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 (as of January 2019, I’m in my first semester!)

  • 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 who wants more love, lust, and literature in her life. A woman writing today’s stories because it’s what she was born to do. 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 self-love stories, and stories of desire, and photographing soft and strong women who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with their love. Who are living this life with every fiber of their being.

That's you.

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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.

  • Fall into self-love, forbidden love, and other fiction, poetry, and essays at the Journal.

  • If you already know you want to work together (well, thanks!), see Le Plaisir

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