Erin, a Policy analyst, noticed a profound affect on her well-being during a visit to Ecuador. She will contrast her experiences there with her familiar but detached routine in America.
Privately, Erin has a history of depression and anxiety, having first been diagnosed as a young teenager. Over the years, she has taken various prescription anti-depressants and -anxiety medications, but the many negative side effects led her to abandon medication as a viable option nine years ago.
On a seemingly unrelated note, Erin has been called a flight risk, having in the span of thirteen years lived in five U.S. cities and traveled to fourteen countries—including studying in Mexico, volunteering in Ecuador and Haiti, and teaching in Kosovo. In the past she’d be the first to acknowledge that the only thing she was trying to escape was herself. Recently, though, she’s wondered whether she was escaping something else entirely—and that something just might be the way we live.
Professionally, Erin researches and analyzes environmental, energy, health and economic policy problems. Her work, combined with her education in science and technology policy have allowed her to see links between seemingly unrelated societal problems, and their common roots in our behaviors and choices. Over the years she has become borderline obsessed with pondering why we automatically look to incremental, top-down, technological or political fixes to many of our most pressing problems, when so often simpler solutions are within the power of individuals and communities—holistic solutions that can lead us to live happier, healthier, and fuller lives in the process.
Erin has been writing a book exploring these topics for far too long to admit without succumbing to overwhelming amounts of shame. Recently, she has taken to writing a somewhat regular email “column”, which includes research findings, musings, and (often failed) attempts at humor on these subjects. She has unlikely ambitions to turn these ramblings into a blog in the near future. Either way, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.