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Come What May

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To write down your intentions is one thing. To begin to live with intent is quite another.

Starting The Mighty Peach List pushed me to attend Camp Mighty. It was there that I met the most incredible people and told the world my dreams. Suddenly, the dreams-turned-words-on-paper became tangible actions and realities. I had professional portraits taken, traveled to Portland, tasted foie gras for the first time, saw the Christmas tree at Rock Center and had a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. I ran a 5K, 10K and a half marathon. I’ve planned to visit London and to hug a gigantic Redwood at Yosemite. I declared my desire to buy a house and start my book.

All this has been heady and empowering. But these are things. Stuff.

The real work appears when you realize that you’ve been living your life and dreams at the will of others, or at least in consideration of their judgment. The real work comes when you finally choose to stop letting THEM decide YOU.

At first, the change happens in small ways. Someone makes an assumption about your feelings, casually dismissing a hurtful remark. Calmly and honestly, you correct them and state your hurt aloud.  And the moment you receive acknowledgement – the moment you’ve shown up to be seen and heard – the moment you get a heartfelt apology and an admission of wrongdoing? That’s when you promptly crumple into an ugly-crying mess.

Because WOW you just put yourself out there, utterly naked emotionally, fully expecting to get your heart stomped on. And instead you were given validation.

The actions snowball. Other difficulties are confronted. Each instance is more awkward and difficult and scary, but you’ve grown to understand that you matter enough to be heard and seen. No more will you sit quietly and let assumptions be made about your heart or your life. Careless people that once would have been silently resented for their thoughtless actions are now admonished aloud for their behavior. Relationships are ended because you realize that if someone cannot make room for you in their lives, then they are not worthy of having your heart.

You learn to stand alone in your skin. To take pride in the person you’ve become and the person you’re still growing to be. You’re able to reflect on the thorny path you took to get here and you’re grateful for each tumble over twisted roots. You start to live with your whole being. You’re able to use this new-found strength to reach out to the one person who never left your heart.

And blessedly, luckily, find love in return.

The possibilities are staggering.

Because in the end, stuff is just stuff. Go seek out the scariest work. Face your biggest fears and don’t be afraid to eat some concrete. Once you set your intention to live for your own happiness and no one else’s, the rewards are significantly greater.  Do the work and be ready for what comes your way. You’ll be amazed.


This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. Git you some.

41 responses »

  1. You are my touchstone today. I believe every word you wrote. Seeking out the scariest work– it’s actually stuff I can’t say out loud yet and I have been blessed with teachers and people who are bringing me oodles of opportunity and pain to work that deep scary stuff. I am grateful and it’s gut wrenching. I love how you speak to this part of who and what I am.

  2. Love this, I just drafted a post on what really is happiness and it isn’t stuff… it is the moments in life. You said it so much better… and still waiting on the rest of the story…..

  3. nataliedeyoung

    “The real work appears when you realize that you’ve been living your life and dreams at the will of others, or at least in consideration of their judgment”; YES. I am working on this stuff daily, it feels like. I also love the phrase, “swallow some concrete.” Sometimes it feels like that. Brown’s book is on my to-read list, and reading this just bumped it up on the queue. Being vulnerable is tough as hell.

    • Vulnerable is HARD. but it’s worth it. The book is wonderful, all of hers are. Also, if you have the OWN network on your cable, she did a Super Soul Sunday with Oprah last week and part 2 is this weekend! Also check that site for streaming or highlights. So good.

  4. You’ve touched and inspired me, Peach. I will hold onto your beautiful words all day today and will speak up and share my truth. Thank you. Simply perfect.

  5. Congratulations Peach! I loved reading this, it makes me smile.

  6. I like some of the “stuff” on your list! Going to London, hugging a redwood, starting your book–yes, yes, and yes! This made me want to get out and DO something. Instead, I’m making frozen banana milkshakes.

  7. Yes to all of this. Especially the part about stuff is just stuff and facing your fears. I’m always letting weirdly irrational considerations hold me back from life

  8. Like Natalie, this line really resonates with me: “The real work appears when you realize that you’ve been living your life and dreams at the will of others, or at least in consideration of their judgment.” I’ve been doing that for way too long and am finally learning to live for myself.

  9. Amen, sister! I agree 100%. The “stuff” is relatively easy and safe. The naked vulnerability is hard. But brave. And so worth it. I really needed to read this today.

  10. This is inspiring and so very true. The times where I’ve truly lived for myself and made decisions independent of what others think I should do have been the most memorable, productive, and rewarding times of my life. I definitely needed to hear this now.

  11. anne-writersspace

    What you say here is very inspiring, empowering and challenging. We truly need to face our fears to get what we want from life. I’m trying this now and still facing a few bumps here and there but I know things will all pan out in the end.

  12. You have already blown my mind with your goal setting/conquering this year. xoxo

  13. shannon fisher

    Wowee! This is powerful, ladyface. You’re inspiring. I wish we could go for coffee. I wanna hear more and more and more.

  14. I feel like if I keep saying it, it will lose it’s meaning, but I’m going to say it again anyway: You inspire me. You truly do.

  15. yes! so motivational and inspiring. i believe i can. i believe in me.. i hope i listen to myself. that’s the hard part.

  16. This was truly a perfect post for me. I had many of these realizations after my accident last summer. But as time passes, you forget to remind yourself of all this. I’m good with the “it’s just stuff” part. Where I have trouble is putting myself out there and telling someone how I feel especially when I’m hurt. This was a gentle and important reminder that we don’t have to stay hurt and it’s not always someone’s intention to hurt us. You are a rock star today, Peach!

  17. I’m on the cusp of the scariest choices ever and I know that I’ll be better for making them. Eventually. Right now, my concerns about swallow me whole… But someday… someday!

  18. I want to stand up at my desk and applaud. This is some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and you articulated it so eloquently and truthfully. I’m bookmarking this. No, I’m printing this because it’s something I really needed to be reminded of.

  19. Every word in your post was every bit true. Lovely post with some exceptionally honest lines. You provided me with much food for thought. Thanks for the great post!

  20. “Stuff is just stuff.” I think I’ll put that line on repeat in my head today. This post is amazing.

  21. Sound advice. Amen!


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