No Makeup

No makeup has become a thing for me.

Under the mask I’ve stopped wearing foundation.

Not only that I and others don’t want to hear stories that elected leaders Makeup about what’s going on in society.

Nor do I at least want to be told what to think.

On the cusp of 56 I’ve come to realize that only I can decide what’s right for me.

What I’ve learned:

Love and freedom go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. Liking yourself without limits is the first step to becoming free.

This birthday year I gave myself permission to be an Artist.

I’m compelled to write in here again about the beauty of individuality.

Wearing No Makeup involves letting the real you show through. Even when you are wearing makeup.

Living an authentic life makes sense to me right now.

The world doesn’t need you and me to be copycats imitating what everyone else does and how they dress and live.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about the number-one self-help book I’ve ever read.

It’s a book of help for your Self when you live for likes and are afraid to take a stand.

Are you like me tired of the lies and misinformation being spread like wildfire?

No Makeup. It’s something to think about: telling the truth by being yourself.

New Year’s Eve Fortune Cookie

I cracked open this message inside a fortune cookie on New Year’s Eve:

2021 is here.

I firmly believe that change for the better can happen this year.

God didn’t create life on this glorious green earth for human beings to hate each other.

We cannot go back to the way things were in 2020.

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Open your eyes I would tell those who cannot see this beauty.

To quote a Nordstrom print advertisement:

An Open Mind is the Best Look.

Goodbye Mr. Toupee

I’m posting this blog entry today Thursday instead of in my usual Friday morning time slot.

A quote from a USA Today news article after the Capitol building violence:

“Trump, who previously has dismissed Black Lives Matter protesters as ‘thugs,’ described Wednesday’s rioters as ‘great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long.'”

Those patriots stormed the Capitol with Don’t Tread on Me Confederate flags.

Four years ago I had predicted that Mr. Toupee would win the election. No one believed me. They thought I was out of my mind to think this.

LL Cool Joe is going to be our president. His victory surprised me.

Mr. Toupee’s open contempt for Black Lives Matter was the overriding reason that Americans voted LL Cool Joe into office.

I pray–prego as Italians would say–that LL Cool Joe is held accountable and does the right thing while in office.

Basta. Enough. No more.

That a significant number of people think there’s nothing wrong with harming and badmouthing Black Americans is a shame.

I stopped doing business with a racist gym membership director and a racist real estate agent.

Bigoted businesses of any size don’t need our hard-earned bucks.

Our friends and relatives should be called out when they talk trash too. Even though it might be hard to do this.

We can simply tell them:

“I’d rather not hear you talk this way. It’s not right to me that you’re saying this. Please respect how I feel.”

Let’s put our money and our mouths out there to support social justice.

We need to champion a better life for others not just ourselves.

Hello 2021

A woman with an L.C.S.W. told me:

“The way you live your life is the way you should live your life.”

I was talking about how I’m an artist that doesn’t live my life in a straight-and-narrow way.

She said:

“It’s restricting living in the straight-and-narrow because you’d lose your personality and wouldn’t be happy.”

I have famously titled my first book Left of the Dial. This way of life has become my trademark.

The goal as I see it is for each of us to achieve PTG–post-traumatic growth–after the events of 2020.

In 2021 we should live fearlessly and love whoever we love freely.

My aim is true:

to empower readers to reach for the twinkling stars

to encourage you to dare express yourself as the one and only you

to inspire you to think for yourself about what’s possible to achieve.

The straight-and-narrow? I never believed in it.

Looking in a Cheer-View Mirror

The year is ending. A time when a lot of us look in a rear-view mirror to take stock of our lives. I say it’s time to look at our lives in a cheer-view mirror.

The memories can be sugar and spice or a bitter pill to swallow. Either way I think it’s wise to view our past with acceptance and understanding instead of regret.

Though I appear to be in my thirties or early forties I’m on the cusp of 56. Are you readers younger? Or are some of you older like I am?

The end of the year finds me thinking of the time I was a disc jockey on FM radio in the 1980s.

As I examine my life I take inspiration from Eric Daman the costume designer for Gossip Girl.

In his book You Know You Want It Daman says that we can use elements of our personal history to create our outfits today.

So too I think we can mine this history to uncover facets of our early life that we want to reclaim post 50.

To ask: “What do I want to keep in my life? What do I want to get rid of?”

You can make a comeback at any age. I’m thinking of my younger self with awe and reverence for how I broke the rules.

No–I didn’t conform when I was 22. I played alternative music on the radio. I subverted traditional beauty by using dramatic makeup on my face. I dressed in Avant Garde clothes.

This points to the reality that I don’t want to fade into the woodwork–to be rendered invisible–as I get older.

As a Generation X girl I want to make a statement once again.

Today I swipe on sassy rhubarb lipstick as a way to be bold.

I’m screwing up the courage to call the guy I’m interested in.

A fortune cookie I cracked open years ago proclaimed: Fate loves the fearless.

Hello tomorrow.

Spring Cleaning in December

I identify as an Artist. I’ve always thought that wearing clothes was a form of self-expression.

As the new year comes on I persist in thinking “I dress, therefore I am.” As if the right outfits will take me where I want to go.

It was time to let go of the clothes and the thoughts and the feelings that held me back. Out, out—with the old—and in with the new.

I’m doing spring cleaning in December to get rid of clothes that no longer thrill me.

I’ve tossed blue and faded jeans into the donation bag. An olive cardigan too dull and drab to continue wearing.

The beige-and-black summer blouses I washed out of my sartorial hair too. Couldn’t I command attention without having to wear shirts that made me look like a 1990s office worker? Wasn’t there a better way?

The urge to purge my drawers, closet, and storage rack was stronger than ever.

For me change starts with my wardrobe. Sorting and organizing better what I own. Not bringing into my apartment new clothes that won’t see the light of day.

Like the multi-color zig-zag pattern rayon cardigan. I’m not a disco diva so what was I thinking when I bought it?

Resisting the allure of buying things that catch my eye has always been hard. Who isn’t taken in by an item of clothing that beckons you to believe that if you wore it you would become a superstar? Or at least—a spectacular version of yourself.

At the end of the day to a lot of women a dress is just a dress. They don’t imbue their clothes with the magical power to engineer a positive mood in the wearer.

Only I’m ready to test the theory that dressing up in black jeans and different color pants and colorful tops could cheer me up.

My thinking was that clothes could have the effect of vitamins.

Living through 2020 has been hard for all of us. I firmly believe 2021 will be better.

What better way to bring in the New Year than to clear out your closets?

One day we will be able to go out and paint the town red or gold or whatever color catches our fancy.

Until then I stand by the maxim that whatever gives you joy shouldn’t be discounted in this time when the COVID-19 outbreak is still in effect.

Unlike a lot of people I enjoy cleaning out and organizing my closet.

What gives you joy? Just Do It.

Masked Avenger

I’ve taken to wearing masks not bandannas.

To go to the gym to meet my trainer I’m legally required to wear a mask. No other face covering is allowed at the gym.

I urge readers to wear a face covering whenever you go outside your house or apartment. Even when walking down the hall to the compactor chute.

Remain 6 feet apart from others even when wearing a face covering.

The coronavirus is out to infect as many people as possible. The winter is coming. It’s no time to ease up on taking action to halt getting sick.

Stay home if you are not well. When in doubt whether you have a cold or are getting infected go to any number of COVID-19 testing sites for a quick test.

This is the surreal reality that has been going on for coming up on one year.

In the summer I met a guy I was instantly attracted to. In the New Year I would like to reach out to him.

With the coronavirus pandemic meeting a person for dating has been hard to do. At least I haven’t felt comfortable going back on OKCupid right now. Nor am I keen to browse those mug shots in the future.

To protect the confidentiality of a real person I will call my love interest Mr. Mr.

Nothing ventured–nothing gained.

2021 will be a better year. I’m confident that in the New Year we will see progress.

It will take the force of the will of thousands of Americans to stand up and advocate for justice.

“Peace on Earth” has always had a hollow ring to it for me at holiday time.

In this season and throughout the year the only way to achieve peace and prosperity will be for individuals to put self-gain aside and work for the betterment of everyone on earth.

I’m not dreaming of a White Christmas. I’m dreaming of the day I have the courage to talk to Mr. Mr. and see what happens.

Show Us the Money

The government saw fit to spend billions of dollars on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Yet our elected leaders are against giving Americans a second IRS stimulus check to help citizens defray the economic harm of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Am I the only one who thinks this is not right?

I’d be the first in line to spend another IRS check at local businesses. Helping to keep these shop owners in business should New York City shut down again.

Luckily I was able to get a haircut this weekend. My trainer at the gym is giving me a new routine to do at home.

So should my city be shut down again I can grow my hair out and continue to exercise.

Readers there’s an extra added challenge living in the pandemic: getting a bad haircut like I did the other day.

This of course is a well-off person’s dilemma. I’ve read that 1 in 3 households are facing economic hardship and food insecurity.

Some of us see nothing wrong with the government not giving out a second stimulus check.

I say: it’s time to stop funding wars and start investing in the American people.

Show us the money.

Owning Your Authentic Self

Viola Davis was interviewed in the December 2020 issue of InStyle. The word ownership was bandied about.

Editor Laura Brown talked about how Davis has…command.

Viola Davis responded:

I don’t see that command…I think my greatest strength is my authenticity. If I try to channel some other being, I get lost…Growing up in Central Falls [R.I.] as the only kinky-haired chocolate-brown girl, I always was trying to channel the girls who had the Farrah Fawcett look. It had disastrous results. So the only thing I can do is channel my authenticity.

That is really a powerful tool because we spend our entire lives trying to get there. If you are projecting that, that’s what people are attracted to.”

Living your life as a pale imitation of someone else won’t win you fans. Be the full-bodied You.

Like Davis is, I’m 55. This is the year that changes everything. You’re halfway to 60.

Davis is right-on: it’s time to roll-up your sleeves and get to the work of being unapologetically You–the person you were meant to be in this lifetime.

I failed miserably chasing someone else’s dream when I was younger. I fix 36 as the magic number. It was the year I decided to become a mental health activist.

The point is:

Let’s not engage in self-hate or keep internalizing guilt that there’s something wrong with us because we don’t fit a mold.

You know this feeling–it’s when you wake up one day and regret that your life has gone by. You spent so much of it trying to change who you are to fit in and be liked and accepted.

Did this get you anywhere worth going?

The year is ending. As we enter 2021 it’s time to like ourselves without limits.

The journey in expressing our authenticity should be rewarded.

I’m not the same person I was when I was 22.

Are you?

Dressing for Yourself

Heck–I accidentally posted 2 blog entries about the Mally Roncal book.

In this time there’s a lot to be preoccupied with: staying free from the coronavirus, shopping for gifts if you do that, and caring for yourself and loved ones.

It pays to take joy where you can get it.

For instance: the Harper’s Bazaar November 2020 issue. The essay “Performance Dressing” was right-on.

Leandra Medine Cohen had championed the ethic of dressing for yourself.

In the magazine she wrote that writing about this online she went so far “as to suggest that if we all tried to dress to reflect our multitudes, we could actually start to become them.”

No doubt because of living indoors during the pandemic she saw things differently today:

“Clothes…hid me when I was vulnerable, magnified me when I wa strong, but their power was limited. This work of figuring out the kind of person I want to be, don’t want to be anymore, and the ruthless self-examination that comes with it, that’s on me.

What a terrifying and liberating and thrilling thing.”

Should the November 2020 issue be on the newsstand still I recommend buying it to have on hand this essay alone.

One thing that Leandra Medine Cohen wrote rings true with me: that testing the boundaries of your style allows you to be more than one thing.

It reminds me of the Psychedelic Furs’ song “Pretty in Pink”: the lyrics get at how the girl will be who she wants to be–until tomorrow.

And who will you and me be tomorrow after the pandemic ends?

The journey to our future selves is worth taking.

There’s nothing better than dressing for yourself. For the person you are today. Changing up your style as your life rolls along.

Remember the 1980s? Those clothes are best left in the dust bin 🙂