Still Here...

It’s been almost a year since I was diagnosed. Almost a year since I was hospitalized in the hospital. It’s been almost a year. A lot has changed. A lot. Not just because of my diagnosis, but because of life being mediocre. All in all… I can say that I am happy that I survived. That I am happy that I was blessed. That instead of moping around, I chose to live and be happy.

Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a decision. We choose to be sad, to be lonely, and to be apathetic. We choose ways how to be happy. We search for it. We succeed. We fail. That is how life puts us on a pedestal: Waiting for us to react on the tomatoes being thrown at us. Do we catch it or let it smash our faces? Regardless if one was diagnosed with HIV, with Cancer, or living a healthy life. Happiness is not something that just happens. You choose, you decide.

It’s been almost a year. Last night, I took step back and checked where my life is right now. Where am I going? What am I doing? I decided that I would like to take stock of what I have created and not created. What I have achieved and not achieved and what needs to be done. Am I at peace with myself? Am I ready to take on the world and seek new challenges? Am I. Maybe I should not be thinking too hard and let the heart do the talking again....

I sometimes hide behind my smiles and silly gestures. I take quick glances while I think eyes cannot see and when I'm done, I turn away before those eyes catch me being me. Eyes and lips, they are like Medusa's stare turning simple things to stone like words that bruise emotion and crush the soul. Keeping things tucked away till they escape in ink upon my paper and then through my fingers via the machine in "0"'s and "1"'s. Yes sometimes, I want to scream so people will notice me for more than my stature and talents, to scream and let them know that I am living with the virus. Do not get me wrong. I already accepted the fact that I have HIV. I just wish that the social stigma will disappear.

Amid all the stings and joys of life, I asked myself, “Do I know who I truly am?” I think that it’s more important to know ones identity. It’s not a question of sexuality, of race, of social status. For me, it’s always a question of identity. The totality of oneself. A holistic approach and not just bits and pieces of one’s personality.

I am the sum of every year, every month, every day, every hour, every minute and every second of my own life. Each moment that I breathe is another moment to take in each blessing I received. Through my eyes, my mind takes pictures of everything I see. My ears hear and my mind records. I am the sum of everything that is around me. Life is what I’ve made of it but it’s also a part of the influence about me. My life is what I made it so far.

Through the trials of life, I want to stand strong and grow in stature that I must pass through the trials of fire that we all must pass through. I am not asking for more trials to walk through because I know that more hardships will come before me. But life always put me up on the pedestal. Without them, I cannot be shaped into a better man; my character cannot be made more solid. There is in each refiner's fire, a beauty that touches our lives. Each flame burns away the rough edges and when those fires are quenched I am left a different man. The fires burned away at each rough edge until what was left was, is a glimmer of shiny metal, that now shines above it all. Around me, the heat of flames has been quenched and the pains of the trial have been soothed. If I must pass through again, then I will be stronger still. For being stronger is the only choice that I have left.

But am I happy. In general, I am.

I often wonder what people are thinking, those that find out about me and those who just think they know about me. Do the people who just think they know about me act differently around me then those who know about me? Do those who think they know about me see me as a threat? I wonder how many people create instant assumptions about me without taking the time to get to know me.

Somewhere between here and there, there sits a bridge that once crossed is gone for good. . There isn't any middle ground between here and there. You're either here or there.

And yes, it’s been almost a year… and I’m still here.

8 Response to "Still Here..."

  1. The Chemistry Guy Says:

    happy anniversary..

  2. positHIVe Says:

    happy anniversary! i salute you. god bless! :)

  3. imsonotconio Says:

    dont knw wht to say but just keep on living happily

  4. canonista Says:

    Give thanks to God that you are still alive.


    You are strong for a man with such CD4 count.

    Take care, and live life, be alive.

  5. karfaki Says:

    hey lucky.

    wow. i felt that. i read through your introspective post and really felt what i sense was a really honest, postive reassessment of everything that's happened, at a more personal level. so thank you for that.

    i don't exactly know a lot about you, but you seem like ur on a roll ey? Ur a good example of how the rest of us can surely follow. especially how you think. (pressure ba? lol). just saying. ;)


  6. Trese Says:

    YES! Im still here... and I am here to stay! :)

  7. Fickle Cattle Says:

    I'm a firm believer of the idea that happiness is a choice. I'm glad you've found and chosen yours.

    Fickle Cattle

  8. Fred Says:

    Happy Anniversary and Happy Birthday pare! :D