The Path to Freedom

Like Alicia Keys I’ve been on an odyssey to cancel out the outside noise. To draw strength from within as well as drawing a line with eyeliner.

If you ask me the path to freedom starts when you get loud and proud about who you are and what you stand for.

As tempting as it might be to try to conform so that others will like you:

I think repressing your soul will only lead to illness.

I take inspiration from Alicia Keys and her passion to make a difference not just sing a song.

Unlike Keys freedom for me has come in wearing makeup after years of not wearing makeup.

Applying eyeshadow and eyeliner has been an instant thought-lift as well as face-lift

If this sounds frivolous think again: even a public library is hosting a workshop on beauty for its patrons.

I tip my True Religion striped cap to Alicia Keys for telling her story and revealing herself on the page.

Everyone is beautiful with or without makeup.

Expressing ourselves without fear is exactly the positive prescription needed.

Think for yourself. Dress for yourself. Dare to be yourself.

This is what I plan to do in the coming year.

Truth is Beauty

Wasn’t there a line in a poem that truth is beauty and beauty is truth?

I’m coming to the end of reading the Alicia Keys memoir More Myself.

Pages 210-211 are worth the cost of buying the book. Here Keys talks about going without makeup:

“I don’t want to cover up anymore…not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

Tens of thousands of women posted photos to the hashtag #NoMakeup.

One person sniped to Keys that if she looked like Keys the woman could choose not to wear makeup too.

To this Keys said: “My deepest intention is that we all find a path to whatever freedom feels like for us–and that is unique to each person .”

If you ask me it is in living an authentic life that a person is truly free. Keys believes we crave the authentic in our narratives not just in our appearance.

The path to freedom is different for everyone.

My odyssey started ironically when I started to wear makeup after years of not wearing makeup.

I would like to talk in coming blog entries about individuality again.

About having the freedom to express yourself with or without lipstick.

More Myself

I checked this book out of the library.

You should buy the book to read and read again. There are gems of sentences that light up the narrative.

“More Myself” could describe my own journey towards Chris.

Keys on page 41 tells it like it is: “And often, the only way forward is through an exit door.”

This sums up leaving behind the person you used to be and the life you thought you should have.

After living indoors for over 5 months because of the pandemic I have come to see that going back to the way my life used to be isn’t an option.

The trademark I’ve claimed is the term “Left of the Dial.”

The bold act of cutting off my hair was the defining rebel yell:

“Here I am. I exist. Get over it.”

The freedom to be myself and the freedom to be yourself should not be watered down or sold to the highest bidder that wants to make us over into an acceptable version.

My Avant-garde haircut is uncommon. I won’t see myself walking down the street everywhere I go.

In her memoir the cover photo is the only photo of Alicia Keys. In her freestyle curly hair.

She calls her type of fashion “‘hood hippie”–a little boho; a little soul.

I take inspiration from reading More Myself. I dare say this is an odyssey that a lot of women go on in our lives.

Keys traveled to Egypt and Italy [she’s part Italian] after having a meltdown–a kind of existential crisis.

In her book she talks about her own #NoMakeup campaign that resonated with women everywhere.

Go on–buy More Myself and get ready to go on your own journey.

I’m glad I did.

Key of Life

Alicia Keys in her July 2020 InStyle interview echoes what I’ve always thought.

In Keys own words:

“You know, we do a really good job of judging each other and assuming who people are when we don’t even know them. To me, the most important thing we can do right now is take a second to see and appreciate each other as we are.”

Two years ago I titled a blog entry See Who We Are. I wrote then: see who I am not who you think I am.

It’s a fact: Alicia Keys skipped two grades and won a full scholarship to Columbia University.

“See Who We Are” is the title of an X rock band song from three decades ago. I played this song on my radio show back then.

What’s on the surface really has no ability to predict the content of a person’s character.

In the next blog entry I’m going to talk about what I’ve learned living through four months of the pandemic.