figs could be the "best fig". Just trust yourself, and trust in your higher power.