featured stories

the mermaid life


As we desert drift, I dream about cool crisp ocean water and wet sand. Something I lived with everyday while we were homeless on the beach, during our travels around the coast of Flordia. Such is the mermaid life that has been engrained on my soul. I’ll always be most at home near the water. On our very first road trip across the country to California, someone said something to us that has always stuck. They said, “If you get stressed out, or overwhelmed, just go to the water.” And that has been the best cure ever since I learned it. Everything clears out and quiets down when you hit the coast. Something wild and freeing drifts in on the ocean air, and you know you’re safe there. This force of nature, untamable by humankind, can take care of you. Better than any medication.

So I pass along the advice- just go to the water…

While in Saint Augustine, we got to meet up with long time internet friend, Tori Ray. I have to say she brought out another side of me while she photographed me. We had a very positive and alive connection while shooting. It was the first time in years I modeled for another photographer. I realized how much I’ve grown more confident in who I am, and I think once you love yourself for who you are, it shows on the outside. That love turns into a radiant light, something quite beautiful. But we have to learn to fight our insecurities to arrive at that place. It’s a rare thing to see these days, but I wish for everyone to learn how to achieve it.

For years I struggled with image problems. I couldn’t even feel beautiful without makeup to hide my face. I could only think about what I would change to be “pretty”. I’m not going to say I found comfort in my skin overnight, but it started with making healthy changes in my life. I first changed my diet, and that led to better skin, better health, and overall a better me. It also helped balance my emotions (yes, food effects your mood!), and I suddenly was becoming more of myself again. And more of someone I wanted to be. In the coarse of one summer, I was happy with myself. In 6 months, I was feeling real beauty, naturally. And within a year, I now feel confident and 100% beautiful in my own eyes. And I know it has affected my whole life, day to day. I think differently, I live more positively. It’s something that once you taste it, you will understand how amazing it is to feel healthy, happy, confident, and beautiful. Without needing to hear it from someone else.


Wearing: Andi Bagus
Set design by Josh
Photos by Tori Ray Photography












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