I have been expressing my thoughts on the most important day in my life, as a person living with HIV since the age of 21. It’s been 36 years. 57? THAT’S how old I’ve become! And proud of it, too.
It’s been a long and arduous road filled with insanely difficult to overcome obstacles, both man-made and disease-related. I survived a decade of silence: carrying around a secret so burdensome that no one was supposed to know. It almost crushes you.
I have survived a decade of complications, won the medication trial “lottery”, and was twice saved by modern medicine. I survived the next decade of anguish and pain caused by external influences I had no control over.
And now I’m ready to embark on the next ten or fifteen years of my life ‒ however many are left. I’m ready to cement my presence into something meaningful for next generations to benefit from.
Social media has been a godsend against isolation. Reconnecting with those who genuinely care, and building new relationships and interests is what I focus on. Doing good for the community, and pulling all registers and talents to create a lasting memory of that nanosecond of presence I had on this blue globe is what is important.
December 1 is always that day when I look inside me, take inventory, and recommit to the cause. It’s the day when I remember our fallen warriors, and rejoice with fellow survivors that we’ve come this far. The next chapter may be the hardest, but also the most rewarding of them all.