For my first interview I decided to interview myself. I am 35 years old with dark curly hair, hazel green eyes and fair skin. My face is round and symmetrical. I am confident in my own skin and I have an outgoing social personality. I enjoy adventures but get antsy easily. I know how to work a room and engage an audience. I have been in banking for 18 years and recently took on a manger position. In reference to the 5 factor model (Craig and Dunn 2013, p 437) I am still a little emotionally unstable. I am moody at times with a bit of sensitivity, yet I can be relaxed in certain situations and feel emotionally stable. I am very much an extravert who likes to talk and socialize. I have always been open to new things with a wild and creative imagination. I think of myself as warm, friendly, king and sympathetic; I have always been able to sense the emotions of those around me.
I am also very dependable, someone who can be counted on in times of need. In regards to Erikson’s stages of development (Craig and Dunn 2013, p 417) I feel I have so much more to contribute to the world. I feel I have spent enough time in self-absorption and need to have more generativity. When I hit my 30’s it really hit me how much more I could do to add value in this world. I started to question my career goals and life aspirations, looking back at what I’ve done and thinking about all the things I could do in the future. Looking at the questions according to Gould (Craig and Dunn 2013, p 355-356) I notice how much I disagree with the assumptions made with young adults. Being in the middle of young adulthood I don’t feel I belong to my parents, nor do I feel I will always be rescued. I do sometimes feel life can be simple but it is never controllable as no one can control fate.
At this point in my life I am focused on my career while balancing a family. I have three children, 16, 12 and almost 2 and all three are boys. My husband and I are currently in the process of adopting our youngest son, whom we have had since birth. With 18 years’ experience in the financial field I would say I am “mid-career.” I manage my life, my employees and my family successfully. I am married and feel pleased with how my life has developed so far. The levels of loss I have experienced are mild in comparison to others in my life. I’ve lost grandparents but feel it has been at a normal pace. I’ve lost my father and feel losing him was much sooner than it should have been. As a child I sort of prepared myself for future loss by dealing with the loss of pets.
In regards to the limitations of normative models (Craig and Dunn 2013, p354-355) I have to agree in the developmental tasks for entry into adulthood. If I set a goal (defining a dream), find a mentor, develop my career then establish intimacy I have travelled in adulthood. I learned early on how to set goals and what I would need to do in order to accomplish such goals. I understood the necessity of developing a network of mentors who could help guide me in the direction of achieving these goals. I have also built a loving stable relationship with my husband who is also my mentor. I partnered with him to achieve the goals we have set together.
I chose my mother for the second interview as she is a middle aged adult. My mother is 63 years old with naturally dark shoulder length hair, brown eyes and olive skin. Her skin is very healthy and her cheeks are rosy. My mother has never smoked or drank so her complexion is gorgeous and her skin is flawless. She has strong features and a friendly welcoming face. She is and has always been a domestic engineer, raising a family of four daughters and now helping to raise her eight grandchildren. She loves to travel, especially to Disneyland, and enjoys electronics; phone games, Facebook, and her Laptop. She especially enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, all of whom she has spent years providing daycare for.
In reference to the 5 factor model (Craig and Dunn 2013, p 437) my mother is emotionally stable with traits associated with high end. She is mostly relaxed with a sense of calmness about her. She is an extrovert, very social and talkative. With her history of art, she has a wild creative imagination. I have always thought of her as warm, kind and sympathetic with a dependable and organized personality. In regards to Havighurst’s Developmental Tasks (Craig and Dunn 2013, p 353), my mother is in the midst of accepting and adjusting to many different responsibilities and physiological changes. For a long time she was focused on aging parents while raising teenagers into adulthood. This then progressed into grandchildren while still dealing with aging parents.
She brought both her parents into her home to care for them when they were too sick to care for themselves. She believes she is in a more satisfying time of her life with less responsibility. She is responsible for children but not directly responsible so it makes it easier to spend more time on her. Income is no longer a problem and she doesn’t have to work. Being no longer tied down with commitments nor bound by a job, she feels she is at a pretty good level in her life. No worries about where her income is coming from and not having so many financial burdens gives her the freedom to do what she wants, and she is still healthy enough to travel. My mother values her wisdom greater than physical powers. She is not as strong physically but has had a lot of life experience. She does not feel set in her ways as she is a pretty liberal thinker.
She is open to new ideas and with having teenage grandchildren she listens and thinks about what they are saying. She has met many people her age set in their ways and refuses to become the same way. In regards to Erikson’s stages of development (Craig and Dunn 2013, p 417) I believe she has given so much back to the world and had overcome her self-absorption years a long time ago. With everything she does for everyone in her life she has shown more generosity than anyone I know. She is definitely at a stage in her life where she feels she has been given so much now is the time to give back. Peck’s Issues of Adult Development (Craig and Dunn 2013, p418) identifies issues and conflicts during adult development. I believe my mother values her wisdom more so than her physical powers because she is not only an older woman but is also losing her physical strength and stamina due to aging. Losing her husband earlier than expected squelched any ideas of having a sexual or romantic life.
She has felt it is too complicated to start over after spending 35 years with the love of her life. She has become emotionally flexible dealing with losing loved ones and the ceasing of interests she may no longer be able to enjoy. When it comes to loss she is no stranger. She lost all three of her most beloved family members, all of whom were the biggest personal relationships of her life, within a seven year period. In 1996 her father died, in 2001 her mother died, and in 2003 her husband of 35 years passed away suddenly. During all three of these deaths she was in the midst of raising teenagers. It was a very difficult time for her. When she was young she had a dream to go to college in the big city and become an artist.
She moved to Portland for college and made friends with similar dreams. Eventually financial problems ensued and made her focus on more necessary needs so she put her dreams on hold. She then met her husband, got married and began raising children. This eliminated the possibility of having a career but she chose to build a marriage, replacing her previous dream. Plans changed. Her dreams of being an artist aided her in raising her children and developing her home. Her dreams of having a career as an artist evolved into becoming an artist to her children. It is interesting to compare the two levels of adulthood as there are many similarities and great differences. My mother was where I am now but in different ways. When she was younger she chose to make a career out of parenting and maintaining a household but I have chosen a different path. I chose to have a career so my family could have all the material things I never had but yet I’ve sacrificed spending the time with them my mother spent with me.
I can imagine things may have been different if I didn’t have my mother to take care of my children, so in a sense she’s become a second mother to my children. I’ve often wondered what life would be like 30 years from now and if I will have the same opinions and views she does. It is sad how she feels her love life is over and how there is no point trying to find it in someone else. I am a hopeless romantic and I don’t agree with her statement at all. I feel there is always someone out there, whether it is now or later. I wonder if she regrets the decisions she has made and the choices she has had to live with. Would she do things differently knowing what she knows now? Does she have regrets? Taking the time to ask her the same questions I asked myself ended up being a worthwhile activity for me. I learned more about my mother than I expected to learn. I know taking the time to ask her questions about her life made her feel good and learning more about her made me feel good.
Craig, G. J., & Dunn, W. L. (2013). Understanding human development (3rd ed.), Upper Saddle River, NJ