Our lives are impacted by sometimes the most small and insignificant conversations and moments that seem rather coincidental at the time. There are so many small and incidental moments in my life that has caused a shift in my entire mindset. It is no secret that my family and upbringing was different from most people at the time. I come from a multi-racial family that was culturally inclusive. Growing up within an environment that is a result of multiple cultures colliding has shaped my unique outlook on life and wide cultural acceptance.
I was thinking the other day about my inspiration to blog or write in general. When looking at previous blogs most are inspired by the harsh nature and consequences of stereotyping. Not only do I blog about the most insignificant forms of stereotyping, such as stereotyping introverts and extroverts, but I have written multiple pieces throughout my college career and researched the existence of stereotyping in many different forms that range from the Japanese internment camps within the United States during World War II and the ways in which Hollywood reinforces stereotypes within society through show and movie scripts. Stereotyping is a large social issue that plagues society, but has also been one of the largest social issues that affects me directly on a daily basis.
When I was younger, my family lived in a smaller town that was comprised of a large white majority with a small black minority. Twenty years ago in this neighborhood there was little to no biracial or multi-ethnic families. To be honest, this fact never quite bothered me. I never realized that my family or I (for that matter) was different.
The first time that I realized I was different was in first grade. Earlier that day my mom visited school to drop off treats for the class; that afternoon on the bus ride home, one of my classmates simply asked me if I was adopted. Oddly enough at this point in my life, I had no idea. She asked me if I ever realized that my older sister and mom skin was completely different than what mine was. That night I asked my mom why she would not tell me who my real mommy was and why I do not look like her and Ashley (my older half sister). Looking back on the day, I have realized that I offended my mother deeply that night (also because she told me). After that afternoon, she spent probably about two months convincing me I was not, in fact, adopted. (Unfortunately she still needs to convince me of this sometimes because I am still the “black sheep” of the family and act completely polar than the rest of my siblings)
From this day forward, I viewed the world differently. I never saw the world the same or uniformly. This would be the first step in my journey towards becoming the person I am today. It has shaped my personality, explains my confusion on how I should look and act, how I should speak, and my personal style. When we are young, we strive to maintain the status quo, and to fit into the mold of society. At this young age, realizing that my family was not the status pro quo was probably the most difficult part about growing up in a biracial family.
So all those who seem to wonder across my site or my writing, beware there will most likely be an undertone examining the social issues of stereotyping and racism, and urging people to open their minds to new ideas. My past shapes why and what I write daily. Also keep in mind that children are so impressionable and the sometimes the smallest things have some of the greatest impacts on their lives without one ever realizing it.