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At A Crossroads


I feel like I am at a kind of crossroads of my life, and don’t know which path to take.  I am a single, middle-aged woman, no children, and no real ties anywhere, which makes the decision harder.  I have just started a new job, around 1 month ago, but I am on a contract which will end in around May of next year, possibly slightly later.  That seems to me to be a natural point at which to make a decision about my future, make a change: I have decided I want to move house and live in another area, so that is what I am planning on doing, once this contract ends. But I don’t know where to go, and it is really dependent on my getting a job somewhere else….(barring a huge win on the lottery, etc).

I’ve had enough of where I am living: I am renting a flat in the Greater London area,  and my living situation is now getting me down somewhat. The flat is tiny, and feels too cramped, and I get very lonely living by myself.  I wish so much that I was married or had a partner: I hate being on my own, and never planned to be, at the age I am now. It is just that circumstances have forced me into this type of life.  I am losing hope of ever meeting anyone to settle down with now:  it gets harder and harder to find anyone, the older you get, and I am 51 now! Although I feel I still have a lot to offer, there are not many men who are interested in me at my age, it seems.  Most men of my peer group are already married or in relationships, and sad to say, I have discovered that when men do happen to still be single in middle-age, they are not interested in women their own age: they  almost invariably pick younger women, if they can get them! I have been on my own for around 11 years now, and the men who are interested in me, I usually don’t find remotely attractive. Yes, I am ultra-fussy, that is the problem. If I just took what I could get, I would have settled down a long time ago.

So I don’t know what to do now. I wish I was married and living with my husband, but since I am not and it is looking increasingly unlikely that is ever going to happen for me, I need to make other plans. I hate living alone; it gets so lonely. What other options are there? Share a rented place again with others? I don’t really want to do that either. I would move in with family or friends if I knew anyone who had room for me, and would have me.  It’s a tricky one. Living alone is very lonely, but living with others is frequently fraught with problems too, i.e.  sharing your space, domestic arguments etc. I am too old for that now, just to be sharing with other co-tenants; it would work better if it was people who I already knew, and who are likely to be congenial to me (i.e. the aforementioned family and friends).

I just don’t know where to go or what to do. I am hoping inspiration will strike, i.e that something will be offered me, some job or opportunity in another area, which would make the decision for me. I don’t know where I want to live really, just that I know I don’t want to carry on living here in the London area; so overcrowded, expensive, polluted and stressy. I want to be quite a lot further out, maybe in the countryside, or at least somewhere semi-rural.  Somewhere with more green spaces (in fact, more space generally), where people have more time for you, and where there is better quality of life generally.

I have to say, the thought of the future worries me greatly. Or maybe, not so much worries as depresses me; the thought of going into old age alone, with no partner, no family of my own, nothing. I never planned it like this: what I wished for my life was the complete opposite, but things have turned out radically differently from what I wanted and planned.  I guess life often does that to people, and we all just have to go with it, adapt and make the best of things.  I try not to think of the future too much, just live for the present, but sometimes I can’t help that, as I do need to make certain plans after all.

What should I do? I often meditate and do creative visualisations, which are frequently helpful, inasmuch as they give me more clarity of thoughts, and I get ideas and insights from that. I have got into the mindfulness thing over the last few years, a very beneficial practice: paying attention to the present moment, and the present day, not “time-travelling” in your mind all the time, i.e. not focussing too much on either the past or the future.  I really hope I get some guidance soon, something that will tell me where to go next in my life, what to do, what my path is.


What do you think?

13 points


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  1. I find your circumstance interesting. There are so many choices for you and I am certain that with courage and listening with the heart you will find a place where you belong. Many of my choices have not been my own, and that has been a blessing.

    I moved a stranger into our home for a year because she had never experienced the four seasons. I lived through an abusive relationship to learn what love and commitment really means.

    So how I feel like you will find your way just fine. You seem strong.

  2. Thank you for those inspiring words Norman Darlington. I certainly don’t think everything is behind me! Otherwise I wouldn’t be considering moving away from here and starting afresh somewhere else. I hope the best years of my life are still to come, as frankly, my life has been a troubled and unhappy one. So I hope things will change for me in middle age!

  3. I wish I could offer you more, but here is something: My mother was widowed at 51. Until that point she had been a housewife for some 25 years. After faffing around for a few years in Dublin, where she had always lived, she decided enough was enough, sold her house, and emigrated to somewhere nice and warm. There she met a widower at a fancy dress party and lived out most of her remaining years having the time of her life, travelling the world and doing things she could hardly have dreamt of during her former life. My point is that not everything is behind you. Only you are ultimately in control of your own destiny. Nothing is going to ‘make up its mind for you’. Be positive and be outgoing and receptive to other people and to life, and you never know what will come your way 🙂

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