Monday, April 22, 2013

15 Questions for Alecia

Full name: Alecia Brown Monteiro
Birthday: Jan. 21, 1984, Aquarius

1. Where are your family roots from? I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. My father’s family lives out in California, but I’ve never really met them. My mother’s family were farmers here in FL and had this farm (Brown’s Farm) in Live Oak… There are streets in the town named after members of my family. We are pretty southern, I’d say. My granny makes the best gravy, drop biscuits and sweet tea.
2. How have your parents influenced you? My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She has taught me how to survive the chaos and how to believe in myself. I also inherited her over-sensitivity, which I see as a good and bad thing. It’s something I’ve had to work really hard on to lessen, but I also think it makes us pretty caring people. And even though my dad and I are not close, he actually taught me how your actions and emotions affect others, and that self-pity is a waste of time. Things I think he has yet to learn.
3. Can you remember your earliest childhood memory of happiness and that of fear? I think my earliest memories of happiness are when our family (mine and my aunts/uncles/cousins) would camp at the beach during the summers… for what felt like weeks at a time. Living in my bathing suit and being sunburnt, but happy. And fear… I guess I remember being afraid to sleep in my own room for the longest time. Always wanting to sleep with my parents or brothers or even in the living room where the fish tank lived. This came about shortly after my babysitter let me watch “Child’s Play.” I still hate scary movies.

4. Is there something in your life that you feel very passionate about? There are a few, and I guess once I feel passionate about something, I tend to over-research it…to death. In recent years, I’ve become more passionate about food and nutrition. My family has a pretty bad history of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues. I guess I realized that if I want a chance to live a longer, healthier life, I would have to really start to think more about what I put into my body. I am also pretty damn passionate about being a mom and a wife.

5. If you could be any animal, what animal would that be? plant? and insect? why? Animal – an elephant or orangutan because they are some of the best mamas in the wild. Plant – probably a tree of some sort, like a maple tree or citrus tree, so I can help offer shade and also some food. Insect – hard one… I suppose a bee, again because they serve an amazing purpose.
6. What is it about being an Instructional Designer that keeps you satisfied for it to be your career? I’m not completely sure that I am satisfied… yet. I’d always imagined myself helping others, but more in a medical or anthropological way. So, it’s taken some time for me to arrive here, and it’s a process I’m still trying to work on, but I like the optimism that comes with helping teachers understand how to teach better. And hope that one day I can really help change the educational experience and opportunities for those who truly want to learn, in an academic setting or otherwise.
7. What are the qualities that draw you to people that you can base a friendship on? The close friends I have, I truly cherish forever. Most are super creative, not a quality I would consider myself having. But, it’s taken these last few years to realize what a true friend really means. I try to surround myself with honest, humble, passionate people who truly care about others, not just what you can do for them. I’m realizing this means I have fewer friends the older I get.
8. Can you tell us something that you just learned that intrigued you? I just watched this episode of Vice TV, where they travel to Siberia ( and meet this lady that lives alone with her cat in the middle of nowhere and she seems pretty happy. I love learning about how others live, and what makes them truly happy. Most often times it is something as simple as having a garden, goat, or piano.
9. What is your perception of how people see you? I genuinely have no idea, but will say I tend to assume the worst. Probably that I nervously talk a lot. I’d hope that at the very least people consider me a nice person who works really hard and is in love with her family.
10. What are you listening to these days? Whatever Cory plays on the record player…. I know the words to 1000’s of songs that I’ve grown to love, and could never in a million years remember each band’s name or the amount of detail he can somehow store in his mind about each artist and their struggle or how that record pressing came to be. I can usually only remember the cover art. Sometimes I feel bad about never having to put much thought into the songs we listen to each evening or when making breakfast… Luckily, I just get to sit back and enjoy it.
11. What's the best and worst decision you ever made? Best decision– choosing to listen to my heart and build this family with Cory… it’s been 10 years and I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with anyone other than him. Worst decision – financial ones for sure… like, buying a brand new car in 2007. It’s almost paid off, but holy cow, that shit was not smart.

12. Can you narrate to me your proudest moment? There are a handful of moments I can remember growing up where I felt pretty proud of an accomplishment, like doing well in a sport, or in school, or getting into college, but mostly because these things made me feel like my family was proud of me. The one moment that I felt the most proud of myself was when I became a mother, not just after having Coda, but a few months after when I realized that I could do this and that I truly loved being a mother and being a part of his life, and that all of the hard work is completely worth it.
13. What do you find most ridiculous about life? How shitty people are to each other. Especially how terrible people are to their children among other things I don’t understand like, war, waste, financial greed, politics, narrow-mindedness, overly-extreme views of the choices people make for themselves……. and spending more than a third of each day working somewhere that sucks… usually in a box with no windows.
14. Can you share a topic that causes your blood to boil? There are a few good ones, but most recently I saw a mother smack her child for standing up in a booth at this ice cream shop. Like seriously, you just HIT your child, the most important thing I can think of in the world. I see this all of the time actually, at stores and out in public. I always make sure they know I saw them. I can only imagine the unkind words/hands they use in private. It’s one of the few times I feel myself judging other people and am ok with it. I don’t care how you were raised; there are other ways to communicate with children. The world is scary enough as it is…. at any age.
15. If you could take a peek in your future (say 10 years from now), what would it look like?
I’m pretty excited about what that might look like. Hopefully, Cory and I have both found jobs that we love where we look forward to going to work and leaving our home each day. Our cabin would be finished and we could spend lots of family time there …. Or travelling around the world with our two beautiful children.

Thanks Alecia! You are an amazing mama/wife/friend/human. We are delighted on the newbie that will soon be arriving in your lovely family!! Let the good times continue to roll :) xoxo

Photos from Alecia's blog
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