Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Dream a Little Dream

on June 6, 2014

[Since I’m on vacation this week, I thought I’d share an excerpt from my soon-to-be-released book Spinstered: Surviving Singleness After 40.]

I grew up in Iowa, the second of five children. It was a good country life with two loving, godly parents. They raised us to know God and the Bible and to be a regular part of our local congregation. It’s possible we were at our small-town community church more than the pastor’s kids. Dad served as a deacon for as long as I can remember while Mom was involved in everything from leading the youth group choir to sign language interpreting for the deaf members.

We were also a creative family and I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I wrote my first poem at the age of five. I also knew I wanted to fall in love. It sounded so wonderful, I couldn’t wait for it to happen. So, I started making up stories about true love and heroic men and perfect moments. I’ve been writing about romance ever since. And, seeing as I’ve never actually experienced it, I spend a lot of time praying my imagination won’t fail me.

It’s a strange turn of events, if you ask me. I don’t understand why God gave me this longing, but not a single opportunity to live it for myself. I’ve had hints, moments when it seemed so close. Like in the movie Ladyhawke, where the beautiful Isabeau was cursed to be a hawk during the day, while her love, Navarre, turned into a wolf at night. And so they lived “always together, but eternally apart.” Twice a day — at sunrise and sunset — they could almost touch. For that split second, they reached out for each other, yet couldn’t quite make it. I feel I have had moments like that, where I can almost touch something wonderful about to happen . . . but it’s just out of my grasp.


Image courtesy of Kenneth Cratty/

My dreams don’t help. Sometimes they’re so real I wake up absolutely certain “he” is close and that, when I see him, I will recognize him. He seems to wear a lot of flannel and smells like leather and soap. We’ll meet and, in that magical, true love way, just know it’s meant to be. I supposed that’s the sad, romantic girl in me clinging to a dream she still believes can come true.

She’s a lot quieter than she used to be. I think she’s scared. Scared it will never happen. Scared of more pain ahead. Scared of the face in the mirror that isn’t as young or as hopeful as it used to be. I try to tell her to think about other things and that even if it never happens, life will be good. It’s what she — okay, I — need to hear. I need to have the hope that even if I never know romantic love, God has an amazing plan for my life and I can find my peace and happiness in Him.

If I say it to myself enough, maybe someday I’ll actually believe it’s true.


6 responses to “Dream a Little Dream

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for being open and transparent and saying what so many of us can’t get into words!

  2. Sharyn – I love the tension that this piece holds, the hope of love, the satisfaction of life without it. The disappointment of continued singleness, but the unstated disappointment that will no doubt follow if you do get married – 40-some years of dreams are an impossible standard for a man, I have found. Excited about this book and the creative life you are living.

  3. Carole Brown says:

    Sharyn, what you tell yourself is true, no matter what, but it’s also human and normal to hold on to your hopes and dreams. Only God knows what is best for each of us. Bless you. This post tugged at my heart, and I certainly understand, although I can’t empathize. I think every woman-whether young or old, has that fear that they are not loved, or will not be, romantically. Bless you! Good post.

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