Independence is the essence of my happiness. When reviewing years gone by this way of life has rewarded me in many ways. Without complication and influence from others choosing my path is always secure. I could only imagine the questions asked by a partner when I decided to give up the City. “Are you going through a crisis?” or “What about the money?” are two speculations. I’ll leave this thought where it belongs: nowhere. 

How can we speculate about something which could have been? The answer is we cannot. The place we’re in today is of our making. We have to be part of the present situation. My present is my own making, and nothing would change my peace. Where I am today is because of the advantages I enjoyed. And choices made from my thoughts and needs. 

Cleaning my home is a chore enjoyed and necessary. It is not anything more. In the same way, my choice not to talk to the stranger on the underground did not save me from a hidden danger. I choose not to speak to him, nothing more. When the young couple who owned the house next door began to argue day and night; it was inevitable they would separate. Life is this simple; there is cause and effect. A choice is made (the cause) and its effect is a result of the cause. Many will disagree, but before listening to a counter-argument, I would look carefully at their situation. What are their causes and effects? Have their causes resulted in great effects? 

Most people seem to be happy: Looking at the happiness of other lives confirms family and connecting is a preferred way for most people. But because my choice is to be alone, it does not mean there is any regret. Indeed, while writing these words, I search my soul, and there is sublime calm.

Do I think independence and living alone is a learned preference? Or is the hermetical life somehow built into one’s psychological genes? I do not know, I’m no psychologist and have no intention of amateur speculation. The feeling is; somewhere along the way, my laziness within relationships made the difference. Having to attend a party with people not preferred (I dislike no one. Never have done) or travelling to a destination for no specific reason does not appeal. 

I suspect others think similarly and are trapped in their lives. Not many! Just a few: who wish for solitude and the ability to make their own life, in their way. We make our own choices, and thinking draws the plan (cause). Acting out the method produces the results (effect). I saw this in the City; the City shows ways to succeed or fail. There is no planning or long term knowledge — only securities and risk. A share is part of the ownership of a business. The activity and work of the brokers and clients make the system work. Factually no one part of the system is in control. The City teaches one rule there has to be movement and activity for a yield of profit. No broker made a penny for clients listening to speculators or ‘experts’ who are the people who write for newspapers and magazines. The ‘experts’ talk and do not do! Action and testing the ’cause’ is the only way to discover the ‘effect’. 

Even my life has movement and activity. Each morning begins; I commute to work and follow the tasks asked of me. During work time others wish to complain and think they have a better plan. They could be right, the fact is, they’re in no position to make the change, so the opinion is futile. While they gripe and form a tribe of moaning, I follow the easy and more profitable way of agreeing to the contract signed at the beginning of employment. 

Once I read a book, it is well known; the title is of no importance. The author asks the reader to reconsider ideas put forward if they did not agree with them. The phrase used by the writer is: “reconsider the truth of my words”. And millions of people have reconsidered the writer’s words. By following the ‘reconsideration’ they become manipulated into thinking them correct. People read a book and then live by its doctrine: is this a way to independence? My suggestion is to be able to live independently; there is a need for accurate assessment of all which could influence one’s life.

We do not have to believe anything unless it is proven. One man’s speculation may not be correct no matter how plausible the idea seems. People are quickly sucked into a vacuum of hope without seeing the truth of the concept. My actions today do not influence the whole of my life. I remind you, I wake up, commute, earn a living and pay the bills. What is left over is mine to do with as I wish. Without debt, I am free to do as I want to. This is a comfortable and fulfilling life.

You could say it is boring. And make the mistake of many: that of making a comparison. Why do you think my life is boring? Compared to something you know for sure? My life is content and secure, without problems or disorder. Is that boring or an achievement? My home is clean and tidy. My music and books bring pleasure and happiness into my environment. My sleep is a full nine hours every night; there are no issues or worries. Is this boring?

Occasionally, people known from the past come into view. It is great to see their happiness and security. Some have not faired well a few have died. On the whole, most people’s lives seem to become more secure as they age. It seems most have not achieved early goals or aspirations and they are all the better for this change of plan. Again I see lives as evolving from interaction, relationships, work choices and the most successful are connected by love, kindness and generosity. My preference is to enjoy independence. Love is felt from seeing the happiness of other people. One does not have to be involved to feel love, kindness and joy. The emotion is not exclusive to relationships.

Occasionally I am coaxed to attend a family function or find myself with a group of people. None consider me a hermit. Fruitful and frank conversations about our lives make the event. A genuine interest in other people, their work, activities and loves are where long-lasting relationships begin. Peoples happiness is an essential part of my life. Some think being without a family is a lonely existence. There are tens of friends and family on my phone and email lists. To consider me a recluse or hermit is wrong.

I have no time for anyone who follows a life of anger or bitterness. It is saddening to listen to people criticise someone they know. Reflecting on this aspect of the character, my feeling is it is their own lives which need addressing.

Independence can have drawbacks and requires confidence. And there are some minor limitations, for examples: Being alone with an illness can be difficult. One has to employ professionals for the maintenance and repair of the home. Sometimes another’s opinion would be welcome. Although, there are trusted friends who are occasionally asked for an opinion. I’m not viewing life through pink tinted glasses.

Why would this essay be written? Am I attempting to convert people to living alone? No! The article is nothing more than a letter to someone unknown. Someone who is in a place apart and feels lost or without friends. To you my words are these: 

“Too many people have opinions about how you should live. People think their ways are the only way and will tell you to read XYZ’s book saying: “It will change your life”. Others will insist their lives are enriched by a relationship, when in fact they envy the one you live.

If you are alone today take advantage of an advantage. You can do as you choose, look after your life. Never have to prop up someone who is not prepared to work or contribute. 

Are you feeling low? They this: Instead of the week’s supply of wine, buy paint rollers and brushes and make your home your own. Relish the fact you can watch your television program, your choice of music, read your Mills’s and Boone or trash magazine. Enjoy the fact adventures are everywhere for a solo traveller. The list is endless, and opportunity waits for you every day. Above all, you are never alone. You are in the company of your greatest friend.”

Janine Love

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