Esther’s Fig Tree.


I don’t know what it is about lakes and rivers and the sea that makes me so fucking poetic. I guess the continuous flow of the water is a reminder that life goes on. It must go on. Ten years from now if I’m still stuck a million miles away from my ambitions, the only person who will be disappointed is me. Because I was so scared of failing, I waited till the last few months of the second semester to drop out of university. I wouldn’t have drunk alcohol excessively or started smoking otherwise. Being a student of Biological Sciences, I knew exactly what I was doing to my health. That’s why I was so scared of myself. I am happy to tell you guys that I don’t drink alcohol anymore- or at least haven’t drunk it in a while.

These days have been the laziest days of my life. All I do is, eat, sleep and read novels and sometimes if I want to be a little productive, I sketch. I am getting nowhere near my career goals and I can’t even tell if it’s bothering me or not.

The novel that I’m currently reading is Sylvia Plath’s-  The Bell Jar. There is a part in the book where the narrator, Esther Greenwood talks about a Fig Tree-

“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.”

This paragraph resonates with me on a personal level. It’s how I am starting to feel these days, as if everything I wanted to achieve in life is now falling apart and I am just stuck here watching my ambitions crumble underneath my apathy and not being able to do anything. No, I pretend to not care when on the inside I am running around searching for a point from where I can actually start to pull myself back together. Yet again I am amplifying all the elements of stress in my life. I waste so much time sleeping but Lord knows how difficult it is to actually rest!

Recently, I have realised that even though the “figs” have gone rotten and fallen to my feet, they are still there. I can still pick them up. Obviously rotten figs are no good but maybe it just means that the future won’t be exactly as I hoped it would. Where the rotten figs fall, a new tree will grow. I just have to wait a while, that’s all.


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