This blog is named after the famous fig tree passage in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. I always felt a little hopeless reading it — first when I initially read the book at 16 and then every time I saw it quoted on someone’s Tumblr — as if my own anxiety about life and my future would inevitably lead me to emotional starvation, surrounded by rotten figs.
Recently, though, I reread the book, and I realized that I had maybe missed the point of that metaphor. Later in the chapter, as Esther is eating, she realizes that her dramatic fig tree vision probably only came about because she was hungry.
It occurred to me that my vision of the fig tree and all the fat figs that withered and fell to earth might well have arisen from the profound void of an empty stomach.”
When I don’t feed myself, physically or emotionally, it shows. I turn into Esther, staring at the rotting figs on the ground. But, for the most part, when I make a concerted effort to nourish myself with therapy, medication, daily self-care practices, good food, hobbies and other things I love — things I plan to document on this blog — I realize that I don’t need to worry about the figs; they’re always green from where I’m standing.