marisa cleveland pinkSometimes I miss the person I thought I wanted to become before I became the person I am.

I gave up panty hose and designer suits, credit card debit, and ten hour days with two to three hour commutes. I gave up dry cleaning and manicures. I had an office with a window overlooking a park in the city, and less than two blocks from the building where I worked, there was a café that served the best espresso and the most delicious spinach and feta croissants I’ve ever tasted.

45650036I thought I wanted to be that person. The girl with the master’s degree and the two hundred dollar trips to the salon. The girl with the Beamer-driving, consultant, power suit-wearing husband with weekend Versace jeans, Rodeo Drive shopping excursions, and that almost 4,000 square-feet of materialist house that never quite felt like a home but was perfect for entertaining.

IMG_6821Priorities so convoluted, like that previous sentence…

But then one day we woke up and decided to change our lives.

Okay, I admit I was reluctant at first. My hubby caught on quicker than I did that life was not a race to the finish line, and he, in his infinite wisdom, saw the things that brought me joy were not of the material sort.

My best days involved writing, reading, rock climbing, and boating…

IMG_6822… days in the gym, Fox Trotting me around the kitchen, and sweating outside in the summer.

Did I mention he’s super observant and absolutely brilliant? I don’t know how I managed to find a man so consumed with keeping me happy, but I did, and I know I’m super lucky!

So he moved me to the place where he knew I could find joy every day.

And it was a cultural shock.

IMG_6824I struggled every day for a seemingly endless amount of days – I’m still struggling – to become a better person. A person who is calm and caring, relaxed and healthy. A person who doesn’t need material items to find self-worth. A person who wakes up each morning glad to be alive. A person who appreciates every moment.

But sometimes something happens, and I’m reminded of what I was, and I miss that person who had different goals and other kinds of opportunities.

So sometimes I drag out the old suit and panty hose…

… but after a day or so, I slip back into my sundress and snuggle with my man, watching the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico, and I love the life I’m living.




  1. Looks like you had fun on your cruise! You know the funny thing, studies show that no matter how much $ a person has, they always want double that. So the person that has double the amount of $ I have right now still wishes they had double that amount . . . b/c that person has double the stuff to worry about, lol. I’m trying more and more to simplify life and give back to the poor. God is very generous, and if I’m made in His image, then I should be, too 🙂 Great post ❤

  2. Lovely post, Risa, and you’re getting it right re: what’s important in life. Lucky you with a husband who understands your needs, understands you! Here’s to ‘happy’ for all the right reasons 🙂

  3. Having the courage to change one’s life can be the hardest thing in the world. But it can also be the most wonderful. I did something similar when I gave up my uniform after 10 years in a career that I thought I wanted, but realized was stifling me. Now to move somewhere tropical, cause girl, you’ve got the right idea! LOL!

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