When a woman approaches the age of forty, there are many questions that inevitably begin to surface. Insecurity about looks, success, and love can play a huge part in the anxiety, because everyone knows; if you don’t have your shit together by forty, well, you’re doomed. Right?
It’s easy to go along with that theory, but life never stops evolving, just like humans. And we’re never too old to try something new. It doesn’t matter what age we are, we can always reinvent ourselves. With a little imagination, we need not conform to the masses.
Easier said than done. That elusive spark of inspiration, the one that usually hits us when we least expect, will come in all different shapes and sizes. It happened to me this last summer when I saw a poster in the local coffee shop for a burlesque show. I’m not sure why I gave it a second glance, but a seed had been planted. I just didn’t know it at the time.
Two weeks later, I was sitting in the third row with my girlfriend. The red velvet curtain parted like the red sea and a group of women dressed in feathers, lace, and sequins paraded across the stage with such pizzaz and enthusiasm, it took my breath away. Most of these women were not professional dancers, or performers, but they all had one thing in common: confidence and attitude. Most of them weren’t even slim or young. But they were sexy and graceful, because they believed it.
Since that night, I became a little obsessed with my new concept. I contacted the burlesque troupe and set up a meeting to interview some of the girls. I read books, I watched videos, and ultimately participated in a burlesque class. What did I learn? Removing long satin gloves with your teeth is harder than it looks. Dancing in high heels will give you shin splints. And giving someone a “pussy check” can be a bit awkward.
The end result? I gained a new perspective on what age and beauty really mean to me. That it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone and act like a floozy for a few hours. And just doing something daring can lift your spirits in ways you’ve never imagined.
All of these experiences inspired me to write a book. No, the book is not really about me, but I feel connected to the main character, Vanessa. In the end this story is really is all about coming to terms with life’s inevitable challenges and detours, and having the courage to embrace new beginnings. Why not burlesque lessons?
Jennifer L. Jennings is the bestselling author of The Sarah Woods Mystery Series on Amazon. She was born in Chicago, Illinois but has spent most of her life living in Maine. She was a massage therapist for fifteen years, and worked as a glass artisan for many years as well. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, playing guitar with her son Blake, reading, writing and doing all things creative.
Her books available here.