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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.

9/11 Pandemic Insight

This tee shirt I bought at a street fair in the West Village 12 years ago.

It was my chosen outfit with black jeans to wear to the dentist on 9/11. Using clothing to protest or make a statement is my preferred way of getting a message across.

Though I was afraid to have a cavity or need a terrible scraping of my teeth I was in luck. The cleaning was quicker than usual.

Before opening my mouth wide I told the dentist that I have no energy at all. That in the evening I haven’t been brushing my teeth.

“Everyone has no energy. They’re under stress. The coronavirus is no joke. Some people have it together. Others lost it altogether,” he cut to the chase.

The pandemic has been a game changer in this regard. My dentist was right about everyone being stressed out.

There should be more openness and willingness to talk about mental health issues. No one’s immune from cracks and fissures in the mind these days.

If human beings cannot be honest with each other then we’re living a lie. Game over.

We cannot go back to the way things were before.

It was hard for a lot of us to not resort to snacking on potato chips and pretzels or drinking vodka and gin while holed up in our living rooms.

None of us should feel guilty and ashamed.

Not about our bodies our health our sexuality. Nothing.

Everyone’s doing the best we can with what we were given.

To coexist. That is the only way to live.

To have compassion for each other. Even better.

Weight a Minute

Yes–I get it that OKCupid is set up to attract romantic partners.

Everyone should have my kind of dilemma:

I’m resigned to the fact that I’m a tiny person. As in a woman who would be called “thin.” Only 5’0″ I fit into a size 2 Petite.

So–I removed the words “fit and active” to describe myself in my profile essay.

I don’t want to attract men who are fixated on my figure.

You can check off “prefer not to say” as an option when it asks you to click how much you weigh.

Only why be coy? I’ve decided as a rule to not lie and live in hiding.

So–I reluctantly checked off “thin.”

You should not be afraid to check off “full-figured.” Yet go right ahead and click “Prefer not to say” if you want.

IRL you won’t fool anyone about your weight. Why not own up to your beautiful body in whatever size or shape it is?

If this gorgeous earth we live on is round why can’t a female body be round?

I’m not naturally thin by the way. I got this way because I’m muscular. For over 10 years I’ve engaged in intense weight-lifting routines.

Plus I don’t eat meat. Only (mostly organic) chicken, seafood, vegetables and salads.

My father had Stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver. The cancer killed him.

It’s because of this that I exercise and eat well as consistently as possible.

Being “thin” is not something to covet or be proud of. Whether a woman is skinny or voluptuous no one should be commenting on her body either way.

Oh–I suppose I could’ve clicked “Prefer not to say.” Why not? Only no one should feel guilty or ashamed because of their body and how they look.

In fact you might be able to not answer this question at all and leave it blank.

The double bind is: why should there be a need on OKCupid for the website to ask this question in the first place?

Dressing Up for Dating

The photo above I used as a match photo on a dating website.

Red is a color that attracts men. So you’re supposed to wear red if you want to boost your luck.

Seems innocent enough right? Yet it poses a dilemma. I received 55 “likes” and I wasn’t interested in any of them.

They click “like” after seeing only my match photo. I read a guy’s profile before clicking that I “like” him.

This is the conundrum: attracting men I’m not interested in.

Like the guy wearing only swim trunks and no shirt whose breasts were as big as mine.

Sorry–though I lift weights I’m not attracted to bodybuilders with bulging bodies as big as boulders.

The tee shirt is my oldest item of clothing. It’s a Product(RED) offering that went on sale the first month Bono created this campaign.

Proceeds from Product(RED) items go to support men women and children living with AIDS in Africa.

Years ago I also bought a Product(RED) red-rubber spatula.

I wish a guy who was hip to this sales campaign would send me a message referring to the tee shirt. Only that would be an impossible stretch.

My computer crashed 2 years ago. The files documents and photos on it disappeared. There were no photos on my cell phone either that showed “lovely legs” like a ZZ Top song.

I even dared upload a recent photo where I’m wearing a purple bandanna, lavender marled sweater, black coated skinny jeans, and black boots.

Men who expect me to wear stilettos are not in my target market.

On my end I don’t go by how a person looks. I read their profile essay first.

Coming up: More Fun in the New (Dating) World? Not exactly.

Rebel Love Book

Beauty lies in having radical self-acceptance. In owning your terrific soul. In honoring and trying to heal the broken parts and loving all of the pieces of you.

I believe in the beauty of everyone’s true self-expression. Not to feel guilty or ashamed for being who you are.

The book shown above by Dr. Chris Donaghue, PhD is revolutionary. It’s sad that what he’s talking about isn’t accepted as the norm.

I’ll quote from the last sentence on the last page to get readers to go out and buy this guide:

“Being the truest, most authentic version of yourself is ultimately what will transform you and your relationships–and eventually, maybe even the world.”

Dr. Chris asserts that in countries where there is a sex-positive tone and permissive view of sexuality there are fewer rapes, sexual assaults, and teen pregnancies.

On Being 56 Not 35

Today I feel at 56 how I felt at 35–I’m aware my body is changing.

Thirty-five was the first time I was aware of this subtle shift in the physical.

The 40-and-over women’s makeover books focus on the outside. As if the only kind of makeover should involve makeup.

In the 1990s magazine Jane if I remember there was a makeunder photo shoot.

My way to go will be eyeliner foundation and lipstick. Eyeshadow added for an event.

In other areas of our lives post-40 a makeunder could be just the rocket booster for our confidence.

For the second time this year I’m filling donation bags to cart to the Salvation Army.

The older I’ve gotten the need to discard and minimize hit me like sand in the face.

Fifty and beyond is the time for editing and weeding out what no longer works.

One day I woke up and realized the MAC Studio Fix powder foundation suddenly made my face look cakey. After five years where it was stunning.

What about those friends that you realize out of the blue have reduced you to tears?

A makeunder? Count me in. Who needs 22 tubes of lipstick?

Who needs mental emotional and material clutter taking up space in our lives?

Motivational Millionaire Book

I’ve checked a lot of personal finance books out of the library.

Too often the books require you to follow the author’s investing strategy to the Letter. Or the book is too dense and difficult to read through.

Even though I have a Masters degree in library science I’ll stop reading any book that doesn’t hook me.

My all-time favorite finance book is Simple Money by Tim Maurer. It’s short and detailed and not a read you’ll have to plod through.

The Rachel Rodgers book above is impressive too. Her life experiences that she talks about are what pulled me into reading her guide.

Coming from a family that had to count every cent Rodgers saved up $33 in quarters and rolled them up.

As a teen she was going outlet shopping with well-off friends. After they had left one store she went to the register on her own. Plunked down her $33 in quarter rolls to buy a wallet.

Rodgers today is a financial empowerment Activist. How telling that her first solo hard-earned purchase was a wallet.

Anyone who becomes well off should help others who are less fortunate.

Engaging in acts of conscious charity that empower others to have a better life should not be seen as “giving handouts.”

I was given a handout until I no longer needed to rely on outside income.

For others having a job isn’t possible. My motto in life is: “No Judgments.”

It’s so inspiring to read Rachel Rodgers finance-and-memoir book rolled into one.

I understand the benefit of having characters in books and authors that represent a person like you.

When browsing the personal finance section I’m keen to see if women authors are on these shelves.

Right away I grabbed onto the book Rachel Rodgers wrote.

We should all be millionaires is a great finance guide. I’m going to install it on my iPad.

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