07 October 2011


When I was living in Pasadena a few years ago, I had a fig tree that hung over my balcony. It was intermixed with a Jacaranda tree that bloomed lovely purple flowers every spring. 

This sounds amazing, right? Beauty every spring, and fresh fruit every summer? To me though, it was annoying. The purple flowers would fall on the balcony and litter the ground with slippery, dried up, dead flowers. It was a terror to clean. The fig tree, on the other hand, went unappreciated. I am not a big fan of figs. 

Literally or figuratively. 

You see, in my life, it seems like every choice, as so eloquently put by Sylvia Plath, is a fig. But if I choose one, I cannot have the others. They will just wilt and die. 

Every woman has this choice. It is particularly strong in the humanitarian field. It is very rare to find a woman who has spent the majority of her life in the field, who is married with children. In fact, the great majority of people in the humanitarian sector are either single, or divorced. 

So what is the most important? What is your priority?

This question - which fig to choose - and even, do I have to choose a fig - are thoughts that regularly fill my mind. 

I only hope I choose one and am happy with my decision before they all fall, rotten, to the ground.

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