Politics. The loss of two beloved dogs in less than one year, one after a lightning-fast illness at a young age, the other after a long, slow, complicated decline in her senior years. And did I mention politics, or, as I think of it, the threatened collapse of everything that makes this America?
Those are the reasons I've not blogged as much as I used to. But the example of those badass journalists at Teen Vogue have me inspired to blog again about the subject nearest and dearest to my heart after dogs and politics: Makeup and skincare.
Have no idea what I'm talking about? Read The true story of how Teen Vogue got mad, got woke, and began terrifying men like Donald Trump. Seriously -- read it. It will give you hope at the same time it prompts you to buy the nearest teenage girl a gift subscription.
In it, the author says:
Everyone loves rainbow highlighters. They make you look like a beautiful pixie who fronts a glam-rock band. Also, white nationalism is a cancer on our democracy. Women are capable of holding both of these truths in their minds, and prioritizing them accordingly.
Now, I do love rainbow highlighters, but only on someone who has a complexion a lot different than mine. But I do love, and have always loved, makeup and skincare and hair. I started my career as a hairstylist at the age of five, when I gave Kathy Buoncristiani a bang trim with my construction paper scissors. My mother didn't let me have Barbie dolls, but my baby dolls all had hairstyles that ranged from what would one day be known as a punk rock buzz cut to intricate braids that would rock the runways even today.
After I finished college, I even went to beauty school, then worked in salons and opened three of my own in the golden age of 80s style.
When I went beck to journalism in 1991, news and investigative reporting proved too stressful for my somewhat fragile spirit. (Yes, I've toughened up since then, but I still find it impossible to build the rapport needed to get a great interview with someone knowing I'm doing it against their best interests -- unless they're honestly the devil. And at least back then, there were not that many devils.)
So I switched my focus to what we used to call "women's pages" and now call "lifestyle" -- health, home and garden, pets, and fashion and beauty.
Science and medicine were my great loves, and I was lucky to have some great opportunities writing about human medicine. My love of animals soon drove me to take that experience and start writing about veterinary medicine, plus animal welfare, which is where I am today.
But you know what I miss? Writing about makeup and skincare. And you know what I hate? Feeling ashamed of that.
So let's see if unleashing my inner girl allows me to find my blogging voice again. I've missed that, too.