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Embrace Your Inner Mermaid or Merman

17 Apr

I saw this clip of a man named Eric Ducharme who is more than a little obsessed about being a merman. He calls it a passion. Others may call it crazy. I  call it pretty freaking mermanawesome.

I always wanted to be a mermaid. I used to tie my feet together at the ankle and put a towel on my head to simulate long flowing hair and swim around in my grandmother’s pool. I was an IDIOT. Not because I wanted to be a mermaid, but because of the whole threat of drowning thing.

When I was pregnant with my eldest son, It was discovered that I had a congenital heart defect that would eventually need open heart surgery to correct. I was 31 at the time. I was told that the surgery would be something to worry about “at a much later date.” I didn’t think about it again, thinking I would probably be 65 or 70 before it became an issue.

The last week in January of 2010 I turned 40. That same week I ended up at the emergency room with chest pains.  A dear friend sat all night in the hallway with me because there were no rooms available. I would have my bicuspid aortic valve replaced, and would tick because of it, a couple of weeks later.

I healed well from my surgery. I come from sturdy stock. Since then it feels like I have been made to realize something over and over again. Life is precious. It is fleeting. This is the only one we get. From losing Brett suddenly, to losing my Aunt Joyce suddenly, to the horrific events in Boston yesterday, this has become a common theme in my life, and more than likely,  in many other peoples lives as well.

I want to see my children discover that there really are so many amazing and beautiful things in this world. I want to see the kind of incredible men I know they will grow to be. I want to love my friends and family with everything I’ve got. I want to run (okay, walk briskly) on the beach. I want to never stop learning.  I want to be fearless.  I want to give something back. I want to continue to express myself as much as I can through writing. I want to remember that this world really is made up of more good than bad.  I want a mermaid tail.

It takes great courage to live your life the way you want to live it, especially when you know that people will make fun of you for it, or tell you you’re crazy. Fear is something that will suffocate your dreams until there is nothing left but ash.  At the end of my life, I hope to be able to look back and see that while I didn’t have an actual mermaid tail, that I was swimming nonetheless.


J. A. Allen

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