Becoming Who You Are

An enduring quote tells us:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Post-illness you can recover yourself along with your mental health.

My persistent belief at mid-life is that you shouldn’t stop doing new things until you’re carried out on your last day.

Make every day a celebration.

I wanted to talk about the necklace in the photo in the last blog entry. The woman took it out of the counter to show me. The tag read Murano.

“I’ll take it,” I snapped because Murano is a famous glass maker from Venice, Italy.

I had bought a Murano millefiore glass bead necklace on a tour of their factory.

The point of this blog entry being that you should not hesitate to give yourself little perks to feel better.

“The Road to You” should be paved with kindness and compassion.

Be not afraid to act and dress a little bolder to make a statement:

“I’m here. I have breasts. Get over it.”

You owe it to yourself to be happy. By expressing yourself through how you style yourself in clothes you can also make others happy.

I’m the resident Fashionista at the poetry readings.

You can absolutely reclaim the good from your life before illness and discard the rest.

I’ve decided at 53 that I want to channel the time when I was a disc jockey on FM radio in the 1980s.

This reinvention started by wearing the outfit in the photo in the last blog entry.

In the coming blog entry I will talk about in more detail about reclaiming yourself after illness strikes.

I’ll talk about exerting your power to be who you are without fear of reprisal.

Tying this in to setting goals in mid-life to get more of what you want out of life.

You can absolutely use your personal history as the springboard for making changes at mid-life.

It truly is never too late to be what you might have been.

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The Makeup of a Confident Woman

green photo

The photo shown above proves the premise of beauty pioneer Trish McEvoy’s new book The Makeup of a Confident Woman.

Not wanting to start taking an antidepressant, I was willing to try any healthy non-chemical option for sparking joy.

I’ll quote from this guide because I think you should go out and buy it:

“There is no vanity in taking advantage of makeup in order to get more of what you want in this world…Makeup is a tool–just like exercise classes are for staying in shape..It facilitates the release of endorphins and can be your champion to the next level.”

You don’t say? Trish McEvoy does.

I put her theory to the test by applying a full face of makeup. The author gets it right: wearing makeup instills confidence.

It’s trite yet true: you feel better when you look better.

Ladies: even though I have a photogenic face I don’t look so hot not wearing makeup.

I’ll be 54 in the spring. I could use a little help.

There are genetic wonders among us who have creamy flawless skin without wearing foundation. More power to them for being able to rock a bare face.

It took me just about 10 minutes to apply this makeup. That’s not a lot of time to give yourself.

The products used:

Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole 260 Bisque N

Blush: Bobbi Brown desert rose

Lipstick: Bobbi Brown hibiscus

Eye shadow: From Naked2 Basics – the 2 lightest shadows on the left of the palette (darker on eyelid lighter on brow bone area)

Eyeliner: Lancome Chocolat

Mascara: Diorshow black

The photo of the book cover is below.

In coming blog entries here I want to talk about other things you can do at mid-life to feel better and have fun.

All of this can be adjunct treatment in addition to taking any medication you might have to take.

confindent woman book.JPG

 

 

Winning

In an upset victory Max Rose beat out Dan Donovan for Congress for the the Staten Island/Brooklyn seat in Washington.

I was quite surprised by this win. Yet under Dan Donovan’s DA rule the cop who killed Eric Garner in a choke hold was acquitted.

The district that covers Staten Island/Brooklyn (Bay Ridge Brooklyn) has been Republican for decades.

Max Rose’s victory is a stunner to me. I hadn’t expected he would win.

Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez won her Congress bid elsewhere in New York City.

In the U.S. we have elected 2 Muslim American women to Congress as well.

We have elected a Native American woman too.

From the New York Times:

“Women shattered records and precedents. One-third of the female nominees for the House were women of color, the highest ever. A record number of women faced off against other women, from Arizona to New York. Ms. Pressley in Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York were among women who defeated long-serving white male incumbents in party primaries and won tonight.”

In the same New York Times article:

“Despite being more than half the population and the voters, women were still less than a third of all candidates for Congress, the governors’ offices and other statewide executive seats.”

We have a way to go. Yet we can be proud of these gains.

One day I’m confident we will elect a woman president.

Ladies, start your engines.

Rock the Vote

MTV decades ago had the slogan: Rock the Vote.

Years ago a mental health advocate started the “I Vote – I Count” drive to register people with mental illnesses to vote.

Does it really matter if you vote?

I say: go out and vote for the candidate that you think best represents you.

Really, I don’t see myself reflected in government or even in media like entertainment. Except maybe for Arianna Grande who I profiled in here a couple of months ago.

I would go so far as to say it’s a Democrap versus Republicon choice.

Neither of those two parties I think has ordinary Americans’ best interests at heart.

In reality I align with the Green Party.

Dan Donovan is running for Congress on Staten Island, where the cop killed Eric Garner in a choke hold.

People on Staten Island only vote Republicon.

The last Congressman there was convicted of fraud.

The long-term Congressman before him was caught driving home drunk from his mistress, who he fathered a child with.

Who’s kidding who about Hillary Clinton being unethical?

As usual, it’s the woman who’s vilified while men with the right plumbing down below get to do whatever they want.

I kept telling people over and over that Mr. Toupee would win the election.

No one believed me. They thought I was out of my mind to say that. Who’s sorry now.

My contention is that if you want to change things you should run for office.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez coasted to victory in the primary against a long-time incumbent.

I’ll end here with this: hate has overtaken our country.

Fighting against each other just means we have no energy to fight against those in power who are taking away our rights as we speak.

Do you want your rights taken away?

Go out and vote for the person you think is best qualified to represent your needs.

I didn’t think a guy who called Mexicans rapists was fit to run this country.

Yet I knew he would win.

Manhattan After Dark

Just Another Night on the Other Side of Town:

The driver took only thirty-five minutes to take me to Avenue A. Two hours early for the literary event I acted as a flaneur walking about the streets around St. Mark’s Place.

Live bands were performing in Tompkins Square Park. I sat on a bench in the park for fifteen minutes. A tall dude decided to sit on the bench right near me when the other benches were empty.

A woman joined him yet didn’t sit down. She circled around talking in front of us. Feared I looked like a turista with the Brooklyn, NY logo tote I carried. My shoes were Missoni Converse.

The secret to surviving in New York City after dark is to act weird. To put on your game face when you’re outside. I’ve figured out that no one will mess with you when your sneakers are Converse.

As I’m sitting on the bench I think: Might it have been unwise to wear a sterling silver necklace out on the street? It was a gift from my mother, she bought it in Mexico in the 1990s.

The tall dude is smoking a blunt next to me. In New York City there’s a new rule: people caught toking marijuana in public aren’t supposed to be arrested. They’re supposed to be let go. That fits with my Green Party mantra that non-violent drug users shouldn’t be sent to jail.

Only it’s not so great when you’re walking down the street and reefer smoke is invading your nostrils everywhere you go. You didn’t sign up to get a contact high just sitting on a park bench minding your business.

The tall dude asks a nearby guy: “Got a cigarette?”

“An American is seventy-five cents.”

The girl is still wandering around in front of us. She can tell I’m not a street person. My pocketbook is next to me on the park bench. She doesn’t try to shake me down, just stands there talking to the tall dude.

It’s a different city than the Manhattan of my youth.

Yet the people are the same walking down the street: wearing an autumn overcoat, or dressed all in black with white sneakers, or carrying a tragicomic backpack.

Fifteen minutes later I get up off the bench and go to my destination.

Yet I will forever remember this scene.

___________________________________________

 

You want to be a writer? Sit on a park bench and observe people. Keep an open mind. Compose sentences like you’re filming scenes in a movie.

 

 

 

Citizenship and Recovery

In 1983 I turned 18. Ever since then I’ve been voting in an election. That’s 35 years of pulling the flapjack or insert the paper in the ballot machine.

Though I have zero faith in our elected officials I’ll vote in the coming election and continue to vote in those in the future.

In the early 2000s an advocate started the “I Vote I Count” campaign to register to vote people with mental illnesses.

We cannot allow ourselves to be “mushrooms”–kept in the dark and fed a lot of bull.

By not reading newspapers or watching TV news and using our critical minds to analyze what’s being told/sold we won’t get anywhere.

It’s often that change happens at the speed of the old Pony Express: it takes years for our elected officials to be wrestled to the mat to take action.

Yet putting on our Everlast boxing gloves might actually be the best way to show that we’re not going to remain silent on the things that matter to us.

The victory of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in a recent New York City election is a testament to how a scrappy underdog fighter could win out over a longtime establishment government official.

It’s called the “blue wave” if I remember right.

The next step is to call and write our representatives to make our voices heard.

Years ago at HealthCentral I wrote about Citizenship and Recovery. Back then I was only one of a couple people who detailed the benefit of participating in our democracy when you have schizophrenia or another mental illness.

I still say: if you want to vote Republican that’s your choice. If you want to vote for a Democrat that’s fine too.

I’m making the case–as I wrote in the blog before –that a band of committed citizen activists can make a difference.

Alas, people without economic equity in American society might think it’s not worth voting. In this regard we’ve ceded power to people with the money to write laws whose very word-for-word language is written by corporations and given to elected officials.

Also, laws are being enacted at the State level that prevent or make it harder for people to vote in elections.

It can seem like things are rigged against ordinary citizens.

That’s why it’s imperative that the disadvantaged among us don’t give up the fight for economic equity.

No one anywhere in traditional media (I read a lot of it) has used the actual word oppression or even repression to describe what the denial of rights constitutes.

Yet in effect laws being enacted serve to keep people from having equity of any kind in America.

These laws take away our right to decide what’s best for us and put it in the hands of the government.

Big Brother anyone? Remember the book 1984?

This trend of oppression will only continue unless ordinary citizens speak out.

We need to make our voices heard.

Obtaining Sexual Equity

I’m compelled to write about hot topics in the news. To filter what’s happening through my critical eyes and offer insight to spark debate.

At fifty-three years old I’ve become a Rebel – Feminist.

You’re told to “stay in your lane” and not offend readers. My lane appears to be on the Left. This impacts what I have to say.

One news article in the Atlantic online yesterday stressed that we cannot abandon due process in trying in the courtroom men accused of sexual abuse.

“Innocent until proven guilty” is the tenet of justice that we’re supposed to adhere to in the U.S. legal system.

The Atlantic writer claims we cannot rush to take the side of the alleged victim.

The female author of the Atlantic article wrote about how college and university administrations have responded to women students who claim they were raped.

In response, it appears that male students have been told to ask permission at every step of the way in order to advance to “third base” and then consummate the act of having sex.

Innocent until proven guilty should be the legal standard with due process adhered to.

This is irrefutable in terms of justice.

What I err on the side of [as a woman] is not accusing women of making up stories.

Everything about this current scenario in the news reinforces the need and right and duty of women to have sexual equity–ownership–of their bodies not just sexual equality in society.

If sexual equality means we appoint a female version of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is that really an improvement?

Women need to be taught to speak up and speak out immediately.

We shouldn’t be afraid to be assertive in the bedroom and in the boardroom and out on the street and in public.

The Republican woman who published the 2018 book excoriating female students who report rape on campus also attacked women who demand sexual equality with men.

I forget the title of this book or the author’s name. It was on the new books shelf at the library two weeks ago.

Inexplicably, the author blamed female students for reporting rape on campus. She claimed the so-called “sexual revolution” only caused harm because it loosened the morals of women. Again, blaming women for how men treat us.

If you really don’t want to have sex with a man, tell him no. This should ideally happen before your skirt is taken off. It can also be stated when you’re naked.

A lot of women write news articles about the supposedly “gray-area” nature of exactly when and how a woman is supposed to tell a man to stop and not go any farther.

These women writers claim that matters of reporting rape are simply not true. That the woman decided after the fact that she shouldn’t have had sex or that the sex was bad.

Totally negating the responsibility of the man to do the right thing. Offloading the responsibility to women.

Only women are taught to “go along” with what other people tell us we’re supposed to do.

Women have been told that our bodies don’t belong to us–that we don’t own our bodies. That we exist to please men and cater to their needs only.

Republican men and women–are they on a mission from their God or why else would they do this–now get to decide how other women live our lives.

We no longer have the choice to use birth control or to decide not to have kids.

Our daughters and nieces will be growing up and coming of age in a world where white men on the Supreme Court mandate that a woman’s role in life is to be barefoot and pregnant.

People claim Brett Kavanaugh won’t repeal Roe v. Wade. Only I’m confident he will. This whole situation in the news has been unfortunate.

Yet in my estimation the underlying good is that women are coming forward. Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford took lie detector tests that proved they were telling the truth. Women are speaking out and demanding that things change.

We cannot remain silent on the things that matter to us.

My lane is on the Left. That’s just how it is.