Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Smokey Eyes

Smokey eyes are what make-up artists create on their subjects to capture a sexy nighttime look. Usually eyeshadow is a blend of grays and dark blue/plum colors. I am unable to accomplish such a feat myself, but this lady, Felicia, who works at the Sephora in Columbus Circle is quite skilled at it, and my eyes were smokin' in about ten minutes. Impressive!

On another note.....Did I ever mention that my best friend Dara works for a gigantiC News Network? To protect her privacy, I won't name the large news network for which she works, but you may be able to take a gander from my context clues? :)

So anyway, tonight Dara's company had the Inspiration Summit. It was phenomenal. It was inspirational. It made me want to go into the world and do fantastic things. My smokey eyes teared up more than once.

Mary J. Blige and Holly Robinson Peete were the guest speakers. You may recognize Holly from "21 Jump Street" or "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper". Mary goes without introduction. Her version of "One", a duet with Bono, again brings tears to my smokey eyes every time I hear it on my ipod.

So the "Inspire Summit" brought together mainly women who do altruistic things, but there were a fair number of men there, as well. As a woman, I think sometimes we (and I think I can speak for others too) get short-changed. We take a lower pay. We do thankless work. We pick up extra jobs to make ends meet. We apologize for things that aren't our fault. Perfect example: the Anchor last night who was interviewing the inspirational women was standing on stage. The stage-hand was setting up more chairs for the panel. He ran into her mike cord with a chair, and SHE apologized for it! I think about how many times on the subway, it's crowded and people fall into me when the train lurches forward and I apologize. And then I am disappointed in myself, so I have been training myself to say "excuse me" or "pardon me" instead, so that I am not apologizing for simply occupying space.

I digress.

This blog is not about weak women. It's about strong women. Mary J Blige (who is absolutely stunning and so eloquent and articulate in person) has an organization called FFAWN (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now), which helps women overcome difficulties and reach their full potential. (And she sports the smokey eyes too!) Holly Robinson Peete has a foundation which helps people who have been plagued with devastating life circumstances. There were other women there too last night. A woman who has a non profit called "Cell Phones for Soldiers". (Did you know they have to spend their OWN money to call home when they are in the Middle East???) One soldier was stuck with a $7000 phone bill so this incredible woman, Brittany Berquest created this organization to alleviate that. There were women there who were CEOs of so many inspirational non-profits that helped rape survivors, cancer patients, children's literacy, and anything else you can imagine. They told their stories and I got the goosebumps. I want to be in the trenches making a difference too. (Stay tuned to blog when I reveal my big idea.)

Holly Robinson Peete spoke about ways you can make a difference. If you have an overwhelming urge to reach out and aid someone who needs help, but you don't know how, I recommend you visit Chris Rock's wife's website.

I'm never sure what to do either, so I will be checking it out myself. I keep thinking back to my visit to India, both the Disabled Children's Home and the visit to the non-profit community center that got children out of child-labor and into school. Visits to both made me immensely happy and humbled.

At the end of the night, after the inspirational forum there was an after-party. I was listening to the band play Mary J Blige's (who had to leave a little earlier) song being sung:

Feels so good, when you’re doing all the things that you want to do...Get the best out of life, treat yourself to something new...It’s a really good thing to say...That I won’t change my life, my life’s just fine...Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh...Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh...Just fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, ooooh.

So I was smiling, kinda swaying back and forth and once again my smokey eyes were a little teary. Dara came up behind me:

"Laurie, are you drunk?"

"No, Dara. I'm inspired."

Service is the rent we pay for living.
Marian Wright Edelman


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MikeScorpio said...

I've been wanting to volunteer for something for the longest time!!! There's just so much clutter keeping me from devoting time to it. Geesh!!

Dara said...

This blog made me so happy and tear up myself :) I'm so glad you came the other night and that all of those amazing women moved you.

You are a woman who inspires me as well :)

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