This month Selfridges launched a new exhibition, Bright Old Things, to celebrate ageing, renewal, art and fashion. The remit is to profile 14 creatives in their late-40s to mid-80s, who are in a new vocation later in life.
This month’s theme is renewal and celebrating who you are. It’s never too late to try something new, as author Tori Carlson explains, so unleash your inner wild-child and do what makes you feel alive to find happiness.
What’s the world coming to? It’s impossible to find a decent mirror these days. Each one I gaze into reflects back such a narrow view of the real me that they have to be defective. As a young woman, I tried so hard to hide the fun-loving side of me, to always present a serene, professional front. It seems now that persona is the only one reflected back.
When a kick-ass song from the past comes on the radio, there is so much more hidden behind the faint smile that touches my lips. Deep inside, where co-workers and mirrors can’t see, there’s a late teen dressed in a pink leotard, tights and leg-warmers, her hair in a crazy do, with glitter packed powder, dancing like a rock star.
Looking out the glass double doors at work, I listen to the conversations all bemoaning the dreary weather. As the rain softly pelts the ground, I envision grabbing a bike and riding it through the streets with spray coating my backside and laughing like a carefree fool.
Why can’t the mirror see that side of me?
It’s there. It always has been and I hope it always will be, but as the years creep by that persona fades like a photograph exposed to the sun. This year I’ll be celebrating one of those pivotal birthdays. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that end in a five or a worse yet a zero. The ones where you look back and rehash the woulda, coulda, shouldas of life.
My birthday is months away, but I’ve already done the requisite compare and contrast assignment that seems to be a part of these things.
Career, where I wanted it to be? Check.
Kids, independent and happy? Check.
Marriage, strong and hot? Check.
Apparently, that wild-child was successfully leashed and its energy garnered to propel the serene professional to great things.
Now for the million dollar question…would I change anything? Oh, one or two things maybe. Then again, maybe not. While the ride wasn’t always smooth and easy going, it showed me what I was made of. And I’m made of pretty stern stuff.
With my station in life firmly in place, would it hurt to loosen the leash and allow the fun-girl to go for a run now and then? Is it necessary to keep the vibrancy from fading away completely?
I believe it is. The first book I ever had published, Bondage Anniversary, was about a woman facing the same thing. Laura took it a bit farther than I have though. She even limited the foods she enjoyed. Her reputation around the office was that of an ice princess. Sex was scheduled for Saturday mornings. And mirrors vexed her as well. No matter how hard she worked or how diligently she followed her routine, it never showed her what she wanted to see.
In order for her to find true happiness, she had to revive her inner wild-child. It had been buried so long under the constraints of society’s acceptable behaviours that it was touch and go for a while. Nick, her gallant husband, missed her mischievous side and was more than willing to spice things up and dance in the rain right alongside her.
I wrote that story about three years ago. It seems my brain has been pondering this idea for a while now. I don’t need a new red sports car or a leather mini and f-me pumps to feel alive. I’m happy with my life and I wouldn’t turn back the clock if I were given the option. But it wouldn’t hurt to pull the mirror a little closer to the natural sunlight. I’m told it’s the best way to see an object’s true colours.
Using the sun’s energy to cut through the fog that served as my camouflage throughout the years, I see more than a serene professional garbed in greys and browns. I see a woman that embraces a kaleidoscope of colour. One that lives each day to the fullest. One that laughs maybe a little too loud when something strikes her funny. One that is willing to sing along to a hit on the radio and invites, with a playful smile and twinkle in her eye, everyone to join in.
My wardrobe needs a refurb, though. My attitude does as well. I’m not going to shield the world from my true colours any longer. If people can’t handle it, I guess sunglasses are an option. Better yet, they can take a look in the mirror and see if the image they present is an accurate representation of their true self. I’m guessing their mirror is defective too.
Can bondage save a marriage? Once Nick uncovers Laura’s hidden desire for BDSM, there’s no going back. Laura craves his touch, but Master Nick wants more than her body. He demands her total submission.
Laura can only find the excitement she so desperately craves between the covers of the latest BDSM novel she reads alone in their bed. Then one night Nick, her loving, cater-to-her-every-whim, vanilla sex husband discovers her hidden library. To her everlasting surprise, he decides their anniversary getaway is the perfect time to turn her fantasies into reality.
Before he can put his plan into action, Nick must figure out how to tell his wife she’s actually married to a Dom. More than that, Nick is also part owner of DiscipliNation, a successful chain of kink clubs and an erotic toy manufacturing company. Can he dominate his lovely ‘ballbreaker of the boardroom’ wife—while keeping his balls intact?
Laura’s treacherous body revels in Nick’s domination. As a natural submissive, she thrives under his strict, unyielding command. He trains her to respond to his every touch and the line between pain and pleasure blurs— so much pleasure, she’s lost in it. Laura craves his firm hand, yet his sin of omission shakes her trust. She willingly offers her body, but guards her heart.
Quickly, she learns Master Nick isn’t just a hotter-than-hell, leather clad, flogger wielding alter ego. Dom isn’t a role he slips on like a mask. It runs in his blood, defines his personality and once unleashed, there’s no going back. Master Nick won’t play at D/s. The gift of her body isn’t enough. He demands her total submission.
Cover image of Sue Kreitzman by Ella Guru Art for ‘Bright Old Things’.