Embrace your inner egghead

We are back! Sorry we were down. We had growing pains, due to increased traffic. We had to take some time and adjust our technical details! We are back!  Thanks for understanding.
Marilyn embraced her inner book worm --she really did love to readI have always been a bit of a nerd. I cheerfully describe myself as an egghead in stilettos. As a little girl, I won a prize from our local library for reading the most books over the summer in my bookish home town.
I have spent most life my life with my nose stuck in a book. The idea of a free time and big pile of books still delights me.
I have been lucky enough to travel widely. I know I would not have enjoyed it half as much without all of my advance research. When we first went to Thailand and Vietnam, I researched the travel routes, hotel, restaurants, museums, and history. It was fabulous. And lest, my darlings, you think my preparation left no room for serendipity — banish the thought. On the contrary, it allowed us to find the best hotels and avoid the predictable and boring hotels recommended in the travel books. Planning ahead and researching like crazy led us to the luxe and historical Bangkok Oriental and fabulous private guides. When we visited Vietnam we stayed a white marble palace called the Majestic Hotel inSaigon. And I will always dream of the colonial charms of the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi – and its hundreds of ceiling fans and the echo of Indochine.
From fashion to cooking studying and immersing myself in my passions has always led, not only to a deeper appreciation, but to adventure.
There is something to be said for a love of knowledge, for knowledge’s sake alone. Our definition of education and accomplishment has become too narrow. So few adults take time any more to paint, practice music, sew, or embrace new skills and arts. It is sad and self-limiting. It’s also ironic, as so many are so involved and preoccupied in a search for meaning. All too often the pursuit of knowledge is an attempt at advancement, validation, or to impress others; how tiresome, boring, and shallow.
It was stimulating to grow up surrounded by accomplished professionals with interesting and varied hobbies. It was exciting and inspiring. It never occurred to me that anyone would stop learning no matter their age or profession. 
Grace Kelly wore glasses and men still made many passesI was also inspired by women I admired. Jackie Kennedy was an accomplished artist as well as a writer and editor. She too had been a glasses-wearing book worm, who gravitated towards intellectuals. Grace Kelly was a sexy, spec-wearing nerd who grew up to be a movie star and a princess.
Watching these women, I never saw a conflict in being both a bookworm and a bit of bombshell. Actually, it was an appealing idea.
Carla Bruni --so chic and so smart Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, is another contemporary woman who follows her passions and seems to have no problem being attractive and intelligent. She was one of the highest paid models in the world, but left modeling devote herself to music. Many of her songs are based on classical works, and she writes many of them herself.
There are scores of inspiring and creative women from all walks of life. These are a few of the women who have inspired me; you will have your own list. I am often inspired by my own friends and mentors who never cease to amaze me with their talents.
Darlings, embrace your inner-egghead. There are exceptions, but almost anyone who gets anywhere in life is a bit of nerd. The trick is to be sexy and chic and still nerdy and confident enough to love the library and even Star Trek — if that is your thing.
Do I even have to mention Bill and Melissa Gates? They met at Microsoft. If she wasn’t super-smart and a hard worker, he would never have looked at her twice. Did it hurt that she was a tall, good-looking brunette?  Darlings, what smart man can resist a smart beauty?
The moral of this story is that you are single and looking; embracing you inner bookworm may help you meet an interesting guy. But do it for you.
So the next time you hear of a place you would like to — or plan to – visit, do some research. Don’t just get a guidebook or brochure. Read a history or a few novels set there. Delve. Study the art and cuisine too. It’s fun, enjoy it. If you plan to go to France, why not read a novel by Collette? Perhaps read Julia Childs’ My Life in France too,even if you are not a foodie. If you can read a bit of French, pick up French Elle or Paris Match. Darlings, there are just a few suggestions, brainstorm your own.
If you have time, take a course on your destination’s art or décor at your nearest university. Make a private study of architecture or design using library and museum resources. Let the possibilities awaken your senses. Obviously these suggestions apply to any destination — Boston, Bolivia, Bombay, or Bangkok!
I keep mentioning travel as so many find it stimulating. If it is out of reach now, think closer to home. I have had illuminating experiences as close as 30 minutes from my own home.
·        Go to lectures on any subject that interests you, from ancient civilizations to astrophysics. There are no tests or entrance exams, so walk right in and sit down. They are often free or inexpensive and you may meet interesting people. Go to a variety of things that interest you, from The National Geographic Society to a fashion lecture at a design school! Be sure to look fabulous. You will feel and look better if you make an effort And if you are single, you never know who you might meet.
·        Learn to use your local library. You can reserve almost anything online. There almost no limits to the wealth of information and materials at your disposal. They will send it for free to the branch nearest you.
·        Take a class. Look for a weekend class if you are short of time or money, you can learn a lot in even a few hours. Go online and look for reviews of any class before you choose.
·        Learn a foreign language. A smart group of women I know are all studying Mandarin. Why not? I am not particularly talented at languages, but while living in Moscow I did mange to learn Russian well enough to communicate when I needed to. Word to the wise, avoid overly-competitive and negative people. They can kill your confidence and they are a buzz-kill.
·        Make art. Learn to paint, sculpt, copper enamel – whatever turns you on. Even learn to collect inexpensive art and display it artfully. Enhance and enchant.
·        Read, explore, be open to your own creativity.
·        Trust yourself to be your own teacher.
·        Never let perfection be the enemy of the good.
·        Find role models to inspire you and mentors to guide you. I find the stories about successful and gracious women immensely instructive and uplifting.
·        Avoid negative and overly critical people. Embrace and cultivate teachers and mentors help you reach your goals. You are a smart beauty. See yourself that way ands surround yourself with others who share your vision.
Darlings, life is a rich and wonderfully sweet experience, but you need to reach out and grab the goodness. You can skim the surface or you can work to become a person of substance and knowledge. It can be a delightful process. Embrace your inner egghead, happily dressed in chic outfit and really cute shoes.