Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Map "includes" (Saturday 29 Jan) At 31..POV

This is for Chris. Who will be 31 tomorrow.

They say Chris, that introspection is good. As we grow up and age, looking back is allright, and sometimes it helps us look at things from another perspective. I was 18, I was 21, I was 31 now I am 37 and edging towards 40.

Yes, we get older and we grow. And every year we see how we have changed in relation to the world around us. We make decisions about what we believe and how we see the world around us. We decide that we choose a moral stance, and political/sexual orientation stance. There are no HOW TO be gay at 31 books. We are charting our own destiny. So whatever wisdom you have in your head, is unique unto yourself. One day you will share that with some younger gay man who is turning 31 and you can say, IT was LIKE THIS for me at that point.

We see how we have changed in comparison to our friends and our peers. One of the many things I am going to tell you is this. Have you an idea now, what you want to be? In that I mean, have you found your "way of life?"

I am in University for now 2 years, so I see my past with new eyes. My life has changed so incredibly in the last 2 years. So My wisdom comes from an academic and critical eye for seeing wisdom, knowledge and my religion education. That has deeply impacted how I see things today. That's not a bad thing. I just started late.

Are you beginning to find that you have particular patterns and way of doing things. Are you trying to find your "Place" in the world as an OLDER gay man, in your community, with your friends and such. Do you find that You and Shane and Matt and your other friends are unique and have your own ways and opinions.

The old are not wanted or respected. That I have found to be true. But how hard I work to keep older gay men, Professors at Concordia and older gay friends to give me perspective on what they knew at my age, when i need it. I need the perspective of the older gay and sometimes HIV positive men to give me guidance. I dont have a father figure to tell me things any more, so any where I can glean wisdom is helpful and useful.

Each of you is different from the other, in the things you like to talk about and probably the homes you live in, and that's not a bad thing.

When I was 31 I was very sick. I remember it was 1998. I was living in South Miami. I was sober and clean at the time and I was going to meetings. I had alot of people in my life, but I did not have someone "IN" my life. I was single and living an isolated existence. My best friends all had keys to my apartment because back then I was in the thick of the worst period of time in my AIDS evolution. People would come to visit and crash on my sofa while i slept. My friends David and Logan would come and make themselves at home and cook for me on a nightly basis, i was really sick then, and they helped me by taking care of chores and cooking and getting me out of the house on a daily basis.

That was also the period that I made the clean break from my family and divorced myself legally from them to insure that they would have no grounds to interfere with the rest of my life or my impending death at that time. My parents do not do GAY and more to the point AIDS. They would rather me be dead and buried than alive with a supportive family.

I had to grow up alone, EXCEPT for the friends who helped me stay alive. Each of the characters in my Life Play, made an impact on who I would become in the next 6 years. You would not imagine that I would come so far in such a short period of time, but from 31 to 33 those were the worst years of my life. I made many BAD decisions based on men and having the need to have someone IN my life at any cost. It almost cost me my life.

When I turned 33 in 2000, i had found myself alone and having to rebuild my life after having lost everything. So if you are already in the place you want to be at 31 then stay there. I know you have a great job and you help countless others in your day, and I know you have a boatload of great friends there to support you.

We all age, but it is SO IMPORTANT to see your life in regards to the WISDOM you have acquired at this juncture of your life. You do have wisdom. we all do. Some of us don't get it or realize that we have some LIFE wisdom until we really need it and you start talking to yourself and see that you had the answers all along. I mean, what do I know at 31? I asked myself that every year since. And you know what, I had an answer for myself.

In my 20's it was about being young, pretty, loose, irresponsible and immature. I was I had no street smarts what so ever, but ended up on the streets cause my father hated fags. I knew nothing about life, being gay or what responsibility and accountability was. I was living on my own at 21.

In my 30's it was about finding myself, staying alive, making more mistakes but learning some very important and valuable lessons about people, life and myself and the world around me. I started to find my voice and study my life wisdom. I also lived. Which changed my life. I stopped waiting to die, and started learning how to live. And to believe I could do anything I set my mind to.

You see Chris, I am HIV positive, and that made a severe impact of who I would become from age 26 when i was diagnosed. I had to find my way, some of the paths i took were uncharted and dangerous. But at 33 I had to courage to settle down and really DO IT. Because of the men and women who gave me knowledge and wisdom and FAITH. Faith in my existence and abilities.
The fact that I was not going to week changed my future path for good.
( if you know what i mean).

You Chris, have a gift. Use it and share it, it is part of you. It is part of who you are.

So I ask you, What do you know at 31 that you did not know at 21?

Who are you at 31 in retrospect to who you were at 21?

What do you KNOW IS TRUE for you at 31?

Have you chosen your "Way of Life yet?"

How have you changed in just the last year, from who you were?

And What will you do with the widsom you know it yours alone, and how will that impact the next year of your life? And how will you make a difference to your friends and the world around you?

Your life is full of promise and light. I say that my 30's have all been about exploration and finding the real me underneath everything I thought the world wanted me to become or told me that I had to become. I had to shed the past of my family baggage and realize that I was the Master of my own destiny and I had to choose to go after it. And I did.

I met the man of my dreams at 35. BY then Clean and sober for a year at that point, once again, I decided that I was going to Love Peter forever. I worked very hard, extremely hard to maintain a relationship through adverse illnesses and conditions.

You have your whole life ahead of you, enjoy this time of reflection and introspection.

See Who you are becomming and hopefully you will like what you see, and if not, you have the knowledge of what you would like to change or polish.

Happy 31st Birthday. I wish you Life, Love and much happiness.


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