In the early years of having HIV I didn’t see a future for myself past 30. I was 18 when I was infected and back then unlike today it seemed more likely you would die then live a longer life with a manageable routine of medication.
Of course when it seems like you have a ticking clock over your head you become reckless and have a feeling of ‘what’s the point’. I was in that place. I stopped dreaming and going after goals. Instead of making a To-do list my list consisted of destructive behaviors that went against who I truly was deep inside. Yet how could I show people who I was inside when I didn’t even give myself permission to look within.
It was years of spinning my wheels going nowhere just waiting for the Grim Reaper to finally get to my name on the list. In the meantime I let my anger of the situation guide me and I truly become that slogan, “hurt people, hurt people”. Not realizing the only person I was hurting was myself.
Before I knew it Dick Clark was dropping the ball again, then again, then again and the death that I thought was waiting for me seemed to have forgotten about me. I had my awakening moment when I realized that; hey I’m not going anywhere.
It was then I told myself I can stay in this moment of pain and keep holding my breath or look at the gift of life that I was given. Others around me had passed on to a higher plane but I was still here. I was still living with the gift that God had given me, which was the ability to wake up each day with everything functioning. The gift of life.
I couldn’t use the excuse of my status for why I was not going after my dreams, especially when all this time God was telling me, “I’m not done with you”
Since I had my waking moment and put my life in drive and dealt with all the internal and external forces that were holding back, I started to move. When I started to release the people who were draining my positivity and started to surround myself with positivity, things started to change. When I looked in the mirror and started to look at the greatness and not the flaws, I started to grow into myself. When I accepted myself and made no more excuse for my flaws, I started to see me.
Now it felt that each New Year was not one of holding on to grief and ‘shoulda, coulda’ woulda’s’. It was now a time for me to say, this is what I’m going to do and it’s going to get done. I see why the New Year is represented by a young baby and an old man. The young represents the rebirth of who we are and the old man represents the letting go of old issues that is old and gone and should no longer be part of us.
More than a resolution, it was a promise that I was going to live my life the best I could despite what was living in me as I was the one truly in control. Health, eating habits, friends they were in the front seat and negativity, drama and grudges they were dropped, just like the ball in Times Square.
So I celebrate not only the arrival of each year but also the ability to awake for each day. I truly am blessed and when the ball drops this year I recognize my gift and will join the chorus of others and shout out loud….
Happy New Year!!!