Being single is expensive. When there’s no guy to go out to dinner with or have over on a Friday night after work, keeping free time interesting has to be big-scale awesome. Otherwise, your brain will encourage you to do bad things. Like, reaching for the nearest bottle of Merlot, putting on an old-school Mariah Carey CD and drowning your sorrows in numerous glasses of red whilst howling like a banshee to “Without You.” Try keeping that embarrassment from the neighbours. Trust me, no matter how much you innocently smile at them the next day, hoping they hadn’t heard you, they did, their pitiful expressions will show that and underneath that pity, they also think you’re a bit of a twat. To avoid an ego-denting atrocity such as this, you must be prepared to make a sacrifice – to separate yourself from your bank balance. Sounds weird, but one thing I’ve learned about money is that there’s little point in having any if all you’re going to do is store it in a savings account forever, rubbernecking the number go up by £30 a year because your interest rate is the best around. What a waste of time! Anyway, after whittling many thousands of my own precious pounds on cars and crazy skincare regimes, I soon realised that superficial efforts are fruitless at filling the void. Which is why I’m here – to share with you a secret. And whilst some of what I’m about to tell you is still paired with off-key-ballad-bawling, the majority will be far more pleasing to the ear.
Prepare yourselves, ladies and gents – this is not an instantly gratifying revelation. Pretty dresses and nice-smelling aftershave may make you feel awesome for all of 5 seconds, but I’m in it for the long haul (no pun intended) So I apologise in advance for the fact that not only will you have to sit here and take time out to read this secret in full, but that once you know the answer, you’ll also have to put it into practice. And that, my dear single friends, will also take a while. But hey, time is all we have, and God only knows how long we’ll be left on the shelf for, so we may as well make it an interesting sit-down. Not that there’ll be much sitting down, mind you. The majority of time spent on this shelf, whilst gathering dust and getting increasingly more saggy and wrinkled, will be used wisely creating itineraries for adventures around the globe. As you may now realise, this is why the price tag of singledom in my world is pretty large. Fear not, though! Soon you’ll see that this is a way better alternative to wondering why your significant other has amnesia whenever it comes to putting the toilet seat down. Allow me to explain.
When I first lost my relationship status 3 years ago, I started my recovery with small things. I knew I’d have to tweak my daily life in order to get out of the rut I’d got stuck into. So, I racked my little brain on an hourly basis with novel ideas on how to achieve this. However, despite successfully investing in new music and rediscovering my love of horror films, I soon realised that there was math behind my efforts: You get out what you put in. Thus, if I only appeased myself with small pleasures, then no doubt they would only be short-lived. Another thing that’s interesting about this is that, whilst they’re short-lived, they also present little memory, too. Most of the time we’ll forget about that awesome mascara we “needed”, or the amazing pair of sparkly shoes we just “had to have”. But seldom can we forget what the cool air brushing our skin felt like whilst skiing down the Alps, or what went through our minds when we admired the night view of New York’s city skyline. Memories like that carry longevity, heart and soul, and they will irrevocably change your life.
Ironically, it is through most of my aimless wandering that I actually found myself (see ‘Travel Saved My Life” for more) Many years prior to all my heartbreak, I only associated holidays with travel sickness, jetlag and disappointment. Plus, they were usually dominated by other people and I was simply expected to follow suit (being a sheep was not my thing) and eventually – after developing an aversion to these lacklustre trips and a ballsed-up circadian rhythm – I decided life was better on the ground. Crazy, right? To think back to a time when I thought going abroad was a waste of money sounds baffling! You’d never hear me say that now. Instead, you’d see me deliver a questionable glare to anyone who spoke such words. Funny how experiences can change a person. In a way, I suppose I should be grateful for my run of bad luck because otherwise, I’d have never discovered myself. Who else can hand such a statement to romance? In my eyes, love with another can only be found after you’ve found yourself, not before. Hence why my ode to exploring the world is entitled to such a hefty price-tag.
People who stay single for all of 5 minutes always worry me because I believe they’ve not gone on this vital journey. To become a better person, we must appreciate the world around us; the variety of cultures and customs. We must go through the pain in order to know we can survive it and how well we do that. We must surprise ourselves at what we’re capable of and become more secure in our skin. And most importantly, this journey must be ours and ours alone. Travelling may not be what tickles your fancy, but I can’t find anything else in my life of such magnitude that compares. So, before you decide to spend your pennies on a session of retail therapy, hoping it’ll put a smile back on that lowly mush of yours, know that it will, but not for long. My suggestion instead? Close your eyes, spin the globe and let your finger land on your next destination.