We had the good fortune of connecting with Everlee Blu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Everlee, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
I consider taking risks an opportunity to explore something new, and a chance for discovery. Discover something about yourself, discover a new culture, discover a new road, discover a new interest. Life is an adventure and should be explored to the fullest. I think everyone should try something new, at least once, to see if they truly like it or not. By not trying stuff, we are limiting ourselves, and that can lead to living in fear. Fear of the unknown, or fear of change. Change can be scary, but change means growth and learning, and that is what life is about. When we don’t try something for ourselves, we are living by the opinions of others, which can be very biased. Experiencing stuff for ourselves opens the door to form our own opinion, which we can use to spread awareness and love to others. The biggest risk I have taken so far is moving to California all on my own. I grew up in a very small, conservative rural town of Wyoming, and always knew there was something better for me beyond the horizon. So after graduating college, I packed all my belongings and my dog into my car, and drove to California, seeking change and a fun, happy life. It was a huge risk, because I had no job, no school lined up, didn’t know a thing about California or how to live in a city, and I knew no one. But I embraced the chance for change and discovery, and to this day, it is the proudest accomplishment I have done. By taking that risk, I not only learned how to live in a city, I learned so much about myself and discovered new interests. I’ve met so many unique people, engaged in a variety of activities and hobbies, and experienced so much more than I ever would have if I had never taken that risk. And now, because I have experienced things, I can talk to others about my experiences and the people I’ve met, and spread awareness and love to others that have not yet had those experiences, or are too scared to try. To everyone out there, taking risks is an opportunity to experience life. It can be scary, especially when it involves change, but you never know what could have been until you give it a try. And by giving something a try, you are building memories for life. Always explore. Never settle for less than what makes you happy.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Marriage and Family counselor, who’s aim is to help others build empathy and be the best person they can be. I am a Transgender Ally, who strongly supports the community and wants to see happiness and equality for each member. And I am a mermaid, who reminds others to have fun in life and take pleasure in the things that bring us joy. My tail, which is designed in the same color scheme as the trans flag, is also used to support and represent the Transgender Community, and educate people about trans individuals. My journey so far has been fairly easy, which I am extremely grateful for, and it has given me opportunities I would not trade for anything. I have learned so much about other people and what kinds of struggles they face, made great friends, and made fun memories to last a lifetime. I am very thankful for the life I have been granted, and I am doing what I can to help others feel happy, as well.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
There’s so many things to do and places to visit! I love all the beach cities, such as Santa Monica, Venice, Redondo Beach, and Long Beach. Santa Monica pier is fun, and there is a variety of great restaurants. Venice has such a unique culture and is very colorful! Redondo pier is a good place to hear sea lions bark and grab a yummy bite. And Long Beach has a lovely aquarium, a variety of delicious restaurants, wonderful scenic streets and parks, and exhibits a strong sense of community and pride. I love LA Zoo, and enjoy visiting there often. Also, Griffith Park has nice hiking trails, the Observatory for learning about space, and unbeatable views of the Hollywood sign and LA landscape. Many of the clubs in West Hollywood are nothing less of a great party, especially The Abbey, which has good food, awesome music, and attractive dancers. Hollywood is the ultimate tourist spot! People can learn about their favorite celebrities at the Wax Museum, be wowed by cool facts at Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, and find souvenirs for family and friends at multiple shops. There is also the Pantages Theater that is stunningly beautiful on the inside, and features shows well-worth attending. Every Tuesday, Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach hosts karaoke night, and all genders and identities are welcome. If the person is able to visit Long Beach’s Hamburger Mary’s on the first Saturday of a month, they get to party with fun, inspiring people of the transgender community! And of course, Downtown LA features an array of restaurants and fun events. All throughout LA, there is Cheesecake Factory, which has an everlasting menu of mouthwatering food and cheesecake that will make your eyes bulge! And finally, if somebody has an insatiable appetite, I recommend Oo Kook in Koreatown. It is a korean bbq restaurant that serves all-you-can-eat cuts of meat and irresistible sides. Los Angeles has something for everyone to enjoy, and there’s always something going on throughout the city. When people visit, they should definitely check out what shows or activities are in town, because there’s something happening anytime of the year!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a Shoutout to my mom, who always encouraged me to strive for the best and go for what I want. A special guy named Kyle, who encouraged me to apply for grad school and helped me stay on track with assignments. My friends Emma and Bre, who always believed in me, supported me, accepted me, and helped me in every way they could to see me succeed and be happy. My professor from undergrad, Dr Cheryl Anagnopoulos, who opened my eyes to the world of psychology and spoke with such an open mind and considerate heart towards everything. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, for accepting me into their program and giving me a well-rounded education for cultural competence and empathy. And my friends of the Transgender Community, for accepting me into their world and treating me as an equal.

Instagram: mermaid_._blu
Facebook: The Mermaid Blu and Everlee Blu

Image Credits
Louann Chin

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