Essay Collection

Planning for a Life of Alone

I’m going to be 35 this year. Let me tell you how that freaks me out on so many levels. But the past several months, when that number sunk in, it gave me a sense of clarity. 

A clarity that I didn’t get (knock on wood) diagnosed with some horrible disease and my life ended at 30, which I always had a fear of, and that just like my career, I was going to need to take charge of my personal life, as well my future. 

I also realized I needed to plan on doing it all alone. 

Being alone is something I’m good at, I guess.  Growing up an only child with not many real friends (people who talk behind your back while your at a sleepover or spread your secrets around to the general public, are not true friends) alone is something I’m used to. 

It’s me. It’s just me. If I want to retire, it’s going to have to be my money. If I’m going to travel around the world someday, most travel packages will not apply because double occupancy is usually a requirement. Painting my house, taking the dogs to the vet, road-tripping across the U.S., it’s just me. 

And finances. When a friend complained about money the other day, I almost blurted out, “at least you have two incomes! How do you think I feel?” But, I didn’t. 

My family’s not wealthy by any means. My mom’s care has soaked up much of their money, so there is no one to go to if I want to start a business, run out of money or need some type of major repair done to my house, car or expensive surgery for me, or my dogs.

As a result, I finally went to a financial planner of sorts and am trying to figure some of this stuff out. The good part is he didn’t ask me to list a beneficiary, because that makes me want to throw up. It’s a constant reminder of alone, and feels like a slap in the face everytime it’s asked. It might be worse than when an application asks your marital status.

I know I need to go to a lawyer and create a trust or something so that if something happens to me things are taken care of, but I’m a single 34 year old. I should not be thinking about this stuff! I should be out having the time of my life. I still can’t bring myself to make an appointment, but it is on my list to get done this year. 

Alone also means long weekends, holiday, they mean nothing to me really. It’s just another day. There is no big family and friends gathering, there is no vacations. Maybe if I didn’t have the dogs I would randomly jump in the car and just drive somewhere, but with two dogs that’s a bit more difficult. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it’s a little out of my comfort zone and I don’t think my brain or bank account can wrap it’s head around it at this moment. 

If I want to do something, I can’t wait around to do it with someone else. I’ve realized that I’m going to be 35, and I can’t keep waiting. I don’t want to be 40, and think, “I really wanted to do X, but didn’t do it because I’d have to do it alone.” Later this month I’m going to a concert alone and later this weekend I am going to a nature exhibit alone, because I’ve realized I can’t keep waiting around for someone to do things with me. If I keep waiting, I’m going to miss out on life.  

Preparing for a life of alone is kind of like training for a marathon. You do little things that will help you prepare for the big things. The first few hurt and leave your sore, but the more you do it, the more conditioned you are to move past those problems and be strong enough to accomplish your goal. 


3 thoughts on “Planning for a Life of Alone

  1. Contiki does tours for singles up to age 35. I also just signed up for a cruise with Norwegian next year since they have single person cabins. They tell me that they have “hall” meetings where people meet and sign up activities and dinner together. Should be interesting.

    1. Which also goes to show you: even we with siblings and relatively healthy parents still deal with being alone. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m mostly comfortable with it in my daily life, but traveling/vacations are my sticking point. Holidays to a lesser degree but it would be nice to have the option of going to another family’s home or somewhere else entirely with just a significant other.

    2. I have previously looked at Contiki, but never really liked it for some reason. However, I didn’t know Norwegian did single person cabins. That’s good to know.

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