STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

The Fear of Flying Solo

Joined: 5/13/2015
Posts: 7
liz pearl
Here I am, 52 years young and I find myself in a place that I thought I had long ago left behind‒ never to revisit. I lovingly refer to this as my dyslexic dating stage; as the last time I was single was in 1985 and I was 25.

I am not sure how I ended up in this strange land. I packed my bags, bought a one-way ticket (or so I thought) to paradise, buckled up and took off on a journey only to arrive at an alternate destination due to unavoidable inclement weather.

As the turbulence intensified my breathing became compromised. I knew I had to put on my oxygen mask first as I could not help those I love unless I prepared myself first.

Talk about a crash landing and without any lifejackets!

I found myself on a deserted beach, the rubble from what was my life scattered all around. I realized I was bleeding, but there was no time to tend to my wounds as there were other, more fragile victims laying at my feet. The chair where my co-pilot once sat was now empty. We were not abandoned but as the plane hit the ground he had been catapulted to a secluded island of his own. There was no survival manual in sight to guide either of us. The only certainty was that all of us had to find our way back to a new reality.

After a while, I began to wonder if there was something more I could have possibly done to prevent the plane from going down. More importantly, could I possibly figure out a way to repair the engines that had failed us. Hope emerged from the rubble. Maybe there is a life raft somewhere that can save us?

Days turned into weeks. I found that there were so many survival skills that I lacked, but why? I had lived alone for eight years before I met my husband and managed to take care of all my personal needs and responsibilities with ease. When had I given up my independence? Why had I recklessly abandoned that sense of self and become so dependent on someone else?

Now in a place with no distinct boundaries to define me I was faced with the pivotal question: "Who am I?" I was a mother and wife for so long I could not recognize the woman that now stood alone on that sandy shoreline. I couldn't find that feeling of security as the sand got washed away from under my feet as the tide rolled out. I was starting to get the lay of the land and understand the elements that challenged me, but I couldn’t easily adapt. I need to hone the skills and conquer not only my own feeling of insecurity but my future and all its complications as it approached at the water’s edge.

Our children needed security and hope. They had to feel that no matter what happened, we would both work towards getting them home to a safe place. The landscape will be different from what they remember, but the love we shared will always be there to protect them even though they may doubt it at present. At the same time, it was important to communicate the message that not all relationships necessarily fail. Do not despair.

After being stranded on the island for what seemed like an eternity, the skies calmed and the clouds receded, revealing a way out as the rescue team came into view. As a family, we had survived the storm. There were scars, but they would hopefully fade with time.

There I was. Home at last. Now what?

I learned to take care of my children and run my home without the daily help of a partner. I had become the gardener, painter, mechanic, electrician, plumber and accountant; I was digging myself out from many different piles of life's accumulations, as well as four feet of snow after a storm. I was stronger than I thought possible and proud of where I had landed.

On my own two feet.

But like many others alone without a partner, my feet now felt cold and I realized I was missing the warmth of another person in my life. A partner with whom to hold hands and hopefully walk with through life again someday. I had created a new world for myself that was full and sharing it with the right person would be knowing I was home.

The fear that we will never meet someone again is common amongst many men and women coming out of long-term relationships. Now that my family was settled, I chose to conquer my dilemma of how to start dating again. Opening up to my desire to welcome a new person into my life came slowly but naturally with time.

Fuelled by my passion for networking and being a connector, I decided to re-enter the world as a single woman, embracing every interaction and connection I made on a daily basis. I believe that we never know where we might meet someone, so why not be ready at all times. I put my best food forward every day when I left my house. I was going to live with the positive energy I was feeling. The memory of being on that deserted island still fresh in my mind was a daily reminder to smile and enjoy the moment of now.

To move ahead and eventually become part of a couple again we must face that first date, the first kiss and eventually the first intimate moment when we reveal our authentic self down to our naked core, to someone new.

I discovered I had keen instincts and if I followed them, I always ended up knowing the right path, ending up where and with whom I should be. There have been a few curves in the road, warning signs I chose to ignore. So, like a child I had to learn from my mistakes made by poor judgement. The most important lesson I have discovered is that it is not about finding Mr. Right rather about feeling right about myself when I am with another person.

Years have passed since that initial crash landing and I realize that there is no rushing time. There is a process to life after divorce and we cannot skip any stages. We choose our own pace with emphasis on different elements of our transformation, but there is no doubt that each of us will step forward into a new reality. There will ultimately be a sense of empowerment that can only be gained by facing life's challenges head on. Only then, we can set out on a new flight plan and hopefully this time we will be better equipped to navigate through the various storm systems.

Once we learn to fly solo, co-piloting will be a breeze and we can then take flight into the blue skies with grace and a clear view to our final destination.

My journey of "365 days to find love" is my gift to other people flying solo again who at times may be feeling lost in their new world. I hope sharing my stories and personal insights of this past year will give strength and inspiration to those who need to leave the nest and they will find comfort in knowing that the wind will be beneath their wings when they are ready to soar.

Life is not about your final destination‒rather the journey we take to get there.

Cheryl Besner was born in Montreal and adores the pulse of her city. She is a single woman with three fabulous children, one cat, and one dog. She is an event producer with a background in fashion and business. In recent years, she has produced original concepts for a variety of events, from private parties to charity galas‒always challenging herself to push the boundaries of creativity. For more information please visit

Living Legacies – Volume IV
A Collection of Writing by Contemporary Canadian Jewish Women
PK Press, 2014
Introduction by Liz Pearl
Foreword by Ina Fichman
Prologue by Iris E. Wagner

Rate this:

Parents blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us is a blogging community for parents.  It allows people who are raising a family to share stories about the adventure of parenthood in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories about raising a family, or check out the writing contest for parents, quotes about parenthood, parenting etiquette, funny videos about kids, discounts for families, and other resources for raising a family on  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your family, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources.

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy