Regrowth of the Fig Tree
When I was little, I wanted to be a famous actress. I wanted to live in Hollywood, see my name on the big screen, and everyone to know who I was. My dreams were simpler eleven yearsago when I didn’t know the reality of life and how it actually worked. Sure, some people would say, “Always follow your dreams, Maddie. You can do whatever you want to do.” But when I reached the sixth grade, my path became clearer and clearer. Possibilities began falling off my fig tree; it withered and died. I would finish school, try to get into Andover, go to a great college, go to grad school, make a lot of money, and live happily ever after. For the record, this isn’t the path my parents instilled in me; just by going to the school I went to and seeing the jobs of my friends’ parents, I taught myself that I would need to make a lot of money to live a good life. The professions that came along with making a lot of money weren’t necessarily my favorite, but in our capitalist society I didn’t have a choice. This being said, I had my life figured out by the end of eighth grade.
In Manav Sadhna, Nimo told us about how his path dramatically changed after he graduated from business school. Though the work he is doing and the life he is leading may seem insignificant to some, he showed me that the path I thought was mine can always be changed. As we sat in a reflective circle, he told us to “live life with a flashlight,” and to never look too far ahead. This was hard to wrap my head around, especially considering that I thought I knew what I needed to do to survive the way I wanted to in society. My path and mind were so narrow that I didn’t think anything else was possible. But after he said this, I began thinking about why I thought this way. I do love planning things out, but why do I need to know what I’m going to be doing until I die? When you slow down and begin thinking in the moment, doors open; instead of being so driven all you know is one path, maybe another is right next to you. On this trip, I’ve seen so many things I’d rather do than go to grad school and make a lot of money: creating new relationships and working for a good. That’s why I’m going to start living my life with a flashlight instead of so many lights on I’m blinded. Sometimes the best things are unforseen and exactly the opposite of what you thought; just keep walking forward and you’ll stumble into something amazing. I can already see the figs starting to grow back.