Sunday Coffee – My 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. … 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.

– The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I first read The Bell Jar in the summer of 1999 when I was twenty years old. There was a lot of the book that I immediately related to, and this quote was no exception. All my life, there were too many things I wanted all pulling me in different directions. A lot of the time, circumstances dictated my path rather than me making my own choices. I spent a lot of my twenties and early thirties waffling between multiple choices and clinging to dreams that 1) were so old that I wasn’t even sure I wanted them any longer, and 2) were fairly impractical even if I did still want them. And with the last five years or so picking apart and erasing a giant chunk of my identity, I’m in a place where I get to start over from scratch and really figure out what comes next. Which means picking a fig.

I turn 40 on Friday. I’ve spent the last fifteen years working as a stay at home mom with one-day intentions of returning to school to complete my degree even though I really don’t want to. There’s only a few years left before my kids are all off to college, and I need to think about the next phase of my life. Everything kinda got put on hold when I had Morrigan at 21, and in the last two decades, I’ve been stuck. It’s time to get unstuck. Few figs are left on that tree, and I’m sick of staring upwards in indecision.

On Wednesday, I had an ah-ha moment. I thought about the ambitions/dreams/plans I had for my life, and what the motivations behind them were. I thought really hard about the realities of those ambitions/dreams/plans. And I had a few personal revelations about what I want to do with the rest of my life. It was like, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I finally realized what I wanted to do when I grew up. I know, in a very general way, what my next steps are. (First one being to make the “general way” more specific!) It’s all knew and exciting/terrifying, and I’m not ready to discuss details publicly yet. But Jason and I are already starting to look into the practicalities of how to move forward, and I have a good idea of how the next two to three years will play out.

I hope to talk more about this soon. In the meantime, I’m just happy to have chosen a fig, and to be moving down a path instead of wandering aimlessly.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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11 Responses to Sunday Coffee – My Fig Tree

  1. I look forward to hearing about the fig you’ve chosen. I am in a similar predicament as I am turning 50 this year and am thinking, rethinking, and overthinking the next phase of my life.


  2. Alexx's Keto Avenue says:

    Wow, I can’t wait to hear about this new chapter I really hope that writing a book is in that future because I would love to read something you put together! Have a great day and I’m sure I will be around to write and say happy bday later!


    • Amanda says:

      Oh I’ve written lots of books but I’m terrible about trying to sell them to agents. The whole process is one I don’t like!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alexx's Keto Avenue says:

        Wow! What about self publishing like Amazon and such? I’m being selfish I’m curious in your


      • Amanda says:

        That’s one of the things I’m considering, though I doubt I’ll do too much in the way of promotion. But we’ll see. You can see the novels I’ve worked on if you click on the Writing tab above. 🙂


  3. Kristen M. says:

    What a great feeling, to set a new life goal and start the plans to accomplish it. I need to do this in the next couple of years too and it’s both daunting and exciting.


  4. Trupti says:

    It’s good to know which direction you wan to head. I am a new mom and just taken a break from work. I see myself in your shoes in the future. I should probably start preparing for it now


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