I initially started this blog with the intention of getting back to something I LOVED growing up– writing. When I was in first grade I began writing almost every single day. I continued writing throughout the rest of elementary and through high school (ah, the days of Livejournal, or LJ, as my friend and I called it). But then college hit, and so did a lot of other things, and I no longer thought I could share my story without someone taking offense.

The last time I got into writing was while I was at Yale University. But again I had reservations about sharing my thoughts. I felt like I was shitting in my own nest because I had little to say about my year at Yale that was positive. It felt dirty to write negatively about the Ivy League institution that accepted me.

Here I am voicing my thoughts about Yale from the shitty, over-priced “apartment” I stayed in above my land lord, with my nutso roommate in New haveN, CT. I SO VIBED WITH THAT WALL COLOR. i WAS LATER BILLED FOR IT HAHA!

September, 2011

This was maybe about a month into my misery. Shortly after this pic, I chopped my hair off, dyed it brown, stopped wearing hip things(like feather earrings AND LEATHER JACKETS) became as pale as possible, and tried my hardest to blend in with the other drab and depressed Yalies.

See below. **LAUGHS** Oh, and shout out to Thiel!

October, 2011

Dumbest thing I ever did, but there was a lesson there.

While I still have so much to say about my process with appealing my heath insurance provider’s decisions, being persistent, living with pain, and my lumbar spinal fusion… since April 15th I have just felt too blessed to digress.

When I was a little girl, my Father would come to get us every other weekend and on Thursday nights. This was the way his custody agreement worked out with my mother. I would climb into his old, red, Chevy pick-up. He had a set of ladder racks on the back, that I thought for sure were monkey bars. This was in the late 80s early 90s, way before compact discs, so we jammed to cassettes. Usually we (my Dad, sister and I) were singing along to Meatloaf or Boston. I fondly remember trips to Pittsburgh to visit my Grandma Claire, cruising down 79 South, windows down, and Boston’s “Don’t Look Back” playing. That’s a feeling I can’t help but remember every time I still hear Boston today.

I’m kind of at a place in my life were I have a low tolerance for too much negative energy. The three years I lived in pain, while simultaneously working alongside a complete maniac, the one year I spent at Yale and the other year I spent in an abusive relationship– are things I don’t like to look back on. They will have their moment, but for right now I can’t help but rejoice about how good life truly is.

Last-night the Dean of the college that I work at, took several of us out to dinner. She was laughing because the day of my surgery I was responding to email via my cell. And she remarked, “She wasn’t just responding to email, she was typing out elaborate correspondences and they were grammatically correct!” I looked at everyone at the table and said, “Yeah, I probably shouldn’t of done that.” They assumed my comment suggested that I was high on narcotics at that time from surgery. When, in reality, I remember every single thing I said, what happened and I recall that I did not feel messed up at all. I then said, “That was the best… **corrected myself** that was the second best day of my life (Rhett’s birth being the best).” I was so happy that I felt untouchable. I was no longer a prisoner to pain. And it was oddly sobering and intoxicating all at the same time.

That happiness has radiated from me for these past 3 (almost 4) weeks. I am the sunshiney Clarissa I was 5 years ago.

Gary and I were actually chuckling because we had a “mini date” this evening. A memory from the “On this day” app. popped up on my Facebook timeline while we simultaneously scrolled FB waiting on our apps.

Here it is.

5.10.2014.

Hilariously, this is my ex’s Dad in this picture #smalltownproblems. What is even more funny, is that this picture was taken out our (Gary and I’s) mutual friends’ annual birthday party. Two of our friends have the same birthday, and each year have a big shindig to celebrate.

On this particular night 5 years ago, I was having a lovely time.

I was walking through my friends backyard from the fire-pit to the house, and I saw a handsome man walking my way.

Ooo, it’s Gary A. Ya know what? Screw it. I’m going to be forward and just tell him what I think.

“Hey Gary”

**Gary and I both open our arms and exchange a hug, as I burry my face in his neck and get a whoof of his cologne.**

“You smell good. Let’s go get a drink!”

**This was a normal thing that would happen between he and I. LOL. Because for one, he did always smell really good (where the hell did those days go?). And two, we were always a little flirty. This wasn’t our first rendezvous haha. **

Gary acted very kind, and agreeable but then walked away and did not talk to me the rest of the evening.

I’m left thinking… odd. Well, it turn’s out Gary wasn’t so sure I was single at that time. A month later we were celebrating his 30th birthday, and on our first real date. Several months after that, he coaxed me into thinking moving into his house was a good idea (which I’ll be honest..I was terrified). Two years after that we were engaged and getting married.

**Go Gary! haha**

Tonight, we were on a mini-date. It was unplanned, I wasn’t all dressed up, and it was fun.

We went to Home Depot to get materials for our Mother’s Day gifts that we are making our Mom’s..and Gary is making me one too (spoiler alert lol). Next, we hit up happy hour at a tap house. Three dollar 7.5% alcohol IPA’s and $5 appetizers. What a win for these new parents. We flirted and giggled at the bar like two honeymooners. I took a picture of Gary, and I thought, “he is still as handsome as he was 5 years ago.” He took a picture of me and I blurted out, “Is that what I REALLY look like? My teeth are yellow, my face looks like it’s melting, I look haggard. Trade me in.”

Gary about spit out his beer laughing. And I laughed back.

“Hunny, you look great. You still look pretty. You don’t even look like you’ve had a baby.”

And you see it’s these little stories that make me smile when I type them. Sometimes, especially after living in the dark for three years straight, we need love and light. We need dorky stories about me flirting with my husband after being together for 5 years. Because ya know what? It gives the rest of us that are having a shitty day a little bit of hope.

One of my best memories at Yale was studying with the incredible Robert Wilson. His course on the Old Testament was killer. When I hear “to everything turn, turn, turn,” I not only hear The Byrds singing it, but I hear Dr. Wilson’s stern voice at the front of a lecture hall reading the words from Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament as though we are at a church service, except the congregation is full of pale, drab, nerdy YALIES HA!

Ecclesiastes:

CHAPTER 3

1 To every thing there is a season
and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; 
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; 
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; 
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; 
a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; 
a time of war, and a time of peace.

So you see, for now I’m taking a little hiatus.

This is a time to be born, a time to plant, a time to heal, a time to build up, a time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to gather stones together (literally if my back wasn’t healing, my husband and I would be picking rocks in fields), a time to embrace, a time to get, a time to keep, a time to sew, a time to keep silence, a time to love, and a time of peace.

Gary is spending long days in the field planting. I’m working on exciting projects for my new promotion. My spine is healing from surgery. My son is transitioning before my eyes from baby to little boy.

Life has seasons. If you are lucky enough to be living in a season of light, be grateful. Stay there as long as you can. It’s like laying out in the sun, on a deck, and you continuously move your lounger to keep your body in the sun’s rays. You know that soon, though, the sun will set and the warmth of its rays will no longer reach you. These seasons will pass. Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant.

Cherish moments of bliss. Imprint these moments on your heart and on your brain so hard that the next time you are in darkness, you can remember your time in the sun.

To everything turn, turn, turn.
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven”

TURN! TURN! TURN! The Byrds

Gary, thank you for being the light in my life after my season of darkness.

5.10.2019.

THANKS FOR READING

X.

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