A Blog Rec

Mary Poppins's lesser known sister, Elizabeth.
It's been a long time since I recommended a blog for others to enjoy. A long time. And the one I'm about to tell you about isn't my usual kind of thing. It's not about food, Scandinavia, or even Scandinavian food. It's not about quilting. It's not even about being Lutheran. The writing is a bit hurried and the cast of characters is immense (she recently provided a cheat sheet to help readers keep track), and the content is captivating.

The author is someone I've never met. She's the younger daughter of someone I'd love to call a friend but in reality that person is more of an acquaintance-plus. I think Elizabeth is not yet thirty. 

Elizabeth's daily posts remind me yet again how far we have come as women. Let's assume she's 26. She's graduated from college, perhaps even grad school, has traveled widely, is a vegetarian, knows fascinating people, has achieved a Fulbright, and is currently living in a third world country making a difference and doing said Fulbright. When I was 26, forty-seven years ago, I'd done none of those things. None. I've done some of them by now, but just think of the opportunities ahead for this young woman!

Honna and I spoke briefly recently about how odd it feels to find ourselves in our seventies (when apart from certain body parts like hips and feet and knees we certainly don't feel that old), which Erickson calls "Old Age." Here's what he says about this stage: 

OLD AGE:  Integrity vs. Despair – as an adult reaches the end of her life, she looks back at what she has or hasn’t accomplished, and feels a deep sense of fulfillment or at least an acceptance of the life she has lived (out of which will come wisdom), or alternatively, she descends into anguish or despair at having not lived a full and vital existence.

While I don't think I'm reaching the end of my life, I have felt that reflective piece over the last five years. As a young person, I didn't have a lot of my own goals; I accepted the ones my parents imposed on me: Become a secretary, get married, provide grandchildren for them. I excelled on all counts! And I am deeply satisfied by those things. In addition, I became good at cooking and sewing (opposite of predictions made by Those Who Judged), formulated an employment (too late for a career) goal, attended college, earned two graduate degrees, and took deep satisfaction in my work as a hospital chaplain. And I'm surely not done yet.

The Erickson stages may be outdated. Young adults today are at least as focused on traveling widely and exploring career options as they are on finding a partner. I see this daily in the Millennials who teach where I work.

All of the foregoing may seem irrelevant to recommending a blog about a young woman spending a year in India. Elizabeth may not play into your own deep thinking as she has with mine, but give her a look. As I told her, India was never a place I wanted to visit; I perceived it as full of disease, squalor, inequity. And it may well hold all of those things, but this writer is showing me so much more.  About the country and about being a young woman today. Here, take a look: Elizabeth's Fulbright in India.


Quiltdivajulie said…
My DIL has traveled to India several times on business as a college recruiter for a top tier private college. She really doesn't like it much (India). The stark contrast between the opulence of the International Schools she visits (children of diplomats and other high ranking folk) on one side of the dirt road and abject poverty and hunger is hard to observe when you are there only to interview potential students. She knows there is beauty and color and wonder there (like anywhere else) but in her brief travels she has been overtaken by the dirt, congestion, unfamiliar foods, and stark contrasts that jar her soul. Good for Elizabeth for spending longer time there - I know from Sujata's stories that there is great goodness in India.
Liza said…
And here is a connection you may not know, Nancy. I grew up with Beverley Bennett Green. It was her husband, Steve who wrote an alum recommendation that helped get me admitted to Lafayette. Elizabeth graduated from there in ‘15. Small small world. xo
Liza said…
And wait, there’s more!! Beverley’s parents introduced my parents to each other.
Anonymous said…
Going to enjoy this new-to-me blog I can already tell. Thanks for suggesting to your readers. I have enjoyed other blogs of this kind, when someone goes off on an adventure for a period of time. One was a friend's son who with his girlfriend, bought a sailboat, Hakuna Matata, and lived in it sailing various places for about a year. Even a cancer event for him only sidelined him temporarily with treatment and he was back to sailing. Another was a young graduate teaching in Alaska for a year and the difficulties with negativity of education as a whole where the school was located (remote and primitive,) and one of a friend's granddaughter teaching in South America for a year, learning the language, etc. These are great daily snips of life I really look forward to reading. Thank you so much!
*I now have to comment as 'anonymous' because Google won't let me sign in. I have done all I know to do to correct and it has me so totally bumfuzzled. Carol in Texas
Lcrrkhs said…
Elizabeth's blog is gone! Do we have a new link? How is it going? Will she stay with her beau? These, and other important questions need answers - LOL!

Hope you can help me out.