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Tag Archives: Dreams

Big Things, people.

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I promise there are good reasons for my lack of posts and slacking on joining Yeah Write this week.

You see…. I have a surprise for you. I can’t tell you what because duh, it’s a surprise. But I can tell you the when. Here goes.

Sometime over the weekend (but definitely by Monday) you’ll see these Big Things. Check back with me over the next few days to find out! 

Yes, I know this is evil. But I’ll give you a few hints:

  • This has been a long time coming.
  • I’m seriously sweatypits right now.
  • No, I’m not pregnant. Or engaged.

Send me good juju that all goes well, please?

In the meantime, I’ll share a few pictures from yesterday, which was my birthday! It was an amazing day and I was showered with texts, calls, Facebooks, tweets, flowers, and LOVE. I’m so blessed to have so many wonderful friends IRL and here through this blog. This girl is grateful. Sniffffff.

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Cake Batter Pancakes. Enough said. Recipe here. 

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TROUBLE. Lululemon gift card. There goes a paycheck. #zerowillpower

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Gorgeous sunshine from my west coast bestie. ❤

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Amazon gift card, silicon baking cups, Bob Harper sweaty yoga and a new speed rope for CrossFit. Yay!

To make my birthday even better? Something really awesome happened professionally and they didn’t even know it was my birthday! Remember when I tweeted this?

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I GOT IT!!!

Again… blessed. 

See you all very, very soon!

~Peach

Come What May

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brene1

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.

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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.

Jugular Exposed

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hands

He missed her. He still cared. He needed the truth.

“I have things I need to say to you. Things that it’s taken me over a year to process and come to terms with. I hope you’ll listen?”

His eyes softened. “Of course I’ll listen.”

She gathered courage she’d never possessed and told him that the person he’d loved was a broken, twisted version of herself. The depression had its claws deep and wouldn’t let go.

She knew she would cause pain, but explained where their relationship turned dark. She held back nothing, spilling the many hurts that had caused her countless hours of lost sleep and miles of self-doubt. Her words held no heat. Only honesty. She was strong enough now to give him that.

The bottom line was that she’d needed him to help navigate the darkness. But instead he’d caused her more pain, deepened the sad. Because she wasn’t good enough at her worst. Not for him. Not for anyone. So she had to leave him, and leave that place. It was the only way to survive.

Pausing there, her heart thumped heavily.  She felt the fear spidering as she waited for an indication that he understood why he’d lost her. What if he said she was dead wrong? What if he didn’t take any ownership of the destruction? She sat there, jugular exposed, swimming in a level of vulnerability she’d never experienced before. Underneath her calm expression she was a frightened child, ready to haul the steel curtain up around her heart.

Finally, he spoke.  “I have no excuses. I wasn’t there for you. All I can say is that I was so blinded by how much I love you that I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see what you needed. I let you down. And for that, I’m so fucking sorry. I’m sorry I made it worse, when all I’ve ever wanted to do was make you happy.”

His hand came across the table to grip hers tightly. She looked down at the joining, feeling the familiarity of his skin and the shape of this union.

I finally got through to him.

Fighting the knot in her throat, she replied softly, “And I didn’t have the capacity at that time to tell you what I needed. I was too far gone. I could only manage one of two extremes: sad and mad. I hated the person I was, but I could barely even hold on at that point. I couldn’t live that life any more, trying so fucking hard to make you happy when I was alone in the dark. It wasn’t fair to either of us.”

Neither heard the bachata song blaring through the speakers. The unspoken was far more deafening.

They searched each other’s faces, wondering what in the world to do now.

Her heart calmed, knowing that no matter what happened between them, she’d finally been brave enough to tell him the truth. She’d broken through to the light.

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This piece is being submitted to the amazing and 100th!!! Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. The crew at YW are not only amazingly talented bloggers who write and writers who blog, they’ve become my friends.  Not friends with benefits, you perv. Just friends. ;)

Where She Belonged

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WingWM

The turbulence made the plane’s wings seesaw drunkenly upon landing in Newark. Even the weather knew something different was blowing into town.

She was so very frightened to return to this place that hadn’t been kind to her. It was a good thing she’d left before the damage was irreparable. Otherwise, it may have been impossible for the South to heal those broken emotional bones.

Now that she was returned and seated in the car they’d hired to bring her to the office, she took in the familiar vibe. Urban sprawl. Frigid winds that viciously stole her breath. Aggressive traffic. She remembered this unsettling feeling that she was conspicuous – a shock of red amidst endless grey.

Would anyone see a difference in her? Did they even remember her after a year away? Would they think she’d lost her edge?

Suddenly very unsure, she took evaluation of the ensemble she’d carefully chosen. The vivid turquoise wrap dress, sheer tights and nude patent pumps were purposefully a far cry from her typical grey shirt/black pants work ensemble. The severe blond bun had been replaced with long, loosely flowing strands of red. Where her tall frame was previously starved for nourishment it was now vital, strong and feminine. At least there was that.

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Entering the office, conversations halted when she walked past. Whispers followed her strides as if they’d seen a ghost. In truth, they had. And that morning, her smile grew exponentially with each joyful exclamation of recognition, each hug received and each stunned remark about her appearance. Most couldn’t quite put their finger on it. Those who knew her best used the words, “bright”, “alive”, “glowing” and “radiant”.

They got it. They saw it.

It wasn’t the clothes or the hair color. She was different.

The job was executed with her usual style of fiery panache, making easy the complicated and making organized the complex. Confidence and self-assurance leapt from her every action and statement. She didn’t just complete the assignment. She soared.

When the big meeting ended, she needed a respite from the emotions stomping over one other in her mind. She waved to the still-familiar doormen on the way out of the building, then made her way to the railing at the water. And standing there, cursing the freezing wind, she finally let her mind relax and inhaled a breath of cold that made her lungs tingle in protest.

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Everything was so different, but yet so much was still the same here. Most of all, she was so relieved to discover that her fears had been unfounded. Her coworkers had certainly missed her, based on the office buzz and number of baby pictures her male coworkers proudly offered for oohing and ahhhing.  She definitely didn’t miss these bitter temps or this frantic pace of life, but at least no one could possibly question her professional achievements after today. If anything, they’d say she’s better than she used to be. And the reason was simple: She left this place. This brave new woman that everyone wanted to see, talk to, and be around? She wouldn’t be this person if she still lived here. That same woman lifted her face, gazed at the Freedom Tower and told herself that it’s okay to miss the people and not miss the place. After all, she’d found her self, her happy, her dreams and her future in a place that had nothing to do with subways and snowstorms.

Her lips curved into a secretive smile. She’d do what she needed to do while she was here, and she’d do it more than well. But she couldn’t wait to go home.

And with that last thought, any lingering doubts of where she belonged sailed off with that icy wind over the Hudson. With one last glance at that magnificent view, she turned on one of those pretty heels and headed towards the building entrance.

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Mighty Peach Life List #58, #10 – Twinkly Lights and Serendipity…DONE!

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Back story to these life list items can be found here.

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On January 1, 2013, I awoke in darkness and stretched until my feet hit the end of my friend’s couch. Shoving the sleep mask up my forehead to push the bangs off my face, I squinted at the blinding winter sun and smiled simultaneously. I was looking over the rooftops of downtown Brooklyn prominently displayed through the windowed walls of the apartment. And then it hit me…Today was the day!

My lovely hostess and dear friend Might-E emerged from her room, came over to the couch and sat down next to me. She handed me a gift-wrapped package and said that she knew this would be perfect. For today.  For this year.  You see, Might-E has been one of my biggest sources of support since we met, but especially this year. She’s been there for me as I’ve tackled many tough changes in my life and cheered for me as I’ve gone after my dreams. I count myself lucky to have her as a friend. But hugged her HARD after I opened this.

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perfect, right?

After I’d pulled my sentimental/sniffly self together, we hit the ground running for our Big Day. During the subway jaunt over to Manhattan, we fretted over whether or not we’d be waiting for hours to get into Serendipity. The New Years Day crowd could go either way.

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Boy, did we get lucky! We only waited 20 minutes for a cute little two-top on the main floor.

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Loving the Tiffany lamps. Not so sure about Banana Hammock Guy back there.

Might-E and I delighted over the quirky, larger-than-life menu (seriously, they were bigger than the surface of our table).

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But of course, we already knew what we’d come for. We put in the order for my long-awaited Frozen Hot Chocolate immediately. Life is short, dammit. Everyone should eat dessert first.

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And then it arrived.

isn't it lovely?

isn’t it lovely?

gimme.

gimme.

oh, this will be finished.

oh, this *will* be finished.

Yes, I gave myself brain-freeze on this baby, which means that I did it right. The word on the street is that the FHC recipe consists of: Seventeen different types of chocolate, blended with milk and ice. So sayeth the server. All I know is that each sip through the straw tasted like a mouthparty of chocolate sin. May everything in this life be that delectably painful to finish. It was worth the wait and worth every calorie.

And then, with seventeen-types-of-chocolate-sugar coursing through our veins, it was time to journey to Rockefeller Plaza.

From the moment we left the subway stairs, we could feel the buzz on the street. There’s just something about that area of NYC, around 5th Ave with all the stores and TV studios and street vendors… it’s a living, breathing creature filled with bodies and shopping bags and picture-taking. Dozens of different languages are audible no matter where you stand, but the joy on people’s faces matched my own.

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first sighting

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Swarovski replica of the tree topper.

Swarovski replica of the tree topper.

I doubt any pictures could ever do this memory justice, but I know I’ll never forget what it felt like to lean on that railing and gaze over the ice skating rink filled with wobbly tourists. Even on that overcast day, the tree sparkled and shone proudly, despite the few limbs that were a bit droopy.  Hey, I can’t blame the tree. It’s New York. Living here can be exhausting.

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I’m sure I didn’t stand there longer than a few minutes, but it was long enough to realize that I was grinning like an idiot. Putting these emotions into words is difficult, but I can only compare it to the moment when the holidays start to really feel like the holidays. It’s that moment of recognition in your heart. That deep down, ahh. There it is. I was finally here.

We walked even closer and realized the full expanse of the tree’s formidable height when we were directly underneath its branches.

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Peach-approved.

And with one last upward glance, I said a silent goodbye and we took our leave.

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Thank you to Bing and Go Mighty for giving me the opportunity to check off these life wishes!!

I’m still smiling.

Day 24: Big and Fuzzy Dream Monsters

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Credit Lisa Congdon

A recent addition to my Life List was #78: “Stop letting the fear of judgment dictate my decisions.” which, let’s be real, is code for “STOP GIVING A SHIT WHAT PEOPLE THINK.”

I’m speaking of courage.

You see, up to this point I’ve kept my big dreams and goals very protected. No, that’s not true. I’ve kept them a complete secret. Why? It’s simple. Self-preservation. If no one knows what they are, they can’t tell me my ambitions are wrong or silly or impossible.

Since returning from Camp Mighty, I’ve done some things that have taken incredible amounts of emotional strength.

I started by confronting three very close friends who have been less communicative or supportive of me lately than I’d hoped. Previous Peach would have justified their reasons/life situations and brushed off my own hurt feelings as being too sensitive. I’d have told myself I wasn’t being understanding of my besties and what they’re going through. But Current Peach decided to not let my hurt fester until I was seriously pissed off. I instead addressed the issue with each of them. Did I have a meltdown on two of those three when I came clean? YUP. BIG, UGLY CRYING INVOLVED. But I did it. And they all loved me even more for speaking up and voicing what I needed. I love them so much for hearing me out and understanding me. And in return, I hope they will give me the same courtesy of calling me out, should I ever drop the ball in our friendships.

If that wasn’t enough, I sat my family down in person and told them all about my experience at Camp Mighty and revealed to them the five goals I want to accomplish in 2013. Go here if you want to read em. I was nervous as I explained everything and walked them through my most personal wishes for this coming year. There were some raised eyebrows, some delighted laughter, and a lot of questions, but there was also love and support. So much. I can’t claim there was complete understanding, but for as much as they are capable, they got it. I even made sure they understood that there will be times that I will bail on them or not be as available. It’s only fair: I can’t expect them to innately know where my focus is, OR what kind of support I need from them, unless I verbalize it. They surprised me with their immediate and enthusiastic agreement. I am a lucky lady.

After these two emotional whoppers, I hit a wall physically. Maggie said in her talk: “Your body is a compass. Listen to it.” At that point, my body was worn down to the point of showing my Grumpy McCrankyPants. Perhaps it was all the travel – to/from Camp, then the six hour drive to my parent’s – but I’ve survived worse than that before. This level of tired felt like I had been slugged by the world’s largest Valium. I knew I should rest, but I felt preemptively guilty, because it was Thanksgiving and *they* say you should spend every waking second with family that you’re with them. But I flipped *they* a double bird. I listened to my compass and bowed out of family ice-skating time in favor of a 2.5hr nap. My family? They got it. No guilt trips, no resentment, just compassion. Awesome.

Now that I’ve recovered physically from the travel and had time to process all the discoveries and emotions of the past week, I’m finding this: My biggest, most secret goal is no longer shoved in the back of my dream closet. Yep, it’s peeking its little monster-head out into the light and invading my mind at the most bizarre of times… like in the shower. (I find it SO weird that I’m doing my best brainstorming in my too-small-to-shave-my-damn-legs-in standup shower.)

Why is this little critter a BFD? Because never before have I allowed myself the freedom to believe that this goal was possible, which is probably why I’ve never had these ow-motherf***er!-soap-in-the-eye moments before. Something has been unlocked. I’ve gained the courage to truly believe. And in doing so, it’s almost as if I’ve finally given myself permission to hunt down those big and fuzzy dream monsters and full-body tackle them. Ideas are developing. Plans are forming. Creating is happening.

I must admit, I’m not quite made of 100% courage though. Have I been able to be completely open about every single thing I have up my sleeve right now? No. For instance, I’m aware that I have not revealed the identity of my fuzzy dream monster(s). Some things are still percolating. Other things are still too raw, too precious for me to share yet.

Baby steps, people.  Courage takes time. But I’m getting there.