Name: Bashia Marion
How often do you bathe or shower?
Twice a day. Yeah, it’s a lot. I know. I get up in the morning and I work out, and I shower after I work out. And at night, I come home and take a bath. Just to help me get ready for bed, and wash the day off. It’s self-care for me. It’s good.
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
A blue whale. I love blue whales, they’re so amazing. When I was living overseas, I was living in Tonga, a pacific island, and blue whales migrate through there. We got to see them crest, if we were sitting on the beach. We also got to go swimming with them.
What were you doing in Tonga?
I was a Peace Corps volunteer. My main role was to teach English and to train Tonga teachers how to use student centered teaching practices. It’s not common in Tonga. It’s usually lecture-style with the teacher up there talking. So I was training them to engage so students… can learn more… ::laughs::. Yeah.
What are you passionate about?
I feel like that is something I’m still trying to figure out. I think, the last year has been the hardest. Earlier this year I checked into a mental health program. It was really bad. If people… people who knew me or met me before January or before, they would be surprised by this person that you’re interacting with right now. So I do think, I’ve become more passionate about mental health because of my own process with it.
And then there are things related to social justice, specifically police policy reform and education reform. I’m currently trying to figure out what my place is, what my role is within police policy reform. The role I can take in that… I grew up in a family of civil servants, my brother is a deputy sheriff. My uncle was a part of that organization for his entire adult career. He retired early, went back for education and got his masters, and now he’s a trainer within the field. My dad is a firefighter, paramedic and my grandmother was a nurse. So, seeing all the things happening in the world with police violence, especially with black violence and other people of color… that impacts me. And there’s a conflicting thing because my family upholds the law, and they’re black men. And then, there’s stuff happening that is targeting black men. So the conversations I have with my family, it’s a little different. I’m more progressive and others in my family are far more conservative, so it would disturb me hearing their opinions on the things that are happening because it doesn’t make any sense. If they took off their uniform, they’re just another black man. No one knows they’re a police officer. It could easily be them. So how are people supposed to comply or operate just because someone is wearing a uniform? That makes absolutely no sense. We need to focus on the system and change how they interact with communities. The whole community policing and community engagement and connection. They’re police officers from this area, not someone who was brought in, expected to uphold laws and whatever.
When I was in undergrad in Columbus, one of my best friends, that was her whole focus for her dissertation. We would go to town hall meetings all the time. I felt like I was way more connected and civically engaged in Columbus, so now being home and being more settled this last year—I’m trying to get back into that. And know what’s where, who to talk to, know about events to go to or protests and stuff happening. I can easily see myself getting back into that stuff again.
What is something you feel accomplished with?
Ummm. Honestly, I feel really proud of the fact that, the progress I’ve made in my education. Neither of my parents or my brother went to college. That just, wasn’t a path anyone took. It was something I wanted to do though, it was something I could do and was interested in. So, to have earned my associates then move on to my bachelors… then getting my master’s degree, and now I’m in the process of going back to school next fall to get another master’s degree… it’s huge to me. Through that whole process, there was doubt from my family. There wasn’t a lot of encouragement from my mom, my dad and my brother. I have other aunts and uncles who have continued education and I could go to them and get information, which was really helpful… but yeah. Even now, I’m working on being proud of myself and I did accomplish it. No one gave this to me, I really worked for it. I did the process, I did the work, I got the degree.
What is something you struggle with?
Self-doubt and low self-esteem. Sometimes it’s self-worth. Like, I sometimes I don’t think that I deserve good things or happiness and, with my anxiety and depression, it’s amplified of course. Those are fun things ::laughs::. But, I’ve been doing therapy. Talk therapy and earlier this year I decided that I was going to try and do medication. That was a huge thing for me, my family is VERY religious and for the longest time, it was “We will cast the demon out, you just need to pray and be filled with the Holy Spirit and it will all go away”. Then there’s me thinking how I’ve been trying this for 29 years and I hey, I still feel jacked up. Maybe the holy spirit is in this pill ::laughs::. SOO that’s where I’ve been at. It’s helped a lot. Yeah ::laughs::.
What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual, familial and otherwise.
Oh man, we’re in all the stuff right now ::laughs::. It’s really funny, that’s what I’m working on with my therapist right now. Intimacy, big “I” and little “I” sometimes too because I do jacked up stuff and stupid things with people sometimes… ::laughs::. SOOO, my mom and my dad got divorced when I was four and a half and it was a very tumultuous thing. They had custody battles literally until I aged out of the system. They went back and forth for custody my entire childhood, for both my brother and I. He’s 18 months older than I am, so he aged out and the custody battles stopped for him but it was still going for me. Right off the bat, intimacy and connectedness that you’re supposed to learn from your family unit—those social skills were really lacking for me. I had attachment issues, I didn’t know who to trust because there was a lot of manipulation from adults in my life… my dad remarried two times and his second wife—to me, felt like she had a vendetta against me. So that was, really challenging. Now being older and thinking that I might want to get married someday, trying to build connection with people… I’m trying to do the heavy lifting right now so I don’t project anything onto others. I know I’m super jacked up ::laughs::. I think relationships are vital. We need human connection, being to being connection, whatever that looks like. It’s super necessary, I think relationships are a life source.