A Blog Rec
|Mary Poppins's lesser known sister, Elizabeth.|
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: – 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The Erickson stages may be outdated.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.