Sea Aggie celebrates the magic, mystery of mermaids
League City resident Courtney Merryman, 20, loves the sea and aspires to protect and conserve marine life, she said. Merryman is a sophomore at Texas A&M University at Galveston with plans to graduate in 2022 with a master’s degree in Ocean and Coastal Marine Resource Management. To aid her in her knowledge of marine and environmental care conservation, she also volunteers at Moody Gardens in Galveston, she said. And she happens to have a mermaid tattoo.
What do you like about mermaids? They symbolize freedom and femininity. They are mysterious, yet entrancing and are oftentimes called the “Goddess of the Sea.” Men and women alike cannot help but to fall victim to the beauty and power of the mermaid because they naturally bring out all of your desires, as well as your fears. Most of all, they are mightily independent and are proof that you are the master of your life, and only you can make the changes needed to be happy and successful.
What do you love about the sea? I’m fascinated by the sea because it is literally like a whole other world right here on Earth. There is so much to learn and discover about our own planet, and it’s crazy to me that we have only explored less than 20 percent of our oceans. The ocean is Earth’s lifeblood, and without it, nothing we have would be possible. That is why I feel it is our duty as capable humans to protect it, not harm it.
What do you love about living on the coast? I love everything about living near the water. The air is fresher, the people are friendlier, the overall atmosphere of the communities here is so full of life and color. Being able to simply walk outside and hear the seagulls cawing, the waves crashing and see the palm trees swaying is a feeling unlike any other. There is never a dull moment when you live near the coast.
What songs remind you of the coast? Any song written by Jimmy Buffett definitely reminds me of the coast, but I also particularly enjoy “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles and “Brandy” by Looking Glass.
What’s the best book you’ve read about the coast? When I was a child, I used to constantly read and reread this novel called “Island of the Blue Dolphins” written by Scott O’Dell. It was about a young girl who was left stranded alone on an island, forced to live off the land and fend for herself for years. It was very intriguing for me as a child to immerse myself in this narrative and it helped inspire my love for conservation. “Nim’s Island,” written by Wendy Orr, is another book I read as a child that really jump-started my passion for oceanographic studies.
Future aspirations: I aspire to become a marine conservationist, or perhaps an environmental lawyer. I feel as though it is my responsibility to protect the ocean for those who can’t speak for themselves, such as marine flora, fauna and the wildlife.
What inspired your tattoo? I got a mermaid tail tattooed above my achilles as a permanent reminder that I am never stuck in life, and that I can always keep swimming, even when it feels as though I’m trapped in a deep abyss. Mermaids signify transformation, and while I may not be able to change the circumstances I am facing, I can absolutely change my attitude toward it, which is perhaps the most important transformation of all.