“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.
“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.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
When I was younger, I really believed that I could be anything that I put my mind to — an idea that, rather than empowering me, left me indecisive and floundering. What was I going to make of myself? As I solidified my ambitions as a writer, I was still faced with the same dilemma.
Making a living as a writer is notoriously difficult, and it turns out that there were several types of writers I could become. There’s the type of writing that flows from your soul, there’s writing that brings value to the world, and then there’s writing that can pay off a mountain of student debt. My quest to reconcile these leaves me, once again, indecisive and floundering.
This little project is my refusal to relinquish the wealth and diversity of my passions. In this world I create, I am the writer that I want to be. I get to use my writing to represent all of me while I slave away at whatever awful, passionless, corporate jobs I land. Yes, I get to have all the figs.
The idea of a fig tree project is that it represents a refusal to let go of the person, or people, that you have always wanted to be. It can be a creative outlet or an alter ego. It can be a physical project or a mental exercise. Above all, a fig tree project must serve as a reminder that not all dreams are doomed to shrivel and fall like unpicked fruit to the ground.
This is mine.