In the Women of Wisdom class last night, we shared our journal writings about our 20s. The decade that meant a lot of growth for me, and changes. Incidentally, we offer confidentiality to each other, so I will only be speaking about my 20s...so I should change the title I guess. But the "plurality" does refer to including you in thinking about OUR 20s.
I wasn't fully mature in any way at 20. By 30 maybe so. I'd had 2 children, a marriage and divorce, and owned 3 homes, and lived and travelled many places. I went from a conservative very religious young person who'd attended a religious school most of my life, to a pretty liberal woman who tried lots of new ideas in the early 1970s.
The time was so very different for a person in her 20s. I find it hard to believe any history books will cover adequately what love-ins were all about, or how a culture with the majority of people under 21 might have behaved. Between the Viet Nam horrors, and the many attempts by young people to assert their rights in various demonstrations, I floated along learning that what I thought and valued could change drastically from what I was raised believing.
The most important thing I carry forward into my elder years, my cronehood...that I can celebrate that youthful vigor and innocence, and be glad that I experienced every little bit...but am so glad to have arrived at today. If I should live another decade or two will be fine. But I am pretty sure there won't be anywhere near the amount of change that I experienced during that decade of my 20s. I am supremely grateful for having lived my youth during a time when youth became so important in our culture.
Now us "baby boomers" (or at least those of us on the cusp of that generation) are arriving at the gates of Assisted Livings and Nursing Homes. We shall change the look of that elder care just as we changed the way a "sit in" is accomplished.
Last week a man heard me sallute the Occupy Wall Street movement as it spread across the country, and he said that he was impressed about how well demonstrations had evolved from the ones in the 60's. Of course there had been strikes and demonstrations for centuries by then. And they will continue. But there is a sense of respect for the individual which is now evident. I am so glad.