In the magic hours of my misspent youth, I went by other names, assumed other identities, in my search to find myself and my purpose. I knew not where I was headed, but I knew it was somewhere grand, and hoped that as long as I placed myself in front of Joy, Joy would also find me.
But the world is big, and it is easy to feel lost. What if I placed myself in front of Joy, Riches and Adventure, and yet it overlooked me? What if the fairytales I wanted to live were only stories or dreams? To reassure myself, I came up with this mantra:
If you say you are world-famous, you will be world-famous. If you say you are a legend, people will begin to talk about you. If you say you are destined for success, all your ventures will be fruitful. It's not about lying, or self-aggrandizement. It's about following the joy in your heart, and believing in the happy endings before they come true. Some people call this "manifesting." I call it "the world will try to knock you down if you don't grow your own wings, so look up and start flapping."
But also in my misspent youth, I spent a lot of time talking about myself. What was I eager to prove? Who was I trying to impress? Myself, mainly. Despite all my dreaming, scheming and wing-flapping, there were a few voices in my head that screamed that I had something more to conquer. Something to compensate for. If I listened to the tiny voices underneath those screams, they told me I had better show off everything about me that dazzled, because there was some other parts that did not. A part that was perhaps not loved, or worthy of love, or was afraid it would never be loved.
Which is tragic. Because we are all worthy of love. No matter what. There is a sympathy to be had for villains, even while we vanquish them.
Which is why now I want to talk about you. And mermaids. And why I publish these stories of mermaids and mermen, on their quest for self-fulfillment and great love, and the humans they meet.
The first question I often hear is, "How do mermaids...you know..." I know what you're asking. First I will tell you, that 1) everyone's body is their business and 2) I have a lot of ideas about exactly how the merfolk find their pleasure and their procreation.
But let's go back to why we ask "How do mermaids...." A mermaid is an "other," foreign from ourselves and what we know to be familiar. When we ask "How do they" we also ask "Why should it even be possible?"
Why should a siren, a monster, a creature, both murderer and seductress, be worthy of love, both physical and emotional? They are part-beast, part-fish - how can our human hearts abide their existence, let alone love them?
And to this I say, which parts of all of us are part-monster, part-beast, part-murderer and seductress?
Aren't those parts also worthy of love?
Even when we lurk in foreign waters, when we feel at odds with our spiritual and physical bodies, we are still children of Aphrodite. We are still made of love.
I am Madame de Boudoir, daughter of Aphrodite. Born from the sea, dweller of depths unknown, and made of, for and by love.
As are you.
That is what my stories are about. That is why they are about you. And me. And all of us, whether we feel comfortable in our skin or no. Because:
That is the rumor I hope to spread now. Love, love, and more love. Right alongside Joy, Riches and Adventure.