I have received many praise and encouragement and each one affirms that I'm doing the right thing and each one keeps me going. I thank those who have related or even shared their own experiences. There's something about releasing.
I also thank those who don't agree with me sometimes. It lets me know that I'm not perfect and I have flaws. But in the end I just know we're all in this together no matter what window we're looking from.
Most of my stories of reflection comes from my youthful days. I myself even re-read what I wrote and say to myself, "Man Aundaray you sure were shallow" But I also recognize my stories come from my younger days and when I was young I was in a totally different place than I am today. Yes I was shallow. When I was young I thought everyone wanted me and that I was the sh*t, regardless of my status. I did things today that I'm not proud of and ashamed to same out loud. Yet I don't hate the choices I made as I was in the stage of forming my identity. Especially being diagnosed with HIV before my twenties I had that to deal with that along with my anger, my sexuality, my relationships and still look at myself in the mirror.
There is a current campaign that states, "It Get's Better". I agree but it's also misleading in a way because it doesn't get better overnight. It took me twenty more years to get to a place where I could feel better about myself, yet with all my negative experiences I realize that we have to go through something to get somewhere.
So I embrace my hurts because its what made me what and who I am today. I have always stated it and I know I sound like a broken record but you can't live your life in shame and you have to keep telling yourself, I did nothing wrong".
When looking at my past I realize that I was shallow, real, loving, angry, spiteful, mischievous, determined, quiet, loud, judgmental, opinionated, giving, caring, introvert, extrovert, damaging and hopeful. And through it all I never gave up but there has been days when I wanted to.
There's a freedom from expressing yourself. With everything I've went through I was a perfect candidate to have developed a substance abuse lifestyle. That's why those who are fighting such demons I don't judge them because unless you understand the pain and demons they're fighting or have fought, you can't understand.
It's the same when you're living with HIV. You see the outside, the parts I want you to see. But if you looked inside you'd see the real me. The fear. the questions I have of death. The fear of rejection and people knowing what I had living inside of me.
So when I write in my blog, like an onion I strip myself of that fear. it's not completely gone but each layer I peel away I start to see the real me.
Actually I'm hoping that by the end of the year I can start a book. But most of all I want to keep inspiring my brothers and sisters, no matter your race, to keep on fighting and keep the fight up to find the real you. To get past the anger and to let go of the blaming of how you got infected. it's done so let's let go and work on the living part. That part still needs to be nurtured.
Yes I know i sound like Oprah, but to get to true nature of who we are and to accept who we are we have to get naked with ourselves. That involves our truths, the way we see others and ourselves. And we also physically have to accept our nakedness. We have to strip ourselves of the shit that society has placed on us and accept ourselves for who we are. I may not have a six pack and have a little extra around my waist. I may not have the biceps that could lift mountains or the shape of the model I see on the cover of magazines, but I accept what I do have. I accept my naked self and soul.
So thank everyone who's sharing this journey with me and know that I don't walk it alone but with the love of God and the love of everyone who's path I've passed, I'm made stronger. And if I offend anyone along the way, just know that I'm still learning!
Thanks for being part of my life and accepting me, typos and all :)