I do some of my best thinking in the car. Yesterday I was driving home from my mom’s house and thinking… If I did my bio all over again it would be a lot different. The title would be “Never judge a book by it’s cover” or “You think you know, but you have no idea”. Even though it’s probably human nature, I hate when people make preconceived notions based on their limited knowledge. That’s why I really try not to. You’d be surprised what you can learn about other people when you’re open to it. I’ve met so many interesting, smart people because I took the time to get to know them.
So take me for example. I feel like I can assimilate almost anywhere, but never quite feel like I fit in. Here’s my background story. I’m biracial. My mother is white and my father is black. They were married once, but divorced right after I was born and I was raised by my mom.
My dad was (and still is) an alcoholic and even though most of my life we all lived in the same small town of 45K people, I rarely saw him. Like maybe on a holiday, but there were many birthdays and Christmases where I was stood up. I’m not beating him up for that. It is what it is. But I am trying to paint the picture of how I grew up.
My mother came from a large Catholic family. I was her only child and she raised me as a single parent. There were boyfriends, but she didn’t remarry until I was 18 and almost out of the house.
Up until the 4th grade I went to public school. I was falling behind academically so my mom put me in a private Catholic school. I attended St. Peter’s from 4th grade through 12th. It was a small close-knit school where I met some of my best friends. It was also predominantly white. In my class there was Chrissy, Jarred and me. There was 36 students in my graduating class.
College was a complete 180. I went from a small white high school to an inner city urban university. I spent my freshman year trying to figure out where I belonged. Well that and playing spades until 2am! I look black. I inherited all my father’s genes. From my full lips, to my round hips. I always wanted to be tall and thin like my mom. Hey – Now, thick is in. To my peers I “talked white” and I “dressed white”.
It was really hard for me to fit in. Eventually things got better. Every uncomfortable experience has served me well and made me grow, so for that I an thankful.
Today – I wear Jordans and have a four year degree. I listen to trap music and I own my own home. I drink Henny and I’ve been half way around the world. These things are not mutually exclusive. I’m so much more than what you see on the surface. I bet we all are.
Share your thoughts. Are you breaking stereotypes?