It’s the new year! It seems unbelievable…yet again, we’ve finished off another crazy, surprising, incredible, twelve months.
It’s a time when we all consider how far we’ve come. We think about the amazing things we’ve done…and sometimes, about the things we haven’t. Because if the New Year is good for anything, it’s for reminding us that life is finite, and each day that passes is one less day in which to make our dreams and fantasies come true.
I remember one year in particular – the year I turned thirty.
My birthday falls on the first of January every year. This is a) inconvenient (because nobody seems to be in the mood to party come New Years’ Day), and b) alarming. Every year, not only do I have to deal with the fact that time is passing, I also must confront the fact that I’m getting older.
When I turned thirty on that first day of January, I felt miserable. I can’t remember exactly what I got up to, but I’m pretty sure it involved getting really drunk! Anything to avoid feeling bad. It wasn’t because I felt older – in fact, I’m fitter and healthier than I was when I was in my twenties! But I’d had so many ideas in my head of all the amazing things I was going to do before I hit the big 3-0. Yet here I was, living an amazing but totally unconventional life that didn’t tick any of the boxes I had expected.
I think life creeps up on us this way. We have plans to go places and do amazing things, but we put them off because they’re too hard. Our regular lives and routines are too comfortable. Then one day, we find ourselves waking up and wondering here all our time went…wondering whether we’ll ever get around to doing the things we want to do.
Luckily, most of the stuff I’d counted on happening – a house, a family, a swish car – were no longer important to me. Instead of having the conventional life I’d imagined, I was pursuing other, far more interesting, experiences. But what if your unrealised goals ARE still important to you? What if there are still adventures you long for, but you haven’t yet taken the leap?
Sex and sexuality are parts of our lives that we often neglect. Whether it’s a kink you suspect you might enjoy, a person you’ve yet to declare your feelings to, or just the opportunity to live a little dangerously without shaming yourself for your sexual desires…all these things can be frightening. Sometimes it’s easier to put it off for another day… even when, deep down, we suspect we might be happier if we were following our instincts.
And then – bang! Suddenly, it’s the new year. Suddenly, you’re turning thirty and wondering what happened. Suddenly, you’re too busy looking after the kids to take care of yourself. Suddenly, you’re sixty and your knees aren’t what they used to be, and how are you going to have all that crazy kinky sex when you get puffed out just walking up the stairs? When we put our dreams and fantasies aside, we think we still have plenty of time. But time creeps up on us, and often we lose the opportunity before we even realise.
A good friend of mine says, “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” He means that real enjoyment of life comes from feeling a little uncomfortable, in pursuit of new experiences. Pursuing your dreams and fantasies means taking risks; you never know if your adventures will turn out well, or if the fun you’ve dreamed of having will be as good as you hope. Stepping out of your sexual comfort zone is particularly nerve-wracking – when it comes to getting naked, everyone feels insecure! But unless you push yourself a little, you’ll never escape your comfortable life.
When we’re not challenging ourselves, we’re not really living. We’re like sleepwalkers – going through the motions, following the same old habits, not alive to our possibilities. The only way to make your dreams come true is to step out of the routine, get a little scared, be open to a little uncertainty.
Do sex differently. Try something kinky. Meet someone new. Perhaps this year could be the right time?
This article is also published on Scarlet Blue.