Fierce Friday | Alicia McDowell

What makes you a L I O N?

@xxajpxx: “My family is religious. My grandfather was a minister, with a Doctorate in Religious Studies. He raised me. He was to me, my Dad & the best friend I ever had. In my house the Bible was law. I went to church multiple times a week. At 9 years old it was explained to me that according to the Bible mixing of the races is wrong. If it’s not apparent..I’m biracial. I’ve told that story a few times and the reaction is always the same; ‘How could your parents say that!’ Well at the time I had the same questions but children were seen and not heard. And further more if it was in the bible you didn’t question it. So I didn’t, at least not out loud.

That was the exact moment I realized I was different. Of course, I knew I looked different than my family. My skin was darker, my hair more curly, I’m shorter than everyone, but it never occurred to me that I was different. I was actually, in fact, different to the core. I was black, white, female, a tomboy (this might be my worst sin according to my parents lol), I was attracted to boys as well as girls, and despite not being able to converse with adults much I wanted so badly to be involved in the conversations. Since then I’ve always been very self-aware. I knew exactly who I was, what I wanted to be, and how I was going to get it.

The problem with being seen and never heard is all you have left to do is listen and watch. I heard the words I was supposed to live by but then watched as the opposite took place. My father was the most loving man. He would have given the shirt off his back to a stranger if it meant they would be brought a little more peace. He performed weddings, sat at the bedside of countless dying individuals, blessed babies, homes, spoke at churches and conferences all in the name of spreading love/peace. That’s who I learned to be; more than who I was told I should be. I’m becoming who I was meant to be which is, I hope if even just a tiny bit, everything he was. I’ve had my judgmental moments as we all have, I fail myself and I’m sure others all the time but that’s the beauty of life. Ideally, I just want to spend my life helping anyone who needs to feel less broken. To know they matter to someone even if it is just me.

As I grow older I find I always gravitate towards things I was told I ‘shouldn’t’. I’m proudly black/white, gay/straight, a single mother with baby abs despite 2 c sections,  a student, a full-time employee, aggressive in thought/action rather than just obedient, a seeker of knowledge, etc. By definition I’m a walking, breathing contradiction. All the things that ‘shouldn’t’ go together just do and the result is Me. And I think that’s pretty badass.”

What makes you H U M B L E?

@xxajpxx: “Oh I hope I’m humble! I don’t think any person is better than the next. Never have. Never will, I hope. We are all just human beings doing the best we can with what we have. Everyone has the right to celebrate their victories or their loses for that matter. I never understood idolizing people for just living their lives.

Personally, I don’t think I have great talent at any one thing just that would call for arrogance. I’m just me. Even if I did it’s hard to not be humble as a parent. No matter what you may accomplish there are still noses (or butts) to wipe, a blankey that’s lost and MUST be located for order to be restored, endless piles laundry, fights to break up, & boo boos to kiss. So that always helps you stay grounded.”

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