Our FIERCE Over 40 Sessions are never boring, especially when you have a 60 year old cancer surviving lawyer in front of your camera. This week, you’ll meet Marakay on the FIERCE Over 40 woman blog. She won’t disappoint! Marakay describes her profession as “lawyer, art critic & foodie”. She covers a multitude of genres!
START BY TELLING ME WHO YOU ARE? WHERE ARE YOU FROM? GIVE ME A SHORT BIO OF YOU AND YOUR LIFE.
I was born and raised in Waynesboro, PA, a Jewish girl in a small Pennsylvania Dutch influenced area. I started college early and graduated from Wilson College, which was all women back then. Afterwards, I went to law school.
I’ve practiced law in public agencies and for private clients, but I’ve always felt it taking a little bit of my soul at a time. I had also been a violinist but didn’t have time to keep up with it in law school. I occasionally noticed art trying to worm its way back into me, especially when I wondered what I’d do if I weren’t a lawyer.
I was fortunate to find myself as a theater and art reviewer for Broadway World, which has helped me find that artistic perspective in my life again. I’ve also always loved food, I’ve been cooking since second grade, and I’ve finally decided to take a plunge into professional food careers as well.
I also enjoy volunteer work, and I’ve worked with several food charities, occasionally lending a hand with my cooking skills as well. I’ve been honored for my work by a California branch of the UNA-USA and by the Royal Society of Saint George for humanitarian efforts. I’m incredibly humbled to have received the Companion of Honor merit award from Don Leopold Nisnoni, the Raja of Kupang in Indonesia, for some of my work. The late King of Rwanda, King Kigeli VI, honored me as a Dame of the Royal Order of the Lion of Kupang for volunteer immigration work I’ve done both as a lawyer and as an individual volunteer.
In my spare time, my cats help keep me in a tranquil, purring state. The best solution I know to any problem is a warm, furry kitten and a cup of tea.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING YOUR AGE?
I’ve learned to stop worrying about what other people think of me and to be myself.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
Beating endometrial cancer. Everything after that is just a plus.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING YOU HAVE CHECKED OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Visiting Egypt and crawling around several of the Pharaohs’ tombs. That was also on my dad’s bucket list but he never got to do it, so I did it for him.
WHAT TRAIT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
My loyalty. It’s come back to bite me a few times, but usually it’s been rewarded.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
I’m afraid of very few things, but please, please don’t let me be ordinary!
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Only one thing? Where do I start?
WHEN, IN YOUR LIFE, HAVE YOU FELT MOST CONFIDENT, AND WHY?
The day I was told I was cancer-free. I decided if I could do that, I could do anything and everything
HAVE YOUR PERCEPTIONS OF WHAT BEING "ATTRACTIVE" MEANS CHANGED OVER TIME? WHAT DO YOU DEFINE AS ATTRACTIVE NOW?
Decades ago, I’m sure I thought it meant being thin. But by the time I reached thirty I’d decided that you couldn’t say a woman was beautiful until she’d turned forty and lost all the little girl cuteness. You know who’s magnificent? Joan Collins. She looks better at her age than most women will ever look in their 20s or 30s. And at 95, Queen Elizabeth II still looks regal. I don’t know why, but even in my 30s I really wished I could look like Bea Arthur. She had regal, dignified, and imposing down cold. You could feel her power.
It was a pleasure to meet Marakay and learn more about her and all that she has accomplished!
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