exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time



Name: Kb

Age: 27

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

How often do you bathe or shower?

Ummmm, every day or every other day. Honestly, it depends on how early I have to get up. Getting my ass up and out of bed is a serious challenge—no matter what the time of day. I typically shower and hardly ever take a bath, although I have taken to them recently as I’ve been moving toward more intentional self-care. Giving it more of my energy.

What does your self-care look like?

Mmm. Getting my nails done. Getting my hair done. Tanning! For sure! When I talk about going to the tanning bed, I call it the beach because it makes me feel so warm and happy. Taking my medicine. Routine. Making the little decisions that I know are best for me even when I don’t feel like it. Anything I can to make myself look and feel better—because I deserve it. If I can show myself some love and appreciation through self-care, I feel better. Then I can feel like my best self for other people. Showing up for other people is a form of self-care for me too. If I can’t show up for other people, it means I’m not showing up for myself.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

A fucking shark! Cuz they’re on top of the food chain, dammit! I saw this meme that said, “Do sharks complain about Monday morning? No. They’re up early- biting shit, chasing shit, and generally being scary because they’re a fucking shark.” You just got to get after it, that’s shark mentality. Be the best, be the biggest. But also stay humble.

What are you passionate about?

Being a good human. Inspiring others to be good humans. Changing the ways our culture thinks about that. I think we have a very clear ideal of what being a good person looks like, but it can be very unrealistic for a lot of people. Expectations are way too high. So, modeling the small, simple acts of kindness that can build on each other versus having this cut dry ideal to live up to. Making it yours, the little things that you’re good at and that you excel at– using those skills and traits to be kinder to humanity. At the end of the day, we’re all we’ve got. I don’t know about you- but everybody deserves happiness, and I want to be a part of making that possible. Building a little bit of a better world. Since I’ve gotten sober, I’ve realized that the biggest thing I can do to be a good human is simply to be kinder to myself. Then trying to be gentle with people and meet them where they’re at without judgement. Trying to be the reason why someone has being a part of the little thing that sets them off and into a negative spiral. If you make someone’s day a little better, it can change how they move forward with their day. It can change all of the little things they can do for the better—their interactions with others, their sense of inner peace, the choices they decide to make for themselves. All because you smiled at them or gave them that ballin’ parking spot in the front row. Just, setting other people up for success.

What is something you feel accomplished with?

I think I would have to go with, beating alcoholism. It’s a really broad thing but it breaks down into so many different areas of my life. It’s an umbrella thing that enhances everything. I can be my best authentic self fearlessly. I produce better work. I’m able to show up for other people when they need support. Not being bound to drinking every day is something that has allowed me to win more in everyday life.

What is something you still struggle with?

Practicing what I preach ::laughs:: And not trying to fit into a mold. Being gentle and making small waves. It’s really easy to be enticed into making this big wave with killer impact. The thing is those are few and far between. It’s the small ones that add up and create larger ripples. The smaller waves reach farther.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

They are either positive ones or they are negative ones and there isn’t a lot of space in between them. Relationships are fucking hard because I have to deal with other people. Helping others process and problem solve their shit that they’re going through when I’m already stuck in my own head, is really difficult. That said, I’m a Libra, so I’m naturally drawn to relationships. I like the “you and me” thing, versus the “I have to do it myself”. I do tend to gravitate towards being in romantic relationships, as well as keeping strong bonds with my family when they’re healthy and not toxic to my health. I think the nature of my relationships have changed since I’ve gotten sober. The authenticity and vulnerability that come along with choosing to be in relationships with people who match my vibe. There were a lot of negative relationships going on while I was battling my traumas and the ways it manifested. At the time, I didn’t realize the profound impact they were having on my choices. I now know I need to be more intentional about who I invest my energy in. It’s easy to hang out with someone I’ve known for 15 years. It’s not as easy to walk up to someone new and say “hey, let’s get a coffee and talk about life”. I think we need to better about fostering our relationships and focus less on ourselves. I want to see what happens when our culture shifts from “how can I be happy in this moment” to  “what can I do to contribute to the greatest good or happiness for myself and everyone around me?” Personally, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

Andrea Romans

Andrea Romans

Name: Andrea Romans

Age: 39

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

How often do you bathe or shower?

Like, once every few days. Bathing. Baths. They work better.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

A mermaid. You’d have a big tail! And you’d swim fast and have pretty hair!

What location would you be a mermaid in?

The ocean. ::Laughs::. Not the arctic, it would be too cold. Your nipples would get so hard. Like, you probably wouldn’t even be able to swim. You’d have these humongous nipples impeding your swimming. So yeah, okay… it would have to be somewhere warm. The tropics area. Well, unfortunately, all of our oceans are probably going to be super warm now… depressing.

What are you passionate about?

Food and well, being healthy. Drinking water. Being healthy and food are related. You have to eat food that makes you happy. And you know, you have to eat food that’s healthy for ya. If you eat a bunch of fast food you’re not gonna feel good. If you eat some food that isn’t fast, and took some time and some care, you’ll feel like you took care of yourself. Yeah. I like to cook anything for my kids. And breakfast. My kids like grilled cheese, soup, sausage and beans with veggies. This one thing I do, with kielbasa sausage with kale and butter, onions and peppers. Oh! And sweet potato. It’s so good.

Do you grow your own food?

No, not yet, but soon. I want to grow some mushrooms. It’s perfect for mushrooms in my backyard. There are fallen trees and overhang. It doesn’t get super sunny in different parts. Not psychedelic ones, edible ones. But I guess they’re both edible… Yeah ::laughs::.

What do you feel accomplished with?

Paying my bills on time ::laughs::. It’s always a nice feeling. Well, actually—it’s going to the grocery store and being able to get what we need and just… being able to get what my kids need. Being able to afford life ::laugh::.

What is something you still struggle with?

I donno… coming up with something to say. I’m really quiet a lot of the time. I’ve always been. Maybe I’m just quiet! Or wait! I guess I’m not good with small talk. Yeah. I don’t really care about the weather. Yes, weather happens. I don’t understand why people watch the news for the weather. Like, TV sucks. That’s what I’m passionate about! TV sucks.

What do you prefer over television?

Cleaning my house because I’m a single mom. And, laundry. I play music with my band and work. And ride my bike. I love my bike. It sucks that it’s cold right now, but the warm will come. Biking is by far my favorite mode of transportation. You get to exercise, have the wind in your hair… it’s awesome. Getting to watch all these dumb fuckers in their cars, it’s all like, “I’m on my bike, bitches!” ::laughter::. It’s the best. OHH the hills too, even if you have to go up a ways or even walk it up. For every hill there is also a downhill. Philosophical.

What are your thoughts about relationships? Platonic, familial, sexual and otherwise?

They’re cool. Relationships are cool ::laughs::. Being a mom, is hard work and very satisfying. It’s pretty cool. Having these little humans that you get to take care of and you know they’re gonna be awesome. They’re not gonna be average people. I don’t want to seem like a hater, but I feel like I’m raising kids who won’t have shitty jobs. Like, they’re going to enjoy life and not just exist and be consumers. Also, collaborating. With food and the band. Coming together to make something cool. It’s what we do at work all day. When I cook, everyone contributes something. Like, there’s the chief dude who’s in charge and he’ll say “we need this!” so I’ll start the prep and then the line cooks do the stuff that can be done within a few hours and I’ve been doing the stuff in the morning. So at 5PM, it comes together and it’s awesome. We got some happy diners ::laughs::. It’s really cool!

What are you bringing forward this year?

On New Year’s Eve, all day on new year’s eve day… yeah, I kept saying “hindsight is 2020. Do better this year bitches” ::laughter::. But maybe that’s not right. Maybe 2020 shouldn’t be looking back, it should be looking forward.

Corlin Merddings


Name: Corlin Merddings

Age: 29

Pronouns: He/Him/His

How often do you bathe or shower?

Every day, unless I’m camping.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

Mmmmm. Jellyfish or a cuttlefish. Jellyfish because they generally roll in larger numbers. People think that they are very simple. Some of them are kinda dangerous. I would also go with a cuttlefish, I like that both of them have fish in the name… cuttlefish because they’re kinda alien and they’re shape-shifters.

What are you passionate about?

I’m very passionate about food. Food systems. Very interested in the interplay between food culture and politics. I have a lot of smaller interests, but food and food systems—culinary things, which is a more defining interest. With food systems, how people come together to produce something that everybody needs. How the culinary culture of a place dictates what food comes in. The food that comes in, is affected by what’s grown and is affected by those who cook, what they can do with it. Then there’s the people who go to the grocery store, people who make dinner. How that all interplays with the environment, the economy, all of that is super fascinating to me. I grew up in Delaware, and that’s where Perdue Chicken is based. I don’t think that I ate more chicken as a result of being from Delaware, but Hoagies for sure. Honestly the water affects food too. Public water. 

When did you start being interested in culinary arts?

I was 22 and had just quit my job in politics and needed a job, ASAP. Restaurants are pretty easy field to show up and get a job in. My mom was always an avid cook, but yknow single mom, didn’t have tons of time to say “come learn how to do this”. It was more like, “dinner will be ready very soon” kind of thing. Make sure your hands are washed. I learned a lot by just watching.

What do you feel accomplished with?

Um, I really like what I’ve learned about food. I didn’t really expect to have a “non-professional” job. I really expected to go into lobbying or diplomacy in some way. Honestly, I feel really good about the relationships that I’ve made through the food and beverage industry. It certainly has a dark side, but I’ve really… I love the connections that I’ve made. It’s probably the most tangible thing that I’ve accomplished. There are little things, like, I take care of a cat with health issues. I’ve written some really cool haikus. But yeah, mostly the connections I’ve made with people, it’s sort of what life is about. How you share it with other people.

What is the “dark side” of the industry?

The dark side of the service industry is, a lot of it is… kind of a stereotype. That we’re a bunch of drugged up alcoholics. Anthony Bourdain was not far off… There is certainly a lot of that. A lot of it has to do with the fact that a lot of people who stay with it are passionate about it. The intensity it takes to be good at it, often times has a flip side of people trying to calm themselves down or have a release from the tension of being hyper-focused. It’s intense to deliver good experiences and good food to people. Yeah, the dark side, We’re fucking crazy ::laughs::.

What is something that you struggle with?

Ummm. Realizing that I actually enjoy spending time by myself. I don’t do it very often and, at times I’ve questioned if I’m incapable of being alone, because I don’t prefer it. But every time I do it, I’m like, “this is fucking great!” Like, it does get lonely if you do it all of the time. But, remembering that I don’t have to have fun and be spending time with people all of the time. I should just kinda retreat and do my own thing occasionally.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, familial, sexual, and otherwise.

Uhh, I have opinions on all of them. Family is really interesting because, you don’t choose them. Personally, I have a decent relationship with most of my family. I don’t have awkward Thanksgivings, I don’t live very close. I love my family but I also love the distance that I have between myself and them. I think that allows us to appreciate one another more. With friends, that’s the family that you choose and I love my friends. If you were to ask me who I admire most, top one or top two is my best friend, somebody I really admire. I feel like those relationships are really important to maintain and nurture. Sexual relationships, I feel like, don’t necessarily need to be friendships, but a lot of my sexual relationships are friendships. I’m poly and most of that is recognizing that one person can’t always be everything to you or you to them. And you need to make space in your life for all the people who are going to add to your life and all the people who are going to add to the life of somebody important to you. As far as relationships, they’re really complicated. But, I think despite having a really rough six months, as far as relationships go, I’m over closing myself off to them or being afraid to communicate exactly what I want. Even though, very recently I’ve felt gutted and nostalgic and angry, I’ve turbed a corner; things didn’t really go the way I imagined they would… but, all those relationships are important in life. Maybe to varying degrees to different people, but, it’s the stuff. The crux of life.

What is one of your main motivations that you want out of life?

I want to enjoy the things that I do, I want to work with my hands and I want to pass on my ideas. So, to expand… I’ve had jobs and have been a variety of different things. Before I was a cook, before I was a bartender, before all of this… I didn’t love what I did, I didn’t love who I was while doing it, and that’s ok—but that’s something I’m working towards. I want to work with my hands because that helps me be less stressed. I can point to something tangible at the end of the day. Even if it’s something insignificant like a plate of food or a drink, it’s something that connects to people which is meaningful. So, I don’t necessarily want to be a biological parent, but if that were in the cards for me, being a parent. Ideas are not genetic and you can pass those on regardless. Even if I don’t become a parent in some way, I want to influence the people I know and love in some way. I want my perspective to hopefully mean something to somebody.

%d bloggers like this: