The Testing of My Blackness: Self Care, Self Love, and Self Defense.

I wrote this one year ago today. I’m amazed at how true it rings still. I’m reminded of how intense this was for me when I look at nail art photos of services I performed during this time. I’d like to share several with you, too.

I swear I’m being tested - not to find out how much I love others, but how much I love myself.

Do I love myself enough to gently recommend another nail tech to a stranger after she sits at my nail table and says racial slurs in conversation (My father was racist, he said he didn't want any of those n.... grandkids in his house) or tell me "even though I love you, I don't agree with it (my interracial marriage). I just think we should stay with our own kind"?

Do I love myself enough to humbly ask someone to not follow me around, watching me like a hawk, in a store I come into and buy from every day?

Don't I love myself enough to boldly push back when someone tries to make me feel as I'm crazy for seeing things as they are - simply because it makes them look bad? "OH everything is about race to you! It's 2016 there's no such thing as racism!" "It's your fault, you always twist things to be about this!"

Do I love myself enough to examine my own crap, my own bias, my own fears and figure out if I'm right or wrong - and do the appropriate thing once I've found the answer?

Do I love myself enough to apologize and acknowledge that, yep! I am wrong! OFTEN!

But do I also love myself enough to look at a thing as it is and say, with just as much conviction as I would apologize, "No, this isn't right. This is wrong and I don't need to keep going through it."

Yes, I love others. I forgive others. I have patience with others and often put myself in their shoes before making particular decisions. Yes. But do I love myself enough to do the same for ME? That's my test lately - come in the form of people who have issues with my Blackness. Not sure if I'm going to pass it.

What's your test lately and how are you faring? I'm a firm believer if something keeps happening to us, there's something God is trying, gently and politely, to tell us.

I’m attending college, working toward finishing my junior year of undergraduate studies before going on to my senior year and then my master’s degree to become a therapist. If you’d like to tip me for my writing, please consider giving to my college fund. Click over to Twitter and see my pinned tweet. Thank you. #PeechGoesToCollege