– regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

I’m about to tell my truth. Ready for this ride?

Where do I begin? I’m not entirely sure, actually.

Maybe I’ll start from the Spring of 2014 when I FINALLY passed a class that just seemed to keep on holding me back so that I couldn’t move forward to do what I needed to. Or maybe we can start in the Summer of 2014 when I felt like all of my ducks were FINALLY lining up in a row. I was also starting to get to know myself for myself. Or we could even start at the beginning of Fall 2014 when I FINALLY started getting really serious with my walk in God and really trusting and believing in him. I figured out there was no way I could succeed without submission.

I thought I was really starting to get to know me and knowing what my wants and needs were. I was wrong. We can start in late Fall 2014…..when I FINALLY started to lose me and all that I THOUGHT I had accumulated about myself.

Everything in my life was going so well. I was focusing on me, my relationship with God and my purpose, everyone in my family was getting married. There was just a lot of love and good vibes. Then my test came…..

My test came in the form of a familiar face, something I had already been comfortable with, something I thought I knew already. Now, I consider myself a pretty strong-willed person who stands in her word no matter what, but my test came and tested that. My test came in and completely ruled out that notion. I thought I had an 1 up on my test. It couldn’t break me down, not EYP! Tuh! Boy was I wrong.

My test came late November/early December then got kicked to the curb late April, but lingered until mid-September when I was depleted of all of me. Literally I couldn’t look in the mirror and tell you that the Erin staring back was the same strong and motivated person from the September of the previous year. I lost my connection with God and I was being reminded of that fact very often.

So, My Test showed me that I didn’t really have the self-love and respect that I thought I had. I thought that I had grown because I related to inspirational quotes and posts. But reading quotes from Alex Elle couldn’t help me be me, they could only help solidify the me I had already found and loved. They could only be used for confirmation purposes. Any who, January 2015 came and I designated it to be the best year I had to date. Turned out to nearly be my worst.

I’m always reluctant to get into a romantic relationship for fear that it will fail and essentially time would be wasted for the both of us when we really could have been chillin’ and connecting with our husbands/wives that God really has for us. I am the type of person who will spend months (plural) talking to you and developing a friendship before I commit to being exclusive to a person. My Test wasn’t that way. Clearly. And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bash session, this is just my truth and My Test isn’t the only one to blame here. I’m more than willing to own up for my part. My part was letting go of My Test in that first month of the new year when I got my “something about this ain’t right” inkling. But I didn’t, because I trusted My Test. What I didn’t realize right then was that I was putting more time and energy into my My Test than I was God and myself. Failed test #1.

Fast forward to the end of January and I decided to commit to a relationship with My Test. Everything was still going wonderfully in terms of school and life in general so I was gucci! So I thought. February we got a curve ball thrown at us, but we made it through it because I was committed and determined to at least see a year with My Test. lol. Isn’t that what everyone strives for these days? Longevity? Consistency?

Fast forward to early March. Now THIS is when the going got tough. I’m a pretty no-nonsense type of person and the first sign of drama/mess has me like this little girl. I usually do a polite “no thanks, I’m good” type of thing when I get wind of something about to happen, but for some very odd reason I didn’t. This time I did something that I usually never do and that is listen to others. I was DONEEEEE and straight overrrr My Test at this point, but listening to outside my sources they suggested that maybe I wasn’t so done. I was SO hurt and SO confused that I just listened to almost anything. My next step was doing something I have called stupid for the past 21 years, and that was taking a “break”. Boyyyyy My Test had me in rare form. Let me tell you!

Of course the “break didn’t last long and My Test slid right back in likeeeeFAILED test #2. Shaking my head. At this point if anything else went array I couldn’t blame anyone but myself. “Fool me one time, shame on you. Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you…”. God gives second chances, I don’t. J/k J/k. slightly.

Around this time is usually when my church goes on Consecration and after all that had happened at the start of 2015, I was ready. I was starting to realize that I was missing God. I didn’t yearn for him as strongly as I did before My Test came back into my life. I mean I kinda kept up with him, but kind of as a regulatory practice. Pray every morning, Church every Sunday, Bible study every Wednesday anddddd repeat. There wasn’t this sense of being radical for him anymore. On the other hand, My Test chose sleep and/or school over church and that always bothered me, but I eventually had a “every man for himself” notion. Kind of like “it ain’t me”, but in a sense it was me because I was around My Test every chance I got. You can be influenced by something/someone and not even know it. It wasn’t like I wanted to stop going to church, but I clearly wasn’t as focused and as interested as once before.

During consecration I watched A LOT of Bishop T.D. Jakes sermons and ended up stumbling upon a video of his daughter, Sarah Jakes, speaking at a conference. I ended up watching every single video of her I could find because her ministry is focused on self-love and Gods love. I was instantly intrigued because she was so raw and made herself so vulnerable. She was speaking her truth and allowing her past to influence her future, but in a positive way. After consecration was over I kept up with listening to her, but quickly fell back into worldly things. Back to My Test.

Fast forward to April. April was pretty good, but also very stressful. There was a big event for one of my organizations also I was on the rocks about one of my classes and that had me super stressed, but finals time is always stressful. This was nothing new. But then it got all bad. My Test had finally tested me to the point that I couldn’t even believe that I could be tested. Now some may say that what happened happens in every relationship, but as I stated before I’m a no-nonsense type of person. The mess came around again and this time I didn’t need to consult any outside sources for advice. I was the outside AND the inside source. My Test had tested me for the final time and I needed out. If not for anything else, for my sanity.

I was left broken and hurt and wondering what happened within the last 5 months because literally nothing like this has ever happened to me before. Yet, I smiled through it because emotions are for the weak-hearted, duh. And I was far from that! But, I wasn’t. I let My Test come in and infiltrate my space and I did nothing about it but accept it.

So in a span of 5 months I lost myself/love for myself, lost my relationship with God, & lost track of my true goals, but at least I passed this test, right?

To be continued…


*Trust the process.