Twenty years ago when I left home I went on a one-day personal development workshop where we were asked to make a collage out of pictures from magazines. I can't remember many of the pictures I chose apart from a fireplace and some vegetables. At the end of the process we were asked to be still and let a sentence float to the surface of our mind and write it down. I wrote "I must first go to the centre and then I will find happiness in eating, washing and daily life." From memory, I think I had a kind of "whatever!" response to my own wisdom, but looking back from twenty years on that was a turning point, where I said "yes" to a particular kind of spiritual journey. Somehow I seemed to know that this journey required my undivided attention so I chose not to partner up and marry after university as many of my friends did.
There were plenty of interested suitors post University, but I became deeply interested in The Rule of St Benedict and began exploring community life. For many years I thought I would become a nun but that never quite worked out. At one point in my 20's I turned up at a convent, suitcase in hand, and said "I'd like to become a Catholic nun please." The Sister stared at me in disbelief and said "who exactly are you?" Who exactly I was, was a work in progress. I still wasn't sure but I knew I wanted a full and rich life. I didn't stay in the community at that point, but did live with a community of sisters a few years later, became a Catholic, and got a whole lot closer to ‘the centre' than I ever thought possible. While friends were working in banks and law firms overseas and travelling the world, my ‘travel' was of a different nature, an inner journey that eventually brings riches that last a lifetime.
One of my colleagues said to me one day, "you're so sensible and intelligent, what on earth possessed you to become a Catholic?" My reply was, "because I found the greatest love imaginable, more than I could ever get from another human being."
If you feel called to single life, surround yourself with people who will support you. Stay open to a call in another direction, but also learn to know the difference between a call from God and social pressure to be partnered. The pressure seems to increase with age, so hold on to the reasons you made your decision in the first place. It doesn't need to be set in stone, so the main thing is to always stay true to yourself!