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Girl on the Left

In this blog I aim to write with punch and passion about the things I adore.

My aim is true: to use this blog to spark joy in followers’ lives. To bring people together. To give unusual insight into what’s going on.

Years ago a guy saw me holding a copy of Left of the Dial and asked if the title referred to politics.

“No. It refers to culture. I played alternative music on the radio that was dubbed Left of the Dial.”

My intent in using the Girl on the Left URL was to get at the theme of living your life left of the dial.

I don’t like that the word Left has been conflated with the Liberal political party.

My goal was to reclaim the word Left in the true sense of being progressive.

Two of the definitions of progressive on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary are:

1a: of, relating to, or characterized by progress.

b: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities.

As an Artist I’ve always been in the vanguard in writing and talking about things that are five years ahead of the times.

My motto is:

Individuality is what makes a person beautiful.

Style Therapy

I bought the book Style Therapy: 30 Days to Your Signature Style by Lauren Messiah.

So far I’m in Week 3 of the challenge to alter your wardrobe so that you can get what you want in life.

Messiah crafted her career as a personal stylist after hitting her own roadblocks in life.

Now she’s a million-dollar entrepreneur.

The memoir aspect of Style Therapy is the part that inspires me the most. At the end of this blog entry I’ll link to Messiah’s website.

She used to be a Hollywood stylist. Her life turned around when she decided to go into business for herself helping ordinary women.

In Week 2 of the 30-day challenge you confront other people’s opinions of who you are and what your body looks like.

Messiah confessed that after a hurtful comment about her thighs looking fat in shorts she didn’t wear a pair of shorts until she turned 36.

Her defiance to rock short shorts inspired me to get over my own gaga about my thighs. To buy and wear a pair of shorts too.

Like Messiah I think being open and honest is the way to go.

My literary agent told me that maybe I should archive this blog and focus on other things.

Counter-intuitively I decided to keep posting blog entries here that tell the truth.

Messiah links rocking your authentic style to achieving your goals in life.

While working on the exercises in Week 3 I was empowered to reach for the stars.

Later in life I find myself becoming only more ambitious not less motivated.

See the Lauren Messiah website to download a free e-book.

Reading the emails she sends me is one of the highlights in my inbox.

The 3 G’s of Growing Older

In coming weeks I will review other books that are in the forefront.

As I live on the shady side of 50 I take empowerment where I can get it.

The new books give fresh ideas and inspiration.

One book I will talk about next week. After reading this guide I was inspired to practice what I call the 3 G’s of Growing Older:

To act with grace grit and gratitude.

Having the radical grace to flaunt self-acceptance in the face of cowardly critics who find fault with us as individuals simply because we exist.

Using grit to persist in living through a new challenge.

Writing a list of five things every other day in a gratitude journal.

It sounds corny not peachy yet writing down things I’m grateful for has helped lift my mood: As well writing down things that make me happy and things I like about myself.

At 56 years old I was empowered most by 2 books that women wrote on topics that are intertwined.

Out of the blue I decided to reach for the stars after reading these books.

They changed my perception not only of what was possible to achieve.

They altered my fear of what others might think of me.

Really: the older a person gets it’s time to open the door and step into love for yourself and others.

I don’t want to contribute to shaming or collude with haters.

One book I read was so empowering that I decided to buy a pair of shorts and wear them in the summer.

Why is this a big deal? More on this next week on why reading the book about image and style lit a fire under my ass to change my perception and reach for the stars.

Spoiler Alert:

The 2 books are Do Better by Rachel Ricketts and Style Therapy: 30 Days to Your Signature Style by Lauren Messiah.

Even Better Book

I checked this book out of the library.

It would be a great book to buy to have on hand.

The guide gives inspiration via checklists and interviews with other women.

The author lives in Brooklyn. She has two kids.

I think natural Black hair is beautiful.

In a coming blog entry I will talk about my own natural hair.

For further words of beauty you can read the LaTonya Yvette blog

Favorite New Book

By a happy accident I was able to get a copy of this book.

The subtitle is a misnomer. This is because there is one rule to this guide:

Only women who can afford the $100 and up shirts featured in this book have this kind of street style.

For everyone else this is a useful guide with Q&As and checklists that can help us recreate the looks in lower-cost versions.

What does ring true about this beloved borough of New York City is this quote:

“People who thrive here wear their freedom of expression.”

So–go out and treat yourself to this irreverent guide to fashion.

“Mix This With That” and “Build a Working Wardrobe” were the two sections that were my favorite.

Brooklyn celebrates everyone’s multicultural roots. People come here from all over.

Isn’t that what everyone wants–to be loved and accepted for who we are.

Brooklyn is the broken land where soul pilgrims land to find ourselves. Free to be the same selves we have always been.

Under the Lemon Trees

Who buys a perfume without spritzing it on her wrist first?

I took the chance on Under the Lemon Trees.

One day I decided I had to buy something from Sephora.

Could scent be refreshing and perk me up?

I was willing to test this theory. To the rescue: a Replica travel vial of perfume.

To my surprise the vial is bigger than I expected.

The scent transported me to a lemon grove in Sicily.

Readers: I have fallen down on self-care.

No one told me that when I reached menopause my energy would tank and I’d get fatigued.

So I hired a health coach to create an eating plan to help me regain my energy.

Along with this I decided to test my theory that a fresh scent could spark joy.

So far it’s working.

It’s possible that engaging all 5 senses is the secret to living indoors through the pandemic.

In a Different Light

This selfie I took without foundation. Only wearing black eyeliner and Rose Flair lipstick.

As the pandemic enters the second year this is my indoor outfit:

Black-and-white striped tee shirt, black sweater jacket, and black Athleta City pants. With silver globe earrings.

The point is it’s going on the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.

I’m grateful to be alive and breathe air on a sunny day.

This is the difference–time moves on. You either move with it or you wither.

How is it that this selfie is okay? It lies in how we see ourselves. I see myself in a different light after surviving the last year.

Without altering your photo into a strange unrecognizable You I say it comes down to the super-effect of rosy lighting.

Our Zoom selves should be adored not send us running for cosmetic surgery.

At 55 I accept that I don’t have Karlie Kloss’s creamy skin. Nor will I go under the scalpel. Only 5 feet tall I won’t grace a runway either.

The day has come when I can stare at my face in the mirror and be okay with it.

For a lot of us anger is the natural reaction when we realize we wasted so much time viewing our perceived flaws under a microscope.

Today is the day to change this tune. Our time on earth is getting shorter.

The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

What I’ve learned:

To love myself better than anyone else could ever love me.

This should be the goal for all of us:

To see ourselves in a beautiful light.

Doing Things Differently

The vaccines were not approved to prevent COVID-19.

The FDA gave Emergency Use Authorization for the use of the vaccines.

This is because the need was so great that the agency allowed the vaccines to be greenlighted after the clinical trials were shortened.

With faith in America I went ahead and received dose one of the Pfizer vaccine. There was a 15-minute waiting period after.

The injection took two seconds and I didn’t feel a thing.

The side effect of the vaccine was that I felt unwell—I was “The Lady with the Spinning Head.” A strange feeling in my body all the next day.

No–I might not have gotten the vaccine if the need wasn’t great. This is because though the side effect was minor it felt severe while it lasted.

Getting inoculated will bring us one step closer to normalcy. To street fairs and outdoor festivals and travel on vacation.

Should it turn out that there’s a new health risk in those of us who received the vaccine I will be okay with this. The coronavirus is no joke.

As a gregarious person I was willing to get vaccinated after having limited social contact in the last year.

Going on the second year of the pandemic the reduced circumstance has changed my outlook.

I take inspiration from Alicia Keys the cover model of the April Allure.

April is the month of Sprouting Grass Moon according to the rhythm of nature.

Honoring the natural world and living in sync with the seasons is one way I’m doing things differently.

In coming blog entries here and at my Flourish blog I’ll talk about how surviving the pandemic has inspired me to make changes.

Date or Dud–You Decide

Re: my Dreaming and Wanting blog entry:

My dream was dashed that I tried to make happen in February.

Would a woman invite a man on a date? I invited to lunch a guy I was interested in that I met over the summer.

He thought my offer to meet was fra amici or between friends.

While eating my French toast he told me he had a girlfriend.

This is how it is in modern life:

You must be bold and say: “I would like to take you on a date. How about we go to lunch?”

Otherwise.

I went on an accidental date 20 years ago.

A guy asked me to go to the Brooklyn Museum. Thinking it was to be a friendly affair I said yes. Little did I know he was angling for a girlfriend.

The way it is a modern guy or gal will think you’re just being friendly.

You must specify: “I would like to take you on a date.”

This makes it easier for a person to turn you down. Rather than having them waste your time going on a “date” that will lead nowhere.

You’ll want to pucker up the next time.

While they’re searching for an exit door when they realize your true intent.

This is how it rolls.

Do I have a Plan B?

Yes. And a Plan C.

For better or worse [and I think worse] I have gotten the reputation as “the woman who is looking for a boyfriend.”

This after over 12 years of writing a newspaper column about living and loving in the Big Apple.

Trust me. You do not want to meet a person for the first time and the first words out of their mouth are:

“So–you’re the woman looking for a boyfriend.”

This is not what you want to be famous for.

Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Finding beauty in a broken world can be a tonic for the hard time you’re going through.

Smearing on a new shade of lipstick won’t bring about world peace.

Yet I find myself wearing lipstick on Zoom meetings. This makes all the difference in how I feel.

Now that 3 bags of clothes are gone (I can see my bedroom rug again!) I feel like my load has been lightened.

Fashion is where you find it. I take inspiration from books.

My latest haul from a trip to Barnes & Noble were two books: Anatomy
of Style
and How To Not Wear Black.

The first book features famous models and actresses and talks about their
style preferences. With photos of the women in their standard outfits.

My favorite models featured were Kate Moss and Liya Kebede.

I find this book to be like taffy: sweet candy yet hard to chew. Your
confidence could nosedive seeing the photos of these attractive women.

Too for inspiration I recommend the first book by Scott Schuman The
Sartorialist
. In the book he features photos taken on the street of often
ordinary people dressed in distinctive digs.

This book was published circa 12 years ago. It stands up to the test of time.

I own easily over 15 clothes and style and makeup books. You need to have a
hobby to cheer you up when your city has gone into lockdown. Reading the books gives me joy.

Being able to find beauty in this broken world is nothing to be ashamed of.

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Define beauty.

I’m happiest wearing my world indigo hoodie black trainer pants and sneakers
to make a run to the deli.

“You look adorable” the woman behind the counter tells me.

I’ll take adorable over sexy.

I’ll take blogging to the beat of a different drum.

We can’t all have Liya Kebede’s cheekbones.

Yet we can take inspiration from how she dresses and from her humanitarian business ethic.