Every new chapter in the story of your life has a catalyst, something which often times abruptly ends the previous chapter and propels you into the next. For me, at this particular new chapter, it was heartbreak. A heartbreak that shook me to my bones and turned my world upside down, but it also freed me. It opened my eyes to the glaringly obvious fact that I had lost myself. I had given up so much of what made me happy, of what made me Me, in order to chase a love that was far less than I believed. I no longer knew who I was or what I wanted. I was a hollow version of my once bright and passionate self. After the dust of the ending relationship settled and I could focus on more than just the heartache, I sought to change this. I looked at all of the things that used to make me happy and I began to pick them back up one by one.
The first thing I focused on was the desire to feel comfortable in my own body again. I started watching my figure again and soon the weight I had gained began to melt away. I then dove hard into the back piece I had begun last year. I tweaked the ideas and this gorgeous concept took on a life of its own as Coop McCoop skillfully painted into my skin. I also finally ordered synthetic dreadlocks. For years I had longed to have gorgeous mermaid dreadlocks but I didn’t have the courage to try them. Fearing change was something I was quite over at this point, so I took the leap and I had FawnaWolfe create a custom, extra long set that matched my grey hair. I even added lavender parts. I could not be happier with them! In fact, when I have to take them out to dye my hair, I feel naked!
As my look changed I realized I really didn’t have any photos of my transformation because I had given up modeling. Modeling had not only been my career for many years but it was a creative outlet in which I had found deep, true happiness. Even now my friends admit to me that they were shocked to see me let this go. I quickly sought to remedy that and contacted Ashley Marie Gonzales to shoot what would later become my most popular photo on Instagram up until now.
Now that I was starting to feel a bit more Mercy-like I could see that I wasn’t living the life I wanted. I was too occupied with surviving that I didn’t give myself the opportunity to thrive. All I wanted was to perform and create art and to provide for myself through those means. I decided then that I would buy a trailer, rent my house out, and travel the country doing just that. I set out to find my new home and hunted the internet, endlessly it seemed, until one perfect morning. That morning I popped onto the Colorado Craigslist and found the beautiful 1971 Silver Streak – which was a mistake as it was actually in Moab, Utah. I had such a good feeling about it that I sent off an email requesting to see it that night, but when I hadn’t heard back in an hour I could take no more so a friend and I headed off in that general direction with fingers crossed. Several hours into the trip the owner made contact and agreed to let me view it at 11pm! As we approached the location the GPS took us through what can only be described as a ravine named “Looking Glass” and we turned a corner to view the moonlight sparkling across the silver metal of the trailer. The clock turned 11:11 and I looked at my friend skeptically, took a deep breath and wished that this was the one and that I could haggle her down a bit in order to afford any repairs. My wish was answered!
After an incredible struggle to get the trailer home, including having to dig it out of the owner’s yard, and having to figure out how to drive the damn thing on dangerously worn tires, getting a ticket in Colorado for not having working lights and a suspended license due to New Mexico’s failing DMV system, the Silver Streak pulled into my parent’s property. The real mission lay in front of us. The reason I was able to haggle the trailer down was in great part due to the hoarding issue the previous owner had and that I had to take the entire thing as is with all that was in it. In the end it took me and one of my best friends six days of cleaning, 14 bags of donations, 16 bags of trash and six dead rats to get it into any kind of living condition. It would also take several thousand dollars and some skilled people to make her habitable. I am currently waiting to paint the inside cabinets with my mother before Thanksgiving and then will be dropping her back off at the RV repair to have her plumbing completely redone. She, like me, is a work in a progress – but damn does she have potential.
So now I have my home and a vague plan. My departure date being December 26th, at which point my best friend and I will say goodbye to the home we have known for so long here in New Mexico and welcome in this new chapter. Welcome in a new life where I live for art. I live for freedom. I live for love.