Sylvia Plath was thirty-years-old when she died. This is a sobering fact I have only just learned, having googled her to directly reference her fig tree analogy.
When I lie awake at night, I often think of the fig tree she described in the Bell Jar. Of all of the opportunities and the paralysing fear over picking one of them.
Somewhat fittingly, I have started to write this post several times, each with a different slant, only to scrap my words and start again. I almost scrapped the idea in its entirety, worried that not being able to select and follow a narrative was a sign that the whole thing wasn’t going to work.
Here’s a fun fact: life has many narratives. That’s the whole point!
I always felt like the fig tree analogy spoke to a deeper truth but from my perspective now, as a thirty-year-old myself, I actually feel there’s a lie at the core of it: “Choosing one meant losing all the rest.”
Choosing means choosing and nothing more. You can change direction down the road.
Changing direction is normal.
Changing direction can be the best thing ever.
Turning down one opportunity might mean it is gone and will never be open to you again but for every turn-off you miss, there is a literal infinite number of others and THAT’S OKAY. In many cases, that’s actually fantastic. Revel in the freedom of this knowledge.
Missed opportunities are not the end of the world, friend. I wish to god someone had sat me down ten years ago and told me that. Continue reading