Deb and Barb Have A Three-Way With Hollye
Deb and Barbara met Hollye when she arrived on the scene here with her beautiful, heartfelt comments. Then we discovered her wonderful blog, Truth and Consequences, a touching, articulate examination of how we react to events around us, whether they are world issues, community politics, or personal upheavals. Hollye is also a gorgeous singer, which you can discover for yourself if you follow the links on her site.
|Hollye as Bunny|
Hollye: If you had asked me ten years ago what I’d be doing in my late forties, I’d have said that my two children would be grown and out of the house, I’d be in college finishing that elusive degree, travelling all the places I used to dream about, and finally writing that book I’d always had in my head. I expected to be sipping espresso in a café in Paris, lost in deep contemplation, engulfed in the reinvention of myself at mid-life. But here I am in this bunny suit.
Not exactly what I had in mind, and yet, I couldn’t be more grateful. My life is a clear illustration of that saying Man plans, God laughs.
Here’s where my plans went awry. I had a surprise pregnancy at forty-one (and OH what a surprise). Then at forty-six my college-attending son broke the news of his girlfriend’s unexpected pregnancy. She was also a Japanese exchange student, losing her housing, and they’d need a place to live.
Today we have six people living under our roof. I spend my days chaperoning field trips, changing diapers, rocking the baby, kissing scraped knees and volunteering as the Easter Bunny….
The reality of who I am now is so far from the expectation. Life is funny that way. You ask the universe for apples and you get oranges, but hey, I’m not complaining. Every shock became a great blessing. So on the days that Taylor’s band is rehearsing downstairs at deafening levels while the cat is puking, the dogs are chasing each other through the house, the baby is teething and my five-year-old is hanging from the chandeliers, I take a deep breath and remind myself how quickly these years will pass, and how I’ll yearn for them when they’re gone.
So I guess its no café in Paris for me, at least not right now. But hey––I still wrote that book! I strive to be a writer in the midst of constant interruptions and pre-menopausal memory failures. Yes, it’s hectic, but as a person who loves story, I watch the daily goings on and say to myself I couldn’t write this any better.
Barbara: Hollye, this idea of how we thought we would be versus how things turned out is such a fraught subject, I’m THRILLED you brought it up. My friend Charlotte often quotes me as having said many years ago, “I want an extraordinary life, not an ordinary one.” The good thing about that mantra is that is encourages you to keep going despite any setback, it convinces you that anything is possible, and it inspires you to always shift the lens to change the view when the image isn’t quite what you had hoped. BUT it can also make you overlook the beauty of your ordinary life in all its extraordinariness.
I remember distinctly the idea I had in my head of myself as an adult when I was 10 or 12: a coiffed brunette wearing a spaghetti-strapped white clingy dress holding a mic and singing my heart out on stage in front of thousands. I was SURE that’s who I was going to be one day. It didn’t matter that I was a skinny blonde with absolutely no singing talent whatsoever. What I did do was write, write, write.
|Barbara at 10 doing what she loves best|
BUT because of that setback, I found my way back to writing. And here I sit, laptop on hand, chatting with you guys, something I COULD never have dreamed, and diving into all that is extraordinary within my “ordinary” life. Like you, Hollye, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Deb: Hollye, I always think we go through our lives hoping to do what we want to do, and in the end we find that we ended up doing what we were called to do. Certainly that doesn’t mean you still can’t travel the world and follow your dreams but clearly there are other pressing things to take care of first.
We figured when the boy left (almost three years ago now) that we might sell the house and buy an apartment in NYC or travel to our passion places. But my Mom and Dad, as it turned out, need us at this time of life and we just can’t go. I had no idea what a gift it would turn out to be. Giving back to them has not even scratched the surface of what they have given to me in my life. I am on an adventure, just not the one I planned.
And for the record, the most beautiful picture of you sipping wine on a balcony in Paris would never compare to the shot of the Hollye Bunny! Makes me smile every time I look at it. But keep dreaming that dream, girl! It will become reality ... one day.
Hollye Dexter is freelance writer, blogger, and author of the memoir Only Good Things. She is also a singer/songwriter with four albums out. She founded two nonprofit organizations, running intergenerational arts programs for senior citizens and teenagers in the Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems. In 2007 she received the Agape Spirit award from Dr. Michael Beckwith (from The Secret) for her work with at-risk youth. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.