As the year of 2014 is nearing to an end everyone is beginning to prepare for what is to come. Today is barely Christmas Eve and people are already thinking about what new opportunities might arise, promises they plan to keep, goals for the future, and what they might do differently than in the past. Christmas is one of my most favorite holidays and especially Christmas Eve as it reminds me of many good times I had with family over the years. Thinking back on the past it is interesting to see how things change so quickly. We are still a close knit family however my grandpa who always used to come has passed, my brother and his family live in another state, and I work a job that is open 365 days a year. Although Christmas is different it is still a very special time of the year when a whole other side of folks seems to come out, one of giving back. In just a few days we will be ringing in a whole new chapter in our lives, once the famous NYC ball drops, we know that 2014 is a thing of the past. It is a time to reflect, ponder, and plan.
2014 has been a year of growth for me and a year I will certainly never forget. I have made so many new friends and continue to branch out in my activism. I continue to support http://www.positivelite.com & was also featured recently in an article by A&U Magazine. My passion to help others in prevention & education has continued to flourish and that remains a continued necessity for this upcoming year. I remain active on social media, especially Facebook, and use it as a means to reach others from around the world letting them know there is no shame in being HIV positive. I am thankful for all that has happened this year and each moment of life that I am granted here on earth. I am thankful my medicine continues to work and I have adjusted well to my new regimen of Complera. I am thankful that the support groups I help admin continue to grow and see people receiving the well needed support while dealing with an HIV diagnosis. There were also set backs this year however they are simply obstacles in life, not barriers that cannot be crossed.
I was studying to be a pilot and after having to take a neurological cognitive screening test due to my HIV positive status, I found out that I did not pass, and I would have to retake another longer version that would cost me almost $4,000 with no guarantees of passing. My dream of becoming a pilot was shot down, or was it ? After going on the annual HIV Poz Cruise I met other HIV positive pilots from Canada who explained how I would be able to get a license up there as long as everything else medically was in order if I am undetectable, no cog screen required to pass a Canadian Medical. Being that my father was born in Montreal, I qualify for dual citizenship, it is not an easy process at all however its simply a door that remains open assuring me my hopes and dreams of flying the skys aren’t over yet. It might not happen today or even within the next couple of months but I assure you, one day it will happen.
I returned to work this last year after taking an 8 month break on disability and it has turned out to be a blessing. I received a promotion and was transferred to my original position of bail agent in a much busier office in a market that I am very familiar with and trained in. I continue to assist the public in posting bail and work very hard at what I do. It is a job that really grows you as a person and always makes you aware that things could be much worse. Life is a roller coaster of twists and turns but it is all about staying along for the ride that counts. It has turned out to be a benefit to me financially and I have been able to begin to resolve some of my debt issues caused by many medical issues that have arisen in my past. Everything happens for a reason and I for one am glad that 2014 has been such a great year, but it can always get better.
In 2015 I really hope to expand my activism even more, have new opportunities to share my story, and get more involved here in the local community of the Inland Empire/San Diego County to start making a change in person as well. Social media is a fantastic way to connect with others and get the message out there but just as with many places there is much work that can be done here at home as well. I am starting to get more connected to those within the community that can really help me get involved in these type of things and that is very exciting indeed. I really want to continue working with my puppy Lobo and make this the year that he gets fully trained as a hospital therapy dog so I can begin the volunteer work that I have been longing to do since I got him. He will make so many people happy and put smiles on their faces despite what they might be going through. As with many people I would like to lose some weight (we’ll see how that goes :p) as the only side affect I am having from Complera is rapid weight gain. Smoking cigarettes is something that I also need to quit the habit of, its simply got to be something that no longer interests me and I am ready to let go of. After getting off opiate pain medication for my pain in leg this last year it was been a trying time for my brain restoring itself back to normal. Cigarettes have helped that stress along with work related stress however with the known harmful effects of them and multiple articles showing the major effect they have on those of us living with HIV/AIDS, its important to make the change for my own health. I want to live a long and healthy life, no cigarette is worth that.
I want to continue to grow in my relationships with my family and maintain a close connection with them. With the amount of hours that I am working it is important to make that family time happen, we only have so long together and we must make the most of it. I want to get back into school this next year and make a decision of what I want to do for a career. The bail industry is great and I cannot say how long I foresee myself in it however its something that can become very stressful if one allows it to be, it comes with the territory. Eventually down the line who knows what the possibilities might be, its a great job in the meantime, but I know I will do good doing whatever I want in life. I will be putting myself out there much more in terms of dating this year because although I am happy being single it would be nice to have that special girl to compliment my life and share special moments with. When it happens it will happen, there is no rush, as the right one is worth waiting for. Above all living in the moment is so important to me and I am going to enjoy every moment for what it is worth. I loved a quote I read via FB which I shared saying “Stop hoping everything will be alright in the future, and make the most of today instead.” It is a motto that I wish to constantly live by, tomorrow is never promised for anyone.
Through this upcoming year I expect to continue to grow emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally. I know that this year will be filled with new challenges all of their own however I will deal with them as they come. I am excited to see what the future might hold while at the same time giving thanks for today and everything happening. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May it be a blessed one surrounded by friends and family. I know the holidays can be hard for some and if you are in that situation feel free to message me, I would love to support you and let you know that there is someone who cares, you are never alone. As always a big thanks to positive lite for continuing to post my blogs and be a voice for those living with HIV/AIDS. If you were recently diagnosed with HIV or have lived with it for a long time and have questions or want someone to simply talk to, feel free to look at the links below to get in contact with me.
Until next time keep up that pozitivehope! 😀
Joshua D Middleton
If you are interested in seeing the A&U Article “Straight Talk” Regarding heterosexual HIV positive men please look at the link below. A big thanks to Chip Alfred, Michael Needle, and all the A&U staff for giving me the opportunity and honor to participate in a magazine that is making a difference daily. Have a great one everyone, take care :).