The Fig Tree

I am interested in almost anything. Regardless of the subject, I can usually find something that excites or intrigues me. 

I like being curious, but I might be using curiosity as a means of procrastination.

By convincing myself that I love everything, I avoid the weight and responsibility of committing to one thing. 

It reminds me of Sylvia Plath’s passage from The Bell Jar,

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree...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...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.” 

Does choosing one path in life mean sacrificing the others?

Maybe I’m too afraid of failing. If I only aim for mild success in a few areas, then I might never suffer from some major disappointment. Maybe I’m subconsciously sabotaging myself from taking greater risks in order to protect my ego.

This reminds me of a concept from Tim Ferriss about diversifying your identity. Another writer, Mark Manson, paraphrased the idea well,

"When you have money, it’s always smart to diversify your investments. That way if one of them goes south, you don’t lose everything. It’s also smart to diversify your identity, to invest your self-esteem and what you care about into a variety of different areas — business, social life, relationships, philanthropy, athletics — so that when one goes south, you’re not completely screwed over and emotionally wrecked."

So maybe we should be taking a few small bites from a wide range of figs. That way, if one fig turns out to be bad, it doesn’t devastate us. 

Perhaps it just depends on the individual and what lifestyle they want. Or maybe we should diversify our identities while we’re young, and then commit to a fig when we’ve found one that makes us feel especially passionate.

I just need to be honest with myself, and admit when I'm using curiosity as an excuse to avoid commitment.