Elizabeth Davies says her life has changed - and it's scary

Elizabeth Davies says her life has changed - and it's scary

By Elizabeth Davies

In exactly two weeks I'll turn 25 years old. When I do, I'll be sleeping on a single mattress on my Dad's floor, no job, nowhere to live and single for the first time in nearly five years.

In the last couple of weeks my entire life has changed and I'll be the first to admit it's scary.

I've always been a relationship person, and to a certain extent my partners have always helped look after me. I don't mean that they have financially supported me but rather helped me with things that I'm unsure about and given me confidence to do things I would be too anxious about doing alone.

This week I took my car to get a warrant by myself for the first time. As the mechanic told me the multitude of things that would need to be fixed or replaced he was met with a blank stare.

This wasn't my territory, I was out of my comfort zone, and I only had my basic faith in humanity to suggest he didn't rip me off. I would truthfully have no idea.

The next day I took myself on a solo date.

It was a challenge to myself to try and enjoy a social outing without relying on someone else for company. There's nothing harder than learning to enjoy being alone, but on the plus side the bill at the end of the night is smaller.

Every day seems to bring a new little challenge and often has me calling my ex for advice - from which laptop to buy, to how he manages to poach his eggs perfectly, and why do mine always end up looking like stringy, deformed organs.

Extricating yourself from a long term relationship is incredibly hard.

The root system goes very deep and reaches into every aspect of your life.

In order to move on you have to physically pull up every one of those roots and it's the most painful process you will ever endure.

It's like losing a limb, you always go to use it and then at the last minute realise it's not there.

Suddenly everything that was 'ours' is 'mine' or 'yours'.

My relationship was serious enough that now we are dividing our possessions, and discussing shared custody of our dog – I can only imagine how much harder this would be if we had children. I already feel like I'm leaving my child but at least he can't open his mouth and ask why I don't love him anymore.

Not only is it a heartbreaking, stressful process but break ups are an expensive, logistical nightmare.

He's left covering rent and I'm left having to buy new laptops, beds and everything in between. I'm incredibly lucky that I have a roof over my head and a rent-free environment while I attempt to find a job and put a little cash aside in order to find my own place.

A lot of people turn to retail therapy, or drowning their sorrows in alcohol and dinners out when they are attempting to mend a broken heart. Fortunately I can't afford to do either.

Making big financial decisions right now would be a rookie mistake. It will never make you feel better and will almost always lead to regret.

I'm attempting to stay positive and remind myself that 25 is still young.

At my quarter life I'm starting fresh with a clean slate, albeit I feel a little raw, exposed, and worse for wear.

But I'm confident I'll soon be standing on my own two feet - ready to start the next stumbling adventure.

--------------------------------------------

Elizabeth Davies is a graduate of the Auckland University of Technology post graduate journalism course. She writes a weekly article for interest.co.nz on money matters and financial struggles from a young person's perspective.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

11 Comments

Comment Filter

Highlight new comments in the last hr(s).

You are wealthy - you have youth, freedom, health and family support.
 
For example, you may decide that you want to see more of the world. Without the ties of someone else, a dog and a house, you have the freedom to pursue this. If this time away clarifies your thoughts then it is an investment well made. It doesn't have to be travel - any time outside of your normal routine where you can push your boundaries will do.

I agree,she is now free.
My 2 eldest sons were both in relationships in their early 20s however both ended after 3 to 4 years as i had predicted to their mum .Now both got married in their early 30s to women completly opposite to whom they had relationships with and both seem to be in a good space.Doen't always happen but you have the rest of your life to enjoy and i hope you do..
GOOD LUCK

It was waking on the ferry between Bari and Patras in 1988 that I had my realization of self reliance. That I was as physically far removed from my family support network as I could be, that it was entirely as a result of my own planning and effort and the future held only what I would make of it was made plain. All those connections which would have served as a crutch and allowed me to abdicate responsibility for the most minor of things had been stripped away and all that I was was the sum of my own resources. Many things you will learn of yourself in times to come.

You can join Tinder!

Elizabeth, the comments above are not entirely helpful, although generally positive. Try this, time is a great healer and what ever you go through, you will end up wiser and more robust. You will have a greater understanding about yourself and the world around you. It is important that you keep faith and confidence in yourself and your ability to get through this and move on to better and brighter things. The world is full of great people, don't rush, be fussy and look after yourself first.  

There are always tough things about such a change Elizabeth.  But you now know a lot of things you did not know as a teenager.  You are now in the best position and age to do new and great things and build a great life.   It will be wonderful for you I am sure. 

Make the most of being free while you can!  It won't last forever.

Yes it's a scary step, crossing over from a lifestyle in which your identity was so wrapped up with that of another.  In the beginning the world appears cold and harsh without the intimate safety blanket of your other half.  I've been where you are now - looking back I am so proud of the blossoming, independent girl who put herself out there to experience things on her own.  I too was the handy-woman at home, the person who negotiated with auto garages, dealt with removal companies, joined adventure tour groups paying the single supplement and selfishly relished the 'me' time.  You can now further develop relationships with the other people in your life and also to make new ones.  That time taught me to never dread living the single life because it forced me to be stronger, built up my confidence and made me open to new life experiences.  Life moves on and you think you'll never meet anyone else, but you do eventually, I guarantee it.

 

Based on the article teaser title I thought this was going to be about bank break fees...
Good luck Elizabeth. 25 is the new 15 so plenty of time for you yet.

From one Elizabeth to another..... 
I know it hurts right now... but i promise you... it is momments like this that make us stretch and grow.   In time you will not wish this experience away.  
(until then put together an emergency fund before getting involved with anyone else.... it will make leaving relationships alot less stressful!)

Haha, I don't think Elizabeth needs financial advice :)
Everyone has had a breakup or two. The reasons can vary.
It is important to not become bitter and twisted. Please do not sit around with grilfriends and....You know what I mean.
Much better to look forward positively.
eg Polytechs used to have basic car maintenance courses. Or Daddy might be able to help with that one....