Tiffany Clarke Harrison





July 17, 2017

7:45am- Monday. My dad ends his visit with us-- me, my daughter (10), son, (8) and husband. He is headed back to Italy where he and my mom live. We take pictures in the driveway. Say, “cheese!” We wave as his cab pulls down the street. My children and I pile into the car. I am exhausted.

8:10am- I drop the kids off at camp. Hugs, kisses, sunscreen. Back in the car, my key won’t turn in the ignition. Got to get to work. That place. I must put on a smile, that fake, shiny thing. My new marketing assistant starts today. She is lovely and deserves better. I feel dizzy.

10:17am- I step out of my cube and turn the corner, unsteady, and bump my shoulder.

12:00pm- Taking the new girl to lunch. Sushi a few blocks away. The heat suffocates the senses. What is this out-of-body feeling? Nausea? Maybe I am dehydrated. Yes, have a glass of water.

7:25pm- At home. “Goodnight guys. I don’t feel well.”

11:02pm- I throw up.

11:38pm- Again.

12:21am- And again. Something is different. 

12:34am- I lay on the bathroom floor. The room topples, spins. I yell for my husband. “Call an ambulance!"

12:42am- Firefighters carry me from my bedroom down the stairs. My children have been instructed to stay in the living room where they cannot see.

12:47am- An IV started in my left arm, below the tattoo that says 'to life.' I open my eyes. The ambulance doors are horizontal. Why did they put me on the side of the ambulance?

12:48am- No. I’m seeing sideways. I close my eyes.

4:47am- The ER. Hour four. My neck hurts in this position but if I move I will throw up.  *Moves neck* *Heaves*  There's nothing left. My son cries.

7:02am- Voices. “The vomiting hasn't stopped so we'll need to admit you. We've ordered an MRI.”


Every day is another opportunity to love yourself first and be who you truly are. It is another day to explore your desires, pursue relationships, expression, and life your way. 

I'm Tiffany, a woman diagnosed with MS at age 37, and a former Should Girl. 

  • I should get an MBA (so, I got one)
  • I should take that job (so, I took it)
  • I should go to that thing (so, I went)

There’s nothing like pushing 40 and scoring a chronic illness to shake up your life and make you wonder why you keep putting other people's expectations of you before your own. 

Because what I really want to do is:

  • Pursue an MFA 
  • Work part-time so I can finish edits for that (dear God, please let her be mine) literary agent who loves my writing. My career goal was never Director of Marketing anyway. Give it up. It was working for myself and being a published novelist
  • Stay home alone, reading, writing, or watching Mad Men for the sixth time

So, that's me. A soft and strong woman with a couple of degrees, several years in marketing, and who is officially working part-time to make room for finishing her book and working for herself. Whose vision is back to normal, and who insists on loving herself first.

Life is too short (and simultaneously too long) to pretend to be anyone other than yourself. Writing for unconventional, women-owned brands is my ode to soft and strong women.

That's you.

Start Here

There are a lot of other things that you could or should know. Like how Daria of 1990's, animated, MTV fame is my spirit animal. Or that I'm an introvert who loves hard and is obsessed with Chicago Mix popcorn. But, first things first.

Thanks for being here.