Unrequited Love


The only unfulfilled love I’m willing to talk about openly is writing. And the realization that the love affair will never be reciprocated hurts just as much as that first time someone came out and said, “I like you. I just don’t like-like you.”

Writing will never like-like me. I’m too old, and it’s not that I’m too old as much as born at the wrong time – the non-generation. I’m not a baby boomer. I’m not a Me. I’m too old to be a Gen-Xer. Or Y and Z for that matter. I missed the computer age – I didn’t even have a computer until I got married and I was forty-one before I actually owned my own – a laptop, which took me a year to finally use with any kind of regularity. My kids know the VCR as the machine next to the TV that has never worked.

I read Julie Andrews autobiography recently. She grew up in the fifties, and I was sad to discover that her voice is my voice. That’s how I write. Very formally, describing how the leaves rest on the rooftop, narrative on top of narrative with very little emotion unless it’s purple prose. I write like someone who grew up in the fifties, only I have no story to tell. My parents weren’t alcoholics, I did not overcome drug abuse, I wasn’t abused or molested. My parents sent me to college. I lived at home until I got married.

This non-generation of girls was expected to grow up, be prim and proper, but still know everything, go to school, college and be anything you wanted, anything boys could be even President of the United States. At least until you got married and had kids and in that order. And when the kids were in high school you could go back to work because women were independent now.

You can’t be a writer. A writer is impractical. And they drink. They don’t have two nickels to rub together either.

Get a degree and then you can write.

Get married. You can write later.

You’re still young. You can’t wait to have kids. Writing will always be there.

Well, guess what?

Writing didn’t wait for me. Writing found someone else. Writing computerized. Modernized. Writing grew up, and changed with the times where it needed to. More do it yourself. More travel. More health care and fitness. New writers came along. Younger and prettier and having seen people like me get left behind knew just what to do to keep up.

Writing won’t ever come back for me, and I just can’t catch up. My writing is tired and old; timid. Like me.

My best friend, like any good friend, pushes me towards the love that got away, prods, challenges, shames, but he can only push so far. I keep my hand on the ledge. I don’t know what’s down there. I lean over, but I can’t see very far, and what I can see is dizzying.

What if I fall?

What if I catch up to writing and I’m just not good enough? Staying back and wondering is better than being rejected again, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

267 thoughts on “Unrequited Love

  1. NO. It isn’t. Whatever your age, your voice is beautiful. Dare to take a risk and write. Be YOURSELF and share that with the world. Yes, you feel like you’ve had a seemingly simple, uninteresting life. But you know what? In that life, you have many stories. Many, many stories to share. Dare to share those- discover the life you’ve been handed, and give it back so that others get to glory in it as well.

    Best wishes to you.

  2. I think anyone who can elicit an emotional response from someone is a good writer… I’m 26 and i LOVE to hear voices like yours. They are the voices of the wise. Clearly, your writing style can appeal to multiple generations. You should congratulate yourself on not having to be a “tortured artist.” Who would want an existence so horrible that it was worthy of writing about? No me. I’m proud of my very normal, if not short, life. You should just write an antonym memoir… a memoir about the version of your life you didn’t live. For every good choice you made, write about what would have happened if you had made the wrong choice instead. 😛 Fantastic post looking forward to more.

  3. delilahdoolittle

    I was always nervous to let anyone read my work, but isn’t it so much better to put yourself out there. We never know unless we try and if no one likes it who bloody cares, at least you doing what you love.

  4. James R. Clawson

    Growing up I had the unrequited love that many long for. Parents who were happily married for over 65 years. Watched shows on TV like “My Three Sons” “Bonanza” ” Lawewrence Welk” Shows that kept family ties strong and what today seems like are hanging by a thread. Thankful that I was able to grow up in that era!

  5. It’s never too late to write. It’s obvious from what you’ve written here that the love is not as unrequited as you think. Congratulations on Freshly Pressed…it’s well-deserved.

  6. Writing gives all of us the anonymity we need so that our age, appearance, gender, etc., do not get in the way of what we have to articulate. And, you do it beautifully!

  7. *Staying back and wondering is better than being rejected again, isn’t it?*
    Not at all in my eyes. Staying back and wondering – leaves one with immense discontent through out one’s life. Trying our best and being rejected – leaves one with pain, but could be over comed, gives one the idea of our own skills and limitations, still gives one an opportunity to improve on and try again.

    I think you have an interesting style of expression. Keep hunting your dream.

  8. Words are like magic, they help to connect us together so dont give up. Don’t let go. We can’t change what we are but we can change who we think we are. Enjoy, have some fun, let your inner voice be heard. What have you got to lose? Congrats by the way for getting fressly pressed. This is a big achievement in itself and many dont make it that far what ever their age and circumstance happen to be.

  9. You remind me a lot of my mother whose lived the prim and proper life that you mention. I think the best thing for her and you is to have the courage to do whatever you want to do. I understand when you get to a certain age dreams seem like they’re so far and your skills look like they’re not what they use to be but you’ve posted about a point that’s different, and you engaged so many people. Speaks for itself.

  10. Thank you soooo much for posting this. You are right where you need to be. You gave me a different perspective on writing! I pray that you keep at it! Your friend is right by encouraging you. That’s love:) Happy writing/blogging!

  11. I think you have to ask yourself who you’re writing for. If you enjoy writing and only ever write for yourself because it’s fun and fulfilling to you personally, who cares how others receive it? And if you’re afraid of rejection in general–join the club! There are plenty of writers out there–the good, the bad, and the ugly–who haven’t “made it” and maybe never will, at least in the sense of being a best-seller. But why should they have to? If they enjoy what they’re doing, and maybe self-publish and only a handful of family and friends ever reads their work, can’t that be considered successful?

    Ask yourself why you’re writing–to be successful, or because you enjoy it? Ideally, the second will develop into the first, but it doesn’t have to.

    I recently read this blog by Holly Lisle, http://hollylisle.com/could-vs-should-and-the-price-of-your-dreams/ It talks about pursuing something because you enjoy it, not just because you’re good at it. Take a read, it spoke to me!

  12. RallisThompson

    You are a great writer, and I respect you as a new writer. I have much to learn, my writing is unorganized and too straight forward. Your’s, however, is deep and satisfying to the reader. I don’t believe anyone can be too old to write, for it is a hobby and hobbies you can pursue throughout your life. Thank you for writing because so many give up after they reach an age when they believe their mind is to old fashioned and their audience has gone. This thinking is not true, the audience is still there and the need for stories is strong. Thank you so much for writing, we need more.
    ~Joules (author of Rallis)

  13. God, what you wrote here is so moving and honest (those two usually go together in my book). That’s also what makes a good writer too. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have read this now because I’m 27 and two years ago I decided to follow my passions and do what I like and just ignore what others told me I’m expected to do be doing instead.
    I am so glad I’m painting now because I know I couldn’t live with myself if I ignored my insticts and didn’t persue this dream. Thank you so much for writing this,and inspiring me. And that’s what best writers do, no matter what their age is.


  14. storiesbyfrances

    Well, if it helps: I loved reading this post. You have a unique voice. Just don´t compare your writing or what you have to say to what other writers talk about. You are unique in so many ways, you don´t need comparison.
    I grew up with technology everywhere, so it is hard for me to relate to the modernization of writing you describe, but still, your post had me hooked and I read it twice. Doesn´t that count for anything?

  15. That is the beauty of these blogging websites and social websites it gives you expression to write, write your feelings, experiences, life story etc where everyone can see, anyone can write and these websites give u the opportunity to, so get back into your passion of writing and express yourself, its never to late to re inhabit old hobbies 🙂

  16. Well that piece of writing was totally absorbing! As for your argument about not doing it because you might not be good enogh, well, Kurt Vonnegut Says:

    “If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

  17. Beautiful post. You have such an incredible voice in your writing that many younger writers nowadays do not have. Age matters very little, in my opinion, especially when it comes to a career or even the hobby of writing. Pursue your dream to write because you never know where it may take you.

  18. Of course not! Rejection, re-schmection! If you enjoy it, do it! Who cares about your age? We don’t! You managed to be featured on Freshly Pressed and elicit a bunch of comments- far from rejection (:)) Congratulations! I’m going to follow you and hope you post again soon, because I enjoyed your writing.

  19. you better write! you better! that’s not a request or a suggestion, it’s a demand! grab a pad and a pen or pencil, and write until you form an indentation in the index finger of your writing hand and get a callous on the finger you rest the pen on while writing. mine is on my middle finger of my left hand! get it! then when it has formed, rub that callous thoughtfully with your thumb and take a rest, and then write some more. what kind of nonsense is this? “too old, left behind, can’t catch up,” blah blah blah! do you have any idea how good your post read? obviously, YOU CAN WRITE! don’t give us this pessimistic, whoa is me, i can’t i can’t i can’t nonsense. YOU CAN AND THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT! (sorry if my comment is somewhat abrasive but i felt like you needed a swift kick in the ass after reading your post. now cut it out and get to work. write!!!)

  20. I am beginning to believe that us writers are the most insecure people on this planet! You know it doesn’t matter if everyone likes our writing as long as we like it… writing is subjective and everyone is not going to like everything we write or anything we write but we still relentlessly go on and write regardless. We can’t lose spirit. I am so guilty of this love-hate relationship that we have with writing…. Keep writing. I like liked your blog! 😉

  21. cateye91

    You won’t know if you don’t try… Like mums old fridge magnet says, better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. Fight for your writing, don’t give up because the second you do is when it will truely beat you.

    • cateye91

      …who said you had to write for anyone else? Maybe the best thing you can do is write for yourself, and if someone else likes it, or even reads it, bonus.

  22. I’m 57 and you sound so much like me. I was writing when I was a young girl and that’s what I wanted to do for life. But as our dreams sometimes do they are put away, a keepsake from childhood,a guilty pleasure. I’ve finally have come to a decision to write and not feel like it’s something no one else would read or buy, I’m doing it for me ,but I hope they do read, and buy. I have more to say now and in a more mature manner. I’ve been up for two days working on a screenplay, and I will finish it..I have too. And my plan is to write now because I have a lot to say whether any one wants to read it or not…I’m putting it out there. I hope you consider it too. Just because we can.

    • Good luck with your writing and thank you. I do always write, but I want more, and there is so much love and encouragement, if I can change the things holding me back, I can really step into it fully.
      Thanks again.

  23. What a great read! You wrote about something you knew. You were engaging. You kept me reading. I like your writing style. I say, keep writing. Just be the good writer that you are. You’re doing it! I’m an artist, not a writer, so I understand your need to do excellent work and be appreciated for it. I’m still doing my thing, hoping one day it will pay off. I love what I’m doing, applause or not. Hang in there. Wishing you the best!

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