Perspectives: Perspective
When Life Goes On...

December 12, 2011 Print version       Other articles by this author

Completing this writing is something that has been about four months in the making. Whenever I'd sit down, get still & proceed with the intention of hammering it out, something would happen. Either I didn't have adequate time, or privacy, or simply put, the inspiration to put my thoughts, feelings, & emotions into words that made sense.

I have this thing that I always find myself doing which is to think about where I was a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, etc. One of the many definitions of the word reflection (from an anatomy standpoint) is to bend or fold back a part of one's self, upon itself. That's the best way I know how to describe what I'm setting out to do here.

When I think back on where I was at this time last year & how I got from there to here, a lot of it is a blur. While I don't recall ALL of what was happening at this time in my life last year, I do remember feeling like the walls were closing in on me in terms of finances & not being able to find a full time job which was frightening. I remember dreading going home to the midwest for the holidays due to a lot of old unresolved feelings & issues surrounding who I used to be & where I came from. I remember being home while learning via email that the hours at the part time job that I held at the time were being cut back even more & thus feeling as if I had one more thing to worry about. I also felt something else arise in me that spoke very calmly (which I swear I had completely forgotten about until now) & encouraged me to not be afraid. Even though I had absolutely NO clue how things would work out, I'd deduced two things: 1) I wasn't going to let the news I'd gotten spoil my trip home & cause me any further angst, & 2) if things were in fact panning out the way they appeared to be at the time, it was most definitely by design, for a reason, & I had no reason to be afraid. Upon my arrival home in Wisconsin, I remember talking to my father in the car about the news I'd just gotten & sharing with him what was going through my head at the time - the angst & more importantly the thoughts, feelings, the intuitive feeling that I had nothing to be afraid of or to worry about. I'm certain that being in my father's presence at that particular time was the best place for me to be because I feel like he knows & understands me so well. I went on to have a quite memorable time at home for the holidays with my family. My time there went so well that I hardly had time to obsess or even think about other things. That's not to say that what I was sure to return to in Washington, DC work-wise wasn't still looming, but the more I told myself that things would work out ---particularly when I had NO EARTHLY idea how---the better I found myself "coping".

Once I arrived back in DC & set about the business of New Year's Eve & seeing off 2010, I attended a "New Years Lift Off" spiritual service held on Nov. 30th, 2010 which was hosted by Innervisions Worldwide Institute in Silver Spring, MD. While there, in the presence of a room full of people & a dear close friend who attended with me, I found myself releasing a wealth of thoughts, behaviors, energies, & people that I no longer wished to carry with me into the new year. Led by a number of 'angels' & spiritual guides including Iyanla Vanzant, I remember lovingly releasing a bunch of stuff that I'd been holding onto & then writing down a list of things I sought to replace those things with in the new year. It was an inspiring, enlightening (albeit heavy) evening of spiritual work & surrender that I clearly needed. To take things a step even further, I did something with my significant other that we'd done on New Year's Eve for the past two years, which was to write down things individually & as a couple that we sought to release, before lovingly praying & meditating over them & burning them. After doing this we each wrote a list of things individually & as a couple that we sought to experience in the new year.

2011 arrived & along with it came a host of "opportunities" to put into practice all that I'd absorbed & experienced up until that point. Hours at my part time job got cut & as a result things got very rough for me financially. I had a lot more time on my hands. While I spent lots of it job hunting, I remember experiencing some intense periods of adversity during the month of January & feeling completely out of wits. It was then that I made a choice to go even deeper into believing that things would change & improve. At first it felt downright pointless & I remember not even fully buying it myself. I wrote, I prayed, I meditated, & got still & I sought out help from those closest to me in the way of support to get me through. After one particular dive into a pretty dark, despair filled hole (which was triggered by how hard things had become financially), I came back from the brink with the help of one of my close spiritual advisers & began to "get my bearings" so to speak. Once I did that, things slowly began to improve & I found myself feeling stronger spiritually, emotionally, & mentally. What would follow shortly thereafter is what I now choose to believe is/was the result of my choosing (at a subconscious level) less than a month prior to withstand whatever was coming my way, trusting that it was all for my highest & greatest good. Before January's end, I was offered a full time job in a field which was far more in alignment with everything that I said I wanted to experience MORE of...

So much has happened over the course of the last year that I couldn't sum it all up even if I wanted to. To say that it's been eventful is an understatement. 2011 has been a year marked by immense growth, contemplation, challenges, developments, roadblocks, triumphs, & ultimately blessings.

Fast forward to where I sit now (some 11 months later) & I've been faced with an entirely NEW set of challenges. I've also been visited by lots of OLD/residual stuff - some I thought I'd parted ways with, & some I had NO IDEA was even there to begin with because it was buried so deep beneath everything else. Along with those things, I've experienced some HUGE blessings & developments that I never even imagined possible. Doors have opened & conversely others have closed. I could go on at length & in reflection about everything that's happened this year but I won't mainly because a lot of what I'm referring to is what I'm still in the midst of understanding & more importantly, accepting right here in the present moment.

What I will say is this, by bending/folding back a very significant part of myself here (in reflection), I have an even deeper understanding & appreciation of all that I'm faced with right here & right now. I made it this far, often times not believing it was possible or that I even deserved to make it. As I move forward with things currently, I'm grateful for the gift of being able to look back & remember "from whence I came". If life has reminded me of nothing else in my 37 years thus far, it's that sometimes...a lot of times, I have to just WAIT FOR IT...

Seven years ago, when I tested positive around this same time of year, I had no idea even I'd live this long. Thankfully my health, & life overall have improved tremendously since then. That's still not to say I haven't had challenges. Many of them (while in the "thick of them") have felt insurmountable. Even still, I've persevered. The things I've been faced with over the course of the last seven years [INCLUDING BUT CERTAINLY NOT LIMITED TO] testing positive for HIV, founding Brave Soul Collective, beginning treatment, beginning counseling/mental health therapy, becoming involved in what is now a 4 year relationship & doing the necessary work to ensure that it flourishes, experiencing IMMENSE artistic, spiritual, mental, emotional growth, & making a living doing what I LOVE & paying my bills/taking care of my responsibilities...have ALL been less about HIV & more about what happens when life goes on...

In closing this year & navigating my way through each of the experiences I'm faced with now, I am SO VERY GRATEFUL for the gift of insight. There is a LOT that feels unfamiliar to me right now & the OLD impulse is to immediately fear. In truth, I still do that sometimes. As the old saying goes..."Old habits die hard", but I choose to continue & add that they DIE NONETHELESS. What I ultimately do is remind myself that ANYTHING, & EVERYTHING I imagine and desire is in fact possible. No matter what you call it, PERSPECTIVE is a POWERFUL mechanism when utilized under the ideal circumstances & applied when necessary & readily available. Here's to continuing the business of LIFE...