One of the things I wanted to come out of this year, was a focus on trying to feel good, about myself and about my life. This came partly from turning 50, partly from the craziness that has been going on around us in the world, and partly just because it is important to me. I am not a person who sees life as some sort of penance or trial to get through. I want to enjoy myself and have fun. I want to see the good and make the most of every opportunity.
For me, a lot of this is about how I feel: about myself, about the world, and about others. This year brought lots of things my way that I wasn’t happy about and this definitely caused some inner anguish. On a wider level my life was turned upside down due to the pandemic and a lot of what I knew and did was tipped on its head. I took a while to right myself and in that time, gained a different perspective, which I hope is reflected in terms of what I have written.
On a personal level, I became the target of some nasty bullying which I found difficult to take. As often happens, people say things which others believe and there is not the opportunity to set things straight. As someone who believes in repairing relationships and harm, it was frustrating to be dealing with people who were closed to anything in any way restorative. People I had thought were friends turned out not to be and I suppose some became motivated by personal gains at the sacrifice of others.
While this was extremely unpleasant at the time, and still irks me, again, it allowed me to take stock and make some changes, ones that I am happy with. Feeling good is about being comfortable in your own skin. It is about knowing who and what you are (and aren’t) and ignoring the playground bullies who may say otherwise. I am old enough to know that you often have to follow your gut instinct with people and look beyond what some one else might say for their own ends.
I think that turning 50 marked a shift for me too. While I still feel young in many ways, I recognise that I am now a mature woman. There are aspects of growing older that I really don’t enjoy – the physical changes, for example. So part of my quest was to still feel good in that sense, despite the fact that my body has aged. However, in other ways age has an advantage to me. I am wiser, more experienced, more knowledgeable about the things which are important and matter to me.
These are qualities which have helped when dealing with the sorts of cards that life has dealt this year. I am more versatile than I was when I was younger, more adaptable even. Age has allowed me to have a broader perspective, to rise above some of the challenges and to see and enjoy the positives. The last decade has brought me submission as a lifestyle and, despite the effort that this can sometimes be for HL and I, it is something that we still wholeheartedly embrace.
Dominance and submission is a big part of feeling good for me and it is linked to my celebration of style, sexuality and health. It sits at the centre really and means that I look and respond to things in a particular way. It gives me a grounding, makes me feel safe, and allows me some freedoms that I might not experience otherwise. I feel that it lets me be me and affords me a calmness and serenity that I can’t quite keep hold of without it.
The changes are subtle, but that is really part of the point. I don’t want it to change me – I like me! – I just want to be able to be the best version of me that I can. I hope that the way that I feel about myself and my life comes across in my writing. To be honest, I am happier now then I ever thought I could be. I am glad of my second chance and as part of my celebration I have chosen 12 images below, one from each month, which are ones that I like for a variety of reasons.